Two weeks ago, I had a housecleaner come to our house for the first time ever. I was worried that she would say that it couldn’t be done. She said that she was going to have to bring a helper for the first cleaning. She said it would take a very, very long time. And even though it would mean cutting back on other things we valued in our budget, I agreed to it right away.
Credit Image: The Shopping Sherpa on Flickr
Our house is a disaster. And it’s not like when people apologize for their house and then you walk in and it’s perfect. My husband and I are both very messy. I would like to blame this on having small children. But, while the kids haven’t helped things, the truth is we’ve had a pretty messy house since we were first married. My husband has piles of clothes. I have piles of papers. We started calling them mountains a few years ago. Then we started joking that they were mountain ranges. It used to be sort of funny. But at some point, the balance tipped and it stopped being funny and started being stressful and unmanageable. We stopped laughing and started bickering over cleaning and chores.
So two weeks ago, I finally admitted that I needed help. I looked at our budget. We were spending almost $100 a month on basic cable. I thought we needed it, but decided that we needed a clean house more. We were also spending a small fortune on Starbucks. I love Starbucks, but can make coffee at home for a lot less money. I put both cable and Starbucks on the chopping block. So with the money saved from giving up cable and coffee, we had what we needed to pay for two cleanings a month.
When the housecleaner arrived and started cleaning, I felt extremely uncomfortable. It was like letting someone see your worst secrets, your hidden mess, your worst side of yourself. Because that’s exactly what it was. But I also felt relief. I needed this help. I just had to accept it.
When she left, I just felt bliss. Peace. Contentment. And for the past two weeks, I’ve been able to maintain the surface cleaning because I felt energized by the deep cleaning.
And I realized that it was OK to admit that I needed help with something. It seems so simple and obvious now. This has been the best investment that I’ve made in a long time. It’s like therapy. I’m happier and less stressed. My husband and I are getting along better. The children are better behaved.
It’s all very zen in here now. I may not have cable and coffee, but I have peace. And clean floors.
Sarah Knight is a writer and mother of two small children. She is also the co-founder of www.mamasagainstdrama.com
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