Cleaning help – necessity or luxury?

mop_and_bucketI had been away for almost 3 weeks, came back and was sick in bed for a few days. The idea of the housework that needed to be done was depressing me, as I was sure I would never catch up. I treated myself this week to cleaning help for a few hours. By the time this awesome miracle worker had left, my house was sparkling like it never had. I could have eaten off the floors. Now, I can clean, I can clean well, I just don’t ever get the whole house clean in one shot, so I always feel as if I am playing catch up. While the lady was cleaning I wasn’t sitting on my fat behind polishing my nails and eating bonbons. No siree! I was up to my eyeballs in laundry. Seven loads of it to be precise. When I went to bed that night, it felt great knowing I was caught up, even though it was obviously temporary. That was two days ago, the house still looks good, but there is laundry to do again, and the kitchen floor could use a mopping…..the list goes on.

I felt guilty spending the money though. Money is tight and this seemed like an indulgence. But I needed to also heal from my recent sickness and if I would have pushed myself to the limit to do all that needed to be done, it would take me longer to heal. Better to spend the money on this, than on more medication. If I worked outside the home I think I would feel much better about having cleaning help, but I have many friends who are SAHMs / WAHMs who have help a couple of times a week, they say it helps their sanity.

I asked the question of some friends whether cleaning help was a necessity or a luxury. Most of the moms say it’s totally a necessity in order to help retain their sanity. One friend even said she would choose to have cleaning help over shoes! Another friend says that cleaning help is essential to a wife’s mental health. Some of the husbands agree, some think it’s a luxury they can’t afford. After all, what do their wives do all day?? Glad my KoD doesn’t have that attitude. He knows how hard I work at being a mom and a wife and does what he can to help.

So my question to you, dear reader, today, is do you have cleaning help? Why? Why not? How often? Necessity or luxury?

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16 Comments

  1. Lady Lock and Load says:

    I have a cleaning lady twice a week, monday and thursdays, for four hours. A big help for me. I don’t think it’s a necessity but it frees my time up for other things I need or want to do. I am a lucky woman that my hubby agrees and pays for it. Ten an hour is cheaper than medication or therapy, right? ;)

  2. frumgoth says:

    I have cleaning help one morning a week, and it’s a luxury b/c I only work 3/4 time and could do it myself. But i really look forward to having a little time when i’m not working to meet up with friends or do something else instead of using that time for cleaning.

  3. batya from NJ says:

    you know my opinion-heck, it’s even in the article :)!

  4. lil_lupie01 says:

    I don’t have help for house cleaning but I do use a laundry service. And honestly if I could afford both of them I would have someone come help with the housework. Right now I don’t have this because I can’t really afford it but maybe sometime in the future I will. For me, paying for a laundry service or cleaning service is a necessity even though I am a SAHM because my health prevents me from being able to do it all.

    To be completely honest I feel a sort of sense of loss that I can’t do these things for my family anymore. The simple things that I always hated doing when I was healthier, I now feel almost sad about not being able to do them. I don’t know if it’s because it was ingrained in me by my very traditional mother that it was may duty to do these things or if it’s because subconsciously I really enjoyed being able to do them but having to hand them over to a stranger… I can’t really put it in words. No matter how I or any of my personal critics (aka: nosy, know-it-all family members) feel it’s something that I really do need in my life.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      LL – we all have to do what we need, and sometimes it isn’t what we want to be doing. I am a control freak, and when I was on bedrest when i was pregnant with the youngest for 7 months I had to let others look after my family. it was what needed to be done. it wasnt easy, but we have to recognize our own limitations and accept it.

      wishing you plenty of spoons.

  5. I don’t have cleaning help unless you count my husband. :) But he never cleans everything in one shot either. I’ve thought about it several times and would love to have someone come in maybe like once or twice a year even just to give everything a good cleaning, but we totally can’t afford it.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      I am sure B would love to know you referred to him as cleaning help! ;) it is expensive even once or twice a year – this week was my once and i think I am done for a while.

  6. tesyaa says:

    I used to have cleaning help, even when I was a SAHM. Now I work full time and I’ve given it up for money reasons. Makes no sense, right? Even though our income has grown, our expenses have grown more. It is not easy doing it myself (with a little help from my grumpy spouse and children), but I think I do a better job than most of the cleaning ladies I’ve had.

    I don’t know how other people afford cleaning help. We’re both working and earning decent salaries, and it would still be a stretch.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      i think the cost of Jewish Education is whats responsible for expenses growing more. you are working now, so your income has gone up, therefore less ability to qualify for financial aid (if you apply, totally not my business)…

  7. batya from NJ says:

    i had a friend for whom money was also tight & she originally felt she didn’t want cleaning help b/c she’d rather splurge once in awhile on something expensive (like a designer handbag, etc…)rather than on help b/c she would feel like the cleaning help was a waste b/c by the next day the house would be a mess again & she felt it wasn’t worth it. personally, i disagreed with her b/c i feel it is so important for many womens’ sanities to have the help & this friend was always feeling esp stressed & overwhelmed with her 5 kids & SAH responsibilies. ultimately she did get help 1X/week & she was very grateful that she did. i know SAHMs who have full-time live-ins, cleaning help 1-2x/week, or help every other week. everyone’s gotta work with their budget & each family has their unique set of expenses & challenges based on family size, academic needs of children, income, etc…

    • hadassahsabo says:

      if there is splurge money…even though i love my shoes, i would choose the cleaning help. though the shoes would last longer.

  8. [...] I had been away for almost 3 weeks, came back and was sick in bed for a few days. The idea of the housework that needed to be done was depressing me, as I was sure I would never catch up. I treated…Read More [...]

  9. Z! says:

    Growing up, my mom was a SAHM and she took care of the cleaning. My dad did tubs and floors.She taught each of us to do our laundry by age 14.
    Now, hubby is not much of a cleaner. He prefers to pay someone. I fought him tooth and nail over this as I felt that it’s not that hard to clean up after two people, living in an apartment- right?! Also that it was MY house and MY responsibility. It made me feel weird. (I have since gotten over that!)
    Reality is, I am working full time out of the house. I try to keep 9-5 hours, but sometimes I must stay late/ go in early and it’s exhausting.
    He offers the cleaning help because he understands that I do not have the patience/time for it to be done by myself.
    We have cleaning help once a week, unless I know we are going away, or that the house is in decent shape and I have it under control. (I try hard not to have the help, though I HATE floors and bathrooms, it is expensive)
    My hubby sees it differently. He feels that it is a necessity and wants the help to be regular. He is worried that if we do not keep her coming, she will cancel on us totally and find another client.

    It is not easy to find decent, trustworthy help.

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