Friday, April 15, 2011

I have failed. (And that's okay.)

I've posted in the past about my house cleaning strategy. But it's time to truly come clean.

I've failed.

Sure, sometimes I clean. And sometimes I declutter. But in general I don't keep up with the cleaning and the decluttering and the maintenance (touching up wall paint, for instance) nearly as well as I feel I "should." I end up anxious. I feel guilty for not doing my stay-at-home-mom job as well as I should. I get so overwhelmed that I don't know where to start, so I find other things to do instead.

Recently, The Engineer suggested that we get a house cleaner a couple of times a month. While part of me still felt guilty (This means I'm not doing a good job!!), the rest of me quickly warmed up to the idea. It took some time to find someone, but this Monday I connected with someone I think I'm really going to like. She and her husband will be coming over next Monday to meet me, and if all goes well, they'll do their first clean on Friday.

After talking to her Monday, something clicked in my head. It was like a huge pressure had been taken off me, and with the overwhelmed feeling gone, I was suddenly motivated.

Knowing I don't have to take care of the bathrooms and the floors and the dusting, this week I've taken on one manageable decluttering project at a time. My bedside table. The rest of our bedroom. A "magic bin" that had been sitting around for over a week. The artwork/magnet/junk-covered refrigerator. I still have a lot of areas to declutter, but it feels doable now.

And I've realized, it's okay that I've failed in some "great house cleaner" ideal I had set up in my mind. I put my time into other things, things I enjoy, like real estate and blogging and crocheting. And I bring in income in all those ways. So it's okay, since we can afford it, to pay someone to do the scrubbing and cleaning that I don't like to do.

Being a success in some areas requires letting myself be a failure in others.

What a relief to realize that!

12 comments:

Bobbi said...

I totally understand how you feel!

Enjoy your new found freedom for getting to handle all of life's other obstacles. :)

Melinda said...

I know the feeling very well. My house is never up to my own standards. It is really great that is one less stress for you now, so you can focus on other things.

Kara said...

My cleaning lady is here right this minute! I LOVE HER. Every other week, my house is sparkly clean. I always pick up all our clutter before she comes, which forces me to keep the place in shape. I can afford it, and she needs the money, and it feels win-win. It took me a few years as a SAHM to swallow my pride and hire a cleaning lady, but it was the best decision ever. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Yay for you! I went through a similar process before getting our cleaning person, and now I would never go back! I now have time to do some of those other projects around the house, like organizing and decluttering. Enjoy it!

Mom of Two said...

I feel like you do, but I can't bring myself to pay money for a house cleaner. Plus it would frustrate me to pay so much money and have the kids make a mess in 30 seconds like they do with me. I just decide that I am ok with living with a "lived-in" house.

Deb (BBC mom ) said...

That was enlightening ! Thank u soo much

WendyBird said...

I'm jealous! If my husband would agree to hired help I'd be overjoyed. Enjoy every minute of it!

forever folding laundry said...

There is *nothing* wrong with that!
Enjoy it.

~Keri

d said...

Just make sure they are legal if you ever want to be president, or a republican.

Toni said...

Good for you! I'm jealous. :)

Sandra said...

Beth -- We've had our house cleaned twice a month for about 20 years. We always say what we're really doing is hiring people to come to our house twice a month to see if we've picked up everything -- because that's the way it works. It guarantees that at least every two weeks, we put everything away.

BTW, you might want to ask your cleaners to change the sheets on the beds as part of their routine. That is a wonderful service that our cleaners do.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I keep going back and forth on the house cleaning service. Right now, no one would touch our house because of the clutter. We have to get to a ground zero first. *sigh* Maybe I should set a goal- if we can get the clutter on the main floor in control, then we can hire a service. Hmmm...