I have hired a cleaning lady. This has been on my unwritten life-list for maybe three or four years but definitely became a much higher priority since Gwen. It also seems so much more reasonable to insist that it is worth the cost to hire someone to clean so that our weekends can be spent on "family time". Never mind that yesterday's statutory-holiday-enforced "family time" involved no nap, defiant rule-breaking, and repeated ponderings on just how early we could put the kid to bed. I DIGRESS.
Chris has always been less enthusiastic about the cleaning person. It seems to be a mix between "we could spend the money on better things," "it's weird to have someone in our house when we're not here," and "I'm so not ready to admit that we are never going to magically turn into the kind of people who clean our house every week." All valid. But in the meantime, the house got very very dirty, a phenomenon that only seems to bother me, and finally I put my foot down and said: "My car is paid off. My trip to Vegas is paid off. I am hiring a cleaning lady with my own money. The end."
I posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone, and a vague acquaintance I've met only a couple of times piped up that actually, she cleans houses, and is looking for clients. I was happy to hire someone I sort of know as it easily skirted many of the problems stemming from the "it's weird to have someone in our house when we're not here" thing. Further, she's a mom, and I like that for two reasons. First, she gets that our priority is parenthood, not housework. Further, I'm happy to be financially contributing to her household in a time when options may be limited with young kids at home. We moms have to look out for each other, y'know?
But it got even better when she came to clean. Oh, you guys. I swear, our house breathed a giant sigh of relief, as if a nagging itch had finally been scratched. We weren't living in filth or anything, but ... well. It really, really needed to be cleaned. And our wonderful cleaning lady did an incredible job, not only with the cleaning but with the ... I don't even know what to call it. She just has this touch. She turned down the beds, she arranged the towels in the bathrooms as if we were in a hotel, she arranged Gwen's books by size on her shelf. Chris's review? "I think we could get used to this!" Hallelujah, the boy done been converted.
Walking into a magically cleaned house is pretty awesome. Hearing Chris say that he appreciates my wisdom in the matter was very gratifying. But the best moment, the absolute best part of all of this, was two days after The Big Clean, a Saturday morning after a completely ridiculous work week involving hundreds of kilometers of travel and one night in a hotel. It was the moment when Chris got off the couch, put his hands on his hips, and announced, "Well, I guess I'll do the laundry. It's only fair, since you are paying for the cleaning lady." There are no sweeter words, and he held true to them, doing three loads of laundry from start to finish. I didn't do one single chore all blessed weekend. CAN I GET AN AMEN.
It only occurred to me a few days later that I have successfully outsourced two of my Wifely Duties. I have someone looking after Gwen during the day while I work. Now I have someone else cleaning the house. I figure if I can just manage to hire a chef and a concubine, I will be living the dream.