Thursday, October 30, 2014

A housekeeper, again

"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" - what Sterling would say if he could talk.
After a nine-month hiatus, I went ahead and re-hired a housekeeper. It's a woman this time, not a man like we had for a few years. She came for the first time yesterday, and all at once I am so, so grateful to have somebody else clean the whole house at once, but also reminded of the reasons why I don't like having a housekeeper.

In February, after I graduated, I went back to cleaning my own dang house, with the girls' help, of course. But since I've gone back to work, and since Sterling is in that lovely stage of development where all the cabinets must be emptied at all times, shelves must have their contents in a constant state of disarray, and anything tidy and in order must be knocked down until no stone is left upon another, I was overwhelmed with housework. Overwhelmed. It never ended, and at times I felt like there was an endless sea of cleaning stretched out in front of me with no hope of relief, not even from podcasts.

So I hired an assistant. She'll come once a week and clean the whole house. I almost weep with joy when I think of someone else taking out alllll the trash cans in the whole house, and all the bathrooms being clean at once. And the floors, the FLOORS, the bane of my existence. I have a testimony of tile, but dear goodness do grand expanses of it take a toll on me, vacuum-and-mopping-wise.

And yes, I'm thrilled, but now I'm back to feeling awkward at having someone else in my house while I try to get out the door to work. I also have high standards when it comes to cleaning - if you are going to clean something, clean it well, am I right? Just ask my poor daughters - and there are a few areas I hope to have the courage to talk about with the new housekeeper. Sloppy cleaning work is like nails on a chalkboard for me, truly.

I hope this blog post doesn't make me sound like a horrible person. But the way I see it, she's my employee. If I were paying her to file documents or write reports or teach a class and I found her work substandard, for sure I would talk to her about it and ask for her best work.

I seem to be hot and cold on this issue. I felt so relieved when I stopped a housekeeping service back in February, but life circumstances change, and now I feel so relieved to have somebody to help me. We'll see how long it lasts this time.


Caitlin Carroll said...

We have tile floors throughout in our new place, not pretty ones like yours but the kind in elementary schools or grocery stores. I HATE cleaning them, and they always seem dirty. I've kind of given up and since I don't have a baby I don't get down on the floor very much so out of sight, out of mind.

Aimee said...

I want to get a housekeeper when my house is more organized. Unfortunately, because our house has been in constant renovation since we moved in and nothing got unpacked in an organized fashion this may be awhile!

Jen said...


Liz Johnson said...

I kid you not, the most appealing part of going back to work (for me) is that I could hire a part-time housekeeper. I hope you love it going forward!

Jennifer said...

I have had someone come in and clean our house 3 times in my married life. Usually times of high stress or new baby or something. It is so amazingly awesome. I'm so happy for you to have that on a regular basis. Everything else in life just runs smoother when things are clean, you know? :)

Sherwood family said...

I hear ya! Just about to go down that rabbit hole again. There's nothing like having household help to motivate me to have a SMALL house some day (when the government isn't paying for it).


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