What’s The Real Cost To Parents When They Don’t Hire A House Cleaner?
A year ago, my friend and I were trying to come up with a more efficient approach to cleaning our homes on a regular basis. We came up with a plan to divide up our chores throughout the year so that we could tackle one job each day, with time to deal with larger seasonal tasks. This plan was designed to help us not fall behind with cleaning during the year.
Nine months later, we were swamped and could barely keep up. I’m the mother of two toddlers and the wife of a chaplain in the Army Reserves, plus I work at home as a writer. My friend is busy with raising three kids, supporting her husband in grad school, and serving tirelessly in her church.
I am stubborn and meticulous, according to my dear husband. I don’t give up easily. When faced with a challenge, I tackle it head-on. I multi-task to the Nth degree. I don’t walk by without picking up something from the floor to put away. When I get the kids into the bath, I grab the laundry basket of clean clothes and fold it right next to them. Then I fill the basket with dirty clothes and drop those in the washer when I head that way. I could be exhausted at the end of the day and still make myself mop the kitchen floor because walking on a clean floor the next morning is my reward.
However, reality hits me this year. I am feeling the toll that this is taking on my health – physically, emotionally, and psychologically. This is from someone who gets up at 5:15 a.m. every morning for a workout.
My husband tried to help me see the flaws of my economics by explaining the opportunity cost of my lifestyle. I run a small business as a writer and need to control my expenses. I try to save money by cleaning my home (my office) myself. However, I am losing sight of the fact that when I spend time to clean, I am taking time away from earning money, either by writing, in getting other writing gigs, or even in allowing my brain to focus on improving my writing quality.
It suddenly dawned on me how much income I am forgoing by doing my own house cleaning. After I figured out the numbers, I found out that I can lose up to $100 an hour whenever I decide to clean house during the kids’ napping time instead of writing. That’s when I realize the benefits of using a cleaning service.
I had a very wise English professor in college who once told me that any woman who works should hire a cleaning service.
Making time to take care of yourself is a crucial part in good parenting.
It did not feel natural to me, but I began to search for recommendations. Not long after, I met a lovely woman who has a family and who runs a house cleaning service on the side. She walked through my house and pointed out the areas that she could clean including the grimy mirrors covered in toothpaste, the floors covered in sticky unidentifiable substances, and even the gritty stairs to our basement. I found my savior.
I asked her to come on Monday after the weekend when my husband had to be on base with the soldiers. I had a deadline to meet, and I would be alone with the kids that weekend. Having her come right after that weekend to put the house back in order would be a blessing.
Remember my cohort who was planning a new cleaning regimen with me last year? I told her my plan to use a cleaning service and to keep it a secret. However, I could not keep the secret myself. I told a professor whom I was interviewing for an article for my alma mater’s newsletter. The professor was in full support and sounded like my other mentor back in college. I posted on my alumnae’s social media group and found out that quite a few of them use cleaning services and would not have it any other way. They all run their own businesses and raise families at the same time. They all say that they could not have survived without the help in cleaning.
Later on, a member of a Facebook parenting group that I’m on created a thread about house cleaning. One lady chimed in saying that hiring a cleaning service literally changed her life. Some even said that using a cleaning service helped save their marriage and their sanity.
I could see that I am not the only in this situation. None of us is comfortable admitting that we need help with cleaning. When my cleaning service arrived on her first day, I was so apologetic about the state of the house. I kind of felt guilty, but I didn’t know why. My house cleaning service understood completely, though. Although I felt uncomfortable about needing the help, I had to remind myself that I am actually supporting another woman in her business. When I looked at it that way, I felt better, visit Up Maids Cleaning Services
The maid service came once every month to start. I don’t know if we will keep up this schedule, but for now, it is a good solution to defend the house against two little toddlers who seem to want to destroy everything in their path. That first day after the cleaner left, the house looked amazing. I almost wept with joy. Then I did something that I thought I would never have time to do – I took a nap during my kids nap time.
The fact is, it is impossible to do everything and do it well. I cannot be the best mom for my kids while trying to run my business, prepare a nice dinner for our family or guests, and clean the house at the same time. Even if I am able to squeeze in all of that in a day, I will end up so mentally stressed and exhausted that I will take it out on a loved one, and that’s usually my devoted spouse or one of my lovely babies.
In my opinion, that price is much too high to pay for not hiring help.