Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why Hiring a Cleaning Lady has made ME a Better Housekeeper!

I know there are SuperMoms out there who manage to keep a sparkling clean house while working full time and also while on maternity leave – kudos to all of you!  Sadly, I am not one of those moms.  Call me lazy or what-have-you, but I don’t like cleaning, period.  I love the end result, but I certainly don’t love scrubbing floors or putting my hands in dirty toilet bowls – GAG. 

It seems ridiculous, even to me, that now that I’m home all day I have even LESS time to clean the house than I did when I was working full time.  Babies are demanding!  And I want to be able to answer his every demand and sit on the floor and play with him and take him for walks and swimming lessons and all kinds of other fun stuff.  When he does take a nap (which are rarely more than an hour), the last thing I want to do is clean the house.  I want to relax, surf the net, watch a little Corrie or another show that is filling up the PVR or just BE.  Is that selfish?  Probably, but there aren’t very many selfish moments for a mom and we all need them.  I also don’t want to spend those precious weekends with my family cleaning the house or have my husband spend his weekends doing it.

So when we decided to hire a cleaning lady (that sounds so old fashioned, I’m sorry, April), I heard fireworks go off in my head and felt this great sense of relief.  I stress about the state of the house all the time, so much so that it will prevent me from having anyone over.  When guests are coming I am a frantic, bitchy mess (sorry hubs…). 

Speaking of hubs, he does most of the cleaning around here (I can hear those jealous “tsks” right now, ladies).  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve cleaned the bathrooms (other than just a spot clean with a Lysol wipe…).  He is also on fur patrol every week and vacuums the entire house to get up those cat fur tumbleweeds that accumulate in what seems a matter of minutes after said vacuuming has occurred.  Yes, I married the world’s perfect husband.  Amen. 

We’ve only had a cleaning person come a few times now, but it has made me much more  conscious of keeping the house tidy.  Not only do you not want your cleaning lady to think you are a complete slob, you want her to be able to clean without stuff everywhere.  I’ve heard others joke about cleaning before the cleaning lady comes, and it is so true!  Before she comes it forces me to pick things up and put them away, to make the bed (I am guilty of NEVER making the bed), make sure there are no dirty dishes in the kitchen, and maybe take a Lysol wipe or two to the bathroom to spare myself the embarrassment of a dirty bathroom. 

After she has been here, I am much more conscious of keeping the house clean.  I wipe the counters with more vigour, I clean out the kitchen sink after the dishes are done (yah, I know, most of you do this all the time), I wipe any splatters off the stove top (again, yah, yah, I know…), and keep things tidier so it’s not as big of a job the day before she comes again. 

If you are contemplating hiring a cleaning lady, do it.  It’s the best money you can spend.  It gives you time to spend with your family that is so precious (babies are only babies once and as a mom with a teen as well, I know how fast they grow up), and there’s no shame in it!  If you’re in the Hamilton area and are looking for a recommendation, let me know and I’ll hook you up! 

For now, I sign off while I admire my house that was cleaned by someone else today which has given me the time to write this post!  

Me in the bathroom I would rather someone else clean!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


“So that’s definitely him?” a nurse asks my brother-in-law, as if the hysterical sobs indicate otherwise.

We are handed a bag of “personal effects”.  The clothes he was wearing that day (shorts - it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and his shoes, but they must have had to cut or rip open his shirt because it is not in the bag) as well as his glasses, wallet, keys and a ring.  Personal items that belong to a person who is no more.

We arrive at his apartment and although I know which apartment is his in the building I do not remember the number on the door.  I insert the key into the lock and can’t help but feel like I’m trespassing, invading his privacy.  It’s my Dad’s place, but my Dad is not with us and is not inside. 

The living room is neat and tidy.  The plants are healthy and watered, there are photos of us – his family – on his wall.  The dining table has some papers and scribbled notes in his very distinguished and neat handwriting.  A red light flashes on the phone indicating that there are messages that will never be retrieved.

The coffee pot is half full – left over from the last cup of coffee he would have had that morning.  He loved coffee.  Toast crumbs can be found on the counter under the toaster.

A towel hangs on the back of the bathroom door that he would have used for his last shower that morning and his toothbrush and toothpaste are on the counter.  A plethora of prescription bottles litter the counter. Drugs that were supposed to help keep him alive.  I suppose they did their job for awhile.

The comforter is thrown back on the bed he slept in the night before.  Dirty clothes are in a basket and clean clothes are hung neatly and perfectly pressed in his closet.  He won’t wear any of them again. 

His office is furnished with a new desk, filing cabinets and chest of drawers there to help him work at the new business he was so excited about and had just started.  His filing is meticulously organized with every folder labelled and seemingly nothing out of place. 

It feels strange, odd, surreal, wrong to be in his place without him and knowing he will never be back to sleep, eat, brush his teeth, have a cup of coffee or watch TV.

We leave to go home but the emptiness of the apartment travels with me in my heart.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

April Photo a Day Challenge – Complete!

I can’t believe how fast the month of April flew by.  Particularly the last two weeks.  But those two weeks also were the slowest and hardest of my life.  I know, I’m contradicting myself. I do that a lot lately.  But I digress.  As I mentioned in this post, I decided to give the April Photo a Day Challenge a try.  I had fun doing it and would love to do it again, but not right away.  I did miss a few days because of circumstances beyond my control (and trust me, I LIKE to be in control…), but I did pretty well.  

You can check out all of my photos on Pinterest by clicking on this link: