(I bet you were expecting something more interesting.)
I don’t know why I feel this is so shameful, or why I’m so secretive about it. But it’s the truth. I don’t clean my own darn house.
For a long time I thought having a housecleaner would be a good idea, but I couldn’t bring myself to get one. I didn’t want to be the kind of person who has a cleaning lady. Those kinds of people are rich and snotty and helpless. I’m none of those things. There’s no sense in throwing away money on something I could do on my own, even though I barely had time for it.
I admit it, though– I hate cleaning. The only things I hate more than cleaning are talking on the phone and arguing with Philly lawyers. When I found a few spare minutes in the day, I could choose between playing with my kid, or watching some TV, or cleaning…and I never ever choose the cleaning.
The result was that our house kept getting grungier. Instead of me cleaning, I just got increasingly stressed. Mr. Beez doesn’t mind cleaning so much, but he’s just as busy as I am, sometimes busier. The time to give the house a good scrubdown never existed.
Last summer was a perfect storm. Mr. Beez traveled a LOT last summer. He was on a 2 week road trip, then had two conferences. Baby Beez was only about 8 months old at the time. I was busy at work, shuttling her back and forth from daycare (which amounted to an hour and ten minutes commute, each way), and having to do ALL the house chores by myself. I was cracking under the stress (writing that down, it looks like far less than it felt, and I ask myself why couldn’t I just suck it up and deal? I don’t know. But that was a very stressful time, and the stress was real). I finally had an appointment with my doctor, and tearfully spilled out all my stress. Amongst other (actually medical) advice, she told me YOU. NEED. TO. GET. A. HOUSECLEANER.
I know that my generation is known for abandoning the “Superwoman” persona, for the “Good Enough” persona, butI felt that having a messy house represented my inability to function as an adult on the most basic level. I’d come home and fret over the mess. Instead of prioritizing cleaning (because I hated it), I grew increasingly agitated. In theory, I could have let it go and learned to live with it, but I am not good at letting things go. But my doctor prescribed a cleaning lady, and I usually listen to my doctor.
So now we have a cleaning lady. I’m pretty sure I haven’t turned into an obnoxious spoiled snob. She only comes by once a month. The clutter is our responsibility to pick up, and she does the floors and the dusting and all the other grime that I never get around to. When I come home to a cleaned house, it’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders. The cost of hiring a cleaning lady is well worth the stress it has relieved. Also, it’s kind of fun to watch Baby Beez slide across the clean floors and land splat on her bum.