Lately, I have been longing to enjoy my free time more, to give myself more permission to relax already and hoping that relaxing will help me to be kinder and more gentle to my children. I’ve been asking myself, what can I remove from my plate? I finally feel some financial freedom and that I have the ability to do some outsourcing. Time to get a house cleaner. I did some asking around and was surprised at the number of people who already had someone who cleaned their house. I called a few people and settled on a woman who is self employed, licensed and is highly recommended.

As I prepared for her to come over to see my house for the first time, I began to see my home through the eyes of a stranger. Dog hair and rogue toys have made homes in the corners of most of the rooms. The backsplash is stained and the mirror is blemished. Not to mention that the mirror is there to cover up a hole in the wall. I’m proud of the modest home that we own but suddenly I started to feel like a failure as a wife and homemaker. Even though I work full time, I still consider myself the homemaker – the one who makes this house a comfortable home for my family. The TV has fingerprints and the carpet has stains. The couches are lumpy. I light a candle lest she not smell the dog she will obviously see. I move piles of artwork, their filing on my long to do list. No longer do I spend half of each Saturday scrubbing and washing. Now I throw in a load of laundry a couple of nights a week and pray we all find clean underwear each morning. I vacuum between episodes of Team Umizoomi with a few cursory swipes at the middle of the floor. The kitchen floor hasn’t been washed in months. Isn’t that why we have a dog?

So she came, she quoted and I gladly accepted her rate. I arranged it for Thursdays. We’re home late on Thursdays and I work from home on Friday. So no time for the kids to mess it up the first night and I can enjoy the splendor of a clean house alone on Friday before the weekend comes and everything goes to shit (perhaps literally). This weekend was lovely. No thought to when I would vacuum, no judging myself about the fingerprints or floors. But while I thought I would feel more relaxed without the responsibility of cleaning hanging over me, I found myself worrying about every crumb that hit the floor. And don’t even get me started on that entire glass of milk spilled on my husband’s watch. I found myself asking them to please not make a mess because “Miss Julie worked so hard to clean our house.”

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And then I find myself doubting myself, judging myself. And judging myself in a way I would never judge someone else. Who the hell am I to get a cleaning lady? Why is this something I can’t handle myself? What am I teaching my children by hiring someone else to do something I could do myself? Will they tell people we have a “cleaning lady”? What will people think? I would never ever think those thoughts about someone else. So why am I not good enough to get some help, to ask for some help, to pay for some help? And if I am good enough for that, then does that mean I am too good to clean my own house? Holy crap. So I have to stop overanalyzing and just enjoy the freakin’ spotlessly clean house.

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