2009 04/12

Isn’t that in your job description?

I don’t work outside of my home (unless you count coffee shops from time to time).  And I don’t work full-time. I haven’t since I gave birth to Abbi four years ago.  My number one responsibility is to take care of my girls and then, when I have time, I do freelance writing, blogging, and webdesign on the side.  The whole set-up seems to work well together.  I write and design while the girls are sleeping, whether that is naptime or bedtime.  When the girls are awake I’m busy keeping them from destroying the house, each other and the dog.

So, where does house work fit in there?

I’m not talking about doing the dishes or throwing in a load of laundry.  I’m talking about scrubbing the floors, tub and toilet, washing the windows, dusting baseboards and vents.  When do I find time to do all of that glamorous work?

It’s near impossible to get anything down when my girls are awake.  I’ll just throw that out there right now!  They are still at the age where they either want me to be doing everything with them or else they follow me around the house while I’m trying to do stuff.  You can’t really be scrubbing the bathtub with chemicals when your toddler is standing right next to you.  Again, the most I can usually get done, while they are awake, is some laundry, the dishes or vacuuming (and only because they are usually *helping* me).

Really, all of this kind of hit me within the past few months.  Ok, maybe it’s been an issue for the past year.  My husband has been suggesting us getting a cleaning service since before Abbi was born.  Not that he is necessarily unhappy with my cleaning skills (at least he hasn’t said he is…hmm) but it’s the fact that when the girls finally go down for bed, he doesn’t want “our time” being spent with me scrubby toilets and tubs.  He’d rather shell out the extra money to have someone else doing it and take that task off my plate.  Thus freeing me up.  How can you argue with that?

Well, I can pretty much argue with anything!  How can I hire someone to do the work that I’m supposed to be doing?  Isn’t that part of my job description as a stay-at-home mom?  Wait, did someone forget to give me a job description when I gave birth to my first daughter four years ago?

So here I sit, thinking about hiring a cleaning service to come in bi-weekly or just once a month.  Someone who could do the deep cleanings while I just do the day-to-day stuff.  And with every Google search and every phone call, I fight back the guilt.  Why can’t I just do it all?  Aren’t I supposed to be able to do it all?  Does this make me a failure in the mom/wife department?

The funny thing is that my husband is totally fine with hiring a cleaning service.  He’s been pushing for it for 4+ years while I’ve been objecting to and resisting the idea.  I don’t think he sees it as a failure on my part.  I think he sees it as a way to help me be a better mom, wife, and person.  Giving me more time to be with my girls and with him and to work on things I like to do.  And at the end of the day we would have a clean house!

So, what do you think?  Do you have a cleaning service?  Would you ever consider getting one? Weigh-in…I’m so curious to know what your thoughts are on all of this.  And be honest!  If you think a stay-at-home mom hiring a cleaning service is a total copout, tell me! Or if you’re sitting at coffee shop right now reading this while someone is back at your house cleaning, tell me that, too!

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  • So funny that you should write about this days after we had the same conversation! I’ve had a cleaning service before – with each pregnancy and while we were engaged … for the pregnancies the cleaning service lasted for about 10 – 12 weeks. The last 6 of the pregnancy and then 4 to 6 after. It was so nice! I decided not to continue the service though, after that time period – for the same reasons you have listed … I feel like I should be able to do that. I mean, I’m home all day – right? Why can’t I make an hour a day available to dust some furniture/clean a toilet?

    Fact is though – that even though I COULD make that time … I just don’t. Routinely. So Aaron just brought it up again recently wondering why we don’t just hire someone to do the deep cleaning once a month … ???

    At this point I don’t have an argument against it other than not wanting to spend the money … but at the end of the day, I think it’s worth it.

  • Anything that would allow me more time with my husband and son…I am all for it! Hire them!!!

  • You should totally hire a service & you shouldnt feel bad about it either. Everyone needs a little help every now & then.

    I agree with Beth, anything that gives you more time with you family is a great idea. Go for it!

  • Just think you could be saving someones job
    Giving them work in the slow economy that we are in. The first item everyone cuts are the ones we can live without. So do your part keep the economy going. And be proud that you helped

  • Hmmm… Interesting thoughts!

    Honestly, if I didn’t have little ones too, my first thought would be: “What in the world does she do all day that she can’t find time to clean???”

    But oh I so understand!

    There is very little I can get done besides the basics with my little people underfoot.

    And part of it IS that you stay home with your little ones. If you were out of your house 8-9+ hours per day at a job, your house would be much cleaner because no one would be home to make messes! (Or at least this is what I tell myself!)

    If my husband didn’t mind and we had the extra money, I would hire a service in a heartbeat. If I didn’t see the things that so desperately needed cleaning on a daily basis, I could get over the guilt.

    Really. Call today!

  • Ever since our son was born, my husband has wanted to hire a cleaning service. I haven’t been completely sold on the idea, but the only reason is because of the money. I keep thinking I should be able to clean and we could use the money for something else, but sometimes the cleaning just doesn’t happen. Who knows, I might give in someday. I would rather spend time playing with my son rather than cleaning anyway (not that I clean, lol). Oh, I mailed your ornament for the Island Life ornament exchange, so be on the lookout for it.

  • EPIC site :) I’m happy I wandered onto it through my friend’s blog, onna definitely need to add this one to the morning routine :)

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