I guess the cat’s out of the bag? It’s time for me to fess up: yes, I do have a house cleaner. She is amazing and I can’t imagine my life without her. There, I said it. Right now you’re likely doing one of two things: one, nodding your head in agreement or two, kind of disgusted that I can’t keep my own house clean. The rest of you are probably just here to see where I’m going with this whole thing, so let’s take it from the beginning:
Shortly after I had my second baby, things around these parts were stressful (You can read allll about that here). In addition to adjusting to life with a new baby and a toddler, my husband started working more hours, basically working two full time jobs. He came to me when the extra hours started piling on and suggested that maybe we hire someone to come in and clean our house for us to take a little off my plate.
Fight the Judgement
I felt such a mix of emotions with this. Part of me was so excited to have the help (and help with literally my least favorite task!). The other part of me was worried what other people might think about me having a cleaning lady. Let’s stop right there, and break that down for a second. Here I am floundering to adjust to my life with two kiddos and a husband working crazy hours and I was worried about what OTHER PEOPLE would think about me getting some help. Does anyone else feel how insane that sounds?!? Why was I embarrassed, or even ashamed, to admit that I had help with something that society says should be responsibility and mine alone?
There is a huge stigma out there when it comes to women and cleaning. If you have someone who comes to help take care of your pool or your yard, no one thinks twice. But clean your home? You’re somehow no longer a good wife or mom – you’re lazy, you’re rich, you’re bougie (any or all of the above especially if you’re a stay at home mom). Come on guys! As women we are expected to keep our homes clean, but our plates are already so full. Letting someone clean your toilets for you is something easy you can take off your plate – it doesn’t make you any less of an amazing mother and wife. Let’s stop with all the judgement (on others and ourselves) and just realize that we can’t do it all!
Clean vs Clean
On that note, I also want to touch on the difference between having a dirty home and a messy home or rather, keeping things in order versus clean. As moms we clean up daily, heck even hourly – we are wiping spills, picking up toys, moving things back to where they belong. This is very different than cleaning your house. For me, finding a time when I don’t have at least one toddler running around my house so I can clean the toilets or mop the floors is tough. Often times when I do have the time I am exhausted and it’s the last thing I want to do, so it gets pushed back. I tell myself it can wait until next week.
Give Yourself Permission
Now that I have a cleaning lady, I can honestly say I am a happier wife and mom. My stress level is so much lower than it has been in years. On those days that I walk into my clean house, I feel like 10 pounds lighter. In the days following, if a friends stop by last minute I don’t worry about when was the last time I cleaned that bathroom. I don’t go to bed grouchy because I’m stressed about getting the house cleaned before company comes over. And those days between cleanings? Those days I’m more patient and let things roll off my shoulders a little more – when my toddler spills his food on the floor, I don’t stress about making sure the floor is spotless again and let him wipe it up himself. I know for a fact it will get cleaned again in x number of days. It simplifies my life in the best way possible. For this season of my life, having a cleaning lady works for us. I can’t say we will always have one, but for right now it’s just what I need.
So mama, give yourself permission to get the help you need. Hire someone to do the things you don’t want to do, don’t have time to do, or the things you just procrastinate so much that it never gets done. Take something off your plate so you have the energy and time to do the things that only you can do for your family. You are an amazing mom, even if you’re not the one who mops your floors and cleans the bathroom.