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how hiring a housekeeper changed my life…

October 2, 2012
mommy guilt

one happy pregnant lady standing in a clean bathroom!

after my car accident i really struggled with the way i perceived myself. looking back, i was very hard on myself. i expected to be able to perform the same tasks as i did before my car accident. i had always been really good with details. but, somehow it felt as if all the details were somehow slipping through my fingers… it felt a little bit like trying to hold a fist full of sand.

the perfectionist in me was going just a little bit crazy.

fast forward a few years, and i found myself a mother of two little ones. i really struggled with not being able to do it all, balance a creative life, operate as a mom and wife and keep up my household duties. cooking dinner every night, changing diapers, doing laundry, writing blog posts… something was just meant to get left behind.

why do we as women feel like we somehow have to do it all and do it all really well?

for years i have felt like i should be good at cleaning the house. secretly deep down… i knew the truth. i was an awful housekeeper. but i was ashamed to admit that to myself. why did i beat myself up every time my husband told me the house was a disaster? why did i think that i should be able to keep a clean house in addition to my business and other responsibilities?

the funny thing is, i don’t even like to clean. i never have. but i have always expected myself to be good at cleaning. it was so hard for me to accept that i was different from my car accident and that maybe, just maybe, i might actually be messy. why does it feel like i am using a bad word?

something magical happened maybe about a year ago… i finally accepted that i wasn’t good at cleaning the house. it felt so liberating, so freeing. i let go of the expectation i had been keeping for myself. i stopped beating myself up. i let things go… the laundry and the dishes started piling up. (not that they were getting done before, i just became ok with it.)

recently, i even stopped feeling the need to defend myself when the house is a mess. now that is huge!!!

but even with all of this new revelation and being able to accept the fact that i was not good at housekeeping, i was still irritated with the mess.

the mess was like a little nagging voice always talking in the back of my head. i could ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away. it would drag me down and suck all of the emotional energy out of me making it more difficult to get anything done.

so this last week when my husband mentioned that he was thinking about getting a housekeeper to come and clean our house for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party i did the happy dance. my house was really a mess!!! and because i am pregnant, i knew that it would take me forever to clean the house… probably the entire week and i would most likely not get anything else done. there is also the fact that it’s getting a little bit harder to get down on my hands and knees to scrub the bathroom floor. let’s just say i was overjoyed!!!

when that cleaning lady came, and i woke up the next morning i almost wanted to cry out of joy and excitement. it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. not only had i let go of ridiculous expectations i had been holding over myself, i finally felt empowered to let someone else serve me. let’s just be honest, it is rather humbling having someone else clean up after you. but i have actually surprised myself in wanting to keep the house clean because i value it more now that i have paid for a service.

i learned some very valuable lessons from this experience.

  • you should not try to do something yourself if you can pay someone else to do it for you and they can do it better and faster than you can.
  • your time is valuable and YOU get to choose how it is spent. YOU get to choose.
  • i get to be a better artist now because more of my life energy is going into what i love to do, create.
  • i deserve to have a clean beautiful home.
  • i like the feeling i get when i invest into someone else’s livelihood and business!!!

i keep asking myself why i didn’t do this before… and my first thought is that i didn’t have the resources financially. which is very true if you look at things practically. but now, i think i can’t afford NOT to do this. hiring someone to clean my house frees up so much time and energy for me to do what i am supposed to be doing, and that is being me.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2012 3:53 pm

    That is huge Wendy!! So happy for you!! I love your reasoning and your lessons learned. I totally have felt those same things regarding feeling like I have to do it all. Over and over. I can clean the house but damn it, you can’t do anything else, ever. Especially with little ones constantly making new messes. 🙂 I have recently learned to just accept that things are not perfect and if someone is offended that my house doesn’t look like a magazine oh, well. A great quote that I always remember ” A perfectly kept home is sign of a misspent life.” Sorry I can’t remember who said it.

  2. Penny Kelly permalink
    October 2, 2012 8:34 pm

    Great wisdom Wendy,

  3. October 3, 2012 1:15 pm

    seconded, and so well put.

  4. October 3, 2012 2:07 pm

    Uh….ok. I am just doing this myself. I’m 40+ years young, recently diagnosed with 3 bulging discs in my neck and I hired a housekeeper. I feel HORRIBLE GUILT about this. Thank you for your honesty. I’m a lousy housekeeper too. I work 40+ hours outside the home, have two children, pets and a husband. Thank you for sharing your struggle and helping me not to feel so alone.

  5. ann dickey permalink
    October 5, 2012 6:25 am

    clapping~ standing ovation!!! i have had house cleaning help for years!!! the best investment i ever made. my mom gave that to me as a gift when my kids were young and i was pregnant too! since her death i continue the treat to myself… 2x a month i come home and i feel like i am walking in to a freshly done hotel room. it is calming, peaceful, and lovely.
    i am done with feeling guilty about it. the woman who cleans for me runs her own business, is a mom of boys herself, does a WONDERFUL JOB, and she and i have become very close friends and confidants over the years. she often clues me into things about our house that i didn’t realize… a drippy faucet, crack in the window, the secret pile of cheetos in the corner of the computer area??

    • Jude permalink
      October 7, 2012 8:21 pm

      Thank you so so much for sharing this…I really resonate & am very comforted to hear your words. I have severe chronic pain & a toddler…and have always been messy & creative :). My biggest question now is how do you go about finding the right person? Thank you!

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