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My dirty little secret

Why is this hard for me to admit? I have a secret. And it’s literally a dirty one. And I’m not saying ‘literally’ incorrectly in this case. Like, it’s legit dirty. I’m a sucky ass housekeeper. I thought I was okay, but I’m not. I am so not okay.

my dirty little secret by frugalista blog

Here’s another thing that’s hard to admit. We hired a housekeeper. This is a twofold emotion. 1) I feel amazing euphoria about the idea of someone cleaning for me and then coming home to what looks  like magic elves worked and made my house sparkle. 2) I feel enormous failure at doing what I’m supposed to be doing as “homemaker” and I feel terribly self conscious about my filth.

Apparently I don’t feel awful enough about reason #2 for it to make me forget reason #1 and just do the work myself.

You see, I thought I could handle it. I can’t. The cleaning part, I mean. I dust sometimes. I clean bathrooms, sure. And I’ve been known to clean my shower naked (settle down), but scrubbing baseboards, wiping door knobs and cleaning under the stove? Those are all foreign to me.

How am I supposed to feel when poor Marta (names have been changed to protect identities) picks up my electric stove burners and there’s crusted, charred food remains? I was walking by her to get a glass of water just as she did that. I gasped. I told her I was sorry and didn’t know that those things could come out. Well, truth is, I did know, but I think something happened that caused me to have amnesia about it, because I haven’t done that in well over a year and never in that year even thought to.

This is after she’s taken over 2 hours to clean what I thought was the ‘clean’ part of my house. The living room where no one goes in that just has our Christmas decorations. I figure, what’s a little bit of dusting and vacuuming? She cleaned the blinds, the light fixtures, polished the piano… it exhausts me just typing this. I never saw her stop and check her Instagram or sit on the couch with a donut and coffee.

Which face it- is what is primarily my house cleaning problem. I’m like a two year old and I get easily distract… OH look, something shiny!

See?

Or Doug in the movie Up, I just can’t seem to….SQUIRREL!

I haven’t been diagnosed with adult onset ADD but there’s a slight possibility I range on that spectrum.

I’m pretty sure Marta passed her non ADD quiz with flying colors because I left for the store and 30 minutes later she was still scrubbing that stove. She doesn’t get distracted but continues with a job until it’s done. Even this blog post took me several hours to write because I kept getting interrupted. With my mind.

Apparently she does take water breaks. I offered her some because I didn’t want to look like a complete asshole while I sat on the couch with my laptop, and she said she brought a water bottle she drinks from. Well, THAT makes me feel SOOO much better. Considering while she worked, I sat on my couch, drank a Starbucks chestnut praline latte, ate a piece of ginger bread loaf and then later for lunch had a burrito. I am the worst white mom cliche of the burbs if there ever was one.

In my sheer mortification over the messy state of my house, when I thought it was clean mind you, I went upstairs to start cleaning my bathroom before she got to it. I had picked up all the junk and bottles and lotion and shit, around the bathtub and the counter, but I was feeling terrible. Now this probably is not even a dent to the clean that was to become of my bathroom. And yes, I know you’re thinking, “so you paid someone to come clean, but you cleaned first?” Yes. Yes I did. Now maybe in two weeks when she comes again, I will not pre clean, but just let her go to it and it will be done lickity split because it won’t have 10 years of crud stuck to it.

When she was finished, things sparkled. Blindingly. I couldn’t even see my shower doors and almost walked through them.

Who are these magic cleaning people? Are they even human?

Now I understand when I go to someone’s house and I see how spotless their home is. They must have magic superhuman cleaning people.

My dusting and scrubbing is sub par to Marta’s. Which begs the question, “What do I do all day?!”

If she was paid in how many times I apologized or told her to just ‘give up’ on a particular area already and move on, she would be dripping in Ben Franklins.

But the beauty in all this, is not just to cast a light on my horrible housekeeping that would make Ma Ingalls shudder in dismay, but to motivate myself to be better. I want to be tidier. I want to keep things clean. My kids do too. We’re just lazy about it. Now we’ve got a great start and motivation to see things how they should be, and to maintain instead have to completely overhaul.

Oh, and just for the record, I’m never cooking in that kitchen again. It’s too clean to mess up.  I can see myself in the reflection of the appliances. Amazing! And I can’t bear to sit on the couch because there’s vacuum track marks along the upholstery. Have you seen such a site?

 

Housework while naked

Recently I told readers on my Facebook page that I clean the shower while I’m taking a shower. I thought that was a weird trait of mine.

Over 50 people commented to say they do the very same thing! So either you guys are just as weird as me, or the Good Housewife’s Manual forgot to write a chapter on naked housework.

Here I thought I was so extraordinary, so special, to be the kind of person that takes my cleaning products into the shower with me. But no! Apparently, it’s a THING.

Sure that’s just a small sampling of people. But just think, I bet there’s thousands of us women, taking in our scrub brushes, grout toothbrushes, Scrubbing Bubbles, Magic Erasers, into the shower with us. Our spouses should be so jealous of that hunky Mr. Clean.

I even learned a few cleaning tricks to help improve my cleaning experience. Fill a spray bottle with Dawn mixed with water and it works better than the bleachy fumy stuff. I will try this.

If you’ve read about my shower escapades in the past (such as this post here) , I’m not a fan of sexy shower time. It’s dangerous, someone could get hurt, and it’s just NOT sexy if you ask me. Not in my tiny, grimy shower stall anyway.

Back to cleaning in the shower.

I’m sure it’s not pretty to see me hunched down with a raggedy old tooth brush trying to get the black moldy crud out of the door track with my conditioning hair mask  on my head and my cucumber exfoliating mask on my face and I’m naked. No special sexy lighting here. Just, well, yeah…

This lead me to wonder what other chores I could/should do naked. And the list was short. Very short. Like, this was the ONLY chore I will ever do naked. Here’s a list of chores I will NEVER do naked:

Frying Bacon. Do I even need to explain this one? I get grease splatters on my arm and midsection enough when frying ANYTHING so I will not be exposing my tender nethers to this task.

Cleaning the oven. We all know the dangers and horror stories of cleaning an oven and how housewives have been found asphyxiated by the fumes of oven cleaner. Can you imagine cleaning your oven naked only for the first responders to come to your house and you’re sprawled out naked? Ew.

Boiling noodles. I’m terrified of spilling boiling water on myself, pets, or kids. I’ve heard terrible stories of children burned from a mom carrying a boiling pot of noodles to the sink to strain and the child getting under foot and then having to be airlifted due to their injuries. Yes, I’m dramatic and have a vivid imagination.

Washing windows. I plan on not giving any voyeurs in my neighborhood more than an eyeful, so yeah. No explanation needed there.

Folding laundry. This just in: I asked Emma what chores I shouldn’t do naked. She came up with folding laundry because she says she doesn’t want me to fold her shirts against my naked chest. My boobs are germ free, I’m not sure what her problem is. Oh well.

Bathing the cat. The cat doesn’t enjoy getting washed. Der. So I would risk a nip slice from his Wolverine-like claws. We don’t want that.

Cleaning the gutters. I can’t imagine a more disgusting job, let alone doing it naked there has to be risk of catching some sort of venereal disease. I don’t know if venereal disease harbors in gutter muck, but I’m not taking any chances.

So there you go. McSweetie is already disappointed that I have made it clear there will not be any more chores naked.

I can only do so much folks.

I’m off to go scoop a cat box. Clothed!!

 

 

 

What got me all sporky last week- cleaning the Girl’s room.

I know. I’m a horrible mother. I let my children just have their way and leave their shit out everywhere. They don’t make their beds. They have piles and piles of crap. It’s like an episode of hoarders in their rooms. Minus the rat feces and ferrets living in an arm chair.

My friend was coming to stay with us and she was to sleep in Emma’s room. I couldn’t imagine her in there in the state it was. Let alone, you couldn’t even see the floor to put an air mattress on it for her daughter. So I was going in. We are talking, rubber gloves, Haz Mat suit, Asbestos mask, the full meal deal. It was necessary.

This is what I was faced with:

The problem was, Emma doesn’t part from her things very well. She’s sentimental. There were dolls, Polly Pockets and journals from 1st Grade. She’s in 7th Grade now people! She is also very lazy. She doesn’t put away her clothes. They are just all over the room. Not in drawers, not on hangers, not even in the dirty clothes hamper. Just …. everywhere. Sometimes, I’ll find a sock on her book case. Or a  rogue pair of underwear she tossed will be sitting on her window sill. Really.

It took me two days of just pulling stuff out of drawers, from under the bed, out of the closet, and making the choice of- toss it, or keep it. I drove to Goodwill with 8 bags of clothes and crap and 3 boxes of books and knick knacky shit.

I put the other bookcase in Owen’s room. He’s a book hoarder. That’s better than most kids, so I’m okay with that.

Once I vaccumed, washed the bed (even the dust ruffle!), put everything back together again- I felt amazed. And clean. And tired. Very tired.

I told McSweetie that I did such a good job I’m going out to buy myself a present. One guess what his reaction to that was.  Yeah, you’re right- he rolled his eyes.

So here’s the big reveal. Pretend it’s the Nate Berkus show and I’m waving my magic wand. Cue tinkly chime music-

Next on the list- my home office.

Holy crap, we are frickin’ slobs!

The most random post ever- but also back to school stuff.

Right now my brain is like Steven Tyler’s testicles. I can’t imagine there is anything going on in there that makes sense or hasn’t been deadened by drugs. Oh wait- I don’t do drugs… so there proves my randomness. My brain is healthy, not some 70 year old’s scrotum sac.

The kids go back to school tomorrow. It’s a gorgeous day outside. I’m feeling a writer’s block. Or maybe I’m just constipated. I can’t tell which.

There’s the angel on my shoulder saying, “Those sweet children are off in the world again. Getting on that school bus to an instution of their peers and authorities that will shape their minds and mold them towards their future.”

Then there’s the devil on my other shoulder saying, “Sweet cheese and rice,  those urchins are outta here! Let’s watch Vampire Diaries and throw away all their shit!”

Well, it’s going to be a combination of the two.

I’m going to watch some Vampire Diaries. A guilty pleasure of mine, okay, not so guilty, that I will not let Emma watch. Yes, she gets away with a lot of things on Youtube and movies (I’ve let her watch Bridesmaids with me and she cracked up, don’t judge) but, the sex and crazed adolescence of Vampire Diaries is something I’d  like to preserve her innocence of for a little while longer.

I am going to clean under their beds and in their closets. The 12 year old still has bins of Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop in her closet. Not to mention the oodles and oodles of Bitty Baby clothing and American Girl accessories. Those will all go in sacred storage. When she moves out, I will have a  room in the house dedicated to dolls and cats so I will bring it out of storage for display. McSweetie doesn’t know this yet- but it’s going to happen. Therefore I’m keeping all things American Girl. Okay, I’m not really going to have a room dedicated to dolls. I’m keeping them for my future grandchildren. I will be having more cats though. This is certain.

Where was I…. oh yes, Steven Tyler’s balls… no wait… not that. Oh yeah, kids back to school.

SO this is how it’s going to go. The kids will go back to school. I will get some light house work done. I will watch whatever the fuck I want to on TV and not have to tolerate Spongebob, Adventure Time or Gravity Falls. I will get a Frappuccino at Starbucks and lick the whipped cream off by myself and not have to share it. I will go to the store, Target, Sephora, Whole Foods… whatever… and take my own sweet damn time. No whining, no begging. None of that. Only I can whine or beg. With myself.

So here’s some pics of my sweet chillins’  off to school years ago:

This is my list of things to do this week:

Namaste bitches.