As a Christmas gift in 2008, my in-laws gave us two housecleaning sessions with the woman they use to clean their own house. I was about a month away from giving birth, so the intent was to help ease the burden of household tasks while we were getting to know our newest family member.
As it turns out, cleaning your house with a newborn around isn’t really that hard. Especially when you have a newborn like ours, who was lulled to sleep by the sound of the Roomba and would have happily hung out in the carrier sling all day long while I put laundry away or washed dishes. The love affair with the Roomba did not wane in later months, by the way:
However, keeping a house clean with a roaming toddler just waiting for your back to be turned so he can swig from bottles of toxic cleaner or smudge his fingers all over the newly-cleaned mirror is a lot more difficult. In addition to that, when the weather on the weekends is as beautiful as it has been, the last thing I want to do is spend the day inside cleaning.
So, I finally called the woman and cashed in the first of the cleanings. I felt a little sheepish admitting that the Roomba provides the only vacuuming our floors see, and that I wasn’t 100% confident that we owned a sponge mop, since we rely on the Swiffer WetJet. I will admit that I spent some time making sure everything was picked up before she came, and that I was a little concerned about what she might report back to my mother-in-law about the things she saw (“You let your grandson live in that house? You wouldn’t believe the dust bunnies under their dresser!”)
When I walked in the door after work, I almost wanted to to take my son out in the backyard and keep him there until college so we never messed up the sparkling perfection that was my house at that very moment. Everything was clean all at once. It was amazing. No streaks on the microwave door, no crumbs on the counter, no dust anywhere. The things on my husband’s dresser were neatly arranged. The floor was gleaming. Unfortunately, it was gleaming to the point where my son could see his reflection in it, which meant that he immediately had to drool all over it and wipe it around a little with his hand.
It didn’t really matter though, because I hadn’t just spent a sunny weekend afternoon cleaning it poorly with the WetJet while not spending time with my son. Instead, a local woman who has kids and is putting herself through school got paid to do it, and did it well. Seems pretty win-win to me.
So, Fabulous Thing #97: Coming home to a clean house.