Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Confession: I haven't cleaned a toilet in 5 years.

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The first year I was in MOPS we had a Mentor Mom Panel one day.  They gave us great tips, told us funny mommy stories, and answered our questions like, "Should I feel guilty for telling my son that Dora is a terrorist and he can't watch her show?"

That day I got the best mommy tip I have ever heard.

One of the panelist told us that as quick as we could work it into the budget, we should hire a house cleaner.

I know it's not super profound, but I felt like the reason she gave for it was... it will save you from resenting your husband and kids. 

It's so true.

At that time in my life I had a two year old.  
In order to clean my house I would stick him in front of the TV with a sippy cup and a snack, and scrub... all day.  Seriously.  
There was one day I remember that Beau watched Shrek three times in a row.  I spent eight hours cleaning the tiny 1000 square foot apartment that we were living in at the time.

That night as I watched Nathan splash water all over the bathroom mirror with his toothbrush I wanted to gauge his eyeballs out {should I not have made that phrase bold?}.  I took it as a personal assault... each little droplet of water a bullet to my heart.

Didn't he notice that the mirror was clean?  
That there was no longer a pile of hair in the corner of the bathroom?  
That the ring around the tub was missing???

Of course he didn't... he was too tired from formulating spreadsheets about interest rates and profit margins {or whatever it is that he actually does as that job of his}.
While I know it was not his intention, it really did devalue me.  I felt like he didn't notice or care that I had spent all day trying to make his house a nice place to come home to.

And thus was the profundity of that Mentor Mom's advice.

If someone else is doing the cleaning, you won't take it personally when your son spills his bowl of cereal all over the freshly mopped floor.

It might be a bummer... but it will not be a personal attack.

I got a cleaning lady... and I haven't cleaned a toilet in five years.  
Because {just so you know} I am not one of those people that cleans the house in between the visits from Margarita. 

I know that many of you are thinking, "That sounds great Emmy, but who's going to pay for my cleaning lady?"  Let me be honest and tell you... my mom paid for mine for years.  In fact, I only very recently took over the expense.  It was a Christmas present for my sister and myself one year {the best present ever}, and she just kept paying for it until I told her to stop.  

But truly, it is not that expensive.  I live in Southern California, where everything is more expensive, and I pay $160 a month for a cleaning lady that comes every two weeks.  Many of my friends pay less than that {I keep giving Margarita a raise because I really like her}.  

$160 to keep me from being on the cover of People Magazine with the title "Enraged Mom Massacres Family Over Dirty Toilets" is worth every penny.


  1. All I gotta say is AMEN to that!!!!

  2. i think the "taking it personal" thing is pure genius! i would have never thought of it that way! we've kicked the idea around, and i think if i would have "given in" to the desire when the boys were little, it would have become a part of our life, but they are older now and i can shove them outside to play for hours with little interruption ... plus they are learning to clean now too ... i don't think my husband would go for it now ...

  3. Amen and amen! This is now my advice at bridal showers when you have to go around and give your sage advice. A cleaning lady saves marriages!

    P.S. Dora IS a terrorist! Just kidding. Kind of.

  4. Another post that stole the words directly out of my mouth!! Justin tells me that if he would have known what a GREAT thing it was for our marriage...he would have hired someone a long time ago;) I would SO rather "save" in other areas, to be able to "splurge" on having a clean house, which in turn is my sanity! GREAT post!

  5. My husbands Grandmother gave a us a "cleaning lady" for Christmas this're gift EVER!!!! i think she felt sorry for me and ALL my kids!!!! :) now if i could only find someone to come over and fold and put away my laundry!!!! ;)

  6. Seriously Bethany! That is my next hire. I have already told Nathan that during this year's calendar season {when I am working 12+ hours a day} a laundry fairy will HAVE to arrive!!!

  7. when you find one...please blog how we can mass market her!!!! ;)

  8. My cleaning lady also irons my clothes.
    Pure Bliss.

  9. Oh, I so agree with this! I actually learned it from my mother...however, for some reason she never offered to pay for mine!

    Great blog!