Shortly after Olivia came home from the hospital my parents gave us money specifically for a professional service to clean our home for a couple of months. At first I bristled. Paying someone else to come clean my house seemed like an absurd luxury and even though it wasn’t money out of my pocket I was still leery.
I felt pampered. And I felt lazy.
Reason prevailed, and I realized this was one gift that I needed to accept with open arms. It was a gift after all. The first time the cleaner came I was actually annoyed because it seemed horribly inconvenient to leave the house while it got cleaned. Oh the horror of being inconvenienced.
But when I came home, my feet immediately felt the smoothness of the pristine floors. My hands glided over the clean counter tops. I looked in the microwave and even that was sparkling. Even my ceiling fans had been dusted. Maybe the inconvenience of leaving the house for a few hours wasn’t so bad after all.
This whole experience has reminded me that I can’t do it all. Sometimes it is better to outsource something so you can do the important things better. Recovery from the traumatic hospital stay was a priority. I needed to emotionally and physically recover from that.
The emotional recovery was harder than I expected. Even though a few friends who have been through some traumatic situations with their own children warned me, I still figured I would just bounce back really quickly. I was surprised at how emotionally exhausted I was.
I surprised myself at how slowly my own recovery took–and I wasn’t the sick one. I hardly realized the amount of tension that was building up, and I shocked myself a few times at the thoughts and outbursts of frustration I had. All of this served as a reminder that my family’s needs, and my own needs, needed to take front seat in this recovery process.
And if housecleaning could help, well then, so be it.
The freedom of knowing that I could overlook things because it would get cleaned later, has been so nice. And, honestly, I can promise you that my floors would not have gotten nearly this clean if I had been the one doing it the last couple of months.
This wasn’t just about a clean house. It was about relieving an extra pressure and responsibility. And that is a huge gift.
We’re about to wrap up our housecleaning service. But I honestly feel ready to get back to my normal routines. Even two weeks ago I couldn’t have said that. But now, I am. I know that having a lot of extra pressure off me in these first couple of months, has shortened the overall recovery. Had I tried to do it all right from the start, I would probably still be in recovery mode.
Would I pay for it? You might wonder since it was a gift, if I would pay for it. I’m thankful my parents designated the money specifically for that, or we would never have spent the money on housecleaning, and we would have never realized how helpful it really was.
But would I actually spend the money myself? Well, right now, probably not because we are seminary students living on a shoestring budget. But honestly, this experience has showed me that it is well worth the money especially during difficult seasons, if you can legitimately spend the cash. So, yes, I would consider it again.
Thanks Mom and Dad. You contributed more than just a clean house. You contributed to my emotional and physical recovery and well being.
And you can’t put dollar signs on that.