When Working Moms Should Hire A Cleaning Service

Hire a Cleaning Service: When Working Moms Should Hire A Maid, Housekeeper, or Other Cleaning ProfessionalLadies, let’s just discuss: have you hired a cleaning service or cleaning professional to help clean your home? Did you hire a cleaning service BEFORE kids, or was it only something you investigated once you became a parent? (Or, did you ramp up from, say, a quarterly cleaning to a biweekly cleaning?) When would you advise other working moms to hire a cleaning service? On the flip side, is the cost of daycare (or nanny or other childcare) so great that you can’t get behind the idea of hiring a cleaning service — and then have you gotten into the Flylady system or some other cleaning schedule for yourself (even if it’s just a last-minute cleaning system when company’s coming)? 

I still remember when I realized it was time for my family to use a cleaning service — it happened when my older son had just upgraded from the baby tub to the regular tub. For some reason, when I took my own showers I never noticed all the mold and soap scum on the tub, but sitting on the floor next to my son who was happily licking the walls and toys and drinking the dirty bathwater (WHY?), I was horrified. Up until then, my routine for keeping a “clean house” involved 15 minutes every day when I wiped down counters, scrubbed toilets, dusted something, or organized something — but I realized that with a small, crawling, growing little man (who was licking weird stuff) that I needed to raise my game. I had no particular interest in spending more than 15 minutes a day cleaning — or even to scrub the tub on a regular basis! — so this kind of depressed me. 

Around the same time, as luck would have it, we went out for a date night with another married couple, and they started talking about how AMAZING their cleaning professional was. “She’s like the housekeeper I had when I was in London,” the husband, A,  gushed. The wife, my friend N, piped up: “Yes! She asked if she could organize A’s closet and then did a great job!” 

We expressed interest, and so they asked, and soon their cleaning professional, O, was cleaning our home once every two weeks. My home quickly became WAY cleaner than with my own cleaning method — not just cleaner, but more organized. There was at least ONE DAY every two weeks where I felt a sense of peace and calm coming from a 100% clean home. There is no way I could go back to the way things were before!

Some tips from someone who’s had a cleaning professional for a while:

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A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: Land Services Agent in Kentucky

working mom in Kentucky with anxietyFor this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Autumn, a working mom in Kentucky. She works as a land services agent for a public utilities company and is 37 years old with one child. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please fill out this form! You can see all posts in this series here.

First, Some Basics…

Name: Autumn
Lives: Kentucky
Job: Land services agent for a public utilities company
Age: 37
Home Situation: I live in a 2500-square-foot home with my husband, who works in IT, and our 3-year-old daughter. We have four bedrooms; one is used as a playroom for our daughter and one is for my husband’s office/man-cave. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years and we are slowly trying to declutter and renovate.
Childcare Situation: My daughter goes to preschool 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday ($180/week). Every now and then I keep her home with me just for fun.

Last Week in My Life

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How Did You Decide How Many Kids to Have?

How to Decide How Many Kids to Have: Working Moms Discuss!Here’s a fun topic for today: How did you decide how many kids to have? How did you decide whether to try for a second (or third, or fourth) child — or when to stop having kids? Were you influenced by an outside factor (such as money or your own health), experience (either your own childhood, your birth experience, or your general experience with your first child), hope (such as “trying for a girl” vs, say, abstaining from trying because you hoped for a promotion), or some amorphous factor (such as “feeling like everyone is here now”)? For me, the decision to both try for a second as well as to stop having kids was a combination of all of these reasons, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

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Recipe Open Thread: Give Us Your Best Summer Recipes for Working Moms!

summer recipes for working momsWhen readers took the survey a while back, many of you noted that you wanted to see more recipes for working moms. Recipes aren’t really my forte (I cook a lot of the same, easy weeknight dinners on repeat) but we’ve started including recipes in our weekly news roundups. Today, let’s have a proper recipe open thread: Which are your best recipes right now, ladies? Which summer recipes work with your work schedule?

I always forget that I hate the oven in summertime, and every time the weather gets hot I’m left wracking my brain for new recipe ideas. We just made slow cooker Korean Tacos from this recipe on Hellobee (DELICIOUS! So happy we tried it!), and it’s definitely going into our summer rotation. The recipe calls for 8 hours on low, but you can easily add more time. (You can also start with frozen flank steak and/or try it with cauliflower rice — the dish pictured above has a mix of white rice and cauliflower rice, flank steak, cucumber slaw we made at the very last minute, and sriracha. YUM. Other summer recipes in heavy rotation now:

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Baby Registry Regret: What Baby Gifts, Toys, and More Did You Regret Putting On Your Registry?

baby registry regretHere’s a fun thing I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while: baby registry regret! What did you consider to be the registry FLOPS — what items did you really regret putting on your registry (or otherwise buying for your baby)? I’ll acknowledge at the beginning that this can really be particular by child — I know that there wasn’t always overlap between what my sons liked when they were babies. Still, some of the things that would be on my list of my biggest baby registry regrets:

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A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: A Midwestern Lawyer Mom with Four Kids

lawyer mom to four kids in the midwestFor the sixth installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Elizabeth. She’s a 42-year-old consultant/ lawyer mom to four kids; she lives in the Midwest. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please fill out this form! You can see all posts in this series here. You can also sort by tag, such as “daycare,” “au pair,” and “lawyer mom.” (We’re working on devising a system that makes sense.)

First, Some Basics

Name: Elizabeth
Lives: Midwest
Job: consultant/attorney — I lead annual strategic planning efforts for hospital clients, as well as hospital mergers.
Age: 42
Home Situation: 

My husband is family medicine physician who covers inpatients at the hospital every third weekend. We have four school-age children: A, 13-year-old son; E, 10-year-old daughter; B & D, 7-year-old twin sons. We live in a 4000-square-foot house in the suburbs.

Childcare Situation: $18,000/year.

We have had Au Pairs for the past four years. The last two have been males. Prior to that we covered childcare with a number of options: a preschool teacher/nanny, a college student that lived in during the summer, hubby took Mondays off and I took Fridays off. We love the Au Pair help. My spouse and I have schedules that change from week to week, depending on his inpatient load and my travel. Having an Au Pair has eliminated the hours of stress and scrambling with multiple care providers to try to cover different hours we needed. For instance, the preschool teacher was a wonderful caregiver but had a family of her own so was unavailable to help in the evenings or weekends. Fortunately, we have a supportive family network nearby that was able to assist in some of those previous pinches. But it is nice now to have that family come to support the kids’ extracurricular activities or have special one-on-one time with the children, rather than serve in the role of an emergency babysitter.

Our Au Pairs transition about every year or so. We have appreciated the ease of picking a new care provider to sync up with the evolving needs of our children. For instance, our first Au Pair was a nurturing female who was excellent with our toddler twins. Or more recent Au Pairs have been active males who play sports and make up fun games to play. I expect in a few years we will be interested in a caregiver that can provide more homework support.

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