Ironically, right about the same time we first used the house cleaners, I was beginning the book, Desperate. In a quote from the book's introduction, Sarah Mae says, "Moms don't need instruction manuals, we need physical help."
How true! I've always felt like I should be able to manage it all. Cooking varied, beautiful meals 6 nights a week, keeping a clean and tidy home, having clean laundry hung and put away neatly, working part-time, playing with the kids, homeschooling, managing their education, having my "quiet time," keeping up with my professional continuing education requirements, staying involved with homeschool and church groups, maintaining my own health, weight, and appearance, all with time to spare so I can give my husband the time and attention HE deserves. Just typing that forces me to see how silly it is to expect so much!
If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know I walked through depression last year. Most of my depression stemmed from feeling like a failure. One huge area for me was my inability to keep up with all the physical needs of our household. I felt there was never any end to the mess, laundry, and places that needed cleaning in my home. I thought if I were a "good mom" I would be able to manage my household alone. If I were a "good mom" I would be able to motivate my kids to help me and, together, we could keep the house as a team.
My depression has faded. After being on meds for about 6 months, I was able to stop. I thank God for holding my hand through those darker months. I thank Him for a sweet husband who was holding my other hand. :)
Once we got settled in here in Austin and our routine was down, I was able to just admit that managing everything alone was too much, but managing everything with help would work! Instead of feeling defeated and giving up on trying to keep the house, Ken and I decided to hire a bi-weekly house cleaning team. (I must add that Ken is not at all a lazy husband! He takes on extra work so we can get our lawn cared for, he works 40+ hours a week, travels quite a bit, drives the boys to and from school most days, and runs the house on his own any time I'm working. He gives the boys their bath and gets them to bed most nights He doesn't have extra time any more than I.)
I seriously want to kiss those ladies' feet as they walk out my door. I told one of the gals today that she blessed my life. I'm sure she thinks I'm nuts. Or maybe she's a mom. If so, she understands.
I hope other moms will have the confidence to make her needs known in a non-whiney, matter-of-fact manner. For you, maybe you can trade chores with a neighbor or friend. Maybe you need laundry help, meal planning help, or childcare so you can take the time to accomplish the physical things you need to do. Asking for help is an unselfish act! Continuing to "do it all" to keep up your own appearance of supermom, all the while, growing bitter and resentful of your family and your duties is what is selfish.
This reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha. Martha is so stressed about getting the physical work done, she grows bitter toward Mary and completely forgets the fact that Jesus...Jesus is in her living room! Martha needed a change in priorities and she, just maybe, needed a little physical help. I would much rather spend time with my kids looking at books, playing trains, or jumping on the trampoline than mopping a floor or barking more orders at my family to "help me out already!"
Excuse me, but the cleaning ladies just left. I'm going to bask in the shiny floor for the few moments it stays that way.
|That is a beautiful sight!|
|Sweet little touches these ladies leave behind.|
|Sparkling sink? Yes, thank you! And I didn't even have to|
follow The Fly Lady's instructions!