My House Is a Mess
"My house looks like a baby bomb went off -- it's a mess. But I haven't had a second to clean!"
The nearly unanimous solution for moms I spoke to: hire someone to clean your house. "I hated spending the money," says Wagle, "but it was so worth it in terms of my stress level and sanity." It doesn't have to be a weekly deal (every other week is fine), and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. "Rather than seeing it as a selfish splurge, think of it as an investment in your child, because the time you would've spent dusting and vacuuming you'll now be able to spend with her," says Barnhill.
If hiring a pro is out, try doing a little at a time. "I cleaned in 15-minute bursts whenever my son napped," says Liz Campbell, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, mom to 11-month-old Xavier. "And I decided to focus only on the most visible areas of the house." Adds Barnhill: "If you don't have the energy, don't worry about it. Does it really matter if there are binkies and board books all over the floor? No. Very few people are going to see them. And if they do? I've found that it can actually create a nice trickle-down effect with other moms. When they see that your house isn't perfect, it helps them relax and feel like they don't need to be mini Martha Stewarts either."