Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Clean House

Man what a long weekend. Here it is Monday night and I'm still trying to get it together. Our weekend was filled with family, candy, sun, candy, ferry's, candy, baseball and more candy. And can I just say...I did it! Six weeks sugar free!! Sunday I had a piece of coconut cake. ONE piece. Sure it tasted good but what I noticed was that I ate it slowly, instead of inhaling it as I normally would. I was almost afraid to eat it...sounds weird I know.  I had no candy either. Not one piece! And I didn't even want it. Today, I went back off it. I feel better with out it.
So, on a totally different subject...let's talk help. As in hired help. As in nanny's, cleaning lady's, landscapers, etc. Here is a funny story for you. In the last place I lived, my neighbor, who was now living in New England, but was originally from the South, said to me...in her very strong  accent..."You Yankees don't know how to hire help". At first I didn't know if I should take that as a compliment or be offended. After thinking about it for some time...my own personal answer to her question was that if it wasn't so darn expensive to live here maybe I would hire some help. She later went on to tell me that on her wedding day someone gave her a piece of advice that she has always followed. It was to "never grill, and never go to the dump". I grill and I go to the dump. Sure, Steve goes to the dump usually on the weekends but I do go if I need to. I am also pretty darn good on the grill, if I say so myself.

I've never had a cleaning lady...until recently. As in a few weeks ago. I guess a part of me feels that as a stay at home mom..that's part of my job. To clean the house. I have to admit..I'm on the fence about the whole thing. A few people have said to me that they cannot believe I've gone this long, with four kids, NOT having one. Some people think it's a waste of money. Here's what I think. You all know that my "thing" is cooking. And after my lengthy blog about it, you know how time consuming it is. Lately, I've been feeling like I can't keep up with the house...and there is a difference between keeping your house picked up and keeping your house clean. So, I hired a cleaning team to come in and deep clean a few weeks ago. Let me tell you, I didn't want the kids to come in the house. I almost told them to go use the neighbors bathroom. But, of course they had to come in. And 20 minutes later...the house was a mess.

So, is it worth it? I'm not sure really. The frugal Yankee part of me thinks not. But, maybe while Griffy learns to crawl and is eating crap off the floor...

* Cleaning  your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing~  Phyllis Diller


  1. Firstly, well done on the sugar thing! That's so great!

    We had a couple of cleaning ladies a few years ago while I was ill and couldn't do anything myself, but I got really pd off with the amount of bleach used. I try to clean as naturally as possible, but neither the private cleaning ladies nor the companies I tried would use my products even though they clean just as well. Had I not been ill I would have told them to shove it. After all, I paid them to clean MY house, so it should be done the way I want it. It became even more important after I had kids. Now I do it myself. Not always well, but I do it.

    Oops, sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant :)

  2. Way to go on being sugar-free! I feel SO much better off the stuff. I love "help"----and hire one sporadically. For "events." BUT! I do not have small kids that would destroy the work right away. Dunno, darlin. There IS a perverse pleasure in doing it yourself. I don't think I notice anything other than your warm and cozy home. Crumbs or no crumbs!

  3. What did the Easter bunny bring you? LOVE the picture of Griffy. You've got such a great eye.

    About the house cleaning thing--I feel like we're friends, and that I can be honest with you.

    I have "people"--two people--who help me keep my house clean, besides the nine people who live here. And at first, it was embarrassing to admit that I don't do that. But when they come, I feel so productive, because I can do other things that need to be done--super grocery shopping, volunteer at school, read, study, garden, organize, plan a wedding, etc.
    That being said, my biggest fear was that my kids wouldn't learn to clean. Wrong again. They still have to straighten the entire house before they come, and they still have to do the deep cleaning every Saturday, whether or not. The only person whose life it changes is mine.
    And they are worth EVERY PENNY!
    Just sayin'.

  4. I allow myself the luxury of having two maids come "scrub" down my house every two weeks. I started years ago, while I was pregnant because it just got too hard for me to do it myself. I am a neat freak and I can't stand dirty showers and floors. It is worth it to me to have someone else do the really dirty work often, so I can focus more on my family, and myself--be sure to fill up your cup too Pam! In between their cleanings I keep up the house, but again, I leave the grime to them!

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  6. Pam, you are a writer! So fun-enjoy the clean house! I only occasionally have had help-with more regularity the past 2 years-one of the benefits i found was it gave me a leg up and i could stay on top of things better-and I no longer have that with Bo out of work-i am backlogged...simply can;t seem to get it ALL clean in the same day-or lately, even, week!
    Definitely use help for occasions-it s THE WAY to go!Frees you up for cooking and entertaining..and is that Griff in the basket-you MUST share this at the teepee

  7. I'm so with you on this! I've tried to maintain the house since my housekeepers moved back to the Ukraine before Christmas last year. It's not easy! I loved them, had them for ten years and they took care of our boys when we went on trips too....they were a part of the family. If they had time, Alla would make us Plov, a chicken and rice dish, and leave it for us to have for dinner. I miss being kind of "taken care of" like that!
    I've been able to keep it respectable, but nothing like they did. I've thought about having Service Master come out quarterly for deep cleaning, but haven't yet....I can't justify the expense! I don't know who I could ever hire to fill their shoes...miss them so...

  8. Pam, i have a cleaning lady and have always had one. if i didn't have help every other week i would not be able to get out of my own way. 4 kids, a dog, a cat and 3 fish is enough for me to take care of:)
    if you find a good one, grab them and keep them.

  9. I hired a cleaning lady when I had to go to work temporarily... the working didn't stick, but the cleaning lady did!

    Two of my kids have left the nest, only one to go, so I did move my cleaning lady to once a month. I love her, and having her come keeps me organized b/c I do a huge pick up the night before she comes, and after she leaves... HEAVEN.

    Found your blog ftom Tracy Porter. Love it! You make me smile!

    ~Teri @ GirlMeetsParis.blogspot.com

  10. First let me say that I have never grilled nor gone to the dump! I must be living the southern life fo sho!!! I enjoy cleaning and do it myself but I have great yard help on a regular basis depending on what needs to be done,sometimes 3 days a week. I love Mr. Perry and he is too good to be true. I used to have a housekeeper/babysitter combo but the kids are grown and gone now. Don't cheat yourself of time. You need it to be a good mom. Now, I'll take that Easter basket with Griffy inside. xoxo

  11. I've had a cleaning lady AND I've been without for quite some time. Definitely a happier mom with a cleaning lady. The kids take keeping the house tidy for the day she came much more seriously too. I would work beside her while she was here and it was amazing what was accomplished. Never got over the guilt though, and always felt I had to hide it.

  12. I think its wonderful to have someone clean for you once in a while... or everyday! Four kids and cooking delicious meals every night, you deserve it.
    Enjoy it!

  13. Pam, I think it is a very personal choice. Everyone is wired differently, I have friends that have help & have freinds that don't have help. Also, it depends on how much family support you have nearby. Personally I do have a "cleaning lady". She is much more than a cleaning lady, she is a dear friend. She gives me wonderful perspective & support. Not only is my house clean when she is done, but I am also back on track personally. Just remember that you will make the right choice. If you choose yes, you have to promise that you won't feel guilty, because that is a waste of time!

  14. The advice from your southern friend is hysterical. Grilling and going to the dump is a way of life out here in the wild west. In fact, I remember it was a privilege to go to the dump with our grandpa. It was all about riding in the back of the pickup.

    The only time we've had our home professionally cleaned was when our son Sam set the kitchen on fire when he was 19 months old. Most of the damage was from smoke. A crew came in and cleaned from top to bottom, scrubbing every last inch of our home. Did the fabrics, the ducts, carpeting, cabinets, baseboards. Oh, it was nice but I hear there are easier ways to get a house sparkling clean...