Monday, December 3, 2012

Clean up - the maid is coming

I hired a maid.

I know I don’t have to justify this decision, but let me justify this decision.

I had surgery recently. A surgery which my son commented that I was making the most of. He even went as far as to say he wished he’d had surgery. I told him that could be arranged.

I work full-time now, and I’m really, really tired when I get home. Real tired. I know plenty of women work and keep their homes neat and their kids fed, but my energy level allowed me to choose one or the other, and the house doesn’t whine.

I can only say this because my grandmother has passed away, but I’m a lousy housekeeper. My grandmother’s house was so clean that my daughter wrote a report about it back in the third grade, stating she had the “cleanest basement in the whole world” and that was no exaggeration.

Today, my daughter has a house of her own, and she said she tries to think to herself, “Is this clean enough for G.G.?” If not, she cleans some more. It obviously skipped a generation or two.

Back to the maid. I hired her through word of mouth. I mentioned to my hairdresser that I was looking for one, and she in turn yelled “Hey, know anyone who cleans?” to her coworker across the room, who in turn gave me a number. That, my friends, is how news travels.

I called her, and we spoke. You’d think I’d be interviewing her, asking her questions about her qualifications, but instead, I spent most of the phone call ensuring her that we’d tidy up before she came and trying to convince her that we really weren’t that bad. I guess I sounded fairly convincing or either desperate enough that she felt sorry for me because she agreed to stop by and give me an estimate.

“Clean up!” I yelled when I got home from work that day. “I’ve hired a maid, and I don’t want her to know how filthy we are.”

“I don’t want anybody but my mama cleaning my room,” my son protested.

I guess I should have been flattered. Instead, I closed his door and told the maid she didn’t have to go in there.

“I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself,” I told her.

She gave her price, and we agreed for her to come the following day. Since I was at work, my husband texted me updates at my insistence. They went something like this.

“She’s here.” – 8:45 a.m.

“Had to unclog the vacuum, twice. There’s enough hair in it to make a wig.” – 9:30
“She’s still upstairs.” – 11 a.m.

“Started on our bathroom” – 12:30 p.m.

“Said she had to leave to get her son. Would finish next time, and, oh yeah, she’s raising her rates.” – 1:45 p.m.

At which point I called him.

“Catch her! Tell her to please come back, please. I’ll pay double!” I said, cursing myself for not telling him to offer her a sandwich and something cold to drink.

Fortunately, we’ve since worked it out. Her original rate was too low, and our house was bigger, and, yeah, messier than she thought. She’s worth every penny and then some. I can’t wait for her to arrive every other week. Even my teenage daughter enjoys it and happily picks up her room so it can be vacuumed. Having a maid has forced us to keep things tidier, which makes me happier and a better mom. I rank the decision to hire her right up there behind getting married and having kids. I just hope she keeps coming back.
As for my son, his room is still quarantined.


Jesse Moore said...

We could use a maid. We would end up cleaning before she shows up too :)

Shawn said...

Hahaha!! Very funny! Love the line "clean up so the maid won't know how filthy we are!" I say if you can afford it, and it works well for your family why not?! Hopefully you'll have more time to do things you enjoy.

coach-daddy said...

Good call to tend to the young first, the house second. I always maintained that in 20 years, I'll miss coloring with my girls on the living room floor, not taking out the trash.

You should also hire a chef. I know a guy.

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Thanks for reading! Good idea on the chef! :)

Crack You Whip said...

I really want a housekeeper, too, and what stops me from hiring someone is I'm too ashamed!

Life gets so busy, though...

TJ Lubrano said...

Hello Hello!! Haha. You sound like such a sweet boss. I think a lot of people have this "bad" image in mind of people who hire a maid. If you can afford it and you treat the him/her well, then why not? ^_^

You definitely need to look out for yourself as well. Hope you're doing great over there! The snow started to fall here, but it melts pretty quickly...for now haha. If I don't talk to you before the holidays...let me just wish you Merry Christmas and have a Fabulous start of 2013! Say hello to your little artist from me please!

TToombs said...

Good stuff, Leigh! I have toyed with the idea of getting a weekly maid but always forget about it when I'm up to my elbows in chores. Hm...I wonder if that would help me get more writing done...I think you've motivated me to research it a little more.

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Thanks, TJ! @TT - Go for it! One of the best things I've done for myself!

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

This line made me laugh out loud: " “Said she had to leave to get her son. Would finish next time, and, oh yeah, she’s raising her rates.” – 1:45 p.m."

I had a cleaning lady that I got when I had my second child because my husband's business expanded and I was about to have a nervous breakdown. I silently kept her for 10 years until she *sob* moved away. I really can't justify hiring another one because my girls are teens now and very helpful . . . if I kick their butts into gear every 10 minutes. We have also justified a cruise and a swimming pool because we "no longer have a cleaning lady." I must have blacked out and she really worked for us for 60 years. :)
BTW, the stress of picking up for the cleaning lady does get to you after awhile and I don't miss that. However, I don't think my house has been entirely clean all at once since she left us.

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Ha! Thank you, Ellen. I wish I could say I made that up. This past Thurs., I shoved everything into the closet before she came. The house looked before as long as you didn't open one of those doors. A cruise and a swimming pool are good trade outs, though. I'd better get my teen and preteen moving!