Monday, November 02, 2009

Maid Women

We made a big decision at our house a couple of weeks ago.

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.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I'm absolutely with you on every sentiment you expressed. I need help here.......and I wasn't born with the housekeeping gene.

LutheranChik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LutheranChik said...

My mother was very clean and tidy and methodical until later in life...but she despised housework, and always felt ashamed when comparing herself to my ueber-clean paternal aunts and uncle. She used to say that only people who didn't have a lot of other things in their heads had the capacity to concentrate so hard on housecleaning. I don't believe that to be true, but sometimes it feels good to think that, LOL. My personal standards involve the bathroom and dishes; if those two areas are clean and tidy I can live with chaos elsewhere in the house.

theprozacqueen said...

I'm with you...if the bathrooms and kitchen are clean, I can deal with the rest. Those are really the only areas that get dirty. There is a difference between 'dirty' and 'cluttered'.

I've had people make nasty comments about how filthy our house is, even though it really isn't so bad...I feel like handing them a whole bucket of cleaning items and telling them to go to town if they think they can do so much better!

LutheranChik said...

Having pets necessitates lowering standards.

Pastor said...

"Having pets necessitates lowering standards." I love it! And I might just steal it.

We hired a house cleaner five years ago, when I was pregnant. It's been worth every penny, even with the other sacrifices we make.

Good for you!

St. Inuksuk said...

Yes, isn't it wonderful to have some cleaning. I enjoyed it while I was working full time. Then I had to do it again at 3/4 time and while I was between positions.
I'm not into cleaning - it's a have to with no enjoyment, except at the end, when all is clean and fresh smelling.
Now, due a new position, I have a house and an apartment to clean. At least the apartment doesn't have dogs and its just me, so it won't take much.
Enjoy it!

Beth said...

"Having pets necessitates lowering standards.:"

Quite possibly, but having kids necessitates erasing them.

Deb said...

We hired some cleaning help too-- every Monday I leave a picked-up house and come home to a clean, fresh, sparkling kitchen, bathroom, and always, always, some other area that I didn't even know needed cleaning. I'm with you on the discovery of cleaning tasks that you didn't know needed doing until they were done!