Recently I lost my virginity. Yep, my cherry got popped. I am no longer a girl whose never had a cleaner, but a wise woman whose going to book one whenever shit hits the fan (or when it hits under the rim of the toilet seat at least!).
I wish I was the type of person who didn’t care so much if my house is a pigsty. Honestly these days it looks like a bomb has hit it, a tornado has gone through it or we’ve just been robbed. It drives me nuts – seriously it gives me anxiety and insomnia! If I could somehow just ignore the untidy mess and the fact that I haven’t cleaned my shower properly in months, or changed my sheets in weeks or dusted the TV unit since…um… maybe before Jacob was born, I’d probably be a much more relaxed mother. But that’s just not me.
I know it really doesn’t matter if my house isn’t clean and tidy all the time, that it only matters if my kids are happy and healthy, yada, yada, yada, I know this, but the truth is they are happier if I am happy and when things are out of control in the house, I just ain’t happy, no matter how hard I try to be. For me, a clear, clean house, gives me a clear, clean mind to focus on what is actually important… the kids.
Which is really a catch 22, because we all know when you have kids (in my case, especially, having just had my third) keeping the place spotless is pretty much impossible. Throw renovating into the mix, as well as being a blogger and maintaining a semi normal social life, the chances of having the house as shipshape as I’d like it is a bloody ridiculous expectation. I know this. I also know I have to lower this expectation given the job is pretty much just up to me at the moment (and the kids should be helping more too of course!) because at the moment my hubby is the one doing all the reno’s plus trying to run his own business, my mum lives 3.5 hours away, my mother-in-law can’t help and my sisters work.
Don’t get me wrong, my friends are truly amazing and always offering to help me but gawd there’s waaaaayyyy too much guilt that comes with a friend trying to help me get on top of my housework when they are in the same boat. “Um… babe, please, you’re not coming over to clean my house, you’ve got your own shit to do!”, (Helen, I’m mainly pointing the finger at you!).
Over the years, when I was working part time, I contemplated, fantasised even, about a cleaner coming to help with the housework. But I just felt too guilty. I couldn’t justify it given I was only working three days (stupid I know!). The same thoughts surface now that I’m on maternity leave. I just feel guilty paying someone else to do my dirty work. Literally, my dirty work needs doing bad, my toilets are always filthy! And yet I wouldn’t think twice about spending that money on something silly and unnecessary for the kids. Of course, these are thoughts so many of us mama’s have. And yet most of us (namely the Type A neat freaks, like myself) tend to scream and yell at the whole family to keep the house clean while we rush around at all hours of the night trying to get things into order.
We think we can do it all, and then we just imagine how nice it would be to have someone, a magical cleaning fairy, come in and make all the chores disappear because we feel too guilty to act on it. This thought, for me, is even more intensified now that I have three kids. Things get out of hand, the house is a pigsty most, if not all, of the time, it’s dirty, it’s messy, there’s washing coming out of my ears (Oh soooooooo much washing!!) and even though I seem to be always home, there’s never enough time to do it all.
So, when local company Sai Home and Community Care, who are based in Frankston, approached us at Mama loves to share and asked if we would like to check out their Mum’s & Babies service, I jumped at the chance. Especially since one of its most recent services involves sending out a carer to help a new Mum get on top of things. What a fabulous idea for a present for a new mum! Scrap the expensive bunch of flowers, this is the best present EVER!
For the first time in my entire life, I had someone I didn’t know come to my home and help me clean. But she didn’t just clean. Oh no, she helped me in so many other ways too. First of all Violet arrived and we chatted about life and parenting and how much we women juggle, how much we have on our plates and how much mama guilt there is associated with receiving help. Then Voilet jumped up and said, “right, what can I do for you, name anything. cleaning, cooking, looking after bubs, do you want to take a nap while I do anything? Go to the shops, go for a walk?” As a Mum with a baby, these words were music to my ears and I nearly started crying.
I gave her a list of things I needed done and while Jacob slept I thought I’d tackle my own to do list (looking back I think why didn’t I just nap??! Why do we always do this?!). While she was here Violet sorted ALL of my washing baskets, brought the washing in off the line, tidied up the whole house, made the beds, vacuumed and mopped the tiles (first time I’d been able to do the two latter jobs together one after the other in EIGHT weeks!! Eeeek I was so excited!!). When Jacob woke up, she then held him while I went and did a couple of other things and one of the most valuable jobs of all, she listened to my whinging and she sympathised. She was like my own personal home counsellor.
The best part though, about the whole service, was, there was NO MAMA GUILT involved. I felt like I could breath again. My house was clean and in order and I didn’t have to feel guilty about it. I deserved it and it felt amazing.
That day I picked up the kids from school and kinder and we went to the park. That day I had time to do a puzzle with them when we got home and read stories to them and build cubbies. That day they told me it was “the best day ever”, and I vowed I would hire help again when I needed it most.
Hmmm, perhaps I should ask Santa for a cleaner this Christmas?
Visit www.saihomecare.com.au for more details.