feather dusterWell, I don't know if it's because I sent a text message that she'd missed some spots, or if it's because she's dealing with some personal problems, but my housekeeper has up and disappeared.

After the first week of panic, and the second when the realization hit that I was going to have to locate a mop, the dust has settled (so to speak), and I found out something pretty shocking about myself.

I actually like to clean, and don't miss her much at all.

First of all, "housekeeper" is a strong term for what we have. It's really someone who comes in every other week to do the big stuff -- the floors, bathrooms, dusting, and deep cleaning. I mange the day-to-day pickup fine (most of the time), but it's the big stuff that seems to get neglected when life gets busy. And oh how I love coming home to a house that's all clean, all at once ... for a few minutes any way.

It's definitely a luxury, and one I've felt guilty about from time to time, as I certainly didn't grow up with one. But with two kids, a nearly full-time job, volunteer responsibilities, and at least a modest attempt to keep my sanity, we decided years ago that it was an expense we would work into our budget, even if it meant cutting elsewhere because it was worth it.

But now, that I've been doing the cleaning for a month or more myself, I'm starting to see some benefits ... beyond just the financial savings.

The fact is that I have always dreaded the day the cleaner comes as much I love it. I won't give out our house key, so someone has to be there to let them in and then lock up. If I go out for a run, I don't want to shower while they're there, or make lunch and get in their way, or have a play date at our house, or so many other things. There's also the whole scramble to get the house clean for the cleaners, which is just so many shades of ridiculous.

And frankly, I've been enjoying doing the cleaning myself. No, really. I like exploring the crevices and underside of my house. I like seeing the spots that haven't gotten the attention they deserve, and attacking them. I find a strong sense of accomplishment in making my faucets gleam.

There's a certain peacefulness in seeing dirt, and being able to wipe it away. Most of life's tasks aren't that simple. So I turn up my music, and I get to work. Of course, with kids underfoot, it's not all that Zen, but I find it hugely satisfying to empty my vacuum canister and see all the dirt I've collected even if they're screaming in the background. 

So we'll see. A friend just gave me the number of her housekeeper, and I'm sure I'll follow up eventually. Probably the next time when life gets hectic, and my faucets are spotty, and the floor hasn't been mopped, and I realize why I hired one in the first place -- lack of time.

Do you have a housekeeper? What do you/would you like about having one?

 

Image via CedarBendDrive/Flickr