Hiring Help: The Best Money I Ever Spent

doula in richmond

Today, I came home and my house was clean.  I don't mean just mostly picked up, I mean dusted, vacuumed, wiped down, dishes put away, looks like the guests could arrive at any minute kind of clean.  And it stayed sparkling clean until my adorable youngest sweetly asked me to read to him, and ALL OF THE BOOKS fell off of his shelf onto the floor.  Obviously they stayed that way all night, because no four year old in his right mind can be asked to pick up ALL OF THE BOOKS IN THE WORLD at 4pm after a long day of preschool and playing,

But for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES my house was clean.  And it was glorious.

I can't tell you the number of women I speak to about wishing they had someone to clean for them, even just wiping down the kitchen or folding and putting away laundry.  It's not about having a partner who shares the duties, but that at the end of a long day, where you both worked 8-10 hours plus commuting, you have picked up the kids or relieved the nanny, and now there is the rush of cook-eat-dishes-bathe-homework-jammies-toothbrushing-reading-snuggle-bedtime-TV-quality time-sleep all to be done in the next 3 hours, who has even the mental space to pick up ALL OF THE BOOKS when they come falling down?  Not me.  Not my partner.  And certainly not our 4-year-old.

In these days where we are rushing to fit everything in, all of the work, connections, activities for the kids, family time, adult time, more work because we couldn't get it all done,

it is ok to admit that you want help

doing the things there aren't time and energy for.  It is also ok to prioritize those things in your budget.

The greatest money I ever spent was that which cleaned my house while I was gone.  And its not because I am not good at housekeeping (although I'm not really- my mind has too many other things to pay attention to than whether or not I actually swept under that cabinet) but because what I'm really paying for is peace of mind. 

It is knowing that once every two weeks, my house will be clean, even if only for five glorious minutes. 

It is relief of the clutter and the energy spent worrying about when I'm going to be able to find an hour to scrub the bathrooms as well as they need to be scrubbed with three boys living at home.  And that relief, my friends, is priceless.

Finding the money to hire out our deep cleaning is not always easy, but it is a priority, because

I am a priority and so is the time I spend with my family. 

Because having the time to read to my youngest when he asks so nicely is a priority.  Because I want to be able to watch Netflix snuggled up with my honey and not folding and putting away laundry EVERY NIGHT (because we all know laundry is never ending).  Because during the day, I need to be able to focus on work, not when the bedsheets are going to get changed. Because I am a better mom and wife and business owner when I know someone else is taking care of those details.

I've been asked how I'm going to teach my kids to clean if I have someone do it myself?  And the answer is: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. 

Well, no, ok that's not actually what I say, but sometimes we want to, right?  But if I'm not feeling defensive about it, I remind them (and myself) that firstly, our kids already do a tremendous amount of chores for their age and capabilities, they are learning responsibility and systems for caring for themselves and a home.  Secondly, I'm also teaching them how to be their best selves, and

sometimes that means getting some help doing the things that are sucking joy out of your life.

You deserve this peace of mind.  You deserve to be a priority.  You deserve to invest in yourself.  And when you do, send me a photo of you sitting on your comfy couch in your clean living room, reading to your little one.  I'll cheer with you, because

it. will. be. GLORIOUS.

 

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Victoria McCollum

Victoria McCollum is a birth and postpartum doula and owner of Doulas of Fredericksburg, in Fredericksburg, Virgina. She resides there with her husband and three precocious sons.