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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Cleaning Lady Heist


My wonderful husband did something so sweet.  He planned for me to have a cleaning and organizing helper for the day! 

Let me first say, I've never professed to be an exceptional maintainer of cleanliness--I blame my ADD.  And, since child number four came along, our house has taken a complete nosedive.

I'm not content with the condition of our residence, but I've accepted it.  I can close the door on the laundry room mountain.  I can throw any random thing into our overstuffed miscellaneous drawer.  I know things will get better.  Apparently, my husband was more anxious to have the "better" come sooner.

I should have been grateful!  I was not.  I could think of several alternative uses for that money.  Also, if I have someone to assist me with cleaning and the house is still not beauteous, then I am extra responsible...uhg.

So, the hour of the cleaning lady was nearing and I was stressed.  I can't have a messy house when someone is coming to clean!!!  Yet, I just couldn't get it lovely enough in time.  The lady arrived.  I had a sudden moment of panic when she inquired what she could do.  I didn't want her to start with anything too disgusting.   I ended up having her help with some deeper cleaning, then mostly work on the kitchen.

 I also cleaned while she worked and got to know her a bit.  My helper turned out to be quite amiable.  She mentioned that several of her former employers had commented on what a slow worker she was.  "I'm just thorough." she told me.  Now that she brought it up, I noticed, she was slow!

Luckily, my kids were there to help.  My 7-year-old started smearing window cleaner on the windows with her hands.  The baby made numerous attempts to dive into the woman's cleaning bucket.  My 3-year-old sporadically sprayed the walls with water.  All the while, my stranger-wary 5-year-old daughter stared the cleaning lady down.  We needed to get out of the house!

With a couple hours of cleaning assistance to go, I told her I had a few errands to run and asked if she could help with the pantry while I was gone.  "No problem," she cheerily replied.

I had a little trepidation about leaving her alone in my house, but we just don't have any exciting stuff to steal.  I payed her in advance with a generous tip and left. 

Upon my return, the amiable woman and her check were gone, the pantry untouched.  When my expectant husband arrived home the house looked, remarkably, about the same as he had left it.  No miracles today.

Thankfully, I doubt we'll be investing in more outside cleaning help anytime soon.   Though, I think I'll start charging.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Continue teaching my children the joys of cleaning.

Labels: ,

29 Comments:

At May 21, 2011 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Samantha said...

Yea, it's a bit overwhelming when a stranger is let into your home to straighten things up. As well, you feel like you have to have things "just so" before they get started - which kind of defeats the purpose somewhat because it begs the question: if you are going to go to the extent of getting everything cleaned up first, then why even bother?? I just wrote about the silliness of cleaning up before your cleaning lady gets there:
http://www.multiplemayhemmamma.com/2011/05/cleaning-up-for-cleaning-lady.html

 
At May 21, 2011 at 8:32 AM , Blogger ladydazy said...

OMG - what a crazy cleaning lady, taking your money then running. That was a nice thought from your husband. I blame my ADD on my bad not-cleaning habits too. It's hard with ADD - I have to do one room at a time. :)

 
At May 21, 2011 at 8:44 AM , Blogger GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

I'm so out of luck no ADD to blame here..... Hmmm I have 3 kids I could blame, or my mom and dad (I consider this pay back), or maybe I can blame my laziness.... I prefer the term tired, but who am I kidding ;)

I'll make you a deal.. I'll come clean, but you have to have all the kids... So, what do you think??

 
At May 21, 2011 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Shelley said...

I.Hate.Cleaning!! I am supposed to be packing up this house and that is not happening either. But to take your money and not complete the job, just disgusting. I am with you on getting the kids in on it! Today I am thinking about throwing out all of the toys :)

 
At May 21, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

How frustrating!!! One of the saddest days of my life was when we let the cleaning service go! I loved having some help!!! But, what you experinced would drive me crazy and make me swear off cleaning help forever! Very clever husband!!! Lol!! I hate cleaning too! Happy Saturday!

 
At May 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Trisha said...

I would have such a hard time having someone come in and help too. I'd probably clean the whole house before she got there!

 
At May 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM , Blogger Diane said...

That is really just sad. I am sorry that lady was so terrible and you didn't get a clean house after all.

 
At May 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM , Blogger Mom of 12 said...

Every time my sweetie suggests a cleaning lady I assume that means I'm not doing my job...not that he really loves me and just wants to help me have a better, happier (cleaner) life. I'd say you handled it remarkably well! I hope it didn't cost you too much...
Sandy

 
At May 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Blogger Cindi said...

I didn't mind cleaning before I had 5 kids to mess it up right behind me. I'm too cheap to hire someone to do it for me though. I'm supposed to be cleaning today, but I'm online. Hmmm.

 
At May 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM , Blogger just me... said...

I have a cleaning lady come once a week to clean the bathrooms and floors. I used to have her do the kitchen, but having her helped so much that I don't need as much help anymore. Her true worth is when I run around like crazy getting everything ready for her. I honestly don't like telling people that I have one because I feel like it's admitting how bad I am at cleaning, like I am a failure at being a woman. But we were not all made from the same cookie cutter. Everyone has different strengths and keeping things clean is just not one of mine.

 
At May 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM , Blogger Rachael said...

So I guess having a cleaning lady isn't all it's maid out to be? ;)

Sorry I just couldn't resist.

I am the same way. I really can't have people help me because I am not organized enough to direct them and I get all stressed and distracted. It ends up being a much worse hassle than help.

 
At May 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM , Blogger Leda said...

OK! That's it! Where do you live? I'll come clean, for free! ...ok, I should tell you, you've already PAID me in advance with this witty blog you write each day! I LOVE your thoughtful husband-you've gotta give him credit for trying. So, what they say is true...cobwebs will keep, you only get to be a (grumpy) mom of those little kids for such a short time- they are more important than a spotless house. You notice I didn't say clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness; but no need to be freaky about it. If my kids read this they would say I DON't practice what I preach. I just HAD to have everything perfect...looking back-I wish I would have let the 'cobwebs' stay there. Good luck. :)

 
At May 21, 2011 at 4:42 PM , Blogger laughwithusblog said...

Oh what a nightmare! To think I've been wishing for a little help with the house...

 
At May 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM , Blogger debisblog said...

I've battled all the feelings and perspectives I've seen in these comments. On assignment with the military in Turkey we had the opportunity to have 'help'. On one hand it was HEAVEN!!! For about $20 a day (this was more $$ than secretaries and tellers made!) we had a lovely lady come and scrub the house from top to bottom including doing all the ironing! On the other hand... we had to deal with all the issues of finding someone honest, of wanting to clean before she came, and for me dealing with feeling guilty at how much faster she was at doing the work that I was. Of course, I'm faster at other peoples' houses too! I know for me, I picked up after myself better when I knew someone else would be in to clean. It took a few weeks to get used to, but I learned to love it!

 
At May 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM , Blogger parentwin said...

I with I could try a cleaning lady! I bet I'd have the same results, though. It'd look...the same. LOL

 
At May 21, 2011 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

I couldn't have handled it! I'd freak. :) It was definitely a nice thought though!

 
At May 21, 2011 at 8:14 PM , Blogger jordan @ mean mommy academy said...

Are you serious?! That stinks worse than my toilets (at the present moment, and yet, here I am on the internet instead of over there cleaning them). I need a cleaning army, not just one lady...

 
At May 22, 2011 at 12:44 AM , Blogger The Suburban Princess said...

Wow. Sounds like she was no help whatsoever.

I wish I could get a cleaning lady. And a nanny.

 
At May 22, 2011 at 5:38 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

to me, a cleaning lady is like a visit to the spa...I feel guilty about the money that it would take to get anything noticable done. Also, the basic wouldn't "be enough"...I want the whole package and before long, it would look the same again.
Have a great Sunday-
Kristen
threeinthenest.blogspot.com

 
At May 22, 2011 at 5:47 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

Oh my word! How frustrating! ( and funny, sorry lol) Sorry it didn't work out. I've never hired outside help and after this, I'm sort of glad about that :)

 
At May 22, 2011 at 6:13 PM , Blogger Hello! I'm Kate. said...

We had a housekeeper who brought her niece to help clean her houses. The niece stole a ring my parents gave me & she stole $1000 in cash from my mom.

She also robbed a friend's house & stole over 5k in jewelry.

Yeah, that was the end of our housekeeper days!

 
At May 22, 2011 at 6:58 PM , Blogger Sandra's Fiberworks said...

I fired my cleaning people after I realized they clean as superficially as I do. Yes, just stuff it in a drawer and voila, we're clean! :)) My big thing actually is baskets -- they're all over the house. Clutter baskets. If my husband can't find something I tell him to look in a basket. The clutter is confined to the baskets, but all counters are clear!

 
At May 22, 2011 at 8:21 PM , Blogger Mo 'Betta said...

I can't believe she did such a terrible job!! How annoying. I can relate, I would feel weird for someone to come in and clean b/c I'd think they were thinking "ewww, she nasty!" But I'm willing to give it a try!

 
At May 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I should clarify. She was helpful, just not for the time she spent.

I'm sure there are a lot of honest and efficient cleaning people out there.

I don't think anyone should ever feel guilty for needing help. We all have such different strengths.

One reader sent an email telling me how her weekly cleaning made a huge difference and also motivated her to get the house clean.

So, I've had a change of heart. Maybe I will not completely rule it out. :)

 
At May 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous Ruth said...

That's terrible! I have a friend who cleans for some extra income, and I'd hire her if I could ever bring myself to hire "help!" I've always wished for a maid, but wouldn't feel right spending the money. And yeah, like someone mentioned, the house will look the same as before in just a few short days! I've never spent money on a spa for the same reason. Now gourmet coffee... there's my vice. =)

 
At May 22, 2011 at 10:31 PM , Blogger Laura@livingabigstory said...

Thx for another laugh .... and to know I'm not completely alone in my disorder :)

 
At May 23, 2011 at 2:00 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

I gave up on cleaning a long time ago so we hired a housekeeper to come every other week. It is great but I do leave the house when they are here. You should try it again.

 
At May 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM , Blogger Charlotte said...

I once had my husband hire a cleaning lady to help me out. Then he forgot to tell me and some stranger showed up on my doorstep while he was out of town. I've never been able to bring myself to hire someone since.

http://latermom.blogspot.com/2010/01/that-time-peter-forgot-to-tell-me-he.html

 
At May 27, 2011 at 12:29 PM , Blogger Donna said...

I can't believe she didn't clean the pantry!!

 

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