I did something crazy a few weeks ago. I let my housecleaner go. He was great. No complaints there. But I had been thinking about it for awhile and just decided to go ahead and do it. It was really a bit of luxury for us and great while it lasted. Originally he came every two weeks and then we went to every three weeks with my supplemental cleaning in between. I loved coming home on those Thursdays to a clean and refreshed house. Chris cleaned for us for about a year and before that, at our other house Barb also cleaned for a little over a year.
Why would I do this?? I honestly can't say that I had any inclination that the stock market was going to go below 8500 points and I was taking advance steps towards tightening our budget at home. A general tightening of the budget was in my mind, and I also wondered if it was really necessary for our tiny family of two to have a housecleaner (the house, except for the bathrooms, never gets that dirty anyway).
But there is another part of me that felt that I lost touch with my own house. Is that weird? I think there is a benefit to being engaged with your home and something both meaningful and practical that is lost when everything is left to the hired help. When I am the one scrubbing the bathroom floor I notice the that caulk along the base of the tub needs to be done and I make a mental note of it. The housecleaner is not necessarily going to notice and even if he or she does they may not remember to tell you about it. On a less practical note is not the scrubbing and dusting just as much a part of making a home as say the decorating and cooking?
I am not implying by any means that I am noble or deserve a pat on the back because I am back to cleaning my own house. I am just glad to be an active particpant in the 'keeping' process again, I guess.