When I got laid off ages ago, I had a 9 month old baby and was pregnant with my second child. It seemed that the best option at that time was for me to stay home for a while taking care of my children.
It was during this time, when I was clearly overwhelmed, tired and confused that I fired the cleaning lady to cut costs. I figured that I could take care of the housekeeping since I would be home with two babies with nothing else to do but clean.
Little did I know that housecleaning is a full-time job in itself.
Little did I know that when you are home with kids you have to clean the kitchen alone, 3-5 times a day.
Little did I know that when you add to that the laundry, going to the grocery store and cooking dinner, and just the necessary picking up of toys so you don’t actually fall and break your leg, the entire day is gone.
Little did I know that if I could carve out a spare minute in the day I might want to take a nap or a shower and that any frivolous extra cleaning would be too much.
Little did I know I effing hate cleaning and I don’t want to be a housecleaner.
Come to find out – I want more from life than mopping floors and vacuuming.
So, maybe dusting, scrubbing grout, or cleaning the windows fell by the wayside a bit. Maybe the kids put fingerprints on the walls and scribbled on the refrigerator and I didn’t get a chance to wipe it off. Maybe they press their mouths and hands on the front glass door and I don’t think to Windex it afterwards, maybe the spill Cheerios and I know some goes under the couch but I don’t feel like moving furniture……
Before you know it you are living in a shit-hole.
And P.S. – in the midst of the life of a stay-at-home mom – with the feeding and the nursing and the diapers – I don’t actually give two shits if there’s dust in my dining room or a stray cheerio under my formula-stained couch.
And P.P.S. – I didn’t go to college to sit around and wipe butts and empty the dishwasher - and I actually don’t really feel like cleaning the windows or cleaning the top of the refrigerator.
Even when I would put my best foot forward – and really try to keep up with the housework - what actually would end up happening is that the mess would never go away. Despite my best efforts – my housecleaning duties and chores NEVER get done completely.
I was complaining about this – years ago – to one of Mr. Gaga’s aunts.
Mr. Gaga’s aunts and mother typically spend 11 hours a day drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and playing scrabble, so there’s lots of time to chat.
“I just feel like I clean one room, then I go to the next room and clean that, and then when I go back to the first room it’s dirty again. I can’t ever get anything done, my house is perpetually trashed…it’s impossible.”
Aunt Cathy looked at me and said in her raspy voice :
“You know I used to be like you – and I used to drive myself crazy keeping the house clean. One day I was cleaning the curtains and my sisters called me to see if I would meet them at the park with kids. I told them that I had planned to clean the curtains and I couldn’t make it. ”
They said “Cath – your kids will remember that you took them to the park – they won’t remember how clean your curtains are.”
Aunt Cathy took a deep drag from her cigarette and exhaled a huge cloud of smoke and stared at me….”I never cleaned again.”
And sadly for Mr. Gaga and my kids- after Aunt Cathy told me that story I never cleaned again either. ( Thanks Aunt Cathy – when you explained to me how unimportant cleaning was – that was the best day of my life!!!)
Well – I mean basic cleaning if I can; and I clean my toilets daily because I have two boys that seem to squirt pee everywhere except inside the actual toilet.
So – essential cleaning – but never will I stay in the house on a nice day when I could bring Sam to the park or skip a playdate or a trip to the library.
Cleaning is really not my cup of tea.
My brother (who happens to have a cleaning lady, and a relative who comes over and has been known to clean the inside of their refrigerator and do their laundry!!!! and has one magical baby that doesn’t make a mess and is only in the house a few hours a day) – finds my lack of cleaning offensive.
A couple of weeks ago I asked him why he thought he was a better parent than I was.
“Well – I guess because I care more about living in a clean environment than you do…” he said.
“Shut up!! What’s dirty in my environment?” I yelled.
“Well your toilets for one….”
“I CLEAN MY TOILETS LIKE EVERYDAY!!!! You don’t understand my life.”
But it got me thinking….maybe he’s on to something….having other people clean his house and then taking the credit for it and judging other people’s dirty homes.
I have been working a lot lately – I am not really technically a “stay-at-home” mom all the time any more……
I pretty much went back to work …..and I FORGOT TO REHIRE THE CLEANING LADY!!!!!
What an idiot I am - I have to find a cleaning lady!! I can totally carve out some money out of my budget for this important service!!
It’s only fair to the kids and Mr. Gaga that they live in a clean home, and fair to me that I not spend every minute of my life scrubbing a toilet.
I was thinking about it on my way home from work yesterday.
I thought – well I will definitely get a cleaning lady at least every two weeks. That will only be about $150.00 a month, and well worth it.
We have no big expenses coming up – Sam is almost done with preschool – HOLLA!!!!! and so it seems like it should be fine to spend money on this…….
But then again – I could hold off for a little while and if I save the $150.00 a month for three months that could go towards a dose of Botox which is badly needed or a pair of really nice shoes…..hhhmmmm…
I was mulling this over as I pulled into the driveway……
I went around back to talk to Mr. Gaga about my great new plan – and to say hi to the kids who are usually playing on their swing set.
This is the scene I was expecting to see:
But instead I found this……..
I ran inside.
“Ummmm…..what is going on outside??” I demanded of Mr. Gaga.
“Oh – yeah – that…..Well it seems that the wood was rotted and the whole thing snapped while the kids were swinging. So I had to take the whole thing apart.” he calmly answered. “I guess we will have to get a new one.”
“A new one? A good swing set is like $3000!!! ” I whined.
“I know – it sucks.” he replied.
“But I want shoes!!!” I cried.
He rolled his eyes. ”I was just so happy that nobody was hurt, that could have been really bad – the whole upper beam just snapped.” he said shaking his head with worry.
“Yeah, yeah – that’s totally scary……I need new sunglasses too by the way….and shoes…….and a cleaning lady……” I whimpered and threw myself on the couch.
“What if God forbid someone else’s kids were here and they got hurt?” he asked.
“I don’t want someone else’s kids here – I want a cleaning lady, and shoes!!!” he left the room disinterested in my antics.
I turned to the kids who were watching Spongebob.
“Children – are you upset about the swing set?”
“Yes – but Daddy said you would get us a new one,” said Michael not taking his eyes off of the screen.
“What if you could have a clean house but no swing set?” I asked nonchalantly, “Which would you pick?”
“Swings!” they both answered.
“UUGGGHH” I leaned back on the couch and stared at the ceiling…….and noticed the cobwebs in the corner of the room……
So when do I ever get to have a clean house or a beautiful shoe on my foot??
WHEN AUNT CATHY??? WHEN?????
I know you probably don’t feel bad for me because I don’t have a new $600 pair of Gucci sandals…..but for the love of God did you see that broken swing set????? Please click the banner below to make me feel better XO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA