Monday, November 02, 2009
We came to the conclusion that we were tired of stressing out about housekeeping -- a task that neither of us finds any joy in performing, and that our busy lives don't give us a lot of time to do.
We counted our pennies and decided that it was worth it to economize elsewhere in order to hire someone to help us with the house once or twice a month. We knew someone from church who keeps houses for a living, who has also had personal experience with Fellow Traveler's medical issues and attendant cleaning needs, whom we trust and whom we knew would appreciate the business, and asked her if she could help us out.
So now we have a housekeeper.
Today was her second day on the job, bringing up the neatness level of our house to our desired baseline so that we can dial back to a less intensive maintenance schedule.
Having a housekeeper is wonderful. It's also weird.
It's odd, of course, to give someone such access to our home on a regular basis. And it's odd to have a housekeeper who's a friend. We sometimes don't quite know where to draw boundaries. How much do we chit-chat, for instance? And about what?
Our housekeeper also makes us both feel very inadequate about our own housekeeping skills even in a maintenance capacity. Like many people with housekeepers, we "pre-clean" before she arrives; and still she spends hours here, saving us from ourselves. We already had what we thought was a rather formidible arsenal of cleaning products and tools, but after surveying our supply she gave us a wish list of technologically superior supplies she prefers -- ouch. And she finds things to clean that completely escape our attention. Today she asked us if we had an old toothbrush. When we asked why, she said she needed it to brush the mesh at the end of the faucet, to clean off the hard-water deposits. This is not something we would have thought of on our own, ever. She performed some sort of magic on our stove cooktop that erased accumulated scorch predating Fellow Traveler's purchasing this house. We feel kind of dumb.
Mollie the cat is not at all happy about this new turn of household events; when the housekeeper shows up, Mollie heads for the closet in the guest room and stays there all day. Gertie is less angsty, but still isn't really sure that she likes this lady coming into our house. And I noticed today that within about a half hour of her leaving, Gertie had all her toys out of the box and onto the floor again.
On the other hand...clean house. And we're now motivated to keep it that way.