We Have a Cleaning Lady and I Love It

We Have a Cleaning Lady and I Love It

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Mark the date: 12 years together as a couple, nine years of marriage, and I finally introduced a new woman into my household. I held out as long as I could. Now, we have a cleaning lady.

My husband grew up with someone coming to clean his childhood home. Also, a great majority of my friends have someone come clean their house now. Although my husband has advocated for a cleaning service since we were engaged, I just couldn’t bring myself to make the call.

Why not? A part of it was feeling pride in keeping my own household. My late grandfather from the “old country” described me as a balabusta and I took a lot of pride in this designation. Therefore, I do the majority of cooking and spend more time than I care to admit searching for the healthiest recipes to serve to my family. I scour circulars for the best deals at the grocery store. I bake challah, baguettes, bread bowls, cinnamon buns, croissant and pain au chocolat from scratch (OK, not everything is super healthy). I quilted blankets for our master bedroom, and my 4-year-old twins’ actual twin beds. I love house projects resulting in creating a cozy and inviting environment. I like feeling as though “I got this” when it comes to keeping house.

When it came to cleaning, I could always find the time. I couldn’t justify the cost of a cleaning service when I know how to wipe down countertops, dust, vacuum, sweep and mop with the best of them. Admittedly, my house is not historically spick-and-span, but we’re not slobs or hoarders. It was presentable and making rules like food stays only in the kitchen makes a world of difference when you have small children.

Fast forward nine years and three kids later, and while I could find the time to give my home a deep clean, the difference now is wavering desire to clean. Yet, my wish for a clean home has conversely increased. For better or worse, now when I have downtime, I want to let go of the nagging feeling of wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces with bleach-like cleaning products. Now I want to spend my free time with my family, friends, or enjoying one of my hobbies (like hiking or biking). I do not want to feel like dust bunnies are mocking me or hear crumbs between the couch cushions calling me to be vacuumed. My husband is a huge help domestically and does his share of laundry, the vast majority of dishes and toilet-scrubbing. But like me, he likes the finished product of a clean home, but not the time and effort required. With age, our time is more valuable than the cost of hiring a cleaning lady.

So last month, I got a recommendation from a friend and welcomed a cleaning lady into our home. She comes once a month to do a deep clean and complimentary de-spiderizing of the basement (it’s in our contract) and I love it. Once a month, the smell of cleaning products greets me as I walk into an exceptionally clean home after the often frenzied pre-K and afterschool care pick-up. It feels really good.

Truth be told, I am beginning to feel like a dolt for waiting so long to make the leap. But I’ll pivot and say I appreciate the end product so much more because I have held out this long.

The best part is my 6-year-old and 4-year-old twins now maintain a tidier bedroom! Now they see the benefit of putting away the toys in their rooms. I wish I could say I taught them this, but credit goes to the cleaning lady. She has brought so much goodness in to my home. Balabusta or not, I’m a happy mama.

About the author

Michelle Dickstein is a Midwest transplant from the East Coast with her husband. Michelle has her Masters of Public Health and works full-time outside of the home. Michelle writes about her adventures in life as the mother of three adorable and curly-headed young daughters, two of which are identical twins. In addition she writes for Northeast Ohio Parent magazine, blogs (Emailing with My Girlfriends and Kveller) and has made appearances on CBS 19 and Fox 8 news as a lifestyle and parenting "expert" (whatever that means)! Michelle is co-authoring a book (and looking for a literary agent and publisher)!

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