Monday, January 24, 2011

Haus Frau

On Friday night, my husband and I attended a mini high school reunion for all his high school buddies and their wives. Some of them he still sees fairly often and I know them, others he hasn't seen in years and years and I've only met them once or twice. Some of his high school friends I've never met, even though they've all stayed within a county of where they grew up. They're an amazing group of guys. I'm sure they had a lot of nice things to say that evening, but we wives immediately segretated ourselves so we could do some good "girl talk."

This included, but was not limited too:

Giving Birth and Nursing (as one of the other wives is fortunately still having babies--I'm not the very last one)
Kids and school
Getting our kids to do work around the house
Getting our husbands to do work around the house (fortunately not something I struggle with. Props to you, Big Daddy.)
Lack of sex
Too much sex
Accessories (for our clothes, not for sex, you dirty minded person!)
and finally...
Cleaning ladies

This last topic was one I was particularly interested in hearing about. It has been a fantasy of mine for a long time to have a cleaning lady. I'm pretty good at tidying up my house, keeping it looking fairly clean and uncluttered ( quiet, Honey. I know this is all relative). What I'm not particularly good at, and what I enjoy the least about cleaning, is the deep cleaning. You know, washing base boards, scrubbing that area behind the toilet that your mop won't reach, dusting the nick-nacks on the bookshelves, etc. I realize my cleaning skills are all about making the greatest transformation possible: if the floor is super dirty, I love cleaning it. It really shows. If a room has gotten super cluttered, straightening it out and clearing off all the surfaces gives me joy. When the silverware drawers have gotten full of little crumbs, taking out the silverware and washing the tray is actually a pleasure. But when you really can't see the difference, as is the case with most of the deep cleaning (if you can't see the dirt, does it really need to be cleaned?), it just isn't dramatic enough of a change to make me excited to do it.

SO...enter the idea of a haus frau. When I lived in Germany, everybody had a haus frau, a cleaning lady. Even people with tiny apartments and town houses had a haus frau come once a week or once a month to give the house a good shine down. Big Daddy hates mowing the lawn, so he hires a crew to come and do it each week. For about the same money, I could get a cleaning crew in once a month to do all those little deep cleaning chores I hate the most--and I would know that at least once a month, my whole house was clean. Not just tidy, but REALLY REALLY CLEAN.

So when I found out a bunch of my husband's friends' wives use a cleaning lady, I thought....maybe I should do it!

So I you haus frau? How do you like it? Any recommendations or advice? I'm all new to the idea so I welcome any thoughts.


Financial Aid for College said...

Step one: earn about $300 more per month
(4 X $75 per week).

Step two: decide that $300 per month can be used on LOTS better things than a cleaning lady, even if you have to do it yourself!

Go out to lunch with all the money you saved.

alex dumas said...

I find that in every single gathering of females, the topic of conversation usually touches on the topics of sex and childbirth. I understand why. But I can't participate!

rae said...

Well-used service out here. And, for the most part, well-liked.

Kristina P. said...

I bought a Groupon a few months ago, and had two ladies come in. I've never had anyone clean our house. I liked it.

BUT, what I didn't like about this particular place is that they had a checklist and didn't really divert from that. I would have loved for them to do the baseboards, my ceiling fan, etc., but they just did the basics. They did a great job with those, but I wouldn't use them again.

veronica said...

I have someone come in every other week. She will tackle whatever area I ask. I usually have her focus on the things I despise: bathrooms, baseboards, walls and blinds.
In between her visits, my older kids are responsible for upkeep on their assigned bathroom and they have other daily jobs.
I love having the help of a cleaning lady. I say GO FOR IT! Have someone come in once and see what you think.

My WV: gonmess ...It's a sign, hire someone and the mess will be GONE. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'd ever hire a cleaning lady, tbh. Though if times ever got tough, I would certainly work as one.

Excellent Parent said...

my friends its. Sex, Birth, Photography or Twilght. we are an educated bunch...

Jen said...

This is something I would love to have. Especially since most of my downstairs is TILE, and I HATE to mop. lol It would be nice to hire someone once a month to come and mop the tile, clean the ceiling fans, and all the baseboards and windows. Thats really all I would require. The yucky stuff that I HATE doing.

just call me jo said...

My daughter has a couple of ladies come in about every two months and they clean anything and everything she asks. I had a couple of cleaners when I was pregnant (ages ago). It was nice to come home from work and have the house spotless, but when I got a child and really needed it then I couldn't afford the cleaner. Sigh! I'm probably more likely to be one than have one. I just never wanted to put my money there or couldn't afford to. If you can, go for it!

Sara said...

I wish I had one, only for the deep cleaning though, otherwise it would be a waste, cause my kids can undo everything in about 15 minutes!

Mrs. O said...

I love those transformational cleaning tasks as well. Especially shining up the wood floors.

I grew up with live in maids in the Philippines and my mom keeps telling me I should hire a cleaning service, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Bjorge Queen said...

I agree with L.

Recently a friend of ours said: "Our cleaning lady is really great. You should try her." I held out my hand and said "Let me introduce myself: One income household, here."

We're paying for private school for my child with autism until such a time as the district feels like stepping up and taking care of his needs.
We also have one bathroom. Those words, so foreign these days, wake me up in the middle of the night when I've almost drifted off to sleep. You know when that happens? Like you're not sure if you just heard your child cry from the other room or if it's just a figment of your imagination? I can hear a 4 year old screaming from one room over "ONE BATHWOOM!!!" and I jump with a start.

Does anybody actually still have one bathroom? The Bjorges do.

So I will be doing all my own cleaning for the time being, until we can put together six thousand dollars, which is what it costs to pay cash to do a bathroom on the cheap these days. (When you're doing your own cleaning, there are advantages to having only one bathroom.)

Suzie said...

Back when things were different for me financially I had a cleaning lady come in twice a month to do deep cleaning stuff.

LOVED it. COming home to that kind of clean is...well...orgasmic.
(however, with it carried guilt for spending the money. I never got over that feeling)