A couple years ago, a friend told me that an older neighbor mentioned to her something about the cleanliness of the house reflecting upon the woman of the house. I think my friend and I were both a bit surprised. I haven't felt like it reflects on me (maybe I should, though), but on the family (and the amount of chaos it is in at the time). I do like my house clean because I like it clean. It stresses me out if it's not clean.
Anyway, during the last month before I had my baby (now almost 3 months old!), I had a 13-year old in the neighborhood come help clean my house because I knew I just wouldn't want to (or couldn't) do it. I told her I'd also want her to come clean the first 6 weeks after the baby was born, and then again before the baby blessing. Someone in her family would drop her off; she'd mop, vacuum, clean bathrooms, and whatever else I asked her to do. Then, her family would pick her up when we were done. There were some great advantages to this.
1. My house was cleaner. While she did her jobs (the basics usually), I did other jobs. We got more done than had been done in a long time! Even during the week, I'd work on jobs that didn't normally get done (like clean the grill on the fridge) instead of fretting about the regular jobs that constantly needed to be done.
2. I was less stressed about the house. I knew if I couldn't get to cleaning jobs during the week, she would when she came. I was able to let go a little bit and have more fun with the kids and not worry that we/they were making messes.
3. The house actually got really clean once a week for about an hour!
4. She got a good experience, earned some money, and I felt good about paying her.
5. She's a very good cleaner and even if it's not as good as I *might* do it, what she does is way better then when I *don't* do it.
The only disadvantage was that I feel like the family (kids particularly) need to be helping out around the house. I really like it when they de-clutter and I clean. It makes me feel like we're a team.
So, for the most part, I love having someone help me out. Even yesterday, I thought I might be able to stand to have more kids if I have more help! I say, house-cleaners for all if it helps us appreciate being moms more.* Try it, if you haven't, and tell me how it goes!
I might just have to try it for the rest of the summer!
*You know what else helps me be a happier mom? Massages. When I was
pregnant, I got one every other week and it honestly made a world of
difference. Insurances should cover pregnancy massages. Women would
feel so much better! (I've actually struggled with lower back pain over the years, especially during pregnancy -- including sciatica -- and the massages have made this last pregnancy the most comfortable pregnancy yet. I've even gone to physical therapy for my SI joint in the past. But, through the massages, I think I've identified that when my IT band is tight, then it throws out my SI joint. Maybe?).
Update 6/5/12: My husband mentioned last night that when he read this post that he hoped we weren't becoming "those people" who are out of touch with reality because of me and my massages and our house cleaner helper. Then I realized we each choose our luxuries, don't we? Just to feel better I have to say, I've never had my hair colored, never had a manicure or a pedicure, and don't even have a smart phone, a Kindle-type device, or a Wii. I know there are PLENTY of people out there who don't have ANY of these luxuries I mention, and I think that's fine (we're way too entitled in our country). I feel pretty blessed for having massages and a house cleaner helper.