You are aware of my love-hate relationship with you, are you not? I begin my weekly rendez-vous with you the night before, where I sulk, agonize, and grimace about the next day. That day inevitably comes, and I really have to kick myself to get started cleaning.
We used to hire cleaners, when the kids were under age three. Then it got to a point where I couldn't bear paying someone else good money when both kids were in school (at least part of the day). So I set a pretty rigid schedule for myself, since if I didn't, cleaning would just never get done. I clean one floor on alternate weeks, so it's like having the cleaners come bi-weekly. No one likes to vacuum and dust and scrub toilets, but I did come up with a few reasons why I do do it:
- I count it as exercise. After I am done cleaning, I
smellam drenched (sweating, check); I am out of breath (cardio, check); I am tired and sore the next day (weights, check).
- I get exclusive kids-free time. If the kids are home while I'm cleaning, I get to shake my hands free of them. If they are
killing each otherfighting, then it is none of my businessDaddy's job to break it up. I get to completely ignore the kids' never-ending yapping, their commands for snacks, or demand for potty help. It is heaven to my ears.
- No one will clean better than I. Let's face it, no one I pay will do a better job at cleaning my house, because I love this home and the people living in it.
- I get a huge chunk of time to think. Free of kids duty and doing repetitive labor means I have a stretch of 4 to 5 hours of constructive brain time. In fact, I wrote this entire post in my head while I cleaned today. That's what I call productive.
In all reality, the reward of cleaning is in the moment I finish, when I look up and see a very clean house, free of dust, spots, stains, and clutter, and I feel SO GOOD. And I better feel so good during that brief moment, as any second now, the kids will be trekking in dirt from outside, dropping crumbs from their snacks, or spilling juice at the most opportune time. Oh, there's one more added bonus to cleaning for me: it is also a cooking-free day. DH takes us all out to dinner so that I don't have to do another chore, but most importantly, perhaps we can keep the kitchen/dining area clean for an extra 12 hours.
So now that I have convinced myself of why I am so punctual on seeing you on a weekly basis, perhaps I must read this letter on those nights-before-cleaning when I am suffering from the dread of our date. Then again, maybe not.