Depth: 5'2"

Admitting you're in over your head is hard. It hurts. I don't know anyone who enjoys it, and I don't know any fellow perfectionists who can do it without feeling a great deal of shame, hesitation, or remorse.

This afternoon, I admitted that I was in over my head, and I pulled out a recommendation I've been sitting on for months -- I called a professional housecleaning service, and have an appointment with the owner after I get back from my conference. We're going to go over what parts of the house I could realistically ask a third-party service to clean, and if the cost is reasonable ... bite the bullet, swallow my pride, and do it.

I am -- to be blunt -- exhausted. I have been working off and on to deal with the clutter around the house, and it is in better shape now than it has been in some time, but I recognize I cannot maintain my current intensity at my job and hope to keep whaling on the house at this rate. If I could have someone help deal with the bigger chores, it would ease both Jeff's burden and mine, and I think it would do wonders for me. 

I don't want someone to make my bed every day, but I would like to have some part of my weekends and evenings that wasn't devoted to Trying To Keep My Life Afloat. I'd like to sew without guilt, or actually go out every now and again without feeling the weight of the to-do list pushing down on my shoulders.

I've put in an enormous effort over the past couple of months to deal with some long-standing issues with room use and closet layouts. Taking a rarely-used room and turning it into a sewing room rapidly dealt with some of the issues, and ripping out and redoing the office turned it into usable space, too. But now I need to finish hanging shelving in the closets to make them work for us, and work on major structural decisions around the house ... and I can do those OR I can keep up with the day-to-day.

I hate admitting I have limits. I hate letting anyone see them. But I realized it was a matter of time before all my friends compared schedules and realized that nobody has seen me in months, so I'm staging my own intervention here.

I'm afraid to ask what it's going to cost. I hope it's reasonable, but I think I'd pay it, even if it wasn't, just to get the bathrooms scrubbed and some semblance of order kept in my house. 

It's a sobering thought, realizing that friends who live in California will, after next week, have seen me more frequently in the past five months than friends who live three minutes from us.

Comments

Um, yes. You can't do it all. Nobody can. And having some leisure time is critical to your health and happiness.

cleaning services++ Even if it's just someone to scrub the bathrooms and mop the floors every couple of weeks, it's SO GOLDEN. And it's so relieving to just look aeround and "zomg the house is relatively not horrible!" once in a while. It's a treat.

You are A woman, not SUPERwoman. Having someone help with cleaning is just good time management!

Be gentle with yourself as you get used to managing cleaners.  There's some learning curve to figuring out which tasks you can or can't hand over, and what needs to be done to your house to make it safe for a stranger to clean it.  There are often tasks that the cleaners will really want to do, and if any of those are tasks that you would like to keep, you may need to be very firm about it.

I routinely have "if I weren't such a slob with my whatever, they wouldn't have misplaced it, so it's all my fault" moments concerning my cleaners.  I find it easy for shame about my habits to inhibit me from making reasonable requests of them.

Finding a day of the week for them that's tolerable, took a little effort - I need some time in my schedule on the day before, so I can tidy up for them, but I also need to be out of the house while they clean, and my odds of "kids home early" on Fridays turned out to be unacceptably high.  I can't seem to get out of having to tidy for them, but "put that away or they'll do something stupid with it" is an easier motivation for me to handle than, "put that away or you'll drive your housemates slowly insane."

March 17, 2012