Who does this? It is 10:00 pm, the night before my new cleaning lady comes to clean my house. I have spent the last three hours furiously stirring up dust as I de-clutter, rearrange, and whisk away all the items that I’ve been walking around for the past… for a long time.
Sound familiar? I am cleaning before the cleaning lady cleans. Why?
I grew up in an era when the matriarchs of the community still tried to put Donna Reed to shame. I think I do pre-cleaning cleaning because I feel like I have let down an entire generation of June Cleaver women and my Mom.
So, I strive to alleviate my feelings of inadequacy by sprucing up the house so that the cleaning lady won’t remember what a mess and dust bin I live in. Pride? Desire for self-sufficiency? Guilt? Yes. Yes. And yes.
Now I am sitting in front of my computer, sneezing and wheezing from my cleaning endeavor, grateful to be writing. And, I am anticipating coming home from a long day of work tomorrow and relaxing in a clean, tidy house. I may even put on a starched cotton frock and dress pumps as I lounge on my couch taking in the comfort of a clean home.
Maybe not. Who even owns a dress that needs to be starched these days?
With house pre-cleaned, the guilt is slipping away. I recall that my mother usually followed up my cleaning attempts with her cleaning success. She set high standards and taught my sister and me how to achieve clean-house perfection. Not once has Mom ever judged me for not keeping my house tip-top.
Perspective: “Super clean housekeeper” doesn’t have to be on my list of accomplishments. My mom taught me how to clean house; she also teaches me that it is okay to live, dream, and follow other passions. Thank you, Mom! I will call you tomorrow night when I am enjoying my clean house.