One of my mother's favorite pieces of advice to her daughters was this: "The best two things in life a grown woman can have is a hysterectomy and a housekeeper."
This advice always struck a chord with me given that I asked for a hysterectomy when I was about 13 when I had just started my period. Not that my period was all that exceptionally rough or anything, but the prospect of having it every month for the rest of my life was daunting. I even asked my doctor about it back then and she quickly laughed at me. My mom found it highly amusing as well.
Mom had her hysterectomy after all of us kids were raised, and she was sure that she and Dad were done with the birthing part of child-rearing. Apparently pregnancy and childbirth had been hard on my mom's parts and had left her with a "tippy uterus." Yep. That's what the doctor called it. After Mom got tired of feeling like she had to pee all the time, she went in to have it taken care of. After a few weeks of healing, she said it was the best thing she ever did. None of us kids took it as an insult because we knew that she loved having us, but the effects that the stress on her body was too taxing to live with forever.
Then came the housekeeper. We never had a housekeeper when we were little -- money was too tight for things like that when there are so many able bodied people in the house to help -- but Mom worked hard to make sure the house was clean and tidy. She wasn't obsessive about it, but I don't remember ever feeling embarrassed when company "popped" in to visit. I knew the house was always presentable. When I was in high school, Mom hired a local woman to clean the house a few times a month. We were all busy doing our own thing and growing up, and Mom was a busy woman between owning her own business and working hard and doing things she enjoyed. Dad worked nights and spent a good portion of the day resting and working outside in the yard. So, in a moment of prioritizing, Mom hired a cleaning woman. Let's be real, no one likes to clean. We may be good at it or find it therapeutic, but no one really likes it. Every two weeks, Gerri came by the house to do all of the intense cleaning, and we kept up with the small stuff -- vacuuming, sweeping, keeping the kitchen tidy -- in the meantime. It freed up a lot of time for my mom to do things she enjoyed. After all, there are certainly more important things in life that dusting and mopping and all that. Especially with the first crop of grandbabies starting to pop up.
As an adult, I'm good at cleaning, but I hate it. It makes me sneeze and clouds up my head. I'm pretty sure it's allergies, but, whatever it is, it's miserable. JD hates cleaning as well. We'd both rather spend our time doing things we enjoy outside. Gardening. Archery. Even mowing the grass (which I actually enjoy doing). The problem is that a messy/unclean house causes me a ton of anxiety (I'm sure in part from coming from a clean house that was always presentable at a moments notice). So, after some serious thinking about my life balance and considering things that I can "let go" in my life to ease some of my stress, JD and I decided to go ahead and hire a bi-weekly housekeeper. Three dogs generate A LOT of mess, and just looking around and seeing dustbunnies around the house prevents me from being able to relax. So today a cleaning person is coming to take some of my anxiety away. with work stress, wedding planning, and general life to think about, cleaning isn't a huge priority for me. But I still want a clean house, so I'm willing to pay someone to do it for us.
I'm both excited and nervous to go home and see the results. I'm most excited about a super clean bathroom (the area I hate cleaning the most) and dust-free shelves. I'm most nervous about how my dogs are going to react to this cleaning ninja. We'll see when I get home. Fingers crossed.