Why Working Moms Should Not Invest In A Cleaner
It has taken me a long time to get here, having a cleaner has been on my wishlist for what feels like for-ever! I seriously detest cleaning, the laundry I don’t mind (I don’t iron though unless absolutely necessary). Cooking I have no problems with, organizing and decluttering I would say I rock at, but cleaning, urgh, I’d rather listen to an hour of fingernails being scrapped along a blackboard than scrub the toilet.
“But just a sec Jo, don’t you teach about Decluttering?”
Why, yes I do. Which is part of the reason it has taken me so long to get to this point! Let me explain…
I had a long internal battle with myself about the whole cleaner thing so I wanted to share some of the things that came up for me (your blocks might be different) and how I reframed them. These really are just excuses stopping you from getting what you need!
You run Clear The Clutter so you can’t invest in a cleaner!
This was a biggie, I felt like I was cheating for investing in a cleaner when I teach other people about decluttering and organizing but the thing is, cleaning and decluttering are two very different beast. One of the points that I emphasis to my clients is that if you get the clutter under control then cleaning is easier. My home is at the point now that we don’t really have clutter, it’s easy to tidy up so the cleaning is a quicker job.
But this doesn’t get around the fact that I HATE cleaning. Dusting, seriously, what kind of ridiculous, pointless activity is that?
See, I’m getting all shouty just writing about it! I don’t mind tidying but show me the scrubbing brush and the bath tub and well, let’s just say it brings out the worst in me!
Now I know some people love to clean, find it therapeutic even. I am most certainly not one of those people!
I also know that there are members of Clear The Clutter who also hope to get a cleaner one day, so I’m setting an example to them, that it is possible! If your cleaner had to tidy before they start, it bumps up the time and cost of the whole thing, so getting the home in order first is the way to go.
You may have a similar thought “You can’t get a cleaner because of X,Y or Z” Look at it from a different angle and reframe it.
You work from home so you should be able to clean too!
Hello there mama guilt!
The point is, does it matter where I work? Would it be different if I worked in Tokyo rather than my living room/office?
If anything, it is harder working from home because I can see the dust when I look up from the computer, I notice the dust-bunnies when I get up to make coffee. It’s distracting and hard to ignore, at least when I’m out of the house I don’t have to try and ignore it!
Trying to fit the hours of work in that I need to do and then adding mama duties, chef duties, wife duties, exercise and cleaning – well you know what that’s like, something has to give! And for me it’s usually exercise/self care.
So, I see investing in a cleaner as taking the excuse of not having time to exercise off my plate. I don’t need to scrub the bath this morning so I can go out for a bike ride instead! Plus I’m not getting side-tracked by cleaning jobs during work time when I get up to have a pee. Yay.
It costs too much!
This was actually an excuse from my head! Not only mine but my husbands too.
When I actually started asking around, I found that getting a cleaner for a couple of hours a week was cheaper than the family going out for lunch – which we do every weekend. For those in Japan, we are using Silver Service run through the City Hall. Everything in, it’s about ¥1000/hour. It seems that in Tokyo Filipino maids are popular, the going rate is ¥1500 plus travel expenses, this seems insanely cheap but maybe not, I haven’t looked at the rates for other big cities.
My Japanese isn’t great so that was part of the barrier, I needed to get hubby on board with the idea and then convince him to help me with the hiring process.
You’ll need to clean before she arrives
Seriously brain, where do you come up with these ridiculous notions?
Tidy up yes, because I don’t want to be paying for her to be moving stuff around so that she can clean. But to clean first, that is just daft! Why get a guard dog then bark yourself?
I must admit, the urge is strong with this, I’m sure as time goes on it will get easier!
You’re the mom/woman, it’s your job!
Really! We are going there? Apparently so.
Yes, old lizard brain often pops up to tell me that keeping the house clean is actually my job. Funny that, I don’t have a contract stating the case!
The rest of the family do help out, with the jobs around the home, not so much on the cleaning front though, unless it’s a special occasion (like the in-laws coming to visit!).
I could go into a whole feminist rant here but it is pointless because as a woman, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, I’m still scratching my head on how women of the past got hoodwinked into this sorry state of affairs, but this whole looking after the house is the woman’s job thing, I’m not buying into that!
All in all, the excuses I kept telling myself were just that and I really need to walk my talk. In, In With A Boom we talk about delegating tasks that you either don’t enjoy or are not good at and instead spend the time on something more productive. Cleaning definitely falls into the category of “don’t enjoy” and I’m not particularly good at it either! Plus I can ALWAYS think of something better to do with my time than cleaning!
If you want to invest in a cleaner and it’s been on your wishlist for a while, then use the Kaizen steps to make it happen.
- set yourself a deadline – mine was to hire someone in 2016, we were 10 months in before I made it happen.
- Start looking at what you need and what exactly you need help with. Once I made the effort to start looking, the whole process was a lot easier and those voices in my head? I just gave them a good kick and locked them away.
- Start asking around for the local going rate and if anyone has recommendations.
You can also stay on top of it all by using the Wonder Mom Cleaning Checklist, grab it from the FREE resource library…