How our house has changed since having children

How you and your home change with children

Pre-baby our house in London was pretty tidy, and I would consider to myself to be house proud. Don’t get me wrong I still am, but in different ways. When we bought our home, we spent thousands of pounds re-doing the kitchen, bathroom, garden, painting and decorating. We would put our hearts and minds into sorting out the house, making it the home that we wanted.

Since becoming parents, our priorities and focus has changed, obviously that was inevitable, and it has shifted away from cleaning and keeping on top of general household maintenance, to focusing on our daughter and her needs. Here’s some of the changes I have observed over the past 14 months:

Painting and decorating is virtually impossible

There are certain areas that need a lick of paint or need sprucing up which have remained this way for some time. I don’t know why but our weekends are so full, and the last thing my husband and I want to do when we get home from work is repaint a wall in the kitchen.

The garden is becoming neglected
With all the hot weather over the Summer and little rain our garden is looking a little over-grown and wilted at the same time. It is longing for a full day of hard graft to put it back to its rightfull state and give it the love it deserves. I am also really annoyed with myself that I’ve not collected the damsons from the trees to make damson gin and vodka this year.

The laundry is 10 piles high
Every single week I find myself with a huge pile of clean laundry to put away. I really need to get better at this, by putting away each wash as it comes of the drier. Maybe I need to become more organised and have separate clean laundry piles for me, my husband and my daughter.

My kitchen is a kitchen / play-room
The kitchen is the only room in our house where we can create a play-room, or baby jail, for our little one to remain trapped. This is vital for the day that I work from home. However it also means that we have a huge play pen permanently sitting in the middle of the kitchen. I have placed this strategically so there is enough room to access all cupboards, open the dishwasher and oven, and open our back doors to the garden.

The living room is full of the larger toys
The larger walker toys that we own all reside in the living room as there is space for our daughter to play and climb. This does mean that there is no living space in our home where I can escape the coloured plastic.

My freezer is full of toddler sized portions, fish fingers and chicken goujons
The description says it all, my freezer is full of toddler sized portions. Before I had our daughter I made a huge effort to cook meals in advance. Now I am doing exactly the same for our daughter, so that when we get home from nursery I can quickly re-heat a meal in the microwave for her dinner.

Automatically watching CBeebies when turning on the TV
This is what inspired me to write this post. The other day when my daughter was napping I went to turn on the TV. Instead of going to channels or a program that I would watch, I instantly went to channel 121.

You know exactly where all the creaks in the floorboards and stairs are
I am like a stealth bomber in my house. I know exactly where every creak is, and how to tread without causing our floorboards or wooden stairs to creak. I discovered this new tactic during the 4-month sleep regression, where one false move would cause the baby bomb to go off.

The floor beneath the high chair is cleaner than the rest of my kitchen floor
This is an odd one as you would expect it to be dirtier. However last week I realised it was probably the cleanest floor in the entire house as it is cleaned with dettol at least 4 times a day.

Our house plants have homemade cardboard protectors over them
When our little one started crawling she was obsessed with getting to the house plant, taking out the soil and eating it. To prevent this, I’ve created a round cardboard disc that fits across the plant pot, with a hole for the plant, and a liftable flap for watering.

This is quite a random list of ways in which your home and home life changes once you have a child. I hope if you’re reading this you can relate, or can share other ways in which your home life has changed.

I wouldn’t change it for the world, and in this day and age we can throw money at these problems to get decorators and cleaners to come into our homes to make it exactly the way that we want it to be. I am incredibly lucky to have a lovely home, where I live with my husband and daughter, and there will always be changes that we want to make to it.

I would love to hear from you on how your home life has changed since having children.

Claire x

This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums 


  • Baby Anon

    I love this. Again, I can relate to this. My house used to be really tidy and lovely. We decorated and had new floors done and now…toys everywhere and I am forever finding the odd cheerio in the most random of places. Love your point about CBeebies — that’s us too!! Have decided to just accept the disarray x ‘#fortheloveofBLOG

  • Kimberly

    Haha! The creaks one I totally get too. You need to know where to dodge in the night… And you should seriously patent the cardboard flap for houseplants – genius. Our changes would be… huge steriliser, blender & bottle area on the kitchen side. Toys in our bedroom for morning play… Jumper taking up the ENTIRE lounge etc etc !

  • Let your light shine Mummy

    Same, there’s not enough time to do all the things we need. I can just about take it, then it gets on top of me so I have a big sort out. Toys in the lounge (though I did try to tidy these away the other day), never time to decorate, I just manage to hoover. I know we will get this time back though when are kids are older. I think we tend to notice things that other people don’t. Also the CBeebies! Xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Suz

    Sounds like you have a great house. Mine was never particularly tidy pre-children so I was glad I could blame the mess on them lol.

  • Kelly

    Can relate to this, though you’ve got me realising that now the kids are older I should be relaxing the child – proof house a bit… Whoops!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • ohmummymia

    Oh I can relate to that post! Now I don’t bother if I don’t have time to clean kitchen or bathroom I prefer to spend that time with my son and do housework when my husband is at home

  • the frenchie mummy

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it and a house is always so much work… If you listen to yourself, you will never stop.I would rather spend a good quality time with my child. I am sure your house is still tidier than mine haha #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Kate Orson

    Our house has got much more cluttered as we get more and more toys, and can’t let go of the older ones. And my daughter’s always got something she’s in the middle of playing with spread out across the floor. I found the “life changing art of tidying up’ really helpful to read, and we did go through a bit of a decluttering stage, but now it seems to be building up again. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Sam

    I can’t move for toys in my house yet here I am planing what new toys to get my daughter for Xmas. There’s no room as it is. I have laundry piled high and clean when I can. I’d rather play games with my little girl than vacuum and iron any day haha

  • Bridie By The Sea

    Haha I love this Claire! So true, my house is so untidy ever since Emma has got to toddler age, even though I seem to always be tidying. The laundry one is the big change in our house – there always seems to be piles of laundry to fold or wash, and also a huge pile of ‘clothes that no longer fit’ in the changing room. Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG xx

  • Angela Watling

    Some of these sound so familiar! We have a playpen in the corner of our lounge and the assortment of plastic cr*p in front of the fire place. I also clean the floor around the highchair several times a day. I’m quite surprised there is any flooring left! We also have a tonne of fresh fruit in the fridge at every given time for the small toddler-shaped food hoover we now possess! I never used to buy berries and ready-to-eat kiwis pre-child because I thought they cost too much. But they make like far easier as I know they are ready to eat.

    I’m holding out that it will get easier to do things as the years pass and children require less monitoring. Sure there will be different challenges but even as we approach my LO’s second birthday I am able to do more with her around.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Michelle

    The laundry conundrum only gets worse as the years progress… 🙂 I now have 3 teen daughters living at home (four over holiday breaks, when the oldest is home from college) and while the laundry is INSANE I also have 3 ladies to help with the chore. 🙂 Plus, I wouldn’t trade all the late-night movies and game nights I enjoy with them, or the deep philosophical discussions that don’t even start until past midnight, for all the clean laundry in the world. Thanks for a fun post–I enjoyed reading it and remembering those sweet, tiring toddler days! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Claire

    I find the decorating one particularly relatable! When we moved into our new house with our eldest being 9 months, we planned to decorate every room. Now he’s about to turn 4, we have managed every room except the living room, it is just too lived in, we would never have chance to make that room out of bounds! x #fortheloveofblog

  • Kirsty - winnettes

    Haha I love that your plants have cardboard protectors over them… I can’t keep a plant alive! The washing is just never ending, I swear we have mor children living here than I know about! An an extra husband…. how can one man create so much washing?

  • Emma me and b make tea

    haha this is so true especially creaks in floor boards! we knew EXACTLY where not to tread during the night!
    and toys seem to multiple like flipping rabbits don’t they! and they take over the whole house! #fortheloveofblog

  • Jaki

    I don’t think you could possibly go into a parent’s house and not see evidence of the child. It’s impossible. We are quite lucky that we have under stair storage in our living room so straight away that was designated for Ethan’s bigger toys. Along with an ottoman that keeps them a little bit organised and spacious enough so he can walk in and find what he wants. The other thing I use in the living room for all his cars, farm animals, Lego etc is the living room friendly storage boxes. They look like normal furniture as the canvas boxes match my colour scheme but they keep the toys hidden – and sadly enough I know what’s in each box!
    I sound organised but really I’m not. The one thing I’m struggling with is my bedroom. I constantly find small toys scattered everywhere from when he’s playing when I’m getting ready for work. It’s not his fault of course, I know one day we will get our bedroom back! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  • James Hopes

    Lots of similarities in our house but unfortunately we only moved in less than a year ago so we’re very much in the middle of doing each room up!! Be nice when it’s all done!! #ForTheLoveOfBLOG

  • Jane Taylor Maflingo

    Oh, I love the way you write! This post had me chuckling! Especially about the floorboards. That’s what it’s like when I visit my sister at the moment. SHe has a 1 yr old and 3 yr old who are not very good sleepers and she is so worried about waking them or making ANY kind of noise that it stresses me out a bit when I visit but she is so exhausted I don’t want to tell her it doesn’t have to be THAT quiet!

    We have to watch the telly on such a low volume that I can hardly hear it and we whisper! Then I have to walk up the edges of the stairs and the guestroom has so many creaky floorboards I end up trying to jump to the bed from the doorway!!! Honestly, its like a comedy sketch. No one flushes the chain. I was freaking out when my electric toothbrush was too loud before thinking how ridiculous it all was….You can’t really tell that to my sis when she is so absolutely exhausted so I just have to go through all of the motions and just hope the evening meal we have once kids are finally in bed isn’t too loud and crunchy!

    Loved this list. #Fortheloveofblog

    Jane recently posted…Kitchen Inspirations: Modern with a rustic twist

  • Kat

    We moved into this flat as a family but before that my daughter and I shared a room in a hostel for 10 months so I’m pretty mean as a mummy about letting her have loads of toys in the living room! Luckily she’s six so she can play in her room alone whilst I’m working and our living room/office/dining room stays pretty much toy free! #fortheloveofblog

  • tammymum

    Oh I hear ya. My house is now s storage yard for over sized plastic crap to entertain my kids. I am slowly trying to tackle rooms one by one but it is oh so slow and I am focusing on the generally children free rooms, which is perhaps one – the spare room. Hmm I think we’ll be living as you describe for some time to come! Xx #fortheloveofblog xx

  • From Day Dot

    Eek! I’ve got all of this to come soon, I would say I’m house proud and a little obsessed with decorating and making it look nice so I know these changes are going to happen but am not sure how I’ll cope with it! I think having a coloured plastic-free room is a good shout! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Kirsty - Motherhoodery

    Can totally relate! I was very house proud and everything was very neat and tidy. Most people would probably still consider it tidy considering we have a toddler, but I know it’s no where near the same as it used to be. I still struggle with it to be honest, but I know it’s not forever and no doubt I’ll miss it when it’s gone! x #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Amie

    I’m with you there! CBeebies drives me insane so we stick with Nick Jr! Can I ask where the pretty little wooden farm set is from in the picture please? It’s lovely! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Helena

    We’ve always viewed our house as a home to live in and not worried about it being show home standard. Trying to keep things simple, easy to manage and free from mass clutter domination. #fortheloveofblog

  • Sunita - Lucky Things blog

    You can’t spend your free time tidying up all of the time. Glad I’m not the only one with a freezer full of fish fingers! And yes the floor below the highchair is far more shiner than the rest of the kitchen. Good to know others don’t bust a gut to keep their home spotless. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Carol Cameleon

    Yes, our homes definitely change don’t they?! As they get older (our daughter is now 7), the toys do get more streamlined, less colourful and you do gradually get your home back!… honest!

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