When I see winter storm forecasts predicting upwards of 2+ feet of snow for my area, a few thoughts come to mind. Beyond the fact that I hope my family and friends are safe, my mind wanders to the fact that daycare will most likely be closed and my house will be hit with a huge punch of cabin fever. 48+ hours of staying inside with two kids under two with the potential of no electricity does not rank high on many people’s list of fun things to do. My next immediate selfish thought is that my housekeeper is not going to be able to come, and I’m devastated.
Yup, I’ve outted myself- I have a housekeeper. And while I used to be ashamed to admit it, I’m not anymore, because let me tell you, I look start looking forward to her coming back about 5 minutes after she’s left each week. I have always wanted a house cleaner (I mean, really, who doesn’t?), but I could never justify it to myself or my husband. The desire grew after I had my first baby and I would casually mention it to him from time to time. He shot me down every single time. What the hell kind of people were we that we couldn’t clean our own house? I kind of agreed. Both of our mothers stayed at home with us when we were little- they tended to our needs, cooked, cleaned and made sure that our house was presentable when guests came over. This was not a concept that either of us were used to.
There are a few social stigmas why I have been embarrassed to share this fact about our family for so long:
- We aren’t rich. Only rich people have house cleaners, don’t they?
- We aren’t lazy. Are you freaking kidding me? We can’t clean our own house?
- Our house isn’t huge. How long could it possibly take us to clean?
- We aren’t dirty. What does my house actually look like that we need someone to clean it?
Once our second baby arrived, I found myself bickering with my husband more than we ever had before. There was shit everywhere and we literally could not find the time to clean anything. It was driving us both nuts and an underlying reason to most of our tiffs. “I was up with the baby all night and then I spent my morning cleaning the bathroom and he didn’t even say thank you!” Meanwhile, he was probably thinking the same thing as he trucked garbage bag upon garbage bag of smelly diapers out of the house (side note: we don’t have a garbage removal company and have to take our garbage to the dump. I don’t even know where the dump is, which shows the exact amount of times I have been there. Oops!)
Both working full time, we had resorted to shipping the kids off to Grandma’s for a few hours on the weekends just so we could catch up with the cleaning. (If you’ve ever tried to clean or cook, hell, PEE with a toddler or infant at home, you understand why our attempts at this previously weren’t working out very well). I was getting sick of spending the only precious little time I had away from my babies just so I could clean. I contacted a friend who had just started her own business for a quote and told my husband we would try her once and would see how things go. He was firmly against it but went along with me, probably just to shut me up.
Cathy, my cute, spunky, energizer bunny housecleaner now comes every other week. Both my husband and I were hooked as soon as she came that first time. Don’t get me wrong- Cathy is not a maid. I still have to pick up before she comes and there have been times that I’ve texted her “Don’t go in the guest room… pure disaster with 72 piles of clean clothes in there”, but all of the rooms are clean, the floors are mopped and the bathroom is sparkling when I get home on Tuesdays after work and I love it. Jeff and I have stopped bickering over stupid cleaning things and I have to say are both much happier with this weight taken off our shoulders. I’ve had to sacrifice getting my beloved mani/pedis as often as I used to in order to fit Cathy into our budget, we still have to maintain the house between visits and Jeff still has to go to the dump. All that said, our quality of life has improved greatly and its one less thing that we have to think about. It has been the absolute best gift I’ve given myself in a very long time.
And now you know my dirty little secret.
And, because I have no problem shamlessly plugging her, here is Cathy’s info if you decide you need to upgrade your life and unload your dirty little secret as well!