Jump to content

Menu

Musings on having a cleaning woman?


Recommended Posts

Okay, so I have a cleaning woman. She comes once every 2 weeks to do the big cleaning. This does not mean we don't clean around here - we do. We sweep, pick up, wipe down, vacuum, etc. I just can't get to the bigger, deeper cleaning - health issues and all. Also, we are busy - homeschooling, running a business, participating in activities. Plus, I am helping to support someone else's family with income. On top of it, I admit it ... I hate cleaning. Cleaning was always presented as something unpleasant when I was growing up. There was always yelling, shaming, just plain unpleasant feelings. So, I create more peace in my home by not passing on this unfortunate family tradition. Part of my income from my part-time Usborne business pays for this.

 

So ... why do I feel so guilty? Today, we are having family over for dd's birthday, including some family from out of town who happen to be here for the weekend. My cleaning woman is here (a reschedule due to birthday party plans on Thursday) and I scheduled the "party" for after she would be done. When questioned, I was just so embarrassed to admit that I have help. I feel so ashamed that I can't do it all. I feel so ashamed that I don't have boatloads saved because some of it goes toward conveniences like this to make our life workable (both physically and emotionally.) I am one of the only people I know IRL who has one and I always feel it is something I need to hide.

 

So, what say you, hive? Should this have to be my dirty little secret (you see, there is a reason for my screen name:lol:)? Or can you all tell me how to shed my guilt?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had the money for a cleaning lady to come do the deep cleaning, I would do it in a heartbeat. The reduced stress that a cleaner home would bring would be totally worth it. I know I would have less worry and stress when I could regularly walk into very clean bathrooms. Be glad you are able to provide a better environment for your family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had the money for a cleaning lady to come do the deep cleaning, I would do it in a heartbeat. The reduced stress that a cleaner home would bring would be totally worth it. I know I would have less worry and stress when I could regularly walk into very clean bathrooms. Be glad you are able to provide a better environment for your family.

 

:iagree:

 

Yes. I don't see the problem. Homeschooling is fulltime whether you consider it a "job" or not. I wouldn't feel a bit of guilt whatsoever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. People make choices all the time on how they want to spend their money. And this is a choice we make as well. I have someone come in weekly. But to prep for her, we have to clean up. I think this is the main motivation in our house to deal with our clutter!;)

 

And even with my husband out on disability earlier this year...I would still have not given up that help. Even if it meant eating mac and cheese and ramen noodles!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I weren't such a control freak, I'd hire help in an instant!

 

I'm horrible about housework, so I haven't exactly been successful in raising happy helpers, iykwim. It's a boring, never ending cycle. I can never finish doing dishes or finish doing laundry or finish sweeping and mopping, so I wind up trying to avoid it all for as long as possible.

Because of that, I'd be way too embarrassed to let even a cleaning person see my mess. :tongue_smilie:

 

Plus, I have really crazy boundary issues, and I'm a fanatic about how things should be done (even if I don't meet my own expectations).

 

In short, I'm too much of a nutcase.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all set our priorities, and if this is one that you can afford and that makes your life and your family's that much better, then *go* for it, and for heaven's sake, don't feel guilty! We don't have inside help, but we do pay for regular, basic yard maintenance. For us, it's very worthwhile.

 

Also, you might be surprised how many people *do* have occasional help at home. I know in my circles, a fair number of women (who otherwise live very modest lives) do have help at least semi-regularly. Not everyone, not even a majority, but quite a few... And I'll certainly never say never...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's fabulous that you reach out for the help you need! Not only is it better for your sanity, and for your family, but it is also helping to share resources around in your community by employing another person. How awesome is that?

 

Look at it this way... If you were somehow trading jobs with another person, would you feel guilty then? Say for example you were swapping child care with a neighbour in exchange for her helping with your deep cleaning once every two weeks. Would that have the same emotional charge for you? If not, why? Doing it more indirectly by earning the money through one avenue and spending it through another is no different... it's just how we arrange for the exchange of resources in our culture. It's a good thing. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a weekly cleaning person. She is a lovely person, and we enjoy her. It frees me to teach and taxi without worrying about fitting in time to scrub the bathroom and deep-clean the kitchen.

 

Give yourself kudos for choosing to use your resources in a way that allows you to enjoy your days, protect your health and teach your children. You're making a great choice for yourself and your family. And you are right. You are sharing your blessings and resources by offering good work to someone who needs it.

 

When asked, I put a positive spin on it: "Rose came today and the house just sparkles. She's such a nice lady, with a wonderful family. And I was able to get ready for the party/take the kids on a nature hike/do a fabulous science experiment/work in the garden because the house was already so clean." Not a hint of apology. It's not as though you're lolling on the couch all day eating bon-bons. Though a little lolling with sweets is a fine reason to have someone else clean your house, now that I think of it! ;)

 

Cat, off to look for bon-bons

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And my husband would not be happy without it. He works an incredible amount of hours and simply cannot relax without having a super clean home. I've learned the hard way that our marriage, and our family in general, is muich happier and we get much more done, having that little bit of help. And it really is only a little bit of help, if they only come once every two weeks. The bulk of my time at home is still spent cleaning, doing laundry, making meals, picking up, taking care of bills and paperwork. I'm certainly not idle! :) We can go to more activities (which my husband really wants for the kids) and I can focus more on him when he IS home. I think most of the women I know who HAVE cleaning help scrimp and save in other areas. When you don't have childcare help from family or friends at all, and your husband works 90 + hours a week, it becomes less of a luxury and more of a part of the routine business of running the home. Just my 2 cents!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellen,

 

I don't have a cleaning woman, yet, but will some day soon. Home schooling is not a part-time endevour. Throw on top of that a successful Usborne business (the schedule for which is often variable) and there is not always time to do what we want/need to do. Having a cleaning woman come in is taking care of your family. Also, just think how you are helping your cleaning woman. I would be willing to bet that she depends on the income you provide her.

 

See you in Tulsa?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, so I have a cleaning woman. She comes once every 2 weeks to do the big cleaning. This does not mean we don't clean around here - we do. We sweep, pick up, wipe down, vacuum, etc. I just can't get to the bigger, deeper cleaning - health issues and all. Also, we are busy - homeschooling, running a business, participating in activities. Plus, I am helping to support someone else's family with income. On top of it, I admit it ... I hate cleaning. Cleaning was always presented as something unpleasant when I was growing up. There was always yelling, shaming, just plain unpleasant feelings. So, I create more peace in my home by not passing on this unfortunate family tradition. Part of my income from my part-time Usborne business pays for this.

 

So ... why do I feel so guilty? Today, we are having family over for dd's birthday, including some family from out of town who happen to be here for the weekend. My cleaning woman is here (a reschedule due to birthday party plans on Thursday) and I scheduled the "party" for after she would be done. When questioned, I was just so embarrassed to admit that I have help. I feel so ashamed that I can't do it all. I feel so ashamed that I don't have boatloads saved because some of it goes toward conveniences like this to make our life workable (both physically and emotionally.) I am one of the only people I know IRL who has one and I always feel it is something I need to hide.

 

So, what say you, hive? Should this have to be my dirty little secret (you see, there is a reason for my screen name:lol:)? Or can you all tell me how to shed my guilt?

 

I need one!! In Argentina it is the norm to have a cleaning woman. Middle class people all over the country do. Even to help watch the kids. I don't need that, though. I only need the cleaning, believe me. I agree, homeschooling and raising two children is a full-time job. This lady from Argentina told me her family in Argentina thinks she's nuts to try to raise three children all by herself, and no cleaning woman (and she sends her kids to ps!). They really think American woman are insane to try to do it all. She responds that cleaning ladies in the US are too expensive.

Edited by sagira
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is great! You don't have to find time to do things that you, well, don't have time to do and the cleaning woman is making a living to care for herself and her family. Helping others who want to work to provide for their family, I see no shame in that! Maybe some of your friends and family would like her number. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When asked, I put a positive spin on it: "Rose came today and the house just sparkles. She's such a nice lady, with a wonderful family. And I was able to get ready for the party/take the kids on a nature hike/do a fabulous science experiment/work in the garden because the house was already so clean." Not a hint of apology. It's not as though you're lolling on the couch all day eating bon-bons. Though a little lolling with sweets is a fine reason to have someone else clean your house, now that I think of it! ;)

 

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

I think you should do what Myfunnybunch does and speak about it positively. You do what you need for your personal sanity, which is different from everyone else. Other people may not understand, so patooey on them.

 

People don't understand why I HAD to have my laptop replaced even though we really didn't have the money. It simply wasn't optional for me--take my phone, my TV, whatever, but don't take away my internet connection and my laptop! I also HAVE to have personal retreats a couple times a year where I go away by myself with my Bible and some books I've been meaning to read. In my case, I can handle the cleaning, but I need other things, and that's OK.

 

For you, it's the cleaning lady. Hold your head up high and jettison the guilt. Be free! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Belgium, all of us had cleaning ladies except one homeschool mom who liked to clean and she hired a babysitter to watch her kids while she cleaned in peace. Dh loves it when we have a cleaning person or service. I had one in Florida and NM. I need to get one here since this is the largest house yet and I have asthma and arthritis- not good diseases to mix with heavy cleaning. I am bound and determined to find one this week since I called two so far and they haven'[t returned calls.

 

Pleas don't don't feel badly. I remember that when I was little (in the 60 and early 70's), it was completely the norm to have cleaning help and that wasn't simply for the rich. My parents were definitely not wealthy but my mom had a lady some in and help with heavy duty linoleum floor cleaning, the blinds, and the general bathroom scrubbing. SHe cleaned all the time in between but even without homeschooling, she felt there were some jobs that she didn't want to do. IF you can afford it, you are helping someone else have a living. What is wrong with that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think you should feel guilty at all, exp since some of the reason you have help is that you have some health issues.

 

The only thing is, I have been a "cleaning lady," and (I'm not saying you here) I dislike when we are treated like objects, with disdain or like we are on some sort of lower level. My mom used to hire out her ironing to the "ironing lady." My mil WAS an "ironing lady," and my mom, upon hearing that, suddenly become slightly condescending to her (not consciously, I don't think).

 

Just remember to never put people in catagories based on their occupations.

 

Ok, my little rant is over. It wasn't personal towards you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read a book once called "The Mask of Motherhood." I decided when I had kids I wouldn't be party to perpetuating the myth that we can do it all, and do it perfectly. I can't, and neither can anyone else. As undignified as it is, I let the young people in my life see the bad days as well as the good ones, and there's more bad than good! I hope they will go into parenthood with realistic expectations of themselves and their partners.

You probably don't need a cleaning lady if your mum lives across the road and will drop whatever she's doing to come and help. Though, I've only known one person in that situation and she still found life a struggle!

 

There's only 24 hours in a day, and I know I don't have even 12 hours worth of energy.

 

Rosie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd hire a cleaning lady if I could!

 

have you read Proverbs 31? That lady is doing everything EXCEPT cleaning, lol!

 

15 She gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her servant girls.

 

I [kinda] jokingly tell dh that he's holding me back: I can't be a proper Proverbs 31 wife unless I have servant girls to care for!:lol:

 

of course, I also tell him he needs to get outta the house and go sit at the city gates... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you think you're wrong, then you're going to feel guilty. I read your reasons, and I'm sure, in the back of your head you're thinking, 'good reasons, BUT maybe I'm just not trying hard enough' (or something along those lines).

 

Ask yourself, if I was someone else looking in, would I think it's rediculous to have a house keeper? Would I think it was wrong? Would I even care?

 

You are your own worst critique and sometimes seeing someone else's pov helps :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think you need to feel guilty or ashamed at all! A person has to realize their own limitations. Nobody can do everything. I think it is a good thing that you realized you needed help and didn't let the "supermom" mentality sway you from getting the help that you need. I WISH I could have help around the house. I have 2 special needs kids and my son especially is so destructive (rips up books etc) and there is always a tremendous amount of cleaning up to do. I have lost many nights of sleep due to staying up late to clean which is the only time i can really get it done and there are always many things undone. My ironing basket looks more like a small mountain, I can't remember the last time I vacuumed the carpet in my room and it brings stress into my home also because it makes my husband nuts. But what else can I do? We cannot afford a cleaning lady so I am it. If I were you, I would be happy that I have that blessing. I certainly don't see any reason to feel guilt about it. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't feel guilty! My dh and I used to clean houses and dh loved it. me, not so much. But most of our clients were like you, except the homeschooling, and really appreciated our help. They were busy families that chose to use their disposable income to alleviate some stress.

 

In some places I think there is still the stigma like Chris mentioned that if you have help then you must think you're above everyone else. Honestly the only clients we had like that were of an older generation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had the money for a cleaning lady to come do the deep cleaning, I would do it in a heartbeat. The reduced stress that a cleaner home would bring would be totally worth it. I know I would have less worry and stress when I could regularly walk into very clean bathrooms. Be glad you are able to provide a better environment for your family.

 

:iagree:

 

And I would probably tell anyone who asked with a smile on my face...proud that I care about cleaning my home even when I am not physically able. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There really isn't anything to feel ashamed of. Maybe you just don't hang out with the right people IRL. LOL!

I do clean my own home but I enjoy it. Really. I also clean my mom and dad's home because they are physically unable/don't want to. I've cleaned their house since I was 10 or so until through college and then started again around 10 years ago when we moved closer.

My dear friend has a cleaning lady.

I'm all for hiring out things you can't stand to do. I'm begging my dh to let me hire out for the lawn! I may just win that argument some time soon. It's a dang jungle back there! :o)

Don't feel guilty. Enjoy your home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's our crazy culture.

 

In times past or in other cultures families lived together in a house or bunch of tents or teepees or something. Everyone worked together.

 

What sort of weird society do we live in where there aren't aunts and uncles and grandma's and cousins all living together and sharing the work load? Like you're supposed to run a business, educate your kids, cook the food and clean the house (and pay the taxes and get the oil changed, and blah blah blah) with just 2 adults in the house? Ridiculous. Undoable!

 

I say, "Hire-ers of Cleaning Ladies, Unite!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to hire one in the fall. I hint all the time to my husband that a great gift for me would be for someone to come clean the house one day as a surprise. He doesn't get it.

 

I finally realized the other day that I am not a "stay at home mom." I am a homeschooling mom. There is a world of difference. I think we have this image in our mind of being the perfect homemaker. But we don't have the time to do everything. My sister can bake homemade cupcakes for the bake sale at school--because her kids are at school all day. It dawned on me that I don't have to feel guilty for not doing everything homemade or for not having the house spotless-- because I work all day!

 

So don't feel guilty! Enjoy it and count your blessings :)

 

Tricia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another comment for those that have said they'd love to have someone help with cleaning but can't afford it... You might consider trying to arrange a barter situation with another parent. Perhaps there's someone in your local homeschooling group that would come and help you clean in exchange for child care, meal preparation, some other service you offer, etc. Or another option might be alternating weeks at each others houses doing the bigger jobs together while the kids play. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your support. I feel so much better. As much as I've tried to be low-key about it, neighborns know because they see her come with her buckets of cleaning supplies. Dh's family showed up yesterday while R was still here, cleaning. So, dh, instead of inviting them in and taking them to a room that is finished, decides to entertain them in our dirty, messy garage :huh. I guess guys don't think the same as women :).

 

I guess part of the guilt is that only one of my homeschooling friends has one - all the rest manage to have immaculate homes despite doing an excellent job homeschooling their kids. The other part it that, due to some of my health issues, I am sitting down, looking like I am doing nothing while she is working here. But, that is because I am usually exhausted from the picking up that needs to be done before she comes. We are a somewhat messy people (not dirty despite my name, just messy) and having her here forces us to get things put away.

 

Thanks for the pep talk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just try to forget what others may or may not be thinking about you. Let them judge all they want.

 

I'll say it again. If I could squeeze out the money I would. Sometimes I even consider stopping my kids piano lessons or karate lessons, but I guess those things do take priority. Sigh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am one of the only people I know IRL who has one and I always feel it is something I need to hide.

 

 

Are you so sure? If you're embarassed about it and hiding it.....well, chances are those around you may be doing the same thing.

 

And besides.....why should you feel ashamed. It's not like you're slacking off and watching TV and eating bonbons while the maid does all the work. You sound like you are working your buns off at other things and the deep cleaning isn't where you choose to spend your time. I'm sure that if you were to cut back on homeschooling, or do a few less Usborne home parties, or have a private birthday party than you'd have lots of time available to do the cleaning. Oh wait....you work hard so that you have that choice, that option, to do what you want with the money you earn. (Tongue firmly in cheek of course).

 

Some people spend their money on fancy restaurants....some on the latest techno gadget.....some on getting their kids into the "right" private school.....some on a new car every other year.....some on clothing and the latest fashion....and some on the conveniences that make life easier for us, like a cleaning woman. And some of us only dream of being able to do any those things....and realize that if we were willing to give up some of our free time and run a business of our own, we too might be able to do that.....but I value my free time to just sit around and do nothing productive more than I want a cleaning woman...or a new car...or dinner out.

 

It's all about choices....and you made your choice based on what you deem best for your family (hmmm, sounds like the speech we all give about why we homeschool). Be proud of the hard work you put in to do so.

 

Oh...and don't forget that you are also helping to support another family......the family of your cleaning woman. I'm sure she is extremely grateful to you for this opportunity. So add that to your list of good deeds!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, so I have a cleaning woman. She comes once every 2 weeks to do the big cleaning. This does not mean we don't clean around here - we do. We sweep, pick up, wipe down, vacuum, etc. I just can't get to the bigger, deeper cleaning - health issues and all. Also, we are busy - homeschooling, running a business, participating in activities. Plus, I am helping to support someone else's family with income. On top of it, I admit it ... I hate cleaning. Cleaning was always presented as something unpleasant when I was growing up. There was always yelling, shaming, just plain unpleasant feelings. So, I create more peace in my home by not passing on this unfortunate family tradition. Part of my income from my part-time Usborne business pays for this.

 

So ... why do I feel so guilty? Today, we are having family over for dd's birthday, including some family from out of town who happen to be here for the weekend. My cleaning woman is here (a reschedule due to birthday party plans on Thursday) and I scheduled the "party" for after she would be done. When questioned, I was just so embarrassed to admit that I have help. I feel so ashamed that I can't do it all. I feel so ashamed that I don't have boatloads saved because some of it goes toward conveniences like this to make our life workable (both physically and emotionally.) I am one of the only people I know IRL who has one and I always feel it is something I need to hide.

 

So, what say you, hive? Should this have to be my dirty little secret (you see, there is a reason for my screen name:lol:)? Or can you all tell me how to shed my guilt?

I have had help cleaning at different times and would again if the funds were there. Feel guilty about it? Appoligize to some one for it? Never even entered my mind. I was always so happy that our bathrooms were clean and the kitchen mopped that having nagging after thoughts just never had a chance.;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, where I used to live most people had cleaning women. When I worked, I had one, too. But I always had to clean for my cleaner, LOL, so I'm not sure how much it was worth. I also always had to clean after them because they missed so much, so I was never sure it was worth it.

 

Of course if you need it and it's helpful for you then you should not feel guilty about it. You *do* have a full time job with your children and their education. Would it make a difference if it occurred in a different building than your house? Would that make you feel like your work is more valid?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

past 8 years. :D

 

Absolutely no guilt here. This is the one luxury item I most value. knowing that every Monday my entire house will be scrubbed, vacuumed, wiped and dusted is a tremendous relief. I hate house work, too. Have my housed cleaned by a professional makes me a happier, healthier homeschool mom, and that make my husband and children happier and healthier, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plus, I am helping to support someone else's family with income.

 

Although I don't clean homes, one of my jobs is cleaning a commericial building. I am *thankful* for the opportunity for income that matches my schedule.

 

Homemaking and homeschooling are full time endeavors. If you delegate some of the cleaning, I would think of it as a part of a management decision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the other responses, but I don't think you should be embarrassed or sorry. At the very, very least, you're helping someone put food on their family's table, and considering the plight of the majority of domestic service workers around here, that means a lot. In some countries, it's considered the responsibility of those who have the extra money to hire household help as a way of helping to provide for those in the lower socioeconomic strata. If you MUST justify it to anyone, including yourself, there you go! But I don't really think you need to. I don't really think I'm going to be able to quit my job at the end of the year. I just don't think it's going to happen. If I can't, I'm ramping up my childcare and hiring a housekeeper, so the only things I have to do are work, cook, and homeschool/be with my family. Like someone else said, paying household help amounts to pennies compared with the cost of a private school ($7K per kid at the bare, bare minimum here).

 

Don't feel bad for a second. You're doing what you need to do for your family :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...