No truer words have ever been said, to me
'Don't waste your money on getting a counselor - just hire a house cleaner'
In the midst of raising 3 kids, being a wife, a homemaker and business owner - I was stretched thin. I was trying to juggle our lives and was failing. Realizing this during a meeting at my sons school, his teacher said those exact words to me. Instantly, I felt a sigh of relief. Hiring a house cleaner doesn't make me a bad mom? Nope. This was not the kind of mom I was. I had never had a problem prior, cleaning my own home - not to mention the dungeon basement suite we lived in. Nor was it really in our budget at the time - those hours add up.
We have now had one for 1.5 years and I some days don't know what we would do without her. Now, more than ever. She has gone on maternity leave to welcome her own babe, into this world, and three weeks in I am feeling the sting. As mothers we are expected to do it all, always. I cannot possibly do it all - and that is okay. Having something as simple as a house cleaner took a huge stress off my shoulders. It meant my husband and I could sit, in the evenings, and enjoy one another. It meant weekends were spent doing family activities more. It meant I was happier. I no longer was debating, during nap time 'Should I work on my certifications, or clean the bathroom?'.
We all have those few things we do to make our lives easier.
Crock pots? Heck yeah. Take out - Yes! Starbucks - oh god...please! Pour me another. A roomba - who needs to vacuum!
It is okay to do and have these things, if it means we get an extra 5 or 40 minutes in our day to ourselves - it's worth it. Being less stressed and less busy will lead to making a happier you. And a happier you, is a happier family. No one wants a stressed out mama - no one! I also really liked that our cleaner, was a newly married young woman who was working on a family of her own. I felt good about supporting her business, knowing what she was about and trying to build her self up, being new to our town. My boys learned to know who she was, and we all developed a soft spot in our hearts for her. She was so calm, friendly, and did her job really well. I am proud to have developed a great relationship, with her, and will be her doula in the coming weeks to help her family welcome their first child. She has become more than just someone who hired out for help, when we needed it.
There is no better time to think about hiring a house cleaner than in the weeks following having a new baby, too! Maybe this is your second or third and you don't need any gifts - a gift card for a house cleaner is the perfect gift! Heck - it's a good gift for anyone at any point in their life. Who doesn't love a break from cleaning every once in a while. Bringing one in can give you that extra time to snuggle your new one, rest your healing postpartum body and get the rest you so desperately deserve.
I will tell everyone who asks - don't knock a house cleaner till you try one. Not in the budget? Try and make some room. Cut back a few other things in your lives and see if there is wiggle room - even if they only come once a month. You deserve a break! A few small ways to not break the bank and save, for one:
Swap your daily coffee at Starbucks for a home brew
Meal plan and ingredient share to cut back your grocery bill - and coupon!
Walk to the store/for activities when possible
Do a house purge and sell any items that you have no need for anymore
Swap your cable for Netflix or an Apple TV/Android box
Another great option is to trade with other moms in your area. It takes a village - and there are many avenues to support one another. Childcare, meal trains, house keeping to carpooling - the options are endless! We all need a little help, from time to time, and we should all know we have the support systems we need when those times arise.
Kayla is a mom to three sons, wife, and doula. She works within the Shuswap/Okanagan Region providing mothers and their families with a whealth of knowledge and support in all things fertility, pregnancy, birth and beyond.