Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Take this broom and shove it

I have a problem. I am a cleaning addict.

Ironically, this was never really a problem for most of my life. But it seems to have kicked into high gear while I'm out on maternity leave.

Mommy, Esq. and Natalie are probably laughing at reading this since I was far from clean while we all lived together in Boston. But in my defense, neither of them were particularly motivated to clean so it was easier to just go with the flow.

When we bought our house and our furniture morphed from 80% hand-me-downs to 80% new I became a lot more motivated to clean. But the house is a lot bigger so it takes most of a morning or afternoon of a weekend day to do it right. DH used to help quite a bit but that has declined sharply in the past 9 months or so. Mostly because he is doing a lot of work in the yard or other projects around the house. Partially because I'm convinced he doesn't see the dirt and grime as readily as I do. I think that's common man vision...

I never really nested in the cleaning sense while I was pregnant but I was doing a good cleaning every 3-4 weeks. Now, however, I am all about the cleaning. I pull out the vacuum at least once a week and usually multiple times for the TV room. I sweep the kitchen floor every other day. I take the swiffer and run it over the hardwood floors once a week. And I dust.

Am I going crazy? Probably. But I think it's more a combination of nesting kicking in and the fact that I am now home all day long. I sit in the TV room breastfeeding and see the crumbs and dirt that the dog tracks in and I need to clean it. I walk up the stairs 8 million times a day and see the dog hair collecting in clumps. I walk across the kitchen floor and see the crumbs as I prepare dinner (I'm doing most of the cooking now too). DH thinks it's because I'm bored. I'm not sure I buy into that but it's true that I'm used to having a list of projects to get done for work and for these 3 months, I don't have that. So I guess I'm inventing it on my own.

I get satisfaction out of having a nice clean (and very organized) house. I suppose I should enjoy it while I can before Cameron is mobile and brings her own version of organization to the house. But right now I have the time and the energy to clean and pick up constantly. I'm with Cameron all day so I get the quality time with her and still have the desire to do things around the house. I have a feeling that will change radically when I'm back at work. I doubt I will want to take 3 hours on a Saturday to clean like I have in the past. My solution? A cleaning service. DH has been very resistant to this idea in the past because we've had the time and energy to do it (motivation, not so much). Now with Cameron in the mix that won't be the case any more. I figure with what I'm saving on formula by breastfeeding I can afford a bi-weekly service.

Help me gather some ammunition to convince DH that this is the way to go. Do any of you having cleaning services? Did you get them before or after having children? How much are you paying for a cleaning service? What problems, if any, have you had? DH works from home so he is concerned he will be bothered.

Here are a few pictures of Cameron playing on her mat or with her Daddy.


Donna said...

I have a cleaning service. Two ladies come by and clean my bathrooms and kitchen once every other week. I used to have it for the whole house, but it was extremely expensive and we just could not afford it anymore. I find that having them do the kitchen and baths, really does help out because then I can focus on the other parts of the house (the boys rooms, our room). We started it when I was undergoing fertility treatments because some of the treatments really kicked my butt. We decided to continue because I really need my time to focus either on the boys or the gardens, etc. I would tell your hubby it is all about what is most important. Scrubbing floors or taking Cameron out to see Barbie's on ice (I have no idea if this is a real show, but you get the picture). Priorities -- that's the answer!

Susan said...

I had a cleaning service for awhile when my kids were younger and we both worked out of the home. It was ok. I cleaned better =) and I got tired of having to point things out which I think they should have seen. BUT all in all, probably worth it. For 1800 square feet 10 years ago I was paying $65.00 a week. I'm sure that has gone way up. Our situation is the same but kids are older and I don't have a service anymore. I am extremely finicky as well. I vacuum just about every day but that is because we have a smaller home and 2 dogs. Good luck. I say interview many and make sure that they are bonded as well as being insured. Your little girl has grown so much....so pretty.

LauraC said...

We have a cleaning service and we LOVE it. They come every other week and do the entire house. We use Cleaning Authority and they do this deep-clean rotation, where each time they deep-clean one of the areas. Love love love this.

We decided that when we are home, we want to focus on the kids. And having 3+ hours of cleaning to do is not worth it. We hired cleaners when I was on maternity leave.

For our 2100 sq ft house, we pay $81. Jon and I both work from home so we told them to not clean the office. We just shut the office door for the 90 minutes they are here.

I would give up many many things before I give up my cleaners. The money is not just for the cleaners. It is for my marriage too. There's no bickering over who has to vacuum or clean the bathrooms. Time is so precious for two working parent families!

T. said...

Wholeheartedly recommend a cleaning service. We got rid of ours last summer (our main lady had a baby and stopped working - we didn't like her replacement), and I curse everytime I have to scrub the tub. Thankfully, Rob and I are a good cleaning team. But nothing beats having someone do it for you. Have them come twice a month, you will be so happy you did it!! I agree that if I was home everyday, it wouldn't be such a big deal - but on the weekends, you're going to want to spend your precious time with Cameron!

Mommy, Esq. said...

I too noticed more grime when I was home. If you can't come up with a fair attribution of chores (and it never feels fair, believe me) then just pay someone.

Natalie said...

oh my god she is so cute, i can't even stand it!
I have a cleaning service and don't have kids. but i can make a mess and between me and my long-haired cat, I like someone else to do the vaccuuming, change my sheets, scrub my bathroom from top to bottom and wipe down every surface in my home. For this I pay $65 every other week and it's the best money I spend every month. I love the smell of "clean" when I get home and it makes my home look so much better. It also forces me to pick up my stuff, unpack my suitcases, and make my house ready to be cleaned by the time she is supposed to come around again. A cleaning service is a beautiful thing. If you can do it, there's no reason not to. So, to DH I would say, instead of saying why should we have a cleaning service, he should be saying why not?!!!!

Anonymous said...

get over it and tell DH that you will try a cleaning service once a month for 6 months after you go back to work. You can specify rooms, etc. He can keep his door closed with dog inside and when he walks out, he will smell the clean and realize that he is not the spring chicken he once was and outsourcing is a good thing. Plus it is unamerican not to support the economy. Mom