Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My dirty little secret.

Physical activity has been lacking around these parts, to say the least. The last thing I've wanted to do after logging much time on the bathroom floor is exercise. The act of pushing a vacuum has caused me, more than once, to grab on to the closest available sturdy structure or piece of furniture to keep from falling over - although, that's due more to starvation and dehydration and the consuming blackness that falls over me when I've attempted to stand for a few minutes more than poor exercise habits.

But in the past week and a half I've begun to feel a bit better. Now that I am officially and securely in my second trimester my morning sickness is manageable with medication. Instead of getting sick upwards of ten times a day, if I can get some food in my body immediately in the morning and then keep up with it throughout the day I'll only get sick, maybe, once a day. The nausea is still fairly constant, but like I said it's manageable.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done. It's not easy for a woman of my advanced years (as the medical community would like to label me, being 35 and all) to spring back after almost two months of lying on a couch. It's going to take some time for me to get back my energy, as I was forced to admit to myself after a week of constant activity had left me beaten and exhausted come Sunday.

Okay, "constant" may be a strong word to describe the past week when one of those days entailed little more than caring for a toddler and going to the grocery store. But cut me some slack, 'kay?

My social life has suffered because of my near disabled state. Commitments were either canceled or never made. But worse than anything else, my house has become whatever the step below an official Super Fund sight would be called. It's bad. Or, at least, it was bad until Mr. C took last week off and the two of us (okay, mostly him. Again, still really weak and peakish over here.) tackled some pretty heavy duty house cleaning and de-cluttering.

I wish I could say pride of ownership lit a fire under my husband's ass and prompted me, too, to leave the ass groove in my couch long enough to empty the dishwasher. But no, that's not quite the case. Some pretty hard core nagging got Mr. C's attention and... How do I say this?

We hired a house cleaner and we need the house to be cleaner and more tidy before I let a stranger into my home to do the rest.

There, I said it. We're hiring someone to clean our house. I, a stay at home mom with no job (currently) am hiring another woman to come to my home and clean it for me because I can't keep up with it myself.

Right now my mother is spinning in her grave. The women in her family don't have other people clean their homes. They'd sooner torch the structure and skip town. But somewhere between my mom's generation and mine we lost that housekeeping gene. My sister, whom I love and adore more than any other woman, does not do house cleaning. She's hired cleaners for years and she's only 31. To her defense, she does run a successful restaurant and that takes a hell of a lot of time away from her busy working/shopping/spa/wine tasting schedule, so you can see why she would need to hire someone to keep her house clean.

(Love you, Seester of mine.)

And now, I am hiring someone to vacuum the pet hair and clean my bathrooms. She starts on Friday.

This doesn't mean I won't be doing any house cleaning myself. Keeping up with this place is a full time, seven day a week job (hence the house cleaner). The dogs alone make it necessary to pull out the vacuum every day. And Mr. C was recently promoted, which means a butt load more travel for him and no help on his end for me. Do these sound like hollow excuses to anyone else? Because I don't think my guilt will ever let me get past this.

I will now go back to eating my bon bons while I put my feet up and flip through fashion magazines. Cliche, thy name is Chicky.

41 comments:

Hannah said...

Anyone who judges you is just jealous because they do not have a cleaner.

You have earned a reprieve.

Enjoy those bonbons.

PunditMom said...

Absolutely NO JUDGING for a house cleaner. I'm not even pregnant and I have one. Keeping my fingers crossed that the nausea hits the highway soon!

Angela said...

Good for you! A little help around the house with the heavy cleaning is a wonderful thing if you can afford it. There's nothing wrong with enlisting help. Especially now with a difficult pg and a toddler!

(Besides, someone was helping our parents and grandparents with the house/yard/farm- wasn't that why folks had 9 kids?)

Or you can just bust your hump and drive yourself into the nut-house trying to do it all. That's what my mother did. (I don't recommend it.)

Julie Pippert said...

A. You are respecting your limitations

B. You are respecting another person's expertise (hopefully...may you have MUCH better luck than me)

C. You are promoting the local economy

D. You are wisely weighing cost/benefit and risk/benefit

In other words...STOP WITH THE GUILT! Hiring a cleaner is a good thing. :)

An even better thing is that you feel better. I'm glad.

Julie
Using My Words

flutter said...

let them judge as you sit back in your spotless house, babe. Who cares what anyone says?

Ruth Dynamite said...

I think your house cleaner should be a Swedish masseur/tater tot chef/dog groomer/manny (male nanny).

Hey now. Feeling better yet?

Phoenix said...

Dog hair alone in my house makes me wish I could afford it right now. Good for you.

Blog Antagonist said...

SIGH...that sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.

You know...one of my commenters once made a really good point. A century ago, women weren't expected to do everything themselves. They had domestic help, and didn't think twice about it.

Because you know what? Raising kids, keeping a house, grocery shopping and cooking, laundry...that's like FOUR full time jobs.

Now, most of us do all that, and some of us do all that AND work outside the home. It's insane.

No judgement from me girlfriend. I hope you'll settle for a high five instead.

Laurie said...

Don't guilt yourself on this front. We hired a cleaning lady about a year after our first son was born. She does all the stuff that I am too busy to do since I am a SAHM (play dates, gymboree, park and mental nourishment). I am 33 weeks preggers and loving someone scrubbing showers and toilets. Laundry for 3, mowing the lawn (oddly it is relaxing for me!), dishes, pet care and keeping tidy is a full time job...

so what if i pay someone to run the vacuum once a week ... it is a hell of a lot more than I ever did when working full time. But with a baby on the way the dust bunnies must remained tamed!

kittenpie said...

Misterpie mentioned the other day that we should get a cleaning lady in a few years when he's climbed a bit on the teacher grid. I am balking, even though my bathroom is grossing me out, after a couple of weeks of strep has kept me too tired to tackle it. I may have to work on my mental block, because I totally know what you mean. It seems shameful, somehow, even though I am clearly demonstrating how little I can manage it myself!

Mac and Cheese said...

Good God woman! Enjoy having your house cleaned! There is no shame!

Jenifer said...

God I WISH I had enough money to hire a housekeeper!! Even someone to just do the really big jobs...

But alas, the pile of how 30 or so unpaid bills over there dating back at least a month with no prayer of catching up in sight.... pretty much leaves housekeeper about bottom on the list of things to pay for.....

Wah.... But yay you! I'm jealous.

Rachel said...

oh for pete's sake! They're not in your shoes. I was 28 and in your shoes and I thought I was dying. 15 straight weeks of vomiting. I couldn't roll off the bed to vomit in the bathroom without blacking out. It took me 4 months to recover. Take your time!! Anyone who dared say anything about my house would be neatly chopped up and served to the dogs with gravy. If I could have hired someone to clean, I would have. You have to take care of you and the little mite inside of you. My mom used to have a cleaning lady way back when and we always had to clean house before the house cleaner came... drove me batty. Now, I get it.
Bless your heart. Enjoy the rest and the help and take care of yourself!

motherbumper said...

No trashin' that kind of help - each time I bring that threat out, SB gets his butt in gear. But one day (soon I hope) he will stop doing his lame a*s brand of cleaning and get me some god-sent help. Between the kids and my "stories", how is a girl to get her bon-bons eaten? (I kid... actually I was hoping that you'd want to chase me to hit me - you know, to give you some exercise and all... see I'm doing you a favour ;)

Trena said...

Do not feel badly at all. My husband travels pretty frequently for several weeks at a time and we've already agreed that when I get pregnant with number two (since just chasing around high-energy #1 is about kicking my butt now) that we will be hiring someone to help. It's alot of work to keep up a house, especially with a toddler and pets and if you're sick and not feeling good all the time, I don't blame you one bit. At least you recognized you needed help before it got to the point where it would have just been easier to toss a lighted match and start over.

the new girl said...

Dude.
Our parallel life continues. They came for the first time today (a team of 4).

They cleaned my blinds.

My blinds, I say.

Bon said...

staying at home was what made me get a housecleaner, about a year ago. when i went back to work, i kept her...but needed her way the hell more when i was here 24/7, with a colicky baby in arms, than i do now. doesn't mean i'm letting her go. :)

no judgement here, baby. i pay people to do weirder things than clean my house...i pay them to make my toenails pretty, for god's sake! if i can rationalize that luxury every coupla months, i can rationalize a housecleaner every coupla weeks.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Girlfriend, you are living the dream. Living the dream.

No need for shame. I'd jump at the chance if I could.

jen said...

ah yes. a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

honey, you've been through hell. no excuses necessary. but you made me laugh all the same.

mothergoosemouse said...

Good gravy, girlfriend.

I'm getting one soon too. The house is filthy (and not the kind of so-called filthy I might usually mean), and frankly it doesn't help my mental state to see the mess. And it's not like I can self-medicate to ease the pain.

I figure that I can re-direct my wine budget to a weekly cleaning. I'm glad you're doing the same.

Magpie said...

i should do that and i'm neither pregnant nor nauseous. good for you.

Heather said...

You sound like a smart woman to me.

Lisa said...

I second Ruth's suggestion.

And no, there's nothing wrong with having someone clean the house. You've got alot on your plate.

And yes, if I told my mom I hired a housecleaner, she'd freak out! So when it gets to the point where I do hire one? I just simply won't. :-)

Mommy Bits said...

Ok. SO I haven't visited in a while (and am a sucky mommy blogger friend) and had no idea you were pregnant! COngratulations.

It seems like just yesterday I discovered your blog, the first post I read was about you and chicky having no heat, trying to stay warm- cuddled up on the couch...

Amazing news. Congrats!

BOSSY said...

You go, sister girlfriend.

Don Mills Diva said...

No shame. If you can afford and can use a cleaner - GET A CLEANER. No need to feel guilt. Enjoy whatever extra time it buys you!

Amanda said...

Glad you to hear your feeling better. And, I would so hire a babysitter today if I could afford one! :)

margalit said...

My dirty secret? I've never cleaned my own house. Ever. I've ALWAYS had a cleaning lady or a service. Even when I was single with no kids.

I was brought up with 2 live-in maids and a nanny. How the hell was I supposed to know how to clean? I mean, really? For me, it's worth the price, whatever it is.

Now I have a home health care worker that comes in 4 hours/week just to clean up. I love her. LOVE HER.

Anonymous said...

At our kids' gymnastics class recently, a friend, who also works full time at an executive level job, mentioned something about doing laundry. Literally, I nearly choked as I exclaimed "You aren't seriously still doing your own laundry, are you?". I think it is the new way of the world. I know few people who clean their own homes even if they do not have a job outside of their home. Don't feel guilty. Think of it as supporting the local economy.

Wendy said...

I don't know why people beat up themselves over hiring people to clean. I think of it as keeping the economy alive.

We did have a housecleaner for about 5 years. We had to let her go, because our finiances have changed. As soon as they are back up, I will be begging anyone within the sound of my voice to come clean my house.

Why not? I don't want to spend my day cleaning, but if someone else wants to do it for money whom am I to argue?

Manic Mommy said...

I'm so happy you're feeling better. I feel no guilt about having a cleaner in occasionally with two kids and no pregnancy. Tack on an on-the-road husband and a pregnancy no one envies and you, my friend have NOTHING to feel guilty or embarrassed about.

I hate to break it to you but they don't do everything. They clean, they don't de-clutter. So if you want the kitchen counters cleaned you need to get the mail, magazines, toys, etc. off them first.

And yeah, I always pre-clean before she comes - don't want people to think you're a slob!

Christina said...

I'd never judge someone for having a house cleaner. Especially since I'd do the same in a heartbeat if I could.

kgirl said...

Whatever, sister, you are smart. I have been threatening to hire someone to clean since I was pregnant with Bee, but I too live in the shadow of the previous generation's mega-woman, do-everything shame. I'm going to try very hard to get over it, and commend you for having done so.

and if you can keep bon bons down, then you should be on the couch eating them.

moosh in indy. said...

um, AWESOME.
I am only silently, bitterly jealous because I don't have a house cleaner (YET).

Nancy said...

Do not apologize, do not feel guilty.

I think it's awesome that you have a clean house! (You would seriously shudder if you could see mine right now.) And it's not like you could have kept up with it in recent months.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I secretly will measure my success on the ability to afford a house cleaner one day. Soon.

No judgements from me, just a twinge of jealousy!

mamatulip said...

Good for you. If I were in your position I'd do the same.

Kizz said...

I am currently in my 2nd day of sitting on my ass after some facial surgery. Also I hate to throw up. So much. If you've been puking many times per day for months and are still puking at least once a day then I say you do what you have to do. Let someone else clean. Of all the things on your plate that is the one you should feel the very least guilty about delegating. Do not give it another thought. Let her help you.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Don't feel guilty. I'm almost there myself, and I'm not even vomiting all the time.

wayabetty said...

My extremely anal in-laws came up last Tues for Thanksgiving and my FIL was cleaning out my dryer vent (I can actually eat off of it) and my MIL cleaned the top of my fridge! I don't know how she can see the dust from down below. SOOOO afterward she said to me "maybe you can get a cleaner to help you with the house/laundry since you have 4 kids blah blah blah." Mind you, I think my house is not that bad but still not to their standard. Uh, and you'll be paying the bills for us then?

Good for you for getting the cleaner, don't feel guilty just sit back and relax and keep that baby nice and healthy!!

Matthew said...

As a gift to us, my in-laws paid for a once-a-month house cleaner to come in and do a cleaning after we had the twins born. They continue to provide it because every Christmas when they ask us what we want, we say "Another year of the maid!"

However, the day before the maids come, we have to thoroughly clean the house. Wouldn't want the maids to think we're dirty or anything.