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Good Housekeeping

How do women juggle motherhood and housework?

I'm going to level with you here: my house is rarely spotless.

More than likely, if you were to stop by my home unannounced, chances are that dirty dishes were quickly shoved into the oven and unfolded laundry tossed into the bathtub a mere moment before you knocked on the door.

I find it almost comical that the role of housekeeping has fallen on my shoulders because the discipline of keeping a tidy home is not in my nature.

I'd much rather hide under a clean load of laundry while playing hide and seek with my children than actually take a moment to fold those clothes. 

My house may not be spotless, but it's full of activity, that's for sure. Yet, despite my lack of talent in the cleaning department, I know that it's my job to set an example for my kids and keep a tidy home. 

It can be overwhelming when the housework piles up and I feel pulled in every direction. Between keeping up with my boys, cooking dinner, vacuuming the house, folding laundry and the million other unfinished items on my "to do" list, the little voice inside my head tells me I'll never get caught up on my chores.

I see other moms who seem to easily balance the demands of motherhood and housekeeping and can't help but wonder how they do it.

Athens mom Lili Hill shared her secret for keeping a clean home. "We share household duties in our house. I cook, my husband loads and unloads the  dishwasher. I put clothes in the washer and dryer, he folds all and irons his own," Hill said. "He gives our son a bath every night, I read books and tuck him in. It evolved out of necessity. We both know neither of us can 'do it all' so we split it up."

Hill's husband may be onto something. A study found that men who help with household duties actually see more action in the bedroom because their wives  have feelings of sexual interest and affection for husbands who participate in housework.

Now might be a good time to print this story out and secretly tuck it under your husband's pillow.

Another local mom, Jessica Rothrock, has a handle on household chores and attributes it to her perspective on being a stay-at-home mom. "I traded a high stress and fast-paced job for housewifedom after my son was born because I wanted to be at home," Rothrock said. "So this is where I redirect that energy to, I treat house work like a job and work it as such."

Other moms turn to the Internet for tips and techniques. Athens mom Lisa Myers often enlists the guidance of the website FlyLady, an online support system that is "all about establishing little habits that string together into simple routines to help your day run on automatic pilot." Myers also looks to Pinterest for cleaning tips and suggested schedules. 

Despite the recources found online, Myers is honest about the challenge of keeping a tidy home. "Listen, don't ask me," she said. "I'm terrible at housework. I try to do one thing a day to keep it in control but I'll still end up doing five loads of laundry today." 

At least I'm not alone.

How do you balance motherhood and household chores? What sort of cleaning tips do you have for domestically challenged moms like myself? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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