I’ve always been nothing but honest on this blog, so I have a confession to make. For the last umpteen years, my mum and dad have done my cleaning. Yes, you heard that right. My parents have done my cleaning. Unpaid. And I’m VERY grateful to them.
They didn’t do all of it – just the bathrooms, the kitchen floor and the odd once-over of the hob. Before you judge me as a right lazy cow, look at it from my perspective – I was working three days a week and bringing up three kids, with a husband working very long hours who, rightly or wrongly, is often unable to help me out.
So I was still making the meals and wiping the kitchen down, loading and unloading the dishwasher, changing the beds, doing endless loads of washing, doing the shopping and doing the hoovering. Not to mention getting the kids up and to bed, helping with homework, being a taxi service for their activities, making their packed lunches, taking them to doctor’s and dentist’s appointments, filling in all their letters and cheques for school/ music lessons/ Scouts/ dance lessons, looking after them when they’re ill and generally just being there for them and being a mum.
Believe me, doing all of that for three kids, whilst also working three days a week, really doesn’t leave a lot of time for housework. So I was extremely fortunate that my mum and dad offered to do some of it for me, and that they’d kept it up for so many years.
But I don’t go to work any more. I work, but I don’t GO to work. There is a subtle distinction. After all those years, I now have to clean my own bathrooms again.
And I’m sure you can imagine the state of them. Because I don’t have time to do them every week – although I aim for at least every fortnight. With two bathrooms, plus two extra toilets, that’s a lot of work. On top of that other list of stuff I do which hasn’t gone away. Oh, and the small matter of trying to earn money. And as for the kitchen floor? I’ve mopped that twice in the nearly three months since I finished work (although I do hoover it every week).
So I have a dilemma. I need to work and earn money, and I want my house to look reasonably clean and tidy. If I’m cleaning bathrooms, I can’t be earning money. The obvious solution is a cleaner, but flow of the work and money right now isn’t sufficiently reliable for me to take this step. It’s early days and my hourly rate is currently not dissimilar to that of a cleaner. That’s fine while I still have redundancy money to fall back on, but ultimately I need to be on a high enough hourly rate and working sufficient hours a week to afford a cleaner.
Because I would most definitely rather be doing work that interests me and challenges me than scrubbing the toilet.