Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Deal With It: is hiring someone to clean my house bad parenting?

I went back to school.

Okay, I enrolled in one class.

Okay, it's an online class.

Okay, it's a week-long online class.

OKAY it's only got one lecture, and no grades.

You people are killing me.

MY POINT IS that this class is helping me (baby steps!) to get myself back on track. And a big huge part of getting back on track is figuring out what I want. Starting with what would make me happy.

Now, besides a Mediterranean cruise - which would, by the way, make me very happy indeed. Unless, you know, this happened. And oh! The irony that the ship is named "Triumph". IRONY I LOVE YOU. But I digress. Besides the Mediterranean cruise, there are some other more manageable things that would make me very happy.

One of them is having someone help me get - and keep - this house in shape. My house is clean. My house is not a slum, and is not hugely cluttered. But it could be better. I need less piles of laundry, for starters.

Putting away laundry makes me profoundly unhappy. It makes me so unhappy that I choose not to do it - only to be made EVEN MORE UNHAPPY BY THE PILES OF CLEAN LAUNDRY EVERYWHERE. It could be worse, I suppose. It could be dirty laundry. But it's not! I don't mind actually washing the laundry. It is the putting away part that kills me.

I am convinced that there is someone, somewhere, who would love to iron and put away my laundry. I just know it. Person, I need to find you. I am thinking of placing an ad on Craigslist:
"Me: love to wash clothes, hate to put away. Owner of deluxe ironing board and excellent iron, along with plenty of hangers. You: love to iron, know the best way to fold a fitted sheet, and are comfortable opening drawers without fear of what may be inside. Let's connect. Piles of laundry await your TLC."

And then there are the little things. Like, dusting. I have all manner of ledges and nooks where dust accumulates, and I need someone to show up on a regular basis and deal with it. It's not laziness on my part - I just forget. Or postpone. For example (and this is, of course, just an example and bears no resemblance to my actual life. JUST AN EXAMPLE FOLKS.) I go to sweep away a cobweb I spot in the corner of my living room ceiling and a shower of dead ants rains down on me and its like a fucking horror movie and I NEED HELP PLEASE COME HELP ME.

I tried to have someone clean my bathroom but it turns out I am way too uptight to have anyone clean my bathroom sufficiently. So as much as I HATE cleaning my bathroom, I am going to have to keep that responsibility on my to do list. Luckily my uptight-ness compels me to keep the bathroom in a pretty manageable state.

But my stovetop? No. Not even close. It's a mess and I never find time to clean it.
Oh, and the windows.
And the window ledges.
And mopping.

I think this is what I am supposed to use the kids for - but the problem is that I don't want these things just done - I want them done well. Really well.

If I cannot do them myself - and time has shown I cannot be relied upon to do anything in a timely manner - and if my kids do a half-ass job when I try to pawn it off on them, then I guess I really do need to hire someone. But here is my conundrum: If I DO hire someone to come and deal with these things in a more thorough and timely fashion than I am willing or able to, is this a bad example to set for my kids? Should I be showing them that we all have to do things we don't want to do sometimes? It's not that I am lazy -  I am more than happy to pick up an extra shift at the restaurant to cover the cost - I just hate doing this stuff and then I procrastinate so that I am miserable because I HAVEN'T done this stuff. And then the self-loathing really kicks into high gear.

Do I have to clean my own house thoroughly as part of my responsibility as a mother? Am I supposed to teach them good habits and self-sufficiency even if it makes me completely fucking miserable? Do I have to set up a huge chore chart and give myself scratch and sniff stickers to get my ass in gear?

Because I really, really like scratch and sniff stickers, but I don't have a lot of faith that they will help in this particular situation. Though I suppose it's worth a try.

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