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.
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!
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?