I am so glad I was born in the twenty-first century. And frankly, I don’t know how I would have survived otherwise. Watching Bridgerton made me realize I may have been sent off to the gallows early on in life due to my problem, (or virtue??) of honestly expressing my opinions. But in the 2020s, it is indeed a great time to be alive. Honest conversations about the challenges of motherhood, why mental health is important, how a working mom can be a happy mom are all relatively accepted topics and I am the better for it.
But there is one area that seems to still be taboo. Voices change when talking about. People may look a little differently at you when you admit it.
My name is Katie and I have a somewhat monthly house cleaner.
Maybe I’m showing my class. But growing up I was taught the high value of a hard work ethic, how important it was to take care of your own, but more importantly, to put in the effort yourself. In fact, I still have nightmares from the amount of raking leaves my father made me do every weekend, including on Christmas Eve. Imagine my shock when I visited a friend in junior high and learned about lawn service for the first time.
I went home, angry, and betrayed at my parents for holding such a secret out on me. You mean, I didn’t have to go through this pain and tribulations when there were people you could hire for it?! I’m pretty sure my father just laughed at my younger pre-teen self. “That’s not in the budget,” he explained. “We have to do it ourselves.”
This stuck with me naturally and definitely applied to housework as well. But if we’re honest, I was never one that was, well, particularly good with housework. As many of my old roommates can attest to – sorry Joan, Ellie, Emily, Erin, Haley!
As with most things, babies changed the whole game. The laundry piled up in ways I have never seen before. The amount of bottle washing was overwhelming. And then you had a little person to attend to, recycling the same routine every three hours. Pump, change diaper, feed, burp, sleep, wash pumping tools, wash bottles – repeat. It was hard to find time to use the bathroom or shower, much less keep up the house. Things got a little better as she grew, but then, not really. A mobile child means messes everywhere. I’ve learned the hard way of picking up a toddler’s toys in front of their faces – they instantly want to undo all the progress you made and play with said toys.
But you guys, I am tired.
Full-time work plus child rearing is enough to wipe me out, and finding or mustering the energy to also clean house feels like a tough task. Both my husband and I are exhausted at the daily grind and some months just need another hand. A hand that belongs to a house cleaner that is. When we made the initial investment, there was an instant improvement. We had more time to tackle other chores and childcare duties. We also got a little bit of our sanity back.
I know it probably sounds like a luxury. And it may even feel like you are failing if you even consider it. But for some families, it really is a godsend. A brief respite that helps you get the rest of your to-do list done.
And there is no shame in that. If you’re waiting to be told it’s okay: hear me out loud and clear! Your life may change for the better because of it.