My cleaning lady confession

I have finally snapped.   Finally said “enough is enough”.   Declared that I can take no more.  I am sick of living in an untidy, and in some areas dirty, house.  It has been building up for months and this week as I stared mucky fingers prints on the cloakroom door, knowing they had been there for ages, I burst into tears.    I had reached the point where I couldn’t take the shame of the state of our home anymore.

So I bit the bullet and found a cleaning lady.   I had been thinking about if for ages as the feelings of shame and despair rose but had been put off by stories of sub standard work from well known franchise type agencies; complicated payment structures where a part of the fee was paid by direct debit to an agent and the rest in cash to the cleaner; and of having a random stranger in the house.    There was a thread in a group on Facebook for local parents and somebody else asked the question “can anyone recommend a cleaner?”.   One name was mentioned over and over again.

I called her.  She came round.   She said the things I wanted to hear and that was it.  She told me they would sort things out, not just clean.   They would sort cupboards.  Tidy bedrooms.   She wouldn’t just fling a Hoover round.   She would come in and sort us out.   that was it.   We had ourselves a cleaner.

I was ashamed of myself then though.   Why couldn’t I do it?  Why was our house a mess when I know others who have full time jobs have houses that are virtually show homes?   I have pretty high standards and for months the house has fallen way below it.  And that made me fed up, annoyed, less inclined to do anything about it as I just didn’t know where to start.  Or have the time to clean it.  I cram so much into my days that cleaning get shoved down the priority list.   There is always something else to do before tackling four loos.   Resenting the fact that Mr B and the kids didn’t see it as a priority.   And despite doing things when they could it was never going to be enough.   We are lucky to live in a large house.   It needs hours spent on it on a weekly basis.

I confessed to friends that I was now “one of those women who employs a cleaner and who you are all now going to hate” .  I was staggered by their reaction.  Far from hating me or calling me a lazy cow everybody applauded my decision.   Said they would do the same / had done the same.    That it has saved their sanity.

Phew.   Thank God for that.

And then it dawned on me.  Why should I feel ashamed of spending £50 a week on something that makes me feel better?  That means we all get to live in a clean house?  Nobody else in the house has the time or inclination to do any of it on a regular basis so why am I the one feeling guilty?  They have a day off, they stay in bed or do their own thing, when do I get a day off?

No, sod it.

I won’t feel guilty about it anymore.  I don’t smoke.  I rarely drink (contrary to popular opinion I really don’t drink more than about one glass of Martini a week).  I don’t go out with mates for dinner regularly.  I don’t lunch at work or expensive coffees on the way from the station every morning.    If I did any of those things I would spend far more than £50 a week, surely?   And I wouldn’t feel guilty.

So why does having a cleaning lady make us feel guilty?

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  • I would let go of many other things, including nights out, before I let go of my cleaning lady!

    I had her when I was in a one bedroom flat and childless as I was travelling so much for work and the idea of spending the weekends in marygolds just didn’t suit me.
    When she goes away at Xmas for a month my husband and I are usually in tears, no joke.

    The best money I have ever spent! Fact

  • I love the idea of a cleaning lady, I enjoy a clean house but making it that way is not so much fun!!

  • I had a cleaning lady when hubby & I both worked & lived in London (Pre-Children). She used to come on Friday which gave us that “brand spanky clean” feeling ready for the weekend and especially useful if we had guests coming. I moved the sofa after she’d been coming for a few months to find a few months worth of dust balls under there though, and she “didn’t do” windows and she had about 10 fag breaks in the 2.5 hours she was there…I ended up cancelling & doing it myself at the weekend *sigh* With baby No 2 on the way I have to say I’ve been contemplating trying again though…

  • Don’t feel guilty for having a clean house, regardless of who does it. Ever.

    In fact, I’m ridiculously jealous. I’m desperate for a cleaner. Quite frankly, if I were to sufficiently parent The Smalls AND continue with my career (which at this stage involves working every spare second between 6am and 12am) AND find time to spend with The Mr and then take on cleaning, I’d be the most resentful person ever.

    Quite sure you’ve done The Right Thing.

  • Don’t feel guilty!
    It’s your money and how you spend it is no concern of anyone else.

    If I had a spare £50 a week then I would totally have a cleaner.

    In fact I often daydream about having a cleaner 3 times a week to clean my imaginary 5 bedroom detached house and (sadly) even have a schedule in my head of what needs doing and when it needs doing by!

    At the end of the day, it makes you feel happier and it provides employment for another person. Win/Win I say!

  • If we weren’t saving for a house we’d get a cleaner like a shot. As you know, I currently work silly hours and struggle to get everything done. I can barely manage the laundry let alone the cleaning!

  • Good for you! We are hoping to get a cleaning lady, soon, now I am back working and being paid, and we can justify it. Our house, I am sure, would send Kim and Aggie screaming, if they came to inspect it. I try to keep on top of it all, but with working, trying to be Mummy, and having a life, it is hard to keep the house to the standard I would like, or even any standard, to be honest!

  • I would love a cleaning lady, I can’t justify it at the moment but it would be wonderful. We’re not too messy but there are certainly plenty of areas that haven’t been cleaned for a while and could do with some attention. The state of the house really affects my mood, and you’re right, why should you be the one to feel guilty about the cleaning? Good for you!

  • I REEEEEEALLY want a cleaning lady – well done on getting one. Life is too short to be constantly trying to fold and put away laundry so that you can actually the spare bed in the spare room and it doesn’t look like a clothes bomb went off in it (I still haven’t managed it!)

  • I’ve had a cleaner on & off for years, never felt guility, just relieved! Had some fab ones and one that broke everything she touched but was a great thorough cleaner! Haven’t got one at present but once our building work is further forward I will be looking out again for my Mrs Mopp 🙂

  • Well done for making that decision! You and your family get your clean house, the cleaning lady has the opportunity to earn some money. No reason for guilt that I can see.
    I can see where you are coming from, though, I feel tremendously guilty for not keeping our house in a permanent show house state! Why is that? It must have something to do with dated cultural expectations of women, as well with media portrayal where you always see these well laid out and orderly homes. I guess the feeling of not living up to people’s expectations (or is it your/our own?) might make you think you are inadequate somehow.
    It seems our perceptions are just not keeping up with modern living 😉

  • Because we feel like we should be able to do it all! But having a job, a family and a blog does take up all my time so I will never apologise for having a cleaner. Who cares who cleans your loo(s)?
    Enjoy, good for you 🙂