I have a very busy life. Busier now than before – and, although it’s just Hot Mess Hubby and me at home, I haven’t been able to keep up with a lot of things that seem natural to the other women in my family…and some of my friends. It makes me feel guilty. Less than. And like I’ve failed in some way. Today, more than ever, I feel that way about the mess in my own home.
A few weeks ago, I made the decision to hire a maid service to come and do a deep cleaning on my home. For at least the last few years, I’ve let myself spin in a vicious circle that begins every Friday afternoon:
- Get motivated that it’s Friday and I have the weekend to myself
- Decide to use my weekend to catch up on housecleaning
- Get home from work, throw on some comfy clothes, and get crazy with the cleaning tasks
- Go to bed tired, but hopeful
- Wake up motivated and keep pushing
- Greet hubby when he wakes up, let him enjoy his time off…keep cleaning
- Take a break and go stitch or do something else
- Do a bit more housecleaning, get distracted by hubby, feel guilty that I haven’t done more
- Begrudgingly agree to leave the house with hubby because he wants to have lunch or go somewhere. Feel guilty that I left the house messy
- Come home too hot or too tired (or both) to think about more cleaning
- Wake up Sunday promising myself that I’ll clean, but really need a break…go stitch for a bit
- Accidentally get sucked into the damn Law & Order marathon on tv
- Do enough laundry to get us through the work week
- Possibly make dinner…or bake for work…whichever requires that I make a mess in the kitchen
- Spend the rest of the night feeling guilty and talking to Hot Mess Hubby
- Wake up in a house that’s not really clean, feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything, and looking forward to the next weekend when I can “get it all done”
Phew. I suck.
So I’ve finally realized that housework is something I’m not great at…and the only time I’m really organized is when I’m at work. My house is never going to look like Pottery Barn. I have a Saint Bernard, a Saint Berdoodle, and a very fat cat…and, less than a year ago, a 21 year old tabby cat that peed pretty much wherever she damn well felt like it. My sweet girl (she really was a sweet girl) went off to Rainbow Bridge, late last year. I imagine she’s probably peeing on it.
As I write this, I feel guilty and disappointed. There are two maids in my house. They’ve been here for three hours…which is the amount of time a deep cleaning is supposed to take. One of them has spent all her time in the master bathroom and the other has spent all her time in the kitchen. When they came in, they went on and on about how my house wasn’t that bad…and yet it’s taken two professional maids three hours to even begin to clean the crud off of the crud that’s on my crud….in only two rooms of my house.
The guest bathroom isn’t done. The blinds aren’t done. Nothing is dusted. I keep feeling like I might hear sobbing coming from the master suite soon. Spray, spray, spray. Sob. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Sob.
I’ll bet right now you’re wondering whether I’m going to finish this blog before they’re done and then you’ll have to go to bed wondering what the hell ever happened. I’m not, don’t worry…but if I don’t sit here and do something while I’m obsessing over what these total strangers think of me as a person, I’ll go crazy. Crazier.
So I guess I’ll leave this here for now and pray these women aren’t ready to poke a Hot Mess Voodoo Doll to death with their cleaning tools…
*Pause while I await my doom…*
Okay, I’m back! Were you wondering what happened? Well…I’m here to tell you.
Although they predicted that 3 hours and 2 maids would be enough to make my house sparkle, it took 2 maids 5 hours to get it to be…presentable. It’s not their fault that my house doesn’t sparkle. It’s the cheap flat paint that needs to be painted over…and the knicked up baseboards from giant doggies running in their sleep…and the horrible carpet that we refused to replace while the 21 year old peeing princess was still alive. Those things must all be dealt with, but for now…
My house smells clean. The kitchen is cleaner than it’s been in 9 years. I know because that’s when my brother and sister in law visited and their house DOES look like Pottery Barn, so HMH and I cleaned for days before they came.
My living room is dusted, everything is wiped down, and the fake plants aren’t dirty anymore (don’t judge me for having plastic plants…I can’t keep anything without a face alive). The carpet under our bed is vacuumed, much to Hemi the cat’s extreme displeasure. She came waddling out from the bedroom with a distinct “What the fuck is going on here!” look on her face. She is now curled up on the bed with her Chewbacca toy…plotting my death.
I still feel guilty. It was $265 well spent, and yet I feel guilty for needing the help. I am not perfect. I can’t do everything myself. And I’m realizing now that life is too short to have such expectations of myself. Going out to lunch with my husband, or curling up in my stitchy chair and enjoying a good storm outside, is worth a lot to me. More than ever.
So I guess I have something else to do now: accept the gift that I’ve given myself and stop worrying about what these strangers must have thought of my disgusting floors…and my skeezy shower. And maybe put my damn laundry away for once.