The Instant Mama

All Things Motherly



I’m a Mean Mom: I Make My Kids Do Chores

I am a mean mom some times. I make my kids do chores with no monetary compensation. 

When my husband and I moved in together, I had been living in my own apartment by myself for about four years. I’m slightly neurotic about cleanliness and all of the sudden, there I was, living with a guy and two children under the age of six. Talk about an adjustment!

At first I ended up cleaning every day. Like, the entire house. Every. Day. But after asking my mom and my grandma how they ever kept their houses clean with so many other humans in it, I came up with a much saner approach. I made my kids do chores. 

I went on Pinterest for some inspiration and made chore charts from baking sheets. I tried (and failed) to make the chore buttons, so I ended up purchasing them from an online Etsy shop. 

My kids are still pretty young, so the “chores” they do each day/week are not difficult. In my personal opinion, they are things that should be done every day regardless of your age. And I’m not going to give them money for making their beds and brushing their teeth. They should just be in a habit of doing those types of things.

But what has helped me tremendously in dealing with my slightly crazy cleaning tendencies is having them help me with the small tasks, like bed making and cleaning up their toys before we leave the house. It also helps foster a sense of responsibility in them which will hopefully carry onto adulthood. 

If you want to know what age appropriate chores are right fot your kids, just Google it, but in the meantime here are the chores completed in our home for an 8 and 6 year old.

  1. Make bed each morning
  2. Brush teeth morning and night 
  3. Pick up bedroom floor (no toys or clothes left)
  4. Put away shoes in cubbies
  5. Pick up play area before leaving the house
  6. Put away clean laundry
  7. Clear table when finished eating
  8. Unload dishwasher (summer chore)
  9. Sweep kitchen floor (summer chore)
  10. Clean windows (summer chore)
  11. Dust bedroom (summer chore)

Tips For A Small Nursery Space

I am officially a nesting freak at 32 weeks. It’s given me all sorts of energy and motivation I did not know could exist simultaneously when you’re dealing with third trimester pains and gains. I’m taking full advantage of this “nesting” stage and getting everything organized for the baby’s nursery.

The biggest struggle I’ve had with the baby’s new space is just that – SPACE! Even though our house has three bedrooms and our boys currently share a bedroom, we have family visit often, so maximizing the space (and number of beds) is needed. I am going to breastfeed, so it makes sense to sleep in the same room with the baby for at least a few months during all those late night feedings. With that being said, I’ve really dug into my creativity to come up with some space saving solutions for the nursery.


I chose to set up the cradle for a few months before using the crib. It will help the room not feel as cramped for the time being. As you can see, there is a queen size bed in the room. It not only will be great for me to sleep in during the early days of breastfeeding, but any family members visiting will still have space to stay with us.

(I am an incredibly sentimental person and love that almost everything in this room has a story behind it. The cradle was given to my brother as a gift and generously loaned to me. The rocking chair was gifted to me by my grandparents when they learned I was pregnant. It has a lovely story behind how it came to their home over 20 years ago. The pictures on the wall were colored by the boys for the baby.)

I literally do not have enough floor space to have a dresser or changing table in the room, but I did some research and found DIY layout for a wall hanging changing table. J’s grandpa was sweet enough (and talented enough!) to build us this as a gift. I put some small shelves to the side for storage. It is not only an amazing space saver, but it is super cute! If you’re wondering where I put all of the clothes and other baby necessities, they are tucked away in the closet in storage containers that are still easily accessible.

I feel very accomplished with the end product of the nursery because I was forced to think outside the box. Even though it would be great to have more room, I am learning that if you make the best with what you have, the outcome can end up being better than you imagined ♥

Check List for First Time Homebuyer! 

I know, I know. I said my blog would be all about being a mom, but I AM a Realtor also! I wouldn’t be true to myself and my writing if I didn’t write about my career too😊 

I am at the age right now where a lot of my friends or acquaintances are thinking of purchasing their first home. The market is HOT here (seller’s market) so it really is best to have your ducks in a row before ever stepping foot in a home. 

First Time Homebuyer Prep Checklist

1. Contact a qualified loan officer – they are going to be able to tell you if you can buy, how much home you can buy, and how much money you need to buy a home

2. Have funds available for a down payment and/or potential closing costs – most first time homebuyers can qualify for specific loans (FHA or USDA) where you need little to no money down, but you still need money for closing costs! Don’t expect to need 20% of the purchase price to be able to buy, but in a seller’s market you will still need to bring money to the table at the end. (I.e. If you are wanting to buy a $150k house expect to save about $7500 or 5% of the total purchase price.) I always throw the highest estimate in there, so keep that in mind.

3. Pay down debt – you can potentially buy more home and get a better interest rate if you lower your debt to income ratio.

4. Don’t be a job hopper! – most loan officers will tell you that you must be at the same job (or same job field) for a minimum of two years. Banks see you as a lower risk if you show job consistency and will be more willing to loan you money! 

5. Call ME! – but really, if you know you can buy and have the money, let’s go look at all the houses your little heart desires 😉 In all seriousness though, I will talk real estate with anyone who will listen so if you want to call me before steps 1-4 I can answer all of your questions. 

Happy house hunting! 🏡

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