Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Truth about the Cleaning Lady

The last Wednesday of the month is a special day in the Traber household.  A cleaning service comes and restores order and cleanliness to our home.  The last Tuesday before the last Wednesday is also monumental.  All four Trabers scramble to tidy up to make our home presentable.  Which inevitably triggers the question, "Mommy, why do we have to clean the house before the cleaning lady comes?"  And, each month, I give him the same answer:  "We clean to make it easier for her."  But, deep down, my face burns with shame.  We tidy up the night before from a deep-rooted fear of allowing someone else to witness our day-to-day living.

By the time the end of the month rolls around, our house resembles a war zone.  I find myself sticking to syrup-drizzled chairs, dusting off shelves with the bottom of my t-shirt, and spraying Windex on the floor to kill the teeny little ants snacking on some food remnant.  The garbage cans overflow, and tumbleweeds of cat hair blow across the hardwood in the hallway.  But, the end is in sight.  Tomorrow, my house will sparkle and shine.  You can eat off of our floor and pretend you are in a hotel with the toilet paper triangles.  The beds are made, and for a moment, our house looks like something out of a magazine.  Quite a stark contrast to its usual state of disarray.  But, once a month, I'll take it.

His question also boils down to one simple fact:  The cleaning service is what I like to affectionately term, "self-care."  I always swore that as long as I was able-bodied, I would never hire someone to do a job I could do myself.  Ridiculous, lazy, and extravagant, I thought.  But, as a full-time working mom to two human wrecking balls, I find myself short on time and energy.  The truth of the matter is I choose not to spend the all too precious moments with my family scrubbing toilets and shower doors.  I'd rather cut a different line item out of our budget to reclaim some time with my kiddoes.  I find it a rather smart investment.  But, nothing changes the fact that I do not want anyone to bear witness to my poor housekeeping skills.  So, we clean in an attempt to paint a rosy picture of the all-American family, organized, clean, and in control.  We clean to hide the ugly truth--Mommy just hates to clean.

Tonight, we will do our last-Tuesday-of-the-month dance.  Toys will be shoved under beds and in closets, and piles of mail will be sorted.  For tomorrow, the cleaning lady comes.

14 comments:

  1. I always laugh at how we tidy up for the cleaning lady. I am sure you feel better now that you have 'come clean' (sorry) about your aversion to housework

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have heard this before that people clean before the cleaning lady/crew comes. I understand the need for hiring someone to help. I'm trying to involve everyone in cleaning but the mess keeps returning. I can hear the voice of a busy mom in this piece.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Isn't that smell when you walk in the door lovely? It's clean and you didn't have to do it. Yes! In my house, it was required that we go out for dinner the day we had the cleaning lady. I didn't want to mess up the clean kitchen. It allowed us to savor the clean for a bit longer. Enjoy your clean house!
    Loved your description: two human wrecking balls. Gave me a laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! We also pick up before the cleaning lady comes. I always tell them that she's here for two hours. She can spend them picking up everything they left out or actually cleaning. Best money I spend! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I was a little girl, we had a cleaning leafy twice a month-- my mom worked and it was just too much for her too. I vividly remember my dad joking about cleaning for the cleaning lady. For years, before I adopted my boys, I paid someone to come in twice a month- it was so nice to have people over and not have to worry about cleaning bathrooms or mopping floors. I'm sitting here wondering how I could pull it off now, because I could definitely use the help! But like you, I would have to do a frantic sweep so no one would know how disorganized or messy I am!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gotta love that kind of a dance. Sounds like it's well worth the pre-cleaning!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so with you on all of it -- the cleaning up before the cleaning lady comes and that having a cleaning service is "self-care." My cleaning lady disappeared for no reason a few months ago and I am still searching for a new one. Sad, sad times in my household!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I laughed when I read "mom to two human wrecking balls"...I always wanted someone to come in and clean, but I didn't think I'd be able to find the time to clean first.

    ReplyDelete
  9. When the kids were young, we had someone come in too. My kids asked the same question. My answer was I did not hire someone to pick up. I hired someone to clean! Now I no longer have anyone but often think it would be nice...
    Loved this piece and could identify with it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the way you kept it real. I would love to have a cleaning service, but when those little ones grow up they go to college and it takes every penny! Enjoy your "wrecking balls".

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is so funny! I have another friend who does the exact same thing...I was thinking of her when I was reading your slice! I laugh at how similar things are happening, the sticky syrup, the last minute dusting, the killing of the ants! OMG! I just saw three random ants crawling on our floor tonight! I just give up on trying to make everything look like a magazine...it's just not possible. Thanks for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
  12. An older friend I taught with long ago had lots of words to wisdom to share. One thing she said was that every woman who works outside the home HAS to have someone clean her house. I agree! I love your words: "I find it a rather smart investment." SO true. Enjoy your time with your children with NO regret!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing.
    bond cleaning melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates.
    Daniel

    ReplyDelete