Being a dual-working-parent home, we have long been unashamedly dependent upon outside assistance to help with keeping our house clean.
For about 15 years, we employed an older woman named Joyce to clean for us once every two weeks. For the past two years, we've employed a woman named Amelia and her niece Ana, and they clean on that same bi-weekly schedule.
I love coming home every other Wednesday to the faint smell of Lysol.
You know, six people and one cat that takes dumps all over this house live here. So I can't claim that it's any kind of walk in the park to come in here and tidy it up. But every other Tuesday night I DO conduct what I've always called a "pre-cleaning," which means that I walk around every room, picking up random bits off the floor, making sure the cleaning ladies can vacuum without too much trouble.
I run a load of dishes so that there's a bare minimum of dirty ones in the sink. I toss all the loose toys in the toy bins.
The next morning before we walk out, I make sure every toilet is flushed, and I wipe the extra toothpaste and hair out of the sinks. I scoot all of Grayson's toiletries over into a neat row on his side of the sink.
There's no point to me telling you this, except to say that IT COULD BE MUCH, MUCH WORSE. It COULD look like it looks every other day of the week. But I pre-clean out of respect.
And so that they don't just up and quit, as I've told Grayson a hundred times I'm so afraid they will.
When Amelia and Ana first started, they cleaned all three floors of our house (bedroom level, main level and finished basement). After the first couple of months, they left a note saying that the basement was too cluttered for them to vacuum, so they weren't going to do that anymore. That was okay ... it was Grayson's weight room and where he kept all of his books and Cub Scout stuff, and it pretty much stayed a wreck. They didn't reduce their fee, but again, I just didn't want them to QUIT.
Well, would you like to know the very HEIGHT of suburban-mom humiliation? I have a literal picture of it for you.
It's when your cleaning ladies leave you a note like the one I had waiting for me when I got home last night:
Well. I have to give them points for honesty.
No beating around the bush, no sugar-coating the truth. Some people might have said, "With the rising price of gas ..." or "Now that your kids are getting older" or even "Every two years we raise our rates by $5."
Nope, just "YOUR HOUSE IS VERY DIRTY."
Alrighty, then. Message received.
Ten-four. Over and out.
If you need me, I'll just be over here ... in the corner, dead of embarrassment, with all the spider carcasses and dust bunnies.