questions answered, part six (help)

Kicking the writing back into gear with Sue’s prompt: If I could hire help, I’d hire…

A housecleaning service.

I have a multitude of reasons why I’ve never even brought up the topic. I feel like we should take care of our own house. If it’s too much to clean, it’s too much to own. My husband is already a clean-house person, and tackles most of it. My kids should also be responsible for helping. It feels like it would be a hassle to arrange. It seems like an unnecessary expense. Our house isn’t “finished”, so maybe when it is, I’ll consider it. I’m oddly weird about having people in my house when I’m not there. What happens if we’re not pleased with the work? I’m sort of nervous about having to fire someone. Lots of excuses, I know.

But still, I dream about it. Not an everyday thing, or even an every week thing. Okay, maybe that one. But I’d also settle for a few visits a month to tackle the deep cleaning. I’d love to start off a Saturday morning with a wide open agenda that doesn’t include cleaning the toilets. I imagine what it would feel like to walk into the house after a fourteen hour day and everything shines and smells fresh. Even a deep kitchen clean every few months – to come home to sparkling appliances and a shiny sink. Ahh, sounds nice. Clean windows once a month. Books dusted and straightened. Pillows washed and fluffed. I’m bookending this post with photos of just a portion of the trim details in our house, because having them dusted every few weeks by someone else would seem like a dream.

And since I’m really dreaming now, what about someone who remembered when it was time to water the plants, and did it? Or sharpened the knives? Or dropped off the drycleaning, or rotated the mattress, or deep cleaned the washing machine? All those things that Martha Stewart would list on her monthly calendars in the front of her magazines that always made me laugh. I mean, we do these things now, and we’re pretty on top of it. But our downtime and family time is so short, what if we could remove some of those little tasks that eat away at it even more? So maybe what I really want is a personal assistant. Too lavish, I know. I don’t even think it’s for me. But if someone just magically called the pediatrician’s office and scheduled well visits and put them on my calendar for me without me having to call from work and listen to hold music for fifteen minutes – well, I could probably adjust.

9 Responses to questions answered, part six (help)

  1. I have a housecleaner. One day a week, every week. We still clean as a family on Saturday mornings, but it’s a light clean, which allows us to focus on bigger projects (as well as on the never-ending laundry). For me, it’s worth every penny, especially when we head out together for a walk, or go away to visit family. The clean house makes me happy and far less stressed than I was when I didn’t have the help. Admittedly, in the beginning I felt a lot of guilt, and inadequacy: why couldn’t I manage to keep my own house clean. My mother also thought it was a terrible waste of money.When I finally hired someone, an older female colleague admonished me for waiting so long. She reminded me that housekeeping is a full time job…and I already had one of those. When I read the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books, I was smitten with the idea that Precious offers: that having a housekeeper was giving someone else and income they needed.

    • I love that series so much – my mother-in-law got me hooked on them.

      I’m seriously considering it in the new year. Particularly if we are also under construction. For the dust control alone, that seems invaluable, and running a project of this scope is already going to feel like a second job.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  2. I can tell you I’ve had and not had a cleaning service. Life is much better having.

  3. I’ll say this… having someone come in and help with the basic cleaning every other week makes it so much easier to tackle the stuff like knife sharpening and mattress rotating. It’s a game changer and a great investment. As much as you both work and as busy as you are… I’m surprised (and awed, really) that you don’t have some help cleaning!

  4. I have a housecleaner too, once a week. While a single mother, my parents gave me this gift, that’s all I wanted for birthdays and Christmas. Every chance I got, I wrote cards and notes to my team thanking them, that I couldn’t keep it together without them, that they made a big difference in my life— all true. I have no problem hiring my team because they are good at what they do and it’s not an easy job and I respect that. I hire professionals who know what they are doing in every aspect of my life, from electricians to dentists, and consider each of them valuable. Cleaning and homekeeping are important skills and very important to my well-being, and I am in awe of my team that can make such a difference, in such a short time! Professional cleaning for the win, over here!! 🙂 🙂

  5. We have a housecleaner. We are both too busy to spend our free time cleaning toilets. We’d rather spend our free time with the kids or (honestly) doing anything else. For me, it’s a no-brainer 🙂

  6. For years my mother pressured me to enlist a house cleaner and I resisted because it didn’t seem to fit the ethos of our nuclear family (and my pride was feeling wounded by the idea that she thought I needed help). That said, we weren’t really taking care of our house. A couple of years ago, as the bookstore was consuming me so completely, it dawned on my that our house was one of our biggest investments and that hiring help to keep it clean was really a form of a maintenance plan on our most prized possession. (Plus, I definitely have everyone clean up the day or two before cleaning day which really keeps things nice and actually instills more discipline in us than before. Discipline is our weakness and hiring a housecleaner actually kicks my butt into gear. I now clean more than before. Ha.)

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