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Cleaning lady...or no cleaning lady

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, I thought I'd seek advice where it is given best. Here.

I feel kind of guilty, lazy, foolish and pretty much useless right now and here is the reason why:

I made up my mind last friday and called to have a cleaning lady come to my home once a week. Part of me is so excited and I just can't wait for her to start and yet, another part of me wonders hy it is I just can't seem to do this on my own.

I am so exhausted all the time. I work all day, run home, prepare supper, do homework, clean up dishes, tidy up and head to bed. It is like that every day. And then, on the week-ends, I am cleaning non-stop. I've decided I need a break or something will end up happening to me. Hubby helps as much as he can (wants???) but he is not that fussy on having a clean house. He's rather I sit down and do thinds eventually. I can't. There is always something that needs to be cleaned up, washed, vaccuumed, my 2 boys keep me busy.

Part of me just wants to crawl into bed and not get up....I just know I can't do it anymore. I'm no good at this. I really need the help.

Now, I know there are so many of you working mothers out there that do succeed in all of this and never need help. What am I doing wrong?? I am not one of those women that needs to feel like you have to be able to eat off of the floor but: I hate it when my home is messy.

Should I be feeling guilty because I've asked for help? I was so excited with my decision and now, I'm wondering why I haven't been able to do this myself.

I guess I'd just like to know if anyone else would choose this route if they felt they needed to or would you figure out a way to do it all yourself without tiring yourself out?

This thursday, the cleaning company (its the same one that comes to my office) is coming over and doing a spring cleaning. After that, they will be coming once a week for 4-5 hours on a thursday or friday, which means, I won't be spending my week-ends cleaning. I'l have more time to enjoy my time off and to have some relaxing moments with my boys.

What do you guys think???
post #2 of 26
I'm not a working mother, but I have a cleaning lady who comes

I work pretty long hours and I'm beat when I get home. The honest truth is, we can afford it and neither one of us wants to spend our free time cleaning. How lazy are we!?!? Basically someone comes every other week and they clean the downstairs, which includes the kitchen, living room, half bath and family room. Upstairs they clean 1 full bath.

The evenings I don't usually get home until 7 or 8. On the weekends we like to go to the movies and putz around. It seems like I'm always doing laudry. I know this must seem ridiculous because it's just the 2 of us but man it piles up.

I think having someone help out is a wonderful luxury and if you can afford it, why not? For you, it's even a bigger deal because your free time will be spent as quality time with your kids. You can't put a price on that, IMO.

I don't think you should feel guilty at all. If having that free time will enhance your life, help you feel less stressed and allow you to spend more time with your's a no brainer to me!
post #3 of 26
My husband and I have both said we would hire a full time housekeeper/cook... if we win the lottery! I say go for it and enjoy!
post #4 of 26
Get the cleaning lady and don't even think about feeling guilty about.

I'l have more time to enjoy my time off and to have some relaxing moments with my boys.

Sounds to me like you answered your own question right there.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

Guess I feel this way because I have a mother-in-law who rolls her eyes at me when I mention this. You should have seen her face when I told her they were coming this week! On top of that, she babysits my boys here and...she is here even when both are in school. I don't expect her to clean for me but....I don't like that she does judge me. She picks up after the boys during the day but that's it. So, I figure this is my solution.

airprincess, Thank you! Your words made me feel better. Knowing this has helped you in many ways, I'm sure it'll do the same for me. i am looking forward to some real free time.

Dragonlady, thank you for your kind words.

I think, on friday, you may be reading words written by an ecstatic (sp?), relaxed and completely thrilled with her clean house woman!
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Jason...Thank you. I think you may be right.
post #7 of 26
your MIL can roll her eyes all she's not going to take away your stress, clean your house or give you more time with your kids. If you and your husband agree it's $$ well spent, then it's really not her business.

I know this sounds harsh, but it's not fair for her to judge you. She's not living your life, or paying for the cleaning person, so it's really not something she needs to worry about. I would hate for someone to judge me because of how I choose to spend my hard earned money, or for the fact that I place more importance on how I actually spend my free time than what it costs me to bring someone in.

Hope I didn't overstep my boundaries, I just don't think it's fair that she make you feel bad.
post #8 of 26
Cleaning lady and don't feel guilty. Period. I agree with Jason and Airprincess. I'd say I agree with Teresa, but our home is so small there's just no point in having a cleaning lady come! LOL!

And here's one for your mother-in-law: you've been fighting pneumonia and potentially asthma for a month or so now. You need rest and badly. You need what time you have with your boys.'ll help free up more time to spend here! (But that one's not for your MIL!)


post #9 of 26
Count me in for the I agree team! I wish I had the $$ to spend on someone to clean for me but even if I did, I couldn't do it because I have obsessive compulsive disorder so even if someone came and cleaned, I'd have to reclean it just because. or even worse, the day before the cleaning person came, I'd be up all night cleaning to make sure it WAS clean before she came. I'd love someone to help me though. I say poop on your MIL and go for it!
post #10 of 26
I concur! Your MIL has no right to judge you. There is no reason to run yourself ragged. If it gives you more time with you family, and reduces your stress, you should go for it. No guilt! You will do your family more good healthy and sane. It is no sin to need a little help sometimes.
post #11 of 26
My mother hired a cleaning company to come over and clean our house once a week when I was around 12-13. She was just tired and sick of cleaning all the time, since although she's not obsessive about it, she likes a relatively clean house and just didn't want to deal with the cleaning herself, on top of work and all. I don't think there's anything to feel guilty about here. People are very different in what they can/want to do, and if it makes your life even a bit easier by having a cleaning lady come over and do that small part for you, that's great. Btw, about a year later, me and my friends ended up taking over for the cleaning company, and ever since then, either me (and my friends), or just my friends (while I was overseas for a year) have been cleaning the house and getting paid for it. It's been a real blessing, since I'm still a student and can really use the money, and mom still doesn't have to do the cleaning herself.
post #12 of 26
Ghys - I had a cleaning lady when I had the money, and it was money well spent. Although I have a tall town house there are only 2 of us and the cats.

I can't imagine cleaning up after 2 additional small messy kiddos as well.

Also - we all have different tolerances. I've had some illnesses that mean I'm not as resiliant as others, I need lots of sleep, and get tired quite easily. If you are prone to pneumonia it means that you body has to fight quite hard to keep up with what most others find a normal workload.

Don't feel guilty, lazy or sloppy. You will be happier as your house will be clean and you'll be less tired and more relaxed with your hubby and kids.

One word of warning though - if you're truly fussy about how clean your house is, think about finding an individual cleaner (maybe a semi-retired lady or something), I've found the cleaning companies are not always too hot - you get different cleaners and you have to go through everything from scratch with a new cleaner each week, and also as no personal relationship is built up, they don't really care how well they do the job. That's just been my experience though.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! As for my MIL, well.....if there is ever a thread on that, I could tell you lots of stories.

And, where hubby is concerned, well, he is not too keen on it but is not saying much. He does not really like the fact that the cleaning lady will be in our house and going through everything. Personally, I'm used to it. My MIL is here everyday (even when both the boys are in school) and there is no way on earth that I will ever believe she does not go throuhg everything herself! So for me, I've already gone through the transition period. A couple of years ago, I used to hide everything that I thought she had no business knowing. Today, things are different. I'm not stressing out about that anymore.

And where money is concerned, I haven't really even discussed the cost with him. I've more or less decided I am doing this. I want to make sure he ends up enjoying the outcome before I discuss the cost. I've told him that we are trying this out for a few weeks and then we'll see. Plus....he has not asked me what it costs so, I figured, I'll tell him when he does! It is not too bad though. It'll cost me $60.00 to $75.00 per week.

Yola, the cleaning lady that is going to be coming here is the one cleaning my office. She is awesome! I get extra things done for me in my office just because we get along so well. Every morning when I walk in, my coffee cup has been washed and is ready for a new day. How cool is that? She is extremely fussy in her work. Plus, she is the supervisor of all the cleaning ladies. She is the one who sends the extra people to our office when we need them. I am actually thrilled that it is her coming here and not one of her cleaning ladies. She did tell me that she will be bringing someone with her and training her to fill in when needed. Now, if it does not work out with them, I will look around. For some reason, I'm not as fussy having a neighbor or even a lady that knows the whole family coming in here.

Thank you all for your kind words. I do feel better. And yes, I am doing this for me and for my well being.
post #14 of 26
Definately get the cleaning lady! I would if I could talk hubby into, but no one cleans as well as the hubby wants - fortunately he does alot of the cleaning. My mom tried one, but found she was cleaning before the person got there so that she wouldn't be embarrassed about the state of her house! That is silly IMO. If you can end up spending more quality time with your family go for it!
post #15 of 26
No guilt needed........ I have one!!!

It's the best feeling in the world to know your house is clean!

The only guilt I have, is I clean before she gets there.... (I dont' want her to know what slobs we really are!)

post #16 of 26
OOOh, Gyslaine! You just had pneumonia! I'm going to smack you so hard! I flipped channels this morning, and Dr. Phil was talking about a syndrome which has been named by doctors in Japan. I don't remember the name, but the symptoms are a result of a compromised immune system. The victims often fall prey to Lupus, arthritis, and MS, among other things. The majority of those who suffer from this syndrome are working mothers who are trying to be "Supermom." We can't do everything. Don't you dare hesitate, or I'll be there to straighten you out! Believe it!
post #17 of 26
Hi Whisker´s mom,
Don´t regret your decision.I thought Ididn´t need any help and could do everything myself.So no sitting down in the evening before 9.30.Work, house and 2 gardens and 2 boys. And what did it bring me a masterstroke which left my left side paralysed so that I can´t do anything any longer apart from filling the washing maschine or dryer.You see I loved working and there was seldom time for myselfwhereas now there is too much. Don´t believe I´m bored I``ve started learning Spanish on the net, write translations for PLAN internationalIhave a fosterchild in Nepal from that organisation.They work very effectively for the wellbeing of the whole communityand don´t concentrate just on that child so as not to give it a special status.Iread a lot and go to my therapies almost dayly. So no boredom. But how i wish I could work as I did 4 years ago.So, think of your health and let others do the stupid cleaning work. Enjoy your new freedom and spend more time with your children.That´s the only thing that is worth spending time onAll the bestElisabeth Provos-Killing
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Jeanie, please do come down for a visit! And maybe straightening me up will do wonders for me. I think, at this point....I need to do something.

I am sitting here at my computer and I literally have tears in my eyes. I have no idea why but, all I feel like doing is curling up somewhere and crying. I really appreciate everyones advice.

I just feel drained. And yes...everyone did tell me this would happen. But I honestly do think that what is hitting me hard right now is knowing that I can't do it all and do it well. I am so frustrated with myself right now. I do feel inadequate and I feel like I am letting people down. I just can't do it all anymore... I'm at the point where I drop something on the floor and I break into tears. The cleaning lady has no idea how much she means to me right now! And she hasn't even started yet!

What is hard for me right now is that, in front of everyone I know, I am acting like everything is fine. Nothing could be better, When someone asks how I am, I reply "Great!". And honestly.....I do have the perfect life. Wonderful husband, beautiful children, and a great job. I should not be feeling down in the dumps.

On a brighter note: As of this mornings appointment my lungs have completely cleared up. The pneumonia is gone. I was given a flu shot this morning (I still have my doubts about this). I am on anti-biotics for the next week just to clear up a problem in my neck. I'm not able to turn my head completely to the left side and a few times a day, I make the wrong move and end up having to grab my head because my neck jams up and I can't move.

I just really want to say thank you to all of you. What is going on with me right now is between me, my computer and all of you wonderful people here at TCS. It helps to be able to talk about this to someone and I don't feel comfortable telling anyone around me what is going on. So, once again, Thank you. It means the world to me to have found my very of comfort.

P.S. Elisabeth.....thank you. You also succeeded in making me cry for real. I'm so sorry for what you have gone through and what a wonderful way of turning what happeded to you into a positive thing.
post #19 of 26
There is no harm at all in asking for help, from a cleaning lady, from here, from your family, whatever. The idea that Mothers should cook, clean and take care of the kids by themselves was WAY before women and especially mothers had full time jobs. I often wonder why it hasn't changed.

As for your MIL, she was probably of the era that she didn't have a full time job when she raised her kids and doesn't see that anything has changed that much. Some are just like that - they did it so everyone should be able to. Ridiculous.

You are obviously at a breaking point. You need something to change in your life or you won't make it. Not being sick will help, and not worrying about cleaning will hopefully do the rest to get you back to yourself. I think your hubby isn't asking about the money or saying anything about the cleaners because he sees how miserable you really are. He knows something has to change for you. I've found that I can fool most of the people in my life, but not my hubby. He's seen me go through too much to believe my acts.
post #20 of 26
Hi Ghys-

You need to just de-stress somehow, and if getting a cleaning woman will help that along, then I am all for it! I have a friend who cleans houses for a living and she does a wonderful job at it. Her home and the ones she clean are immaculate. She started out with three houses a week and now cleans 12! She had to hire help to do it finally and is now forming her business.

The only thing I would caution you on is make sure your cleaning lady is bonded and insured. Had a situation where we had a cleaning service come in and clean for us while we were in Alaska and when they left- so did a few "items" Of course, this was a one-time clean before we put our house up for sale, not where they would come every week.

I would love to have a cleaning woman- but I bet they would take one look at this house with eleven kitties and go screaming off in the distance! LOL Cat hair is a condiment around here!

Hope you feel better soon- this is a great board to vent upon.........
post #21 of 26
Heidi, What happened was that women's lib failed, for the most part. The reasons are partly women's own fault. There should have been a separation between tradition, romance, and equal pay for equal work and the stupidity of burning bras and asking for unisex bathrooms. Many women got insulted, and still do, if a man opens a door for them, and won't answer if someone calls them Miss or Mrs. These things are trivial compared to a job left half done. We are as much at fault as the male chauvenists who throw their clothes on the floor and expect us to pick them up, and ask the stay- at- home mother what she does all day other than watch TV.

What did we gain? A few women on the Senate, some representatives, a token here and a token there! Some sensitive and enlightened men pitch in when the wife works; others ask, "When's dinner?" and put their feet up. "Oh and give me the remote while you're up, would you?" Women just don't work as hard and don't get as tired as men do, do they? Well, they mustn't, because there is no equal pay for equal work at many companies, and there is not equality in hiring! In fact, we are not allowed to discuss salary rates at many companies. Yet, woman make up the majority of voting citizens!

We're lazy; we just gave up. Most men are great. What would we do without them? The men haters in some movements were too active, and we kept quiet. I had a woman tell me men were good for procreation only, and should be chained in the basement at all other times. She was furious because I mistakenly called her Mrs. Well, I AM a Mrs., or Jeanie, or hey you, because those man haters killed equality for women! We gave up chivalry, tradition, and respect and gained the right to work, come home exhausted, take care of the children, cook, and clean the house. And many times we do this for men who wouldn't marry us under any circumstances. We are unpaid maids who look good in nightgowns. (Guys, I love you! I said SOME.)
Thank God some of us can get help; we need it! Sorry; I promise to make my next post funny, if possible!
post #22 of 26
*Stands on her chair and aplauds*

Well said Jeanie. There is more to life, and we are fools, we think we should be able to do it all, it's not a question of "Why we can't!" it's a question of "Why should we?"

My Grandmother worked herself to death, she ran the household, helped my Granfather in his business was a school teacher and looked after her 2 kids and his 4 kids. He gave the orders. My mother also worked herself stupid.

Even though I am home every day I do most of the cleaning, cooking, shopping etc as Pete is working 2 jobs so that I can stay home for the moment to get better and heal. He still does the dishes and helps me when he can, he also irons his own shirt and makes his own lunch.

We want it all, the house, the kids, the job, but at the end of the day all those things need to be looked after.

I asked my mum one day when I was about 5 "Why does daddy help you make the bed? She said "Because he sleeps on half of it!"

Okay so why do we go to work, still do the shopping, cleaning and ;looking after everyone? becasue we let it happen that way, we think we are able to do it all, and you know what? we can!!! BUT! that doesn't mean we should, or we have to. Everything we do in life is a choice.

Gyslaine it is your choice to have a better life and to take it easier, spend quality time with your kids and husband. Your MIL is jealous because she never had that opportunity. Life is so short.......don't let things go on that you are able to change for the better.

And honestly.....I do have the perfect life. Wonderful husband, beautiful children, and a great job. I should not be feeling down in the dumps.
My God woman!!!!!!!!! You just said it!!!!! read what you have said, really read it and then celebrate it and get on with enjoying it!
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
You guys are all amazing! Thank you.

There are no words left to express my gratitude to you.
post #24 of 26
I'm chiming in very late on this, but this is the first chance I have had to read it. I have also been considering hiring someone to come in and clean....just once every other week would do it...I can keep up with it most of the time....but if I had someone twice a month to come and do what I can't manage to do would help so much!!!!!!!! I too feel guilty for even considering spending money on something like this, but is too much for one person to handle when you work full time, have a kid/kids and simply have no time for yourself! I say if anyone can afford it!!!!

I'm just not so sure I can afford it, though....Ghyslaine, you said $65-$75 each time they come? I hope it is cheaper where I live, or else I am out of luck. That is way more than I can afford right now.

I will have to check into it and see what it would cost here.

As far as your mother-in-law is concerned....I get the "rolleyes" too. Not literally....but I know she does. She thinks I should be able to do it all, because she raised 5 kids on her own, worked, and still did everything under the sun for them and her house is one you could actually eat off the floors and not worry about it. Well, I'm sorry....I am not that good.

I am going to look into the house cleaning thing, and see how much it would cost to have them come in twice a month for a couple hours or so.

And as far as Mother-in-laws going through your stuff.....where is Bodlover with her story? :LOL: Her mother-in-law came into her house and went through her underwear drawer and folded all her underwear!!! :LOL:
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Debby, the cost varies around here. I know that there is apparetnly a lady who does this also and she charges $30.00(canadian)per day. I'm just not sure I want a neighbor or even a lady I do not know coming in here. The cleaning company I hired works at my office also. Every person hired to work for them has to have a police check done on them and they are well screened also. It just makes me feel better knowing that I am insured through the company if anything happens.

They came for the first time on thursday. It was an amazing feeling walking into here that night.

I may also go every 2 weeks. We're in a trial period and we'll see if I need weekly or bi-weekly.

Bod, I would love to hear the underwear story!! Sounds a little like what happened to my sister in law. She was staying with my in-laws for a few months when one day, she came home from work and my mother-in-law said to her: "I decided to pick up all the clothes in the room and do some washing. I also washed your headband. But, I don't understand. Why in the world do you have a bell on it?" She was talking about a pair of fancy thongs that my sister-in-law had bought. I just about died when she told me the story.

As for me, one time, she told me that she folded all the clothes in the dryer but she could not figure out how to fold my underwear! Some of it. (I have issues with her touching our underwear but she just does it anyways.
post #26 of 26
OMG!!! She thought her thong was a headband??? :LOL:

Don't get me wrong with my last post...I do love my mother-in-law, and she is a very good person...but I think she thinks I should do better at things around the house and stuff.
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