Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My not-so-dirty secret

I have a confession to make - one that I have kept from close mum friends for months now for fear of being judged. So here it is. Deep breath. I have gone and got myself a cleaner.
I know, big deal, what's all the drama about? The thing is, I know a lot of my fellow mummys, many who work far more hours than me, don't have a cleaner and still manage to fit in going to the office, feeding, clothing and entertaining their offspring while whizzing round with the vacuum cleaner and giving the loo a jolly good clean. And I only have the one to look after. So why couldn't I?
It is a question I repeatedly asked myself when the little man's daddy proposed that, with a happy boost to our income, we might be able to get some extra help around the house. He was keen to point out that this suggestion wasn't motivated by a desperation to do something about our slovenly home (a wise move) but more that he could see I was struggling to keep up with my various job titles - domestic goddess, high-flying journalist, mummy - and why, when we were lucky enough to be able to afford it, would I choose to do otherwise? After finding myself scrubbing the bath at just before midnight, I reluctantly agreed.
But what would my friends think? Would they judge me, thinking I'm spoilt, or worse, lazy? Actually my friends are all lovely and I'm sure such thoughts wouldn't even enter their heads - in fact, they would be happy for me.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised the person I was afraid of disappointing was me. Shouldn't I be able to do it all? If I admitted defeat, what about when more children came along. How would I cope then if I couldn't now?
But then our fantastic cleaner visited and did in two solid hours what it usually took me all week to do, leaving me free to spend quality time with the little man. I confess it felt rather odd at first having a stranger cleaning up after us but I have got used to this over the weeks and any misgivings were quickly forgotten as I basked in the knowledge that one of my things-to-do had been ticked off the list without me lifting a finger.
I do still feel the occasional prick of guilt but I know that, when I return home tonight after a day's writing, I will find a sparkling home that will lift my heart as I step through the door. And tomorrow, when I would have been polishing the silver, I will be playing with my little boy instead.

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