Hello Aspierations Friends!
Today I'm going to tell you a dirty little secret. Don't worry, no-one in our family got caught making inappropriate texts! We'll save that drama for the male sports stars out there. (I'm looking at you, Brett Favre and Tiger Woods.)
Lest you worry that any kiddos lurking might read something inappropriate, I try to keep this a family-friendly blog. Nah, the grime and filth I have to talk about is nothing that needs to be parentally rated. Sorry if any of you out there were disappointed.
So here it is. Every other week, we pay to have Molly Maids come and clean our home. I'll admit that I find it embarrassing to be at home at the same time that the ladies are silently judging my housekeeping skills, so during the two and a half or so hours that they are here, John and I usually try to head out of dodge. Goddess of grime removal I am not...
I don't think John would mind staying home but aside from feeling guilty about my pathetic attempt as a domestic diva in training, I'll admit to something possibly more disturbing. I don't particularly like the noise of the vacuum unless I'm the one running it and I can't stand the smell of most cleaning solutions. In fact, there are many out there that I am allergic to.
I should get a shirt that says, "Dirty Girl... Allergic to Cleaning"... heck, I might as well just get a tattoo. (Just kidding if you're out there reading, Mom! My body is still as pure as the day I was born. Well, you know what I'm getting at. Oh, never mind...)
Speaking of tattoos and not my old Fantasy Island departed friend, Herve Villechaize, I did want to let a special blog visitor out there know that I FINALLY started the book I got for my birthday that you recommended, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." Granted, I didn't get very far last night before my reading time was cut to a quick close BUT I have started and once I get into a book, which shall be soon (as in this weekend), I am a quick reader. I look forward to sharing my thoughts.
Tangent over... (if you've been following my blog for any substantial amount of time, you've probably missed those tangents. If you're new around these parts, hang on for the ride!)
Back to the Molly Maids. When we moved to Washington, John and I decided that no matter how much extra work we would have to do to pay for it, we would get maid service (every other week) and a gardening service to make sure that our home stayed in good shape both on the inside and the outside.
With money being a challenge, I'm sure some would say that we should drop the services and do it ourselves but these are two indulgences which not only would take us a ton more time to do on our own than by the professionals and the time we save by having them do it allows us to sell more stuff and pay for their service. To us, it's a total win-win.
Now I have to say, if it weren't for John, our house would regularly look like the Tasmanian Devil was taking up residence. I help and do what I can but John can get so many things done in so much less time. We have different skill sets and his doesn't include an incredibly annoying gag reflex and vivid imagination when it comes to smells and gross stuff. (In my house, mold is a four letter word.)
We've talked about this and it makes sense for me to take on the tasks which are my forte' and for him to take on tasks which are his and to get the kids to do the rest. (Kidding... but in all seriousness, both Justin and Ryan do have age-appropriate chores as we believe it's important to teach them life skills at an early age.)
I suppose if you look at a lot of what we do, both domestically and business-wise, we have a lot of traditional role-reversal. Does it make him any less of a man? Not at all! If anything, I am so especially grateful that I have a guy who enjoys cooking and doesn't mind taking care of a lot of the domestic chores. I think it's a lot more manly for a guy to help around the home than to sit with a bunch of guys drinking beer, burping, farting and waiting for his wife to serve them appetizers.
Of course, I hope John doesn't feel ripped off in the wife department. He has expressed thankfulness that I keep track of the finances and pay the bills every month, help out with the clothes shopping and gift-giving and do certain business tasks. I may even have some other skills in there too. You'll have to ask him...
I do bake a really awesome birthday cake!
Parenting is something we do together and even though we have different styles, we both love our kids tremendously and have no problem spontaneously or routinely problem-solving, helping with homework, calming a meltdown, singing a lullaby, playing a game or taking a family walk.
I'll admit when I started to write this blog, I felt a little ashamed about admitting that we use a maid service but I wanted to share it because I think that all parents whether they have kids with special needs or not need to prioritize their strengths and their areas for improvement. A lot of times the days are so busy and seem so long that you just can't get to everything you had intended to do and that goes both for personal life as well as career.
My belief is that if you want to be the best possible parent you can be for your child, you need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. That means spiritually, physically and emotionally. It means relationship-wise with your partner and extended family. Some would say that's selfish and maybe it is but not in a negative way for that kind of selfishness as long as you have balance and your priorities in alignment leads to selflessness. In other words, when you're at your best, you have more to give to others.
The other day I wrote a blog which touched upon the concept of having a New Year's Evolution versus a New Year's Resolution. Here's the link if you missed it or want to read it again.
For me, this year I am going to focus on my journey and my path toward being the best "me" I can be so that I can be the best partner, mother, daughter, friend, blogger, autism and asperger's advocate, business owner, "insert your label here" that I can.
That means mothers and fathers out there that it's OKAY to have maid service. It is okay to ask for help! It is fine to have someone take care of the lawn and garden. It is not an added expense when you pay for it with extra family time, work time and personal time. For those who took economics, think about opportunity cost.
I am also going to work on trying to make my life less cluttered. I tend to be a bit of a pack rat... despite all best intentions. I plan to focus more on the people, things and priorities that matter most to me.
So that's my dirty little secret for today, Aspierations readers! Hope my enticing little lead-in was backed up by a blog you felt worth reading. I invite you to come back. Who knows what secrets I might share in the future?
Take Care of Yourselves, my blog friends! Do something today to treat yourself! My vote is for a nice long warm bubble bath with nicely scented candles (flameless if you're in our household), a tasty drink, some favorite music and the company of a good book or a great partner!