I have a dirty little secret.
Me, the mother-come-housewife-come-cleaner-come-organizer extraordinaire has a house cleaner.
Wait, let me cover my ears so I don’t have to listen to the loud gasps.
And not a once a month or every two weeks cleaner but one that comes once a week. For three hours.
Is this where I surrender my Tidy-Up Tuesday crown?
It’s all fairly new (she’s been with us for a month) but I already wonder how we ever lived without her. Because despite being a neat freak and actually enjoying cleaning, the half-day +++ that it buys me every week is golden.
I went back to work when the baby duck was four weeks old and since then have been managing kids, house, and business, without any additional child care. Thankfully my husband was able to take six weeks of paternity leave but baby duck is now 14 weeks old, which left me with 8 weeks of trying-to-balance-it-all single handedly.
Our search for a part-time nanny this summer proved fruitless (that deserves a whole series of posts on it’s own), I needed time to edit, and so a house cleaner seemed like a good solution to save (a) sanity (b) time. Apparently friends have suggested it before but I looked at them like they had three heads; amazing how a little (lot) of desperation will change your mind.
In my mind I’m still a stay-at-home mom. I’m here, everyday, seven days a week, with my boys. What I constantly fail to remember is that on top of that I also run a business. A business that was supposed to be a little something on the side but turned out to be much more.
My weekdays used to look like this:
Monday: Dust. Nurse the baby. Play with the 4 year old. Retrieve lost toys. Return to dusting. Answer the phone. Respond to emails. Try to remember where I had dusted.
Tuesday: Clean bathroom #1. Get side tracked by toys, babies, laundry, the telephone, or other shiny objects. Get halfway through bathroom #2 before the cycle of distraction continued. Did I mention that we have four bathrooms?
Wednesday: Vacuum the basement. Entertain children, run a business, feed children. Vacuum the main floor. Entertain children, nurse the baby, feed the children. Vacuum upstairs. Grocery shop, feed the family, nurse the baby. Return to find the basement a complete disaster.
Thursday: Kick all crap aside and mop the floor, which should have happened on Wednesday but see reasons #1-7 why it didn’t.
Friday: Remove 39 stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, from the beds. Get distracted. Wonder why there are sheets and towels in the hallway. Remember you were changing the sheets and towels. By bedtime I’ve forgotten yet again and no one has any linen to sleep on.
What would take me at least 7+ hours to work through every week takes our lovely cleaner 3 because she is not encumbered by 3 small people, 2 cats, a business, and 59 shiny objects wrestling for her attention.
I am still run ragged but at least I’m not pulling a vacuum, mop, and dirty dust rag behind me. Instead I have extra time to work but mainly time to chase this guy:
Who is 4 and so damn fast.
Not to mention spending time with the lanky 6 1/2 year old who I keep looking at and wondering ‘who are you?’ because he’s growing up at warp speed.
And that cherubic little baby? Well a ridiculously strained budget and penny pinching is worth every second I get to spend with him.
The guilt over not being able to do it all?
Our lovely cleaner threw it out with the trash the last time she was here.