Wednesday, August 4, 2010

EFM: Enduring Free of Maids

Given this past blog posting on domestic employees/maids, it should come as no surprise that I've decided to tackle the house cleaning by myself.

After I got done with all of the unpacking, which was less than a day's chore, it wasn't like I had a whole lot going on anyway, especially before we got the Internet hooked up. Now that I'm finally back in touch with my contractors for freelance writing, I might find that my day is filling up quickly between doing work and practicing Spanish that a little extra assistance might be nice. But I doubt it.

But I've gained a new appreciation about how much work goes into keeping a house clean. The real reason women entered the workforce, I think, is based solely on the fact that housework is much more difficult than office work. I've done both now, and it really hasn't even been a contest. Then you figure in the whole added benefit of bringing in a paycheck as well and is it really a head-scratcher as to why women wanted out of the house?

We live in a fairly large home by our standards. There's a few rooms we never use. And we have no children, so looking over a house shouldn't be too great a task, you'd think.

Someone(s) had warned me that there is a lot of sand in Mexico, and it finds ways to your home no matter what you do.

And while I don't have a child to clean after, I do have a dog, and she leaves behind lots of hairs. Between the sand and dog hair, hardly a day goes by that I don't have the broom and dustpan in my hands for at least an hour.

And sometimes, I think Tiffy just likes to make more work for me. Here is her eating. Notice that she doesn't "hold over" her bowls. No, that would be too easy. Instead she takes a kibble or two out of the bowl at a time and chomps over the floor.

The other aspect of being a "home owner" is keeping a yard. There is a movement a foot that whenever a diplomat moves out, if he/she did not tend to the yard (or pay someone to do it for them) and it is either overgrown of burned out, the housing management company tears out the yard and either paves it (backyard) or fills it with rocks (front yard). Our front yard is full of rocks.

But we do have a grassy backyard, which equates to another couple hours of work for me each week with hedge clippers. There isn't enough grass to justify a lawn mower, and if I found a decent electric edger, I'd consider using that, but I've only seen gas edgers.

Then throw in laundry, dog walking, cooking and doing the dishes, and it isn't too hard to see how I fill most of my days.

It is a lot of work, but another part of the reason why I want to do it myself other than to fill my schedule is to take some ownership of this house. One of my first impressions of this place was "we just haven't lived here long enough to make this feel like our home as opposed to guests." One good way to not feel like a guest is to not have strangers come in every so often and do all of the cleaning for you. So far that is working, as I feel responsible for this place now.

And for all of that sand and all of that hair.


  1. Give it a few weeks or so and you'll finally think "hmmm...paying someone less than $20 is totally worth not having to clean all day. That's 6 hours of my life I can spend doing something else.

  2. It is the best $25 I spend every week. Come home on Wednesday and everything is clean with no more dog hair.

  3. Get the maid. So worth it even if you only have them dust and do the floors.