Last year at some stage, I was reading organisation/house-keeping tips somewhere (I can never remember where I read everything!) and something struck a real chord with me - the general notion was about giving yourself permission to ask for help. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by all of the jobs that need to be done, and the subsequent feelings of guilt we feel when everything is not up to date, sometimes we just have to admit that things ARE too much and we need a little help.
It got me thinking... I work long hours (as do most people in today's world!). I have always had systems in place to keep up with the housework, like daily and weekly chores, which I do each afternoon. When we first moved in together many moons ago, I used to spend my Saturday mornings cleaning... That worked for us then. But quite a few years back, I decided to re-claim my weekends and allocate certain jobs to each day of the week. It works when life isn's too hectic, but we all know that there are busy times and even the best laid plans fall by the wayside!
Delegating to my darling husband just wasn't an option. He is not a fan of housework - AT ALL! Besides, we have always had the arrangement that he does the outside (which is massive - over 2 acres!) and I do the inside. This is our deal and I wasn't about to change it.
So, I reviewed the budget and realised that I could afford the indulgence of a house cleaner! Hmm - I had never considered it ever before. Growing up, my mum had been a stay at home mum with us girls, and we had never had a house cleaner. (Mum was the house cleaner!) In fact, Mum did cleaning for other people to get extra money from time to time. So, I didn't really understand the whole concept. I guess I had the pre-concieved idea that people who have help can't cope or they are the ones who HATE cleaning! I wasn't about to admit that I couldn't cope and I certainly don't HATE cleaning - quite the opposite! I find cleaning so rewarding... when I have the time to do it.
Time to change my perspective - I decided to give it a go! And to make the situation just perfect, my beautiful mum jumped at the chance to be our 'fairy god mother-in-law' (as my husband calls her now!). It's just like magic! We come home one day a week to find everything sparkling! Wow!
So, this is how it works. Mum comes for 2 hours one day a week. She does the floors (vaccuum and mop) - which is just heaven for me, since we have a big floor of cream tiles, and a husband who refuses to take his shoes off inside!
Then she does the bathrooms, another treat for me, since our bathrooms are old and certainly are not easy to clean. And that pretty much takes two hours. She also takes my ironing home and does this for us too.
I have no guilt about a dirty floor, dirty bathrooms or an overflowing ironing basket anymore! It is so amazing the difference that I feel by just having these few jobs done for me. And the best part is that I know I can trust my cleaning lady (no stranger in the house!), she does a fabulous job - everything is always sparkling, and I know that the money I am paying she is saving for something special in her life. It is nice to feel like I can contribute as my parents prepare for their retirement :)
Obviously, I still have my daily, weekly and seasonal jobs to do - those things don't go away! I still try to pop the Robomaid on to do a quick clean of the floors over the weekend and there is always washing and folding, there are always dishes, there is always zone work (which you can read about here), but we all know that 'mess' breeds 'mess' and 'clean' promotes 'more clean', so even if I haven't done some of my daily or weekly jobs, I don't feel too behind because my floor, bathrooms and ironing are all up to date!
I am so glad that I gave myself permission to ask for help. Now I have more time for organising projects, decorating, blogging, scrapbooking, sewing, baking, crafting and fun with family and friends! But the best part is not having that nagging feeling that I am behind with these chores. It really is something that I have done to be kind to ME! What have you done lately that has been kind to YOU??