Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In defense of the cleaning lady

These days my BF and I are doing our best to cut expenses wherever we can, but there is one expense that we both agree is necessary, no matter what other people say…My cleaning lady.

Even when I was living alone with my cat in a one bedroom apartment, I had my cleaning lady.  She came every 2 weeks for a couple of hours and took care of all of the grunt work.  My cousins (stay at home moms) used to tease me and say that they just couldn’t understand how I couldn’t manage when they had whole families to clean up after and I only had myself.  I tried many times to explain that I worked full time, and did a lot of overtime, so all of the errands that they did during the day, I had to cram into my evenings etc. etc.

I will also willingly admit that I despise cleaning, I have never been a tidy person, and no matter how hard I try to discipline myself, I just don’t care enough.  I love having a clean and pretty living space, but when push comes to shove, it’s low on my list of priorities.

But it was also more than that.  The feeling of coming home after a long day at work to a spotless home is worth every penny.  I’ve had my current cleaning lady roughly 6 years, so she knows me, and how I like things organized.  She pays attention to the little details and honestly gives the impression that every 2 weeks, a fairy godmother has gone through my home giving me a clean slate for the next 2 weeks,

Now that I have the BF and 2nd cat full sharing my space, plus the step kids on weekends and bigger apartment, she has really become indispensable.  Especially since she is scheduled for the Tuesday following the weekends with kids, and we have moved her up to 3 hours each time. 

The fact that we don’t have to worry about scrubbing floors or toilets etc. gives us the chance to be fully present with the kids when they are there, instead of worrying about cleaning up after them.  The kids spill something, no big deal, I wipe it up with a rag to get most of it, but it doesn’t make me mad because I’m not thinking « Dammit, I just mopped ».

This past weekend I was watching a friend’s 10 month old baby while she was in the hospital.  Needless to say, at the end there were carrots mashed into the carpet and fingerprints all over any glass or screen within baby reach, but I wasn’t stressed, I was able to focus 100% on comforting a baby who was very stressed out because she missed her mom.

I haven’t even gotten to how having her means that my BF and I never fight about domestic chores. He does the dishes, I do the laundry, and we both pick up after ourselves.  We each only have to worry about one main housekeeping task, so when we get home from work, we can just enjoy each other.

It also helps that I never have to worry about the stress of having people over unexpectedly, since the worst case scenario is that there are dishes in the sink.

I don’t consider my cleaning lady an employee who does my grunt work, she is an essential part of the team that helps my family run smoothly, and me keep my sanity.  I will be cutting out many other things before I touch that expense.

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