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4 Reasons You Can and You Will Get a Cleaning Lady

Years ago a friend of mine, newly married and about to have her first child, said “I have to get a cleaning lady. Working 40 hours a week and having a kid AND cleaning my house- it can’t be done.” I remember judging her so hard. I admit before kids I was the judgey single girl who slept as long as she wanted and had no idea how much work (and house cleaning) goes into parenting. My immediate thought was, “do you know how many single moms are raising several children at once, working two jobs and still cleaning their own house? It CAN be done.”

Now that I am a mom, and I know other moms, you know what we want? A cleaning lady. I can’t count how many moms answer this question, “what would you do if you won a million dollars?” with “HIRE A CLEANING LADY!” Why? Because our families don’t stop with the messes! I spent an hour and a half cleaning the house the other day. I scrubbed two bathrooms, vacuumed AND mopped the floors and finished a couple loads of laundry. Just as I was patting myself on my back for a job well done I looked back to the kitchen table now filled with crumbles of the snacks I let the kids eat to keep them occupied, and then I tripped over the trail of toys they pulled from the four corners of the earth to play with while I CLEANED THE HOUSE! GAH!

When you tell people you are hiring a cleaning lady they are thinking one of two things:

  1. You must be rich.
  2. You are being lazy.

Turns out you don’t need to be rich to afford a little extra help, and it actually makes you smart not lazy. Here’s why you should hire a cleaning lady, even if you have to sell a pint of blood to pay for her. Kidding. But I’ll totally do it if I have to!

You save your time. It is actually very rare for moms to get time enough to clean everything that needs to be cleaned in a day without a child asking for a snack, or complaining about the atrocity their sibling just committed. You can’t focus on both things at once. But a cleaning lady is there to JUST clean your house. Her attention isn’t divided so the whole cleaning process goes smoother and faster. What might take you two hours may only take her an hour. That means one more hour of your time to spend it the way you want. Play outside with the kids; sip a beverage on the deck, read a book! Just don’t feel guilty you aren’t the one inside scrubbing out the toilet.

You save your energy. The big misconception of hiring a cleaning lady is that you need her to come to your house every week. Not true! I actually hire someone just to do the bigger cleaning. The summer months are the hardest for me to manage. I can just about keep up with the bare minimum, but having a pro come in twice a month to do the bigger clean is a huge help to my stress level. I feel more energized to do more with the kids like watch them run through the sprinkler while I sip my iced coffee on the deck.

You won’t have to break the bank. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on hiring cleaning help. Just pick out a few hot spots in the house that are difficult for you to keep up with and find someone willing to do those specific tasks. For me I can’t keep up with the bathrooms and the floors in the summer. The kids bring in so much water and dirt from playing outside, and bath time happens every night. It always looks like a show at Sea World after bathing two kids. Hiring someone to mop my floors and scrub down two bathrooms every two weeks costs less than having someone come every week. And so worth the extra time I get back! You can also hire someone to come do a deep cleaning once or twice a year. No harm in asking Santa for a little extra help during the Christmas season!

You can help another mom. Hiring a cleaning company is going to be more expensive than hiring an individual who cleans homes. I found another mom who started cleaning houses so she could have extra cash to be home with her child. She selected when she wanted to work and how much to charge. I was happy to help another local mom provide for her family, and I got shiny floors in return! Total win-win!

You can definitely make having a cleaning lady more affordable by limiting the amount of cleaning hours needed. For example, I make sure my kids pick up all the toys beforehand so vacuuming and mopping are a breeze. I also make sure things are put away in the bathrooms so there isn’t anything to clear out of the tub. Before your help starts they will assess the size of your home and go over everything you’d like to have cleaned before giving you a time frame. Once you agree on a plan they know exactly where to clean and waste no time in getting it finished. Everything is negotiable, so knowing what you want help with really counts.

I only hire extra cleaning help during the summer to maximize my time with my family. Otherwise I couldn’t afford it. I am deeply grateful for the extra help every couple of weeks. The rest of the year I am on my own. Oh and one more bonus, I am less likely to get upset about a new mess in the bathroom after it’s just been cleaned when I wasn’t the one that “just cleaned that!”

Do you ever hire extra cleaning help?

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

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Friday Favorites – A Blog Hop through Motherhood

One of my favorite things about being a blogger is the connections I have made over the years; not just with other bloggers, but with other moms. I have relied on other mom perspectives to get me through every age and stage with my own kids.  Moms with kids older than my own have really helped me understand that perfection is not key to a happy childhood, and moms with younger children remind me just how far I have come since those early days as a brand new twin mom.

I really feel like my blog also gives me the opportunity to lift up other moms and share their struggles, successes and stories. This week for my Friday Favorites segment I am sharing some other mom blogs that help me illustrate the first 7 stages we go through as moms. Maybe one of my readers will connect with the information being shared and find some confidence or inspiration. And I like sharing!

THE FIRST SEVEN STAGES OF MOTHERHOOD

Oh my God I’m having a baby!

If your are expecting your first baby you are probably freaking out about delivery and what to bring to the hospital. Will they have good snacks? Will I sleep comfortably? What should I wear? Check out the ultimate checklist for What to take to the Hospital from This Mom Blogs. 

Oh my God I just had a baby!

You just had a baby and the first thing you can think about is how to get rid of the “baby weight.” You might be obsessing a bit with finding just the right system to help you get back into shape. Check out how Jenna The Calm Mom changed her Postpartum mindset. 

Will I ever sleep again?

It is an urban legend that babies automatically sleep through the night. Every parent must run the gauntlet of sleepless nights and learn to function for months on very little sleep. Ryan at The Blessed Mess shares her experience with Sleep Training her son Liam.

How is my baby turning a year old already?

We all get through that first year in a blur. We don’t know how we did it and it feels like over night our little wiggly baby became a toddler. Read Chelsea’s Year in Review at UR Basic mom.

Help! I am outnumbered and they have me surrounded!

Babies do not come with instruction manuals. Nothing can prepare you for the trials of parenting, but there are some resources out there to help. See how Aryn at Cream and sugar is getting parenting help from Boys Town USA.

The mom community is great at sharing tips and tricks for connecting with your kids. Experts have written books about what moms already know. Sara at A Mom and her Momtourage shares Little Things We Can Do to Help Our Littles Feel More Loved.

Throwing in the towel on making it all perfect. 

Total shameless plug for my own blog! I am giving you 4 Reasons You Can and You Will Get a Cleaning Lady!

How do I make extra money to afford these little people?

Even with the best laid financial plans, kids will completely mess up your budget. They are expensive and demand large amounts of snacks! So what can you do on the side to earn some extra cash flow? Erin at Debt and Sweat shares her secrets for Flipping Furniture on Craigslist for Profit. 

All seven stages all happen in the first 6 months to 072 years as a mom. Motherhood is filled with learning moments that come at you fast and furious. There is no training for this and no two moms will face the same exact challenges. The good news is we are all in this together. So, hang in there mamas! We got this!

 

Disclosure notice: clicking on any of the links above will redirect you away from The Whatever Mom website. It is the responsibility of each blogger participating in this hop to include their own disclosure policies, business relationships and how they use affiliate links.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

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Friday Favorites – My Summer Life Hacks

5 Life Hacksfor Balance

The kids an I are in full camp mom mode and ready for our summer adventures. No school and no sports means the kids and I are spending a lot more time together. While I love the extra time (most days) having them home all day does cause a few hiccups in my daily routine. It isn’t easy shopping with kids in tow and having them home all day means I’m cleaning up all day.

As soon as my kids wake up they want a project to do. They will either pull out all of their toys or crayons and paper and set to work. It’s great to have kids who can so easily entertain themselves, but they are still working on the cleaning it all up part. I have learned to let somethings go, but I still find myself tidying up behind them. And if I want to get any kind of work done, I have to turn a blind eye to the mess they are making while I am in my office.

Between cleaning up the messes, making snacks/meals, schlepping us to the park, the library and playing outside; there is the laundry, the grocery shopping and writing a few blog posts each week. I also have a mile long summer project list of things like painting the deck, cleaning out the garage and creating a dramatic command center before school starts (ha, ha OK that’s not really going to happen).

That sure is a lot for one person to manage in a day. So, here are a few ways I am hacking my way through summer:

  1. Get a Cleaning Lady. I know everyone thinks this is a luxury they can’t afford. It isn’t something I can afford regularly either, but during the summer months I hire a little extra help to balance life out. I pay a local mom who is looking to make extra cash to stay home with her child. Not only am I supporting another mom, but she isn’t charging as much as a cleaning company. I also only have her come to my house every two weeks for a bigger cleaning. Narrow down what you need the most help with (for me it’s the bathrooms and the floors) and ask for a quote on only those areas.
  2. Outsource Your Shopping. My biggest time (and sanity) saver is ordering my groceries online. In the past I have had them delivered directly to my house. Now I use a curbside service where someone else spends the time pulling the groceries and bagging them up and then they bring them to my car. I don’t have to get two kids out of the car to shop!
  3. Do The Laundry Every Day. I know this sounds like a lot of work. Between the wet towels and bathing suits, the 10 outfit changes per day I find summer brings more laundry. I toss a load of laundry in the wash at dinner time and then in the dryer after dinner. Then I fold heaping piles of laundry while sitting in front of the TV at night. I don’t even put it away until morning. Actually I make everyone put away their own laundry away in the morning.
  4. Give The Kids A Bath. I know it can be hard to give kids a bath every day, and there are some nights, especially if we’ve been home all day, where we skip bath. Make their bath time the last activity of the day. Give them fun things in the tub to play with like glow sticks, grow capsules, shaving cream tub paints, or colored ice cubes. Set them up with a dinosaur wash, or a car wash and let their imaginations take over. Giving my kids extra time to play in the tub gives me extra time to do other things. Like sit down.
  5. Give Yourself A Break. If you are home with kids all day, or maybe you work a 9-5 and the evenings are packed with a bustle of family life, it’s OK to take a break. Enjoy some time to relax. Even if that means leaving the dishes in the sink while you sit outside with your beverage in hand soaking in the evening sunlight. Be sure to take some time with friends, or take a walk alone. I personally like to take the kids to the gym with me (childcare is free) so I can watch my grown up TV shows and they can play. It’s a nice break in the day.

There ya have it, my five go-to favorite summer life hacks. I can’t get everything done in a day without relying on these five things!

What other tips do you have?

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

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2015 in review

We are just days away from a new year. I can’t help but look back on 2015 with much appreciation for all of you! I am blown away by how many people follow and comment on my blog each week!

WordPress put together this annual report for The Whatever Mom, complete with site stats and most popular posts. Feel free to read through. 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I am also excited to share that I was recently interviewed for I Am a Hudson Valley Parent. I have been lucky enough to blog for Hudson Valley Parent for the last two years. I am honored to be a featured parent in 2016.

One of the questions I was asked about my blogging revealed an answer that surprised me. I shared that the toughest thing for me about writing my blog is revealing the darker parts of parenting, the less glamorous and talked about struggles.

This has me thinking, what parenting topics would you all like to see discussed in 2016? Please feel free to comment below with your suggestions or email them to Whatevemom@gmail.com

I look forward to continuing to grow my blog with desirable content, building my Whatever Army and connecting with new friends! Thank you all so much for a great year! See you all in 2016!!

The Whatever Mom is a full time mom and part time crazy lady living off the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry, sandwich making and writing her blog. It is her dream parents every where will join her Whatever Army and accept that we are all in this together!

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Mom’s Night Out is Important – GIVEAWAY!!

The other day I cracked under the pressure of potty training the twins alone while my husband was away for FIVE days. I took to social media to share my plight. I described my fantasy of checking into a hotel for three days to shower for 8 hours alone, eat some chocolate cake and watch hours upon hours of mindless TV. Judging by some of the comments not everyone shared my enthusiasm for moms taking alone time.

For the record, I don’t want to spend time away from my kids. I just want to unplug from the demands of my day job.  Being home with kids 24/7 is hard work. I would love a break now and then. That’s why I look forward to Mom’s Night Out (MNO)! Whether it’s going out for drinks or dinner or my new favorite, Vine Van Gogh paint night, moms *NEED* a time out!

Vine Gogh Paint Night
Vine Gogh Paint Night

Here is why I love a night out once in a while:

Spending all my time tuned into the demands of 3-year-olds obscures my link to other humans. I could go days without chatting to another adult. Sometimes I long to be connected to the rest of the world. I don’t mean the dramas of Facebook, but an honest connection with friends. When I spend time with other people it feels like I have more people in my circle than just princesses and Strawberry Shortcake. (FYI: totally a snooty bunch).

Not a snooty one in the bunch!
My circle of peeps.

When I leave hubby in charge for a night it makes him more aware of the amount of work it takes to get our kids from the breakfast table to bedtime. It’s a bonus if he has to handle the bedtime shenanigans all by himself. Plus, it’s great daddy-daughter bonding time, right?

Sharing war stories with other moms gives me perspective. My kids do stupid things all the time. In the moment of cleaning it all up I’m not laughing… until I hear about how it happened to some other mom. Stuff is just way funnier when its not happening to you!  It reminds me that I am not living in a bubble and that all of the stress of parenting is temporary. Yes. Even 18 years is temporary. One day soon I’ll be sending them off on the school bus to spend 6 hours of their day with other people. Then like a week later they’ll start college!

When I talk to other adults and use big words like “legalization” and “perfunctory,” it reminds me I am smart and stuff. It makes me feel like those few remaining brain cells clustered way in the back haven’t failed me!

When I spend too much time with poop it makes me ‘hatey.’ Five days alone with twins who are potty training is insanity … no it’s twinsanity! No one should ever have to clean up that much poop. Ever.

Back when I was a ‘working girl’ I’d count down the week till Friday at 5 o’clock! Then I could check out of my work week and head out for nom-noms and beer. Now my 5 o’clock countdown is for bedtime with no promise of nom-noms or beer. Except on Mom’s Night!

I like to paint... and I like to drink wine.
I like to paint… and I like to drink wine.

Thank you Vine Van Gogh for another great night out!

If you haven’t been to a Vine Van Gogh paint night yet you’re in luck! Enter for your chance to win a 2 pack of tickets to the Brews and Brushes event at Keegan Ales on Aug. 20th! Click here to enter

No skills required! Just you, some friends and some fun!

Vine_Van_Gogh-Logo-website

Actual Facebook fantasy status update: After this week alone (that’s 5 days in a row) while hubby was away for work (eating steak for dinner, talking to humans and sleeping in a cushy hotel) I realize something:
All I want for my birthday is to check into a hotel for 2 maybe 3 days, take a 8 hour hot shower alone, order some fresh hot food and sit down while I eat it….maybe even lie in bed and eat it… yeah, totally lie in bed and eat it. Might binge on a little (or a lot of) chocolate cake. Watch actual live TV and sleep. I’m not even going to get dressed, just wear a robe. Then I’m going to wake up and take a nap before my lunch of chocolate cake and champagne. I might text a few mom friends while I’m at it and tell them to make up an excuse to get out of the house. Say you need to run to Target for ‘lady supplies’ and drive over here to hang out for a few hours. I’ll put on clothes and we’ll just laugh and eat and watch TV. It will be great!

Where do you go for a fun Mom’s Night out?

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED*

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