April 9, 2007

What's YOUR choice of poison?

When X and I were first married, it was frustrating sharing space. Specifically, it was frustrating sharing space with someone who had a vastly differing opinion when it came to clutter and cleanliness. I frequently had to remind him that I wasn't a "maid with a Master's". It got the point across. Mind you, not that I looked down on maids. HELL NO.

Two weeks ago, I bid "adieu" to Molly Maid. It was an awkward parting when I hugged K and R goodbye. No, I'm not going to wax poetic on our beautiful friendship and how we are going to meet for coffee and hence forth, be BFFs. It wasn't like that, but it was a relationship of sorts and I will miss them. And I will call them when NewKid is born so they can come by and meet her. They were nice, honest, hard-working gals and we paid them a fair and honest wage for their services. The #1 thing that I adored about having a cleaning service was the steadfast deadline I had for doing my part in clearing my house of clutter. They arrived every other Monday at 7:45 am sharp. If I hadn't done my part yet, they couldn't do their job effectively. And while they were working hard, I took that as an opportunity to get some other things done as well. While they worked, we chatted. I will miss K's "advice" - often, it was unsolicited and usually, it was WAY off mark for my parenting style. I will miss how patient R was with Arun and how she would let him push the vacuum a bit because he LOVED it and would follow her around excited, eager and giggly.

We signed up for a cleaning service after taking a pre-marital counseling class the Church requires. It was X's idea - after all, he grew up in India, the land of moderately priced manual labor. His mother was a SAHM and always had housekeepers - for him, it was a no-brainer that we get a housecleaning service when we were both working so much and traveling as well. When I started staying home while pregnant with Arun, X insisted we keep the service. I think it helped ease his guilt for my bearing so much of the household load alone while he was out of town so frequently. X was still insisting we keep the service for as long as possible to get me through this new pregnancy, but I decided to cancel early. I really want to devote as much resources as possible to the Big Idea. If and when the Big Idea becomes an Even Bigger Idea, I will begin the cleaning service again.

In a heartbeat.

I've come a long way with that. When we first signed up for the service, I felt incredibly guilty. GUILTY. I felt downright sheepish when I started staying home full-time and we still had the service. Now, I realize that was the stupidest waste of emotion ever. Why feel guilty? Yep, it was a luxury and dammit, it was a luxury I loved having. Some girls can spend an entire day at a spa or spend oodles of money going to the salon to get their hair done or blow serious cash buying clothes they will soon discard in favor of the next season's flavor. The thought of spending a day at the spa sounds so tiresome and boring that I actually pissed off a bride once when I refused to do a day spa thing she wanted all of her bridesmaids to do with her. And I'm over the whole salon thing. And while I love reading about fashion, I don't really like buying clothes. Borders, Amazon and the Dusty Bookshelf are my choices of credit card poison. So, there you have it. My latest confession of how lame I am. I love having a clean house. Fresh vacuum tracks and a light fragrance of bleach brings me a peace of mind like no other.

So, I started cleaning the house tonight because I am determined to keep to the schedule we had with the cleaning service. I wish I could come up some grandiose post about how I gained great satisfaction from a job well done and that it was Totally!Cool! to do it myself and Gee Golly, now I'm a better, more enlightened person. But I can't and I won't. It sorta sucked. It was mostly boring.

But, it wasn't that bad either. And it will make me appreciate the cleaning service all the more when we eventually sign them back up. Nope, no more guilt the next time - that's for sure.


MB said...

I justify it by thinking that a weekly visit from the maids costs the same as 45 minutes of couples counseling and it's a lot more satisfying and effective.

meno said...

A cleaning service is a gift from the heavens and it will be the last thing i cancel...from my deathbed. It's what money is for dammit!

Anonymous said...

uh. Good luck? Personally I feel overwhelmed all the time and like possibly pigs keep better house than me. I used to have a list I followed but gave that up when second babe was born...now i just try to make it through the day...not true I still have a list...but. Wow.

Anyway....the Big Idea....sounds catchy

Cagey said...

So, TRUE. I'm stealing that quote. Also, X feels bad that we canceled the service, so I am scoring major bonus points these days.

Amen, sister. I vote for Guilt Free Luxuries for everyone!

The list is actually pretty simple, but um, yeah. I'll report back after NewKid arrives. I suspect the list will go by the wayside for awhile. Also, the Big Idea IS catchy. I am very excited about it and have full confidence in X that he can deliver.

Diana said...

I've not had a cleaning service but that's just my hang up. There are several chores I hate, especially the dusting and bathrooms. Oh, how I hate the dusting and the bathrooms. The up side, though, is that Colin is old enough to start training for housekeeper-in-residence. For 2 bucks, he will dust, do the windows, pick up the clutter and sort of clean the bathrooms. It takes him 2 hours and the whining is constant, but I like to think that I'm teaching him skills that will make any future spouse love me.

Christy said...

I am not very domestic. I clean very little in my house. However, I do always wash the dishes and do the laundry - that counts for something, right? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have a cleaning service.

Anonymous said...

I came back to make sure I didn't sound like ahuge bitch because what I meant to say was..Wahhhhh I want a cleaning service, but I would feel guilty, although why I can't be sure..I actually use the Motivated MOms method....its a print out that helps keep me somewhat on schedule and my fridge gets clean...also the actual question? what is my poison? Where do I justify spending the extra time and money? I get a massage, my husband sees it as better than having to go to marriage counseling, and I see it as NO KIDS> NOT ONE>>>NOT ALLOWED.

and in the lack of massages...I take showers..Iknow so does everyone else..but I love showering...and usually I get to do it alone..sometimes ..depending on who is napping and who isn't....okay I feel better less bitchy

Modern Day Hermit said...

I love the cleaning service, oddly I hired one as soon as Richard started to stay home with Alex to better allocate our time even further.

I lost my cleaning service virginity while living in Dallas and I initially felt guilty as well, no more!

I also love books. Richard HATES it when I go to the bookstore because I come back with too many. I tell him it could be worse, I could be spending my money on blow, sheesh!

Rozanne said...

We had a cleaning service in Chicago. They came every couple of months and did a deep clean.

I really resent spending my precious free time cleaning the house, so it's probably time to see if we can swing hiring a cleaning service again. It is so worth it!

flybunny said...

When I go back to work in the fall, I am getting a cleaning service - I have to for peace of mind. I was going to do it this spring but with the whole getting laid off thing, I figured I should probably suck it up and do it myself.

I am starting to enlist the girls help in smaller chores including unloading the dishwasher, dusting and putting clothes away. This summer we will move onto some other things and the nice thing is that we alternate weeks so no one is stuck doing to same thing over and over.

PS - I have noticed that I have had some comments not show up and finally figured out that I have trouble with word verification and often forget to make sure that my comment has posted before exiting. I am blaming it on the baby eating my brain!

working said...

I miss having a cleaning service! *sigh* Now, I find that spending a little bit of time on it a day helps to keep things in order. Good luck!