The sense of entitlement displayed in most of the posts is breathtaking. And, I DO criticize those who spend in ways I would find foolish. I said the braintrust comment because nobody gets it, they just want what they want…to not do housework…fine. And one should never hire Stanley Steamer which is one cleaning service I do use.
However, I can assure you that one can learn most anything—give yourself more credit and learn how! How can that definition apply to situations where one is spending money he or she earned for a service that he or she values? For the record, I have 2 young children, their college is already paid, and everybody in my family cleans up including my dh. I can tell you from personal expereince that paying for my own college really helped me to take college seriously.
One does not need to rely on parents to pay for college and can do so without even going into debt. I waitressed my way through, was highly involved in college leadership councils, and got good grades. You really seem to have anger management issues, particuarly since you seem so angry and throw out insults simply because the world is filled with people who have different points of view. Obviously, there was a lot more to it. The irony is that by hiring a house cleaner I actually free up more time to write which allows us to have a greater household income which allows me to put things like college savings at a higher priority….
I do think that intention and attitude matter. I always think it is so interesting how, women especially, are so judgemental of other women! We are already our own worst critics! Great job!! I have read the posts and comments on all of this with total bewilderment.
It never occured to me that someone would ever need to justify paying for a legitimately offered service. That people care that other people hire cleaning help, or judge them for it, absolutely floors me. My eyes have officially been opened! If so, I apologize for making anyone feel like I was judging them. I do think for a working mom there is more cost-benefit-analysis that goes in to it.
My mother-in-law used to clean houses and my two best friends from college do now, so I sure have a lot of respect for ladies is it ever guys??? No worries, Maman. I lost track of who said what in that huge thread but I was just keeping mental notes of some of the issues raised. I cleaned houses and offices while I was in high school and college. I was also a secretary. I have found it difficult to hire and supervise both household help and secretaries. It makes me feel guilty on so many levels, and I have never wanted to be like one of the bosses I hated.
On the other hand, I would have hated a wishy-washy supervisor almost as much as a jerky one. I think the key is respect.
I did hear somewhere that it takes a village. My short-version two cents is that we Moms need to just stop listening to the unproductive, yammering crazymakers in our lives and just do what works best for our families. Blown away! No one can take that away from me. BUT I need to be mindful that what others believe may be so different that civil discourse over it is difficult. I commend you for your civility to some of the more colorful and negative responses.
You handled it very well. I too have those thoughts that if I were to hire help, it would make me look like an elitist, a snob, or just lazy. But, I also work full-time from home in addition to taking care of three small children 1 who is home all day with me and another who is home most of the day. I get behind and feel like I never get any downtime. Thank you!!! The amount of work that the two women who come and clean at my house can do in 2 hours would take me an entire day if I had to do it myself while also taking care of or more realistically, not giving enough attention to my two young kids.
I work full time though telecommuting 3x a week, at the office 2x and I think it is better for my family to free up that time. And I am helping to provide employment for others so they can help support their families. Some people put all their money into a big house. We have decided to stay in a smaller house so we have the money to spend on vacations and on services like housecleaning and landscaping.
We did hire someone to clean our apartment after we moved out last fall. I had a 3 and 4 year old and I was 38 weeks pregnant. It was my best decision ever, and I would do it again in a heartbeat! I fought this issue in my head for many years but finally relented and hired a weekly cleaning team. They work for themselves and we pay them well. Best decision I ever made. I no longer nag my husband about helping me clean, and one morning a week I get to have extra special mommy-daughter time with my youngest child while somebody else does my chores.
Meagan, thanks so much for writing about this. It has really prompted me to think about some of the choices I make, and examine the motives behind my beliefs. I was fascinated by how heated the debate got with reagard to hired help. It is particularly interesting that much of the debate was focused on hiring cleaning help as opposed to childcare help. My take on the passion that was raised by this debate is this: as mothers, we all make choices for our families. Do we breastfeed or bottle feed? Do we co-sleep or not? Do we use time-outs or gentle discipline?
Do we stay at home or work outside the home? Do we hire help, or do we do it ourselves? Many of these decisions are values based. We therefore, on some level, think that people who do not make the same choices we do are somehow judging us. And because the stakes are so high, we can get defensive about the positions we hold. I think the same could be said for most of the hot-button issues in parenting.
Goodness me, no need to justify! Thanks for jumping in on the discussion! This is really not a realm I want to play in. I brought up the issue here as an interesting discussion, not to complain. But yeah…after being taken aback at your tone here and then reading your blog, it made more sense. The world is not as black and white as you make it out to be.
But to me, compassion and empathy are even better. Think of many men who have a successful career. They send their dress clothes to the dry cleaners. They hire landscapers to take care of cutting the lawn, etc. They take their cars to mechanics. Sure they could do it themselves, but if they can afford it, they delegate it out so that they have time for themselves or their family. Why should a woman with a successful career and the means be any different? Why is cleaning house so unique in this respect?
The reality is, if you are out of the house from 7AM to 5PM, M-F, that leaves a certain amount of time for the kids and the spouse. Someone commented that they can do housework while spending time with their children. If you are home most of the day, sure. People do what is best for them and if someone wants to judge that then I say who cares? Because I wanted to. My kids have chores. I have chores. The parenting world and blogosphere makes so many people on the defense. Do what you want to do and roll with it with a pep in your step!
This was one of my favorite blogs ever! I will no longer feel guilty about hiring help. My husband and I have hired someone to come in and clean twice a month…. My husband works all day at an office. I work all day at home with the kiddos. From that point on, everything is split — the housework, cooking, getting the kids down, etc.
I finally hired a cleaning service for the first time last month. They cleaned both my bathrooms and did the kitchen, even cleaning out the fridge! I felt such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when they left. I was no longer behind. I got rid of the guilt about being so far behind in my household chores. It truly saved me. They are coming again today. I have company coming for dinner tonight and last weekend was just a mess of stuff to do and craziness. Yesterday I was sitting at my desk at work, trying to plan out the crazy cleaning schedule I would need to follow to get the house in order.
And in a moment of clarity, I called the cleaning service and asked if they were available today. So last night I cleaned up the living room and did some laundry. And today, while they are cleaning, I will shop for the ingredients for dinner. And I will be a sane hostess tonight.
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Many hands lighten the load. Even prehistoric humans got this. Nobody did everything themselves. It never would have occurred to me that there could be so much debate about this! Win, win. When I was little, my mom stayed at home with me…and when I was in 3rd grade, she went back to work as a teacher and the first thing my parents did after she signed the contract was to hire a housekeeper. It was very clear to my father and mother that my mother would no longer have time to do everything she had done before. And he was not of an era or mindset to start doing more himself! It never interfered with my chores, and my father also suggested that we go out to dinner every Friday as well to give my mother a break from cooking and cleaning up after dinner at the end of the week.
Again, a great topic—thanks! Wonderful topic; clicked over from Motherlode. As I said over there, I was just gifted housecleaning services and they are very addictive!! There is just no room in our finances right now. I do stay at home with 3 kids, and my house is fairly clean most of the time.
My children help, and my husband does as well. I believe we make a pretty good team. To understand that they must work and maintain what they own. I see no wrong in getting help where you see fit. Amen Megan!!!! I think it has been well expressed by u and ur commanders that there is no shame and no need to justify!
Hiring help allows me to work and maintain my health and sanity. And trust me it is not because we have extra money to spend. It is because I am a working mother who needs help. I have just started using a cleaner and the best bit about it is for a few moments of every fortnight I can sit back and appreciate that the house is clean and tidy. All of it.
At once. This topic is so timely! Currently, I earn that in about two hours but I spend many more hours on cleaning. The irony is that I outsource a lot of household chores so that I can do things like…spend time with my kids, bake, garden. PS — My husband hires out the lawn care. Just saw it mentioned on the NYT Motherlode, so had to come back to visit. I do feel guilty in having someone come into my house to clean 2x a month. Strangely, I inherited the team of housekeeping ladies from the previous owners of my house. When they moved to a larger, more expensive house, they could no longer afford them.
Also, I love that the ladies take 30 minutes to do what would take me 8 hours to do. On the flip side, I was paid to clean two medical offices when I was in high school once a week. It was the best job I ever had! I made three times the amount of money that I could make anywhere else. I loved the flexibility of the schedule, as I could do the cleaning anytime that worked for me over a weekend. I loved that I could crank the radio up and do my job. Sadly, I was paid more per hour in that job 22 years ago than most people offer me for part-time work.
This is a very dishonest discussion. For most people to be able to afford this, the wages are very low — sub-minimum wage. No benefits. No health care. No retirement. So most of them are illegal aliens. Most have brown skin. A few white people do it, and they are likely East European immigrants, mostly Russian they will get out fast as they assimilate. So most are illegals. The illegal is also cutting your lawn. Watching your baby. Cleaning your toilets. Cooking your food. Or decorating help. Or personal shoppers. Or personal trainers. On a global level, everyone reading this is incredibly wealthy.
Laurel, I am not sure if you are still reading but I want to reply to your post to enlighten you on some things. Is it not a good thing to be successful? Go to school, get an education, have a decent paying career? You say those of us who hire help are spoiled, lazy, and have affluent husband. I really had to laugh at this one. My husband is no dummy either. He also had a successful, high paying career because he is smart and worked hard. I hardly consider either of us lazy or spoiled.
When we started having children, he was the one who quit to stay home with them. However we both felt it would be good for him to keep his skills fresh and have something non-kid in his life. So he started his own consulting company from home. Becuase he works hard, is smart, and is far from lazy. Not only does it give us financial security now, but if anything were to happen to either of us, we know the one left behind can support the household as we both have education and strong resumes. Kids grow up. People get sick and die. We have a modest home that we can afford on one income.
It got to a point though, that with my work schedule, and his business, that we needed some extra help. We do not have any family that lives near us. So through friends we found a wonderful woman who we pay to come to our house twice a week.
It gives my husband time to meet with his clients, make phone calls uninterrupted, and she does some of the cleaning around the house. She is retired, a widow, and her grandchildren are now in high school. She loves spending time with our kids and helping us — all while earning some extra fun money. What should we do with our educations? As a result, by exposing them to chemicals can heighten their chances of becoming ill.
Not only does it impact your health now, but chemicals effect your future. As there is a chemical residue left on surfaces that cannot be broken down, this affects the earth immensely. You may have all the money in the world but if you do not have good health, the number in your bank account is worthless. To find out more about chemical free cleaning click HERE. The true cost of a maid service is your time and energy. We love providing a beautifully clean home for our clients. After every clean we send them a quick one click review to see how we did!
If you see a negative review, please know that our staff has reached out and fixed the issue as quickly as possible. Mostly though, you will see only glowing reviews.
Mrs Hinch facts: From Mrs Hinch's baby name, previous job, her dog Henry and weight loss | HELLO!
The surfaces were gleaming, and it was wonderful to come home to a clean home. The children were very appreciative and loved their rooms arranged so nicely. Thank you to Glenda and to Fresh Tech Maid for this excellent service! Kate I. Kim did an amazing job! The place always looks spotless and their cleaning agents do not leave any harsh chemical smells.
I highly recommend them! Limor G. Sharon W. They are in frequent communication about rare schedule changes. Tatiana, our tech, is fantastic. She is very detailed-oriented and pays special attention to problem areas. My husband frequently works from home, and she is always careful to not disturb him. Christina L. Melanie B. Fantastic company to work with. Their techs are prompt and professional. Any concerns are quickly addressed and resolved. Theresa is my tech and it is a joy to see her.
I know that when I come home from work, my house will be standing tall and my dog will have spent several hours with a good friend. She is quiet, very polite, and a hard worker. I have recommended her and Fresh Tech to my family and friends and will continue to do so in the new year! Elizabeth B. We use this service once a month, and it really helps to keep our apartment clean. Our cleaning tech is Cenice — she is always punctual, pays attention to the details, and uses her time well.
Brandon T. I was very impressed by Fresh Tech Maid. I was originally assigned a group of cleaners but fortunately, I ended up with Alicia. While she was late, she was extremely communicative in keeping me updated on her status. That completely made up for being late. She did a fantastic job cleaning. Very efficient and did a great job. My only thing I would change is I would check to see that they clean inside of the microwave. Besides that it was fantastic. Matthew D. Fresh Tech Maid came to do a move in clean and went above and beyond to make sure I was satisfied.
April was a great cleaner, professional, and very nice to work with. She worked extremely hard to make sure the apartment was as clean as possible and payed close attention to areas of concern. Jaime B.
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We have been talking about getting a maid service forever and finally decided to give it a go. I have to tell you, it has been life changing. And I feel personal guilt for that, for not wanting to clean my own house. It makes sense to hire out car repair or haircuts because we could seriously screw something up and those are skilled trades.
On the other hand, not cleaning my toilet really feels like laziness — there is no doubt I could get that done. They can make a stain disappear or a countertop sparkle. I find it more understandable that people might be uncomfortable with the class implications. Re: the gender issue, I think that that is present, but it also made me laugh because BF is the one who said it seemed wasteful because we should be doing it ourselves, and yet he is also the one who gets annoyed about having to pick up his detritus before the cleaners come!
Oh goodness, if anyone has any recommendations for the Los Angeles area, I am in desperate need of a reliable and thorough cleaning person. Thanks in advance! They are very fast and do a great job. First of all, the maids are treated terribly. That book made me never want to hire someone. The possibility of cross-contamination is just horrifying to me.
I have a hard time with people bragging about how little they are paying their cleaner, and then assuming they are doing a good job. News flash: they are probably cleaning your counter with the same rag they used to clean the toilet! Just one quick suggestion: if you hire someone as your employee who is not an independent consultant and you are trying to stay in compliance with tax laws, be sure to check your state requirements in addition to the federal requirements.
The federal government has a higher threshold for reporting than do many states. In addition, laws on domestic employees have recently changed in several states, including NY, to require things like pay stubs. If someone is in your home and you terminate their employment for any reason, can they call that retaliation? Very strange concept.
I also find it interesting that it would be a fine vs. My biggest concern is the insurance. That, and a family friend was sued by a housekeeper over something. I use a service in NYC. It helps that my husband grew up with a cleaning lady — same one for 25 years. I hate having anything on surfaces.
My cleaning for the cleaning lady takes about minutes, tops. Someone has to let them in, or you can leave the key with the doorman or someone else. They do have rather early hours, so usually my husband, who leaves for work later than me, lets the cleaner in.
I hired a cleaning lady a few years ago when my boyfriend and I moved in together. She was a referral from a friend. For several years, I had her come once a week, but later, we cut down to every other week. When she came to inspect the house and give me a quote, I was able to get to know her personality.
I explained my priorities- like vaccuming the couch we have two marathon shedding cats -, and we arranged a flexible but regular schedule. I am not normally home when they clean, so if I have any requests, I either leave a note or call her in advance.
You know she loves cleaning, but how much do you REALLY know about Sophie?
I am married with no children, but I can tell you it has made a world of difference just to have them come once a month. They do the nitty-gritty detail work that I never seem to make time to do, which makes a world of difference if you are committed to just picking up around the house before they come to clean. I make sure the dishes are done, counter tops cleared, and the assorted junk on my dresser is put away, but that is about it. I hired one when I had my first job and during law school.
Our house, presently, is shamefully messy. How do you get around that? Do they just charge a ton extra? Would I have to lock up my pets? I have two cats. One hangs out on his chair in the dining room, the other hides.
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Neither bolts for the door. I would recommend having a drawer for smaller things like ipods and remotes. Our cats love our cleaning lady and follow her around. It forces me to do the stuff I should have done — throw out junk mail, put away clothes, etc. That was enough of a recommendation for me to completely trust her. What they will do and what they will charge is something that should be discussed at the walk-through.
Re: Pets, we had people lock up their pets only if the pet was bad with people or particularly scared of vacuums because there is nothing worse than making the dog pee on the carpet…. We did prefer to put dogs in a separate room while mopping and such, but with friendly pets it was never a problem.
No big deal. I found my cleaning lady through an ad she placed on craigslist. She runs a self-owned cleaning company and pays her own taxes and insurance, which was important to me. For this reason, I pay more than some of my friends who have the typical under-the-table cleaning lady, but I feel better about it.
I called a couple of her references before hiring her, and have since then provided a couple of references for her. I call it Screaming Night because my husband tends to get rather stressed out with the kids. She just cleans around everything. As a result, my husband or I still has to haul the vaccuum out on occasion to get the dust bunnies under the couch.
And yes, I have talked to her about it more than once, but there is no lasting change as a result. And I do trust her completely, which is huge. She cleans bathrooms and kitchen to a gleaming shine, but dusting leaves a little to be desired. Years ago I tried to have her change the bed linens and was not happy with how she made the bed sheets on backward! I love that every so often she will move rugs and furniture to vacuum and mop under these areas. She also periodically cleans my 6 patio chairs at no extra cost.
The MOST important thing to me is that I can trust her with full access to my home while hubby and I are busy working. I agree that finding a new cleaning lady that is trustworthy would be a nightmare for me. Every year or two I also have my windows and carpets professionally cleaned. I know for a fact she charges double this amount to clients who have lots of clutter, dirt or who require a whole day of cleaning vs.
In the past I have given her extra paycheck at holiday time or buy her a nice presents as a token of appreciation. Laundry, vacumming and swiffering in between her visits is enough! Timely post — I only just hired a cleaning lady her first visit was last week. I now love having a cleaning lady so much. I finally took the plunge after changing jobs and adding 1. I realized that all my free time was being spent cleaning or feeling bad about the state of my apartment I also have a very hairy dog that creates a lot of mess.
For the first visit, the cleaning lady and her husband! I am still amazed at how clean it is. She is going to come every other week going forward, and I am so so happy. About six months ago we bit the bullet. I have done some re-organizing that has helped a lot — i. We have two large shedding dogs, and having someone vacuum the couch and under the bed weekly has really helped.
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And I love no longer seeing dog hair tumbleweeds blowing across the hardwood floors. OK I got turned down by one of these megas, like Molly Maids because they said I had too much clutter- e.
If anyone has a good independent recommendation in Boston, please share! This is my problem. Contact is John Lewis. This is a huge deal for me bc I am clutter-central. So as long as my piles get put back where they were, I am a happy camper. Oh, and btw, they are very reasonable. Second floor gets cleaned once a month, first floor every 2 weeks. I have a recommendation, but there are some caveats e. Shoot me an email — kelly. We use Cida Housecleaners check them out on Yelp, they probably have the highest reviews of any cleaning service in Boston. Absolutely excellent and thorough. We have used them 4 times so far and they come on time 7 am , and they clean top to bottom.
BUT, they are probably a bit expensive. We chose Cida anyway because of their rave reviews and because their initial deep clean was so amazing. I just hired someone about a month ago. To find someone, I asked around for names of cleaning people. I would only consider hiring someone who had cleaned for someone I know for an extended period of time.
I told her to focus on the floors and bathrooms and then do the other things. She vacuums, mops, and dusts the whole house. She vacuums my furniture as well. She does not touch any of my things that I leave out, so if I leave dishes drying on the counter, or books piled up on a desk, she cleans around them but she does move picture frames and other things on shelves to dust.
She does not have a key to my house. She arrives about 15 minutes before I leave for work, and she locks up on her way out. My house has never been cleaner. We found our cleaning lady through word of mouth. She had been working for them for years so I felt no hesitation in giving her a key. I love coming home to a clean house every other Tuesday. From a different perspective, I used to own a house-cleaning business.
Check any license, insurance, and bond that the service claims. If you have the paperwork that goes with, say, your new laminate flooring, or you have stone work in the shower that has special care instructions, this is a great thing to copy for your cleaners. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I actually charged more for clients who would be home while the cleaners were working. The cleaners are much less efficient when the homeowner is there. The main problem was chatting — the cleaners wanted to be polite and provide good customer service, so they would linger where the customer was instead of quickly moving on to the next room.
I would eat PBJ every day if necessary to keep my cleaning service. Plus, they do a nice job and use green products. The only downside is grumbling from my husband about having to pick up for the cleaning crew. But really, it keeps us honest about picking up dirty clothes, throwing out old mail, etc so that is a good thing. It was also important to find someone we trusted to come without us there.
Having to sit around to baby-sit your cleaning person is almost as much of a time killer as acutally cleaning yourself. Or so it seems on Saturday mornings. They will take care of taxes and liability insurance, etc. Also, if your cleaning lady is sick or on vacation, they can just send a replacement. It may sound nuts, but I have thought of doing this, even though I have a humble apt.
I completely trust our cleaning lady, but if I ever lost a ring from leaving it at the gym or something , I would wonder if she took it. I just had to adjust my expectations. For example, when I was in a consulting job with variable income and had dialed back my work hours and therefore salary during my third trimester of pregnancy, they were willing to come once every three weeks instead of every other. Husband and I took the plunge when we bought a new house 4-ish years ago that was going to mean an hour commute each way for me.
They have a key to our house and always bring a rawhide treat for our dog, whom they adore. They brought me a gift when our daughter was born and have even bailed us out when we locked ourselves out of our house! FWIW, I grew up lower class and we never dreamed of having a cleaning lady. No matter! I highly recommend finding someone you know who gets their house cleaned and going through them for a referral.
By the time I was eleven I was cleaning 4 rooms and one bathroom of the house every week. Well, she got me used to liking it very clean alright. So used to it in fact, that I hired a cleaning lady my second year on the job. Cleaning itself, is now something I loathe to do. She charges a set price based on appmt size at an est. She usually just comes for 2. I basically view it as compensating her for travel time. If it happens twice, I leave her a note asking her to pay particular attention to that spot.
My last one for example, cleaned the appartment top to bottom, picked up stuff from the tailor who had ridiculous hours and ironed my clothes. I have been trying to figure out how the heck to handle the dry cleaning for months now!