No, I'm really just kidding, but it's getting there. I have neglected my friends and other social gatherings all week for the sake of a clean house. Did I clean it because I love to have a clean house? No. In fact, it has been mentally painful. I scrubbed the bathroom floors with this chemical cleaner called "Zap" that my mother-in-law swears by. It is currently not carried in any stores because it is so good, or it has been determined too dangerous. I think it is most likely the most toxic thing in our house, but it did wonders on this old bathroom tile. Now when my parents come to visit I don't have to explain, like the last time, that I did mop the bathroom floors, they just don't come clean. So every night after the kids are in bed, I put on the rubber gloves and I get to work.
On night three of cleaning I remembered a recent conversation I had with my friend Andrea, and I started to think she might be right. (Yes, the NYT article might have played a part too) But anyway, I told her, about a year ago, that my husband suggested we hire a cleaning person and I said, "NO WAY". I had visions of when I was a nanny and the kids were not capable of doing anything for themselves. They had a cleaning service, a Nanny (and a stay at home Mom), a person that cleaned their fish tank, a dog trainer that came to their house, a weekly lawn service, a pool cleaner and a home decorator. The kids did nothing for themselves, not even flush the toilet. So when Michael suggested a cleaning lady, I was shocked. Sure, I don't clean, but I'm capable of doing it- right? So as I cleaned all week after the kids went to bed, I started thinking of what Andrea said, "If my husband said we could get a cleaning service, I'd do it in a second. It's just more time to spend with your kids. Watching your kids IS a full time job".
So maybe there's something to be said about the benefits of cleaning professionals. I could still teach my kids the value of picking up after themselves in preparation of the cleaning crew. Because really, at age 4 and 2 and 5 months, I really can't expect them to move the vacuum and scrub tubs, but I certainly can expect them to put their toys away. It's a fun thought, but I know in the reality of it all- I will continue to clean my own house and pay for the things like having our gutters cleaned and trees trimmed off of our house. Sure I could do those things too, since it pains me to have to hire someone, but I really can't do it all and spend quality time with my children while they are young.