Maintaining a home in order, raising two young kids and finding the time to enjoy life, all while working in finance—here’s how supermum Jean from @theeagertraveller does it all.
You moved into your home before you had kids—did you plan the design with future kids in mind? Did you have to adapt the space once they came along?
We knew we wanted to have kids so when our designer suggested hacking the walls of one of the rooms to make the living and dining space bigger, we said no as we didn’t want to give up that separate room.
Once the kids came along, we outfitted their rooms with loose furniture since kids’ preferences tend to change quickly. We also removed our sofa and turned the living room into a play area with floor seating as we want to be able to join the kids when they read and play.
Additionally, we started selling off furniture that wasn’t child-friendly, such as the hard-to-clean dining table and our cloth-covered dining chairs! We also removed the coffee table and our plastic plants to reduce spots for dust to collect while also creating more space for the kids’ stuff.
What are some of your favourite reno upgrades that you’ve found really helpful with family life?
The pantry nook! Everyone in the family uses that area to make coffee, warm the kids’ milk, pack breastmilk and prepare the kids’ food. It even provides a nice display area for our favourite bottles!
How do you keep your home as low-maintenance as possible to minimise cleaning time, especially with kids around?
I’ve implemented a toy rotation system so we only display a number of toys at any given time. This allows for better play while minimising how much we have to tidy up. I group the toys and put them in labelled clear, gallon-sized Ziploc bags. This saves space and it’s easy for anyone including the kids to see the contents.
We try to keep the home as clutter-free as we can so our Robovac can easily get around the house. Credit also goes to our helper, who ensures that all the toys are put back where they belong every single day.
Let’s talk about the fun stuff—how do you spend time with your kids at home? What are your favourite activities?
We love hanging out in the living room turned play area and their little cosy activity nook. My elder son mostly chooses which activity he wants to do. We love seeing him learn through play.
The best moments are when my sons actually share a space in peace and cuddle with each other, taking all the stress away.
Any toys you gravitate towards when spending time with the kids?
Puzzles and activity books. I recommend toy subscriptions so you don’t have to keep thinking of what to buy. We use Lovevery, which ships from the US. It’s like Christmas when the shipment arrives because even the parents can’t wait to unbox it!
I know you love to travel, but it can be hard as a parent. Do you have any tips for parents who struggle with holidays?
Memories can be made anywhere so I’m not too bummed out that I’m not able to travel as much now that I have kids. When travelling with kids, remember not to cram your travel itinerary and visit just one major attraction per day.
Make travelling with kids as stress-free as possible and accept that it’s just taking care of them in another city.
Last but not least—your top three quick-fire tips for new parents!
- Find a parenting support group, preferably for parents with kids in the same age group. It helps when you share both the fun and the misery and get to exchange tips.
- Do what works best for your family. There’s no one-size-fits-all parenting style. Learn from the experiences of others but don’t stress if someone else’s approach doesn’t work for you.
- Enjoy creating memories with your family because, as cliche as it sounds, kids really grow up fast!
This post was adapted from an article originally published in the July 2023 issue of SquareRooms.