Lots of interesting posts about house cleaners out there today.
A. loves her newly found cleaners.
Laura at 11D feels guilty.
Raising WEG lists a bunch of good political/social reasons why she won't hire a cleaner.
If D. and I both worked full time, we would have a cleaner. Hands-down, I would get over all of my reasons why I don't. Life is too short to spend your entire weekend cleaning. I'd hire a cleaner. Immediately.
But one of the big reasons why I'm *not* working full time is so we *don't* have to outsource big portions of our family life to other people.
I think we are one of 3 families in my entire neighborhood who clean their own houses. I'm not kidding. We are definitely considered odd.
We tried it. We had cleaners for about 5 months after son D. was born. It was nice. But it wasn't for us.
First, really what it was - truly - was a way for me to avoid expressing dissatisfaction that I was doing most of the cleaning at the time. But you know what happened after the cleaning ladies came? My kids ONLY saw females cleaning. In their minds, men didn't clean. At all. So we lost the ladies, and managed to work on an equitable division of labor in the house. Now, the children see that men clean too. Men clean lots.
Second, the chemicals. I clean with non-toxic stuff bought at the local Co-op. I don't use the chemical-laden stuff. The cleaning ladies used chemicals and more chemicals. I don't want that toxic stuff in my home.
Third, one of our big philosophies in life is that "life is messy" and "you mess it up - you clean it up." A home that is perfectly clean 100% of the time is beyond our ability. But...we all clean up what we mess up.
Fourth, we all work together to clean. My kids scrub toilets. They mop floors. They vacuum. They dust. Not well - don't get me wrong. But we do it together. They think it is a blast. While other kids are growing up with a vision of cleaning as this horrible chore to avoid at all costs, our kids actually think it is fun.
Fifth, the cost. It just seems silly to pay that much for cleaning - when it is so easy to do yourself. (IF you have time.)
And finally, human beings need physical movement. I'm not going to say that cleaning your house is an enjoyable way to get fit. It's not. But it is manual labor. For me, it is good. I like being active and doing things. I was with a group of mothers at the park. They spent the first part of their conversation comparing/complaining about cleaning ladies. The second part of their conversation was "Oh, if I could only lose 5 or 10 pounds." I held my tongue. (us non-overweight marathon runners are not allowed to comment on anyone's weight. ever.) But in my head, all I could think was "hey - maybe if you did your own scrubbing, you'd tone those arms a bit..." I didn't say it. But I thought it.
The one thing I hear over and over again is how hiring a cleaning lady gives people time to "do something else that matters/is more enjoyable."
I get that. But to me, working together to make our home a clean place - as a family - is a really great way to spend our time. Letting a stranger do that intimate job just felt really odd to me.
But, in full disclosure, this is one of my favorite books.
And I couldn't do anything without the robots. Life without Roomba and Scooba...oh, I can't even imagine.