No, not the Seinfeld version of this statement. I’m talking about “homemaking.”
When I was eight months pregnant and returned to school we did one of the best things we could have done. We splurged on a house cleaning service. It began for my birthday and continued for seven months. Because it was just so nice! It took such a huge burden off my shoulders. I was happier, lighter, less stressed, and tended toward a better mood. I had more time to do fun kid things (and after M&M was born, doting baby things). It was a really, really great treat.
So we kept it up. We scrounged the money every three weeks and never questioned if it was worth it.
Now M&M is no longer a novelty (sorry kid! Still love ya though) and I am settling into having two kids. Thanks to Crossfit and Paleo I also have a lot more energy, and not having to fit in exercise has actually increased my free time. Since money has been tighter than usual the past couple months we decided it was time to end our fling with luxury.
We canceled our cleaning service.
I expected to feel burdened and overwhelmed, but that wasn’t the case at all. I somehow feel freer. Often a few days to a week before we were due for a cleaning I’d look around and notice the floors were disgusting and the bathrooms weren’t far behind. But there was no point in wasting my time cleaning something that would happen soon anyway. The pre-clean routine was also stressful: washing sheets, putting away clothes, picking up toys, clearing countertops and then trying to get M and I out of the house. Even though the after effect was wonderful, there were more than financial costs involved.
Now I am free to clean when I feel the urge, have the time, or need the release. With the recent addition of the back carry to our babywearing repertoire, cleaning has become much more possible then it was a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was outside washing windows that hadn’t been cleaned in almost a year while the girl was just chilling and loving it. And that was after about an hour of other housework. The back carry is a great new joy in my life.
I also feeling like I’m back in control. With that comes responsibility (i.e. burden) but it’s a good feeling to know that I am in charge of keeping my house presentable and that it’s current state bears my effort (or lack thereof). I feel like a legit housewife again, with the chores to boot.
There were also a couple silly (yet heavy) instances with Dot. It was amazing how quickly she forgot that I/we used to clean the house. She reveled in the days she’d come home to find “the maids” had cleaned her room. And if something wasn’t right where it belonged or forgotten (there is a little mirror in her room that was occasionally missed) she’d say “those maids!”
The ease of it was great for Tony and I as parents, but the expectation of it was jarring when relayed through our three-year-old.
And now it’s over. And we’ve taught Dot to vacuum (she’s a big fan). We’re realizing she is now old enough to be a help rather than a hindrance. And I guess the same is true for Daddy! 😉
So there may be less time for fun on the weekends. Likely there will just be a bit more grub and grime in the showers and sinks. Not to mention the dust! Man, dusting everything down was the best thing they did. That so tends to not even be on my radar.
But I’m back, as the Master of my domain. And I’m truly glad to be. Life is just full of surprises!