What you do when the Maid goes Away…
First, cry. Okay, just kidding. I didn’t cry. But when my husband and I decided that we couldn’t afford our twice-a-week housekeeper (who was our kids’ nanny for the past few years, too) I did feel like I had just been punched in the gut. Okay, fine, punched myself in the gut. You see, we don’t have our parents or close family in town, so when it comes to ‘family’ help with the kids, our maid/nanny was as good as it got.
Um… honesty check. My ‘punched in the gut’ feeling had nothing to do with the fact that she was close to our kids. After all, she’s still in town and is still available to babysit here or there for them.
No – My gut was twisted because now I would be responsible for our entire house staying clean.
Alrighty, then! Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’d like to share with you penny-pinchers out there some fantastic tips for making the most out of a housekeeper-less house.
- 1. Choose your children’s dresses wisely. As in, don’t let your girls wear the fancy dry cleaning/hand-wash ones. And as you bring that cotton stretchy dress towards your youngest and her face screws up and she cries, “NO! I want to wear a DRESS!” you just flash that Stepford Wife smile, shove it over her head and shout, “Where’s the baby, where did she go?!”
- 2. Who even looks at your son’s school pants or your daughter’s school skirts? No one will notice they aren’t ironed, right? As long as you iron their shirts! Right? RIGHT?
- 3. Give your kids extra “Light bucks” (earn 26 and they get a free dinner out with mom or dad) for every time they go out of their way to help clean. Strip them of a Light buck every time they refuse to clean up their mess.
- 4. Don’t sweat. (Seriously. Because if you sweat, you can’t wear it again.)
- 5. Use paper plates and bowls. Consider calculating the money you are spending on paper plates and bowls, but then – quick! – go check your email! (So all you really had time to consider was how much you hate doing dishes.)
- 6. Notice how dirty every surface of your house is, start cleaning it all, get overwhelmed, get attacked by killer worms, then go to your computer. You will succeed to apply to 100x more jobs in just one sitting than ever before!
So there you have it, Readers. I don’t recommend quitting (like I did recently) or being fired (like I’ve done in the past) when you don’t have another job lined up. But it happens (or – um – you make it happen, if you are the one who quits), and when it does… now you’re prepared.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)