57 answers

Will Hiring a Cleaning Service/Maid Send My Kiddos a Bad Message?

Ok Ladies, here's the deal -

I'm a single mom of 4 kiddos (1,2,4,8) and I just recently had to transfer from a flexible schedule at work to a normal 9-6, M-F and my house is a disaster! I was thinking about hiring a weekly cleaning service.

My ex-MIL said that hiring a maid or cleaning service would spoil my children and teach them that laziness is acceptable and it "isn't important to have personal accountability as long as you can pay someone else to do it for you".....

Her suggestion was for me to just "sleep less" which I think is ridiculous but I wanted to take a poll, JIC.

Note: I also hired a lawn service 6 months ago so I wouldn't have to mow it myself. My X MIL gave no objections then because mowing the lawn is a man's job.... How do I ask her to keep her opinions to herself?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone. I did not volunteer the info to my XMIL, but she found out through the kiddos and then communicated her feelings, back through the children. When I approached her about not using my kiddos as a messenger service, she gave me her opinion.

Featured Answers

don't discuss anything with the EX mil. don't ask her for opinions.
i would get a cleaning lady, a cooking lady, a folding-laundry lady, an anything lady if i could afford it if that meant more time for me with my kids.
you being a single mother of 4 is sending one message to kids: that moms is doing great and her best to keep the family happy, healthy, well-fed, well-taken care of, on top of doing it all by herself.
if you can afford it, go for it.

5 moms found this helpful

I know everyone has already said to do it but, how much help are a 1,2,4, and 8 year old when it comes to cleaning in the first place! I say that being all of my 4 are between 2 and 8. Yes the 4 and 8 year olds could do chores but isn't like that is going to keep the house clean. If you can afford the maid, get the maid!

3 moms found this helpful

I work all the time and by the time I get home from work and taking kids to baseball and what not it is 10pm. I hired a house cleaner a year ago she comes every two weeks and it was the best thing I ever did. My stress level is down I'm happy and the kids are Happy. They still have to clean up there room and what not but I don't have to worry about the deep cleaning. I say go for it.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I live in the Philippines. Most of the people I know here have maids. I don't believe it will send a message to your kids as long as you still let them participate in household chores. You must let them be responsible for their own mess (toys, etc.), despite having a maid.

Also, if your maid does something wrong, don't talk to her about it in front of your kids. You should let your kids see that the maid is not somebody who's "beneath" you, but someone who is helping their mommy out with her household chores.

It is not laziness when you hire someone to do your job for you, I can do it all by myself but I just don't have the time. I'm a working mom and I have a little toddler to take care of. So it leaves little or no time for cleaning/chores.

The idea of maids to me is not ridiculous. We've had a maid when I was a kid and I'm not a lazy person. Also having a maid will leave you more time with your kid, which is what is MOST important.

5 moms found this helpful

don't discuss anything with the EX mil. don't ask her for opinions.
i would get a cleaning lady, a cooking lady, a folding-laundry lady, an anything lady if i could afford it if that meant more time for me with my kids.
you being a single mother of 4 is sending one message to kids: that moms is doing great and her best to keep the family happy, healthy, well-fed, well-taken care of, on top of doing it all by herself.
if you can afford it, go for it.

5 moms found this helpful

MIL, you've got to love them, even ex-MIL...they are so OFF!!!! There are other things sending a bad message, believe me, and hiring help to keep the house clean in definitely NOT one of them!!!
Hey, if she is not happy with your choice maybe SHE can come and help you out...:-0 lol!!!

4 moms found this helpful

Dear A.,
I find it intriguing that your ex-MIL is weighing into your household decisions. You have a huge burden on your plate with 4 young children and a full-time job. No person can do it all. I think it might be prudent to hire a cleaning service once a week. You will still have a lot to do to keep up the rest of the week. A cleaning service will help you keep your head above water. And, what a joy and relief to come home on that day to a nice, tidy house! You are working hard, I know you must be! If it were me, I would probably smile and thank her for her input, and then go do what I was planning on doing anyway. :) Hang in there. If you find that you don't like/need the cleaning service, you can always cancel the service. And, in the meantime, train your children to pitch in (I'm sure they already are), and eventually, you won't need to pay anyone else to do it. You will be able to do it together with your children. Blessings!

4 moms found this helpful

Well, thanks to your ex MIL, I just snorted hot coffee out of my nose after reading "sleep less".

Hire a cleaning service!!! And tell that lady to butt out!

4 moms found this helpful

Unless you and your kids do nothing to keep clean during the week, how can it be a bad message? I have been a single mom for 17 years...I wish I could have afforded help.....as to women's lib on the backs of poor women? ridiculous....single women must work and I, university degreed, used to clean houses for extra money and it paid great! There have always been levels of employment - work is work...and I am a former office holder in NOW....I would rather look at it that you are giving another person work....you go girl!!

4 moms found this helpful

No... It will not send a bad message. We have a cleaning service that comes but they do the CLEANING. My kids (my husband, and myself) still need do the picking up!!! The girls have to put away laundry, pick up their rooms, and help with dishes.
I look at is as a way for me to me a better mother to them. When I am home on the weekends I am not mopping and cleaning toilets. I am at the zoo, dance class, etc. with the girls.
Good luck and YOU need to do what is best for your family. Don't worry about what your X MIL thinks. I am sure she will ALWAYS give her opinion weather you want it or not. You can either not tell her things or just ignore her. Asking her to keep her opinions to herself might just open a can of worms.
MB

4 moms found this helpful

Here's house I see it: even though you may have a cleaning service come in to clean the house once a week, you still have to work to maintain the house between visits and daily chores that still have to be done everyday like washing the dishes, making the bed, picking up after yourself, feeding the dog if you have one. Having a weekly cleaning service is not living in the lap of luxuary; it's a necessity when you are a single working mom with 4 kids and can afford it.

As for your ex-MIL, you can either not be so forthcoming regarding the hows and whys of how your run your house or, if she does offer an opinion, just say, "Oh really. That's something to think about," and just move on to another topic of conversation and just let what she said go. I am learning to just let other people have their opinions because, Lord knows, you can't stop them from having them, and that it's best sometimes just to let somethings roll off your back. Peace is nice.

Now, go call that cleaning service and enjoy some peace and relaxation!

4 moms found this helpful

I bet your are glad she is your Ex - MIL..

No it will not send a bad message, especially if you remind your kids that the service is not there to clean up ALL of their messes, but to help you and your children keep your /their home tidy.. Then work on getting the kids to take responsibility of keeping their bedrooms straight.

When my husband and I were both working so many hours, we had a house keeper. We asked her to do very specific cleaning.. Bathrooms, mop, vacuum, change the sheets on the beds and help with laundry.. I told her we would fold our own clothes and for her not to pick up our daughters toys. She would also dust and other cleaning if she had time left after she had completed what we had requested.

This way our daughter knew we all had to fold and put away our clothing. Her floor needed to be picked up so the floors could be cleaned.

I also had our daughter thank the house keeper and sign all of the thank you notes we left.

There is no way we could have survived that time in our lives without her help. You do what is best for your family. The time you save, can be spent caring and loving your children.

4 moms found this helpful

My friend has only two kids and a husband and works full time, she has a nanny come every other week to get the big stuff. Of course they keep up in the meantime, but they house gets it GOOD once every other week. It is not bad at all for you to hire someone to come in!! You have 4 kids and work full time! The older two can certainly help out with things, but I bet they have a lot on their plates too with only one parent. Definitely get one and tell her to bug off :).

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Perhaps she'd like to clean for you? lol

3 moms found this helpful

Why do you care what your MIL has to think. If you wanted her to keep her opinions to herself you would not have shared that you are thinking of hiring a maid. DO what is best for your family - also maids clean the areas you tell them - if you want you can hold the kids responsible for their own rooms.

3 moms found this helpful

NO!! I don't think it sends a bad message at all. But like several of the pp said, you will have to pick up in order for them to clean. We had a cleaning service a while back and it was great. I did one thing that really helped ME out though. It was generally up to me to make sure the house was picked up, and I always told my oldest that if her room wasn't picked up that the cleaning lady wouldn't clean it and that she would have to do it herself. It always got picked up. Oh, and PLEASE DON'T clean before they come no matter how dirty. They've seen it all and that is what you are paying them for. . . .

3 moms found this helpful

I know everyone has already said to do it but, how much help are a 1,2,4, and 8 year old when it comes to cleaning in the first place! I say that being all of my 4 are between 2 and 8. Yes the 4 and 8 year olds could do chores but isn't like that is going to keep the house clean. If you can afford the maid, get the maid!

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ABSOLUTELY not!! You are a mom of FOUR kids, who works FULL time, #1 and #2, a single mom!? God bless you first of all :)

I was going to hire a cleaning service last year and I had 2 kids at the time and I'm married. I ended up quitting my job to stay home, but not everyone is fortunate enough to do that. Beng a mom is hard, 24/7 job. Everything else aside, i'm sure you'd like some time just to spend with your kids! And some time for yourself! You go for it!! What I would teach the kids is that the service is a CLEANING service, not a MAID service. There is a difference. They aren't there to pick up their stuff, and keep their belongings put away. That is something that as they get older can become an issue. I've seen that, I had my own cleaning business for a few years. Let the kids know they come to help out mom, cleaning the kitchen, baths, mopping, dusting etc. So you have more time to be their mom. But they still need to put their toys away, make their beds, whatever it is you expect from them. Kids can get spoiled by having services, but only if you let them.
If you can afford it, by all means do it!! You deserve it. You're only one person girl!!

3 moms found this helpful

That's awful that she said that....hire the service! Your children are still expected to clean up after themselves as they do now, but at least your house will be clean one day a week and will hopefully stay cleaner a little longer! I have someone come in once a week & it is so wonderful. I have 4 kids AND a husband.....not having to worry about cleaning so much frees me up for other things like laundry & paying bills. OH, and sleeping!!! That's crazy. As if you can give up precious sleep!!!

2 moms found this helpful

"Will Hiring a Cleaning Service/Maid Send My Kiddos a Bad Message?"

God, NO. Not only that, but it becomes VERY simple to turn it into a teaching moment: No single person can do everything on their own. We all need help.

((BTW... kudos to you! I haven't had a maid since before my son was born. I MISS having a cleaning service, and would sign up in a heartbeat -and intend to at the first available opportunity))

Also, hate to burst your MIL's bubble... but unless you are hiring someone to live in house with you and work every day EVERYONE still has to clean. Not only picking up after themselves, but also the daily chores of living. A cleaning service just takes care of several hours worth of deep cleaning that lets you stay on top of things.

My only word of caution: kids who come from homes where they have a maid and don't spend all day in it (because of school & daycare) TEND to get obnoxious about other people's homes who are much messier. Not out of malice, but out of the simple fact that whatever the child's life, they view that as "normal". It's why young children get all excited about people with different color skin, or kids get "shocked" about a family that does something very differently (like has a grandparent that lives with them, or goes to bed later/earlier, or whether or not they're in daycare, etc. So just as we all get mortified by announcements that "That man is BALD! Look at how FAT she is! etc." expect that with your newly clean house, you kids will start commenting that "Your house is messy" to their friends, unless you talk to them ahead of time.

And here're 2 poems for you MIL

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
For children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- (attributed to several sources, the web seems to say Ruth Hamilton due to a 1938 ladies home journal submission, but it's been found embroidered on things from before she was born, although a few lines are either missing or added in this particular version from the older ones, but I *like* the kanga and roo line, amongst some others, so this is the version I'm posting)

version ii (my favorite short version, note the differences? I like them as well :)

I hope my child looks back on today
and remembers a Mum who had time to play
There will be years for cleaning and cooking
But children grow up when we are not looking
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
Cos babies grow fast, we learn to our sorrow
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I'm cuddling my baby, and babies don't keep

2 moms found this helpful

So many great responses already, and I have to add that you are already setting a great example to your children by maintaining a relationship with their (overbearing and insensitive) grandmother. You are lucky to have job that supports yourself and your kids, if you can afford to have a cleaning service come in and scrub your toilets, go for it! Family responsibilities can be taught during everyday routine activities like clearing the table after dinner and picking up towels after bath time. I don't know when it was decided that Mom's had to do all that work by themselves, I didn't get to cast a vote in that decision! Keep your utterly patient and kind mindset and let your Xmil's comments roll off your back, you are a super woman!

2 moms found this helpful

Your ex-MIL doesnt have any kids at home any more so therefore has nothing elso to do, she has all day every day to clean. You dont, you work and take care of 4 kiddos, which is a full time job in itself. As for sleep-it is a medical need!!! Not kidding here, all doctors and experts will tell you that. I would just try not to let her in on things your thinking about doing in the future, only you know what is best for your family. If she says something about it, just tell her "this is what works for us" Hopefully she will get the hint that this is what your going to do regardless of what her opionion is.

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Dear A.:

No, hiring a maid does not send the wrong message, as long as you make a point to teach your children, at the appropriate ages, how to clean bathrooms, wash clothes, et cetera. Your children should do chores between the maid's visits, also. Teach your children that maids do the deep down clean, the everyday stuff is still the family's responsibility. And counter any complaints by telling them that they need to know how to clean because very few people have a maid service at college or in their first apartments!

My sister has had a maid for years and I had a maid service for a few years and our children are turning out fine.

As far as the X MIL keeping her opinions to herself, don't count on it! I'd just learn to tune her out. Everybody's entitled to give their opinion; doesn't mean you have to follow it or even listen to it!

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

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I think hiring someone to clean is perfectly acceptable. You work full time and when you aren't at work and are home with your kids the last thing you want to be doing is regular cleaning. I think as long as you have chores such as everyone make their bed and put their toys away then it should be fine. Also have your kids help with dishes. Even when you have someone to help you clean doesn't mean you don't ever clean or pick up after yourself. I would just tell your X MIL that you need to do what's best for you and your kids. Also having a clean house is better than a dirty house and having a rested mom is better than an overtired mom. I hope this helps.

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If you can afford a cleaning service go for it! You will not be teaching your children laziness. You will still be having them pick up toys and their room, and I assume that you would still be cooking meals, cleaning kitchen, doing laundry, etc. so there will still be plenty for you to do around the house to show your "personal accountability". Besides, you can teach your children this way: you are giving someone money that they need to keep their family fed and clothed, so you're helping someone else while they are helping you. Having someone clean your house for you allows you to spend your time at home with your kids, well rested, and allows you to be comfortable in your clean home while having quality family time. The alternative would be a grumpy you because you're sleeping less, or less time with your kids.

2 moms found this helpful

It all depends on how you handle it. You are single Mom and you have four kids...enough said! I am a cleaning lady and I require that all clutter be picked up before I clean, so you can teach your kids responsibility by taking care of their clutter before your service comes. I don't think you are spoiling them, you are teaching them how to best use resources....Your ex-MIL is trying to live life through you. let her vent and then let it roll off your back!

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I would go ahead and hire the service. As a fulltime mom of 4 kids and my husband works nights, it is very hard to keep up with everything. I would just make sure the kids know that they must take care of things also. No leaving stuff all over just because someone will be coming to clean up. They should still have their own chores to do, picking up and putting things away themselves. They should be accountable as members of the hosue and family.

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OK, now that I've stopped laughing at your ex-MIL's comment I can finally respond.

You can still teach your kids "personal accountability" and have someone come clean for you. Assign chores to the kids that they keep up with. You work for a living and are being held personally accountable for all that goes it.

Plus, you are teaching your children another valuable lesson: Sometimes we need help and there's no shame in getting it.

Good luck! Your ex MIL sounds like a piece of work.

2 moms found this helpful

That would frustrate me beyond belief. As someone who used to clean houses, I don't think there is anything wrong with it. You work a full time job, have four kids to yourself at home (which is another full time job I can imagine) and telling you to "sleep less" is just insane. Paying someone to do something that allows you MORE time with your kids is not something I see as a bad thing. Besides, I would assume you wouldn't let your kids be total pigs until the housekeeper comes. They can pick up their toys, clothes and help keep things from being total disasters in between cleanings. Go for it. I know I would. Good luck in your search!

2 moms found this helpful

Nothing wrong with it . . . your ex-MIL is living in another decade but in this day and age it is perfectly acceptable to get help when you need it! But that doesn't mean your kids should be slobs in between cleanings. Organization is very important and so that is a skill they still need to practice, but if you can afford the cleaning and it keeps your sanity (as it does with me) then go for it!

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I am a SAHM who uses a cleaning lady every other week for deep cleaning that I don't have the time or energy to do...well unless I "sleep less"...LOL!!!

I use a woman, not through an agency, but friend of the family. She makes really good money cleaning 5 days a week...in fact she will go on "vacation" sometimes up to 3 months at a time and boy does my whole family miss her.

You do what you need to do!!

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I am a nanny for a family, and they have a cleaning lady that comes in 2 times/month to clean and do heavy cleaning. It's giving the house that much-needed facelift too! It's so the mom/dad don't spend their time outside of work, cleaning the house, and can spend that with their daughter.

I am hoping to be able to hire a cleaning lady to come to my house 1 time/month starting soon.

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I hate hearing about outsiders trying to tell Mom's how to raise their kids!
A., My family had a house keeper my entire life. It had nothing to do with my Mom being lazy, it was more about wanting a clean house and having no time to clean it.
My parents did make my brother and I do chores around the house. We washed the dinner dishes every night and did a few things around the house.
Now, my brother and I are 38 and both of us keep a very clean house. Bottom line, You are in charge at your house. Sleeping less is probably the most insane thing I have ever heard.

I know it's hard, but i would talk to your X MIL and tell her you appreciate her being interested, but she is going to have to let you raise your children. THEY ARE YOUR CHILDREN!
Good luck.. Pray about it.

2 moms found this helpful

There is nothing wrong with hiring a cleaning service!! It will relieve some stress from what has to be a very busy schedule and could give you some quality time with the kids as a bonus. Your X MIL needs to mind her own business. Perhaps she would like to come over once or twice a week and clean your house (on a regular basis) if she is so concerned about demonstrating responsibility to your kids? No I wouldn't want her going through my things either.

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I work all the time and by the time I get home from work and taking kids to baseball and what not it is 10pm. I hired a house cleaner a year ago she comes every two weeks and it was the best thing I ever did. My stress level is down I'm happy and the kids are Happy. They still have to clean up there room and what not but I don't have to worry about the deep cleaning. I say go for it.

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wow- a lot of answers- my vote is: no, it won't spoil your kids. But I would still have chores for them to do(clean their rooms and make their beds, help with dinner and dinner dishes, help with laundry) there will still be plenty to do with 5 of you! I think that hiring a cleaning service will help you to not stress out- and once or twice a week would do wonders! I know how fast a house can get messy with lots of kids(I have 5). If I could, I would hire someone to clean my house once a week! :)
As for how to handle your x-mil, don't mention it to her. If she comment on your house- just smile and say "Thanks"
~C.

2 moms found this helpful

Your MIL is totally off the mark on this one. My mom wasn't a single mom, I had both my parents growing up and there weren't 4 kids...we always had a housekeeper that came weekly and a lawn service. We were still help accountable for keeping our stuff and rooms picked up, retrieve our clean laundry and put away and take our dirty laundry to laundry room. Also, we were taught how to do every household chore and job so when we were sent into the world and couldn't afford our own housekeeper we would know how to do it all.

2 moms found this helpful

I do NOT think that paying someone to help when are a single mother and have 4 small kids sends the wrong message. I have 3 children and have someone clean every other week, and I don't really work! (I have a home business, but I'm home all day). However, it turns in to prioritizing my time and efforts. If I want to be able to go on the field trips, volunteer at school, run my small business, keep up with the laundry, etc., then someone needs to help. The kids have helped some, but hubby isn't able to. Anyway, the point is, you can spend your time home with your kids cleaning or you can spend it in other ways. You can tell them that this person is not there to tidy their things (pick up toys, put clothes away, wash the toothpaste out of their sink), but is there to do the things like vaccuum, dust, and clean the bathrooms. My kids have to pick up their rooms and keep things picked up on a regular basis. They know how to clean (because I've taught them) and they know how to do laundry, however I think they need to concentrate on school. They still do chores (wipe the table after dinner, sweep under the table, put their dishes away, take the trash and recycling out), but there is so much I can do with my time and only so much they can do as well. I think if you teach them why you have someone to help clean, you are not instilling that they don't have to do anything. And remind them that it's a trade off, if you don't clean, you have to pay someone to clean. If you do clean, there is less time for fun.

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No, hiring a cleaning servive will NOT send your children a bad message. (A stressed out, over tired mother will send your children bad messages.)

Please do this for yourself. My family always picks up before the cleaning service arrives (and this is a big enough job). And my children still have chores. Running a house is an enormous responsibility. If anything I bet Your ex mil is jealous.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I have an idea--how about your XMIL comes over and cleans your house for you so she can teach your children about personal accountability--that way you both win :). Seriously, I can't imagine you're getting enough sleep to begin with...so by all means hire someone...

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Hi A.!

First of all, the job of single mom is THE HARDEST job in the world. Continuing to faithfully parent and provide for your four children is amazing - AWESOME job mom!!!

I have two ideas that I wanted to leave as feedback, and I apologize if I am repeating from the other women...

1) Kids will be lazy and lack personal responsibility if you do all the work for them as well. It does not take a maid to teach that lesson.

2) Maids primarily clean. Before they can do a good cleaning, things must be picked up and put away. This is the best way that you can model for your kids as well as have them actively participate so they are contributing and learning responsibility. Spend something like 15 - 20 minutes of each day having them pick up and do other assigned chores that a maid may or may not do (take out trash, fold and put away clean laundry - age specific of course!).

This should totally suffice for everyone helping while giving you some much needed helping hands in your life!!!

God's Grace to you,

Lisa :)

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I'm a single parent with 2 kids and if I could afford it, I would hire a cleaning service. In my opinion, your kids are so young that they can't really do a good job helping you clean. You can get a clean house from your cleaning service, but you can still teach them how to clean as they grow. And, to get the most value out of your cleaning service, you should probably teach them how to put away their toys so that the cleaning service has access to everything when they come (pick stuff up off the floor, etc).

Honestly, my opinion is - who cares what your MIL thinks? Do what YOU want to do.

Good luck!
L.

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First, I want to commend you on trying to keep a cordial relationship between you and your children's grandmother, even though she is your ex-MIL. But you should run your household however you choose, and whatever helps you be a better parent. With 4 little ones, I think even a stay-at-home mom would benefit from a cleaning service; as a single, working parent, that would be a godsend. Go for it, and if grandma says anything, just firmly tell her this is your decision, and that the children will benefit by having more time with a less frazzled mom. Sleep less? She's clueless. And, of course, as someone else mentioned, the children can still have age-appropriate chores, such as picking up toys, making beds, clearing dishes, etc. Best of luck! (and, btw, I am a MIL and grandmother)

2 moms found this helpful

OMG! A single mom of 4 kids! You MUST hire a home cleaning service! You deserve it. Make room in the budget.
I'm a Stay at home mom of 2 and I just hired a service recently for a one-time clean. And now, I'm ready to hire them regularly at least once a month.
It's amazing how your home looks completely better. Who has time to get on their hands and feet to clean the cabinets and baseboards? They have a team of women that can do it quickly.
AND how it makes YOU feel -- the stress is released and you feel so great walking into a nice, clean home. It's sooo worth the money.

AND b/c the place is so clean and neat now, I'm on my kids even more to help me maintain it. They have regular chores of helping me set the table, clean up after dinner, load dishwasher, take their linens to laundry room, pick up their dirty clothes and put it in hamper, pick up their toys when they are done playing with them (one toy at a time - when done w/it, put it back immediately); etc etc.
Before, when the place was a wreck, I'd be so lenient on their chores and picking up after themselves.
Anyway, just don't tell your exMIL that you hired anyone. She doesn't need to know. Don't bring it up. It's not of her concern. It's your home, not hers.
If she finds out through the kids, just say keep your answers short. 'yeah.' she should get the hint that you won't talk about it. Be silent and let that uncomfortable silence fill the air. She'll be forced to fill that silence first.

2 moms found this helpful

She is CRAZY! How in the world can you be expected to hold a full time job with 4 kids and keep a clean house? (single or not in my opinion, but single is worse!) She needs to butt out and stick to her job description which is being a grandmother. You go for it girl and "get your sleep" (yeah right, like you're getting any anyway!) Hold your ground on this one and enjoy your time with your little ones!

2 moms found this helpful

I started reading all 56 (fifty-six!) answers just for fun! It got to be too much. I don't know how you ask your MIL to keep her opinions to herself, and I hope my Ds and DILs will never post that question about me!

But I know an excellent rationale for hiring cleaning help. Keeping the house reasonably clean and sanitary is one of your jobs as the homeowner and mother. There are two very acceptable ways of getting any given job done: 1) do it yourself, or 2) hire someone else to do it for you. This basic principle works in many other areas; it works in the home as well. Why do business owners hire employees? Why do so many of us order takeout or delivery food some evenings instead of cooking a full meal at home?

If you hire someone, that doesn't mean the rest of you will not need to do any work - not at one day a week! It will be up to you and your children to do the daily things that keep home life going. You'll be letting your children know that the "hired help" won't be coming in to pick up their toys and socks (or yours either), or to carry out the trash or walk the dog. The helper comes to help YOU keep their home clean and neat so that everybody in the family can be happier and have more fun with one another.

Speaking from a personal standpoint, when somebody can come in and do, in two hours per week, a necessary task that it would take me two days per week to do, I think it's worth the money if I can possibly swing it.

1 mom found this helpful

She is your xMIL why is it any of her business how you keep your house clean. I am sorry you have an ex with your children being so young. You do not have to tell her that you have a house cleaner. Are your children at home when the maid comes? My mother always cleaned our house but since she did it while I was at school I would never have known if it was someone else. Make your children responsible by having them make their beds and picking up their toys.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a single mom for years. The kids should be in charge of their rooms and keep them clean, dishes, and their laundry, but the rest of the house...well, darn girl, four kids and a full time job - yes you need help. I mean is you XMIL going to come over to help? If she won't then find someone who will. What you will be teaching your kids is that if you need help, ask for it. That's just wrong for her to lay everything on you.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear Single Super Mom,
First of all you are amazing. . .and at this stage in your life you need to do your best to take care of your family and self. With four kids and working - you need to not have any guilt about getting help with the lawn or the house. It is better for you to have time to love your kids rather than being stressed out.

On the house issue - first of all I would highly recommend that you check out FLYLADY.net. She is my hero and her simple systems have helped me turn the CHAOS (Can't have anyone over syndrome) into a more peaceful life. You do things 15 Min at a time.. and the system is a great way to teach the kids the joy of helping. (She send you lots of email reminders and they even have things for the kids to do.) The key is no guilt and start where you are.

Now about the XMIL- I'm sure that lots of other folks have said things - but she is looking at your life with a different set of glasses. My mom's self worth was very much tied up in how the house and yard looked. . and her mom taught her to do all these things. But you know they didn't have to deal with working full time with a household of kids.

So you need to do what is best for you. Use the maid to get out of the hole and then use FLYlady to help you get your house in order so that you don't need anyone. You have to discover the systems what work for you and your family. . not be trapped by the guilt and expectations of others.

Keep up the good work . . and love your kids teach them Godly values. . .these are the most important things of all.

1 mom found this helpful

If you can afford it - get the cleaning service. Cleaning your own house has nothing to do with being a good mother. Being a well-rested, loving, non-distracted by housecleaning with more time for your kids is being a good mother! I have a rather intrusive, extremely opinionated ex-MIL as well. For years she made me feel guilty about everything I did or didn't do. I finally realized she was just loading me up with guilt -- like we moms need anyone to help us with that!! DO NOT PAY ANY ATTENTioN TO HER!!!!! The most important thing I think in this situation is to put your foot down with her that she is not allowed to discuss you with your children. My exMIL was doing a lot of this. I found out after a few outbursts from my daughter on things her grandmother had said about me. This created a lot of confusion and anger in my daughter. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Just tell her to keep her opinions to herself. When my mom starts tellng me how to do something, i just say,"I do it this way, and that is OK. You can do it your ways, but I like this way."

I don't use a cleaning service and I doubt I ever would. Firstly, I don't know anyone who uses one who is happy with the level of cleaning they do. Second, I have issues with woman's lib coming off the backs of poor women. Services don't pay their cleaners much, they don't get sick days, etc. If I were to hire someone to help clean my house, I'd find someone self-employed and pay cash.

1 mom found this helpful

A.,
Consider her the just like the "ex". Tell her like it is. Be polite but like you said tell her to keep her comments to herself and if she can't there will be consequences. If you can afford to hire a service to help out then GO FOR IT! I wish I could and I am a SAHM. My house has never been worse than it is now. BUT I'm not going to freak out for every little thing. RIght now I'm enjoying my kids.
On a funny note...if someone were to tell me to sleep less, I would ask them,"Oh, is that what happened to you?

1 mom found this helpful

NOOOO.. Hire that cleaning service!!! I have 1 child and have a maid come every other week... By NO MEANS do I wait for them to come to "clean" my house but when they come they just do a "thorough" cleaning... I clean daily, they clean all the knicks and small spots that I don't..... You are a busy "working" mom!!! You have ALL THE RIGHTS to hire someone to help... Not sending a bad message at all!!!!!!!!

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I say hire the house keeper. It is far more important to spend time with your children. They need their mommy, not a house keeper. You will still have to do the day to day stuff, picking up and washing dishes. Your house keeper would just do the big stuff - sweeping & mopping, dusting, laundry, changing sheets, etc. She's your ex MIL - if you can afford it and it will make your home happier, do it and don't listen to what she says.

1 mom found this helpful

you're too busy and they're too young to do it all. Drop the guilt and enjoy. Like you won't have enough other tasks waiting for you with your extra time. I'd just tell the kids to pick-up their toys, etc beforehand- and there they have some responsibility. (I tell my son that the cleaning person might misplace some of his toys and then he scrambles to pick-up. He also watches me do the same.)

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I hate that she let her opinion of you, or a decision you made, be known to your kids. You should never put down someones' mother to them. That was tacky. If she's not careful, she's going to push them away, or at least earn herself some resentment. Back to the other thing... I've found that mils and especially ex-mils have a lot of opinions and rarely aprove of anything! So who cares what they think. They had the opportunity to run thier house thier way, now it's your turn. I don't think having help around the house is a negative. You are teaching the kids to delegate! Use available resources!

1 mom found this helpful

People forget that a once weekly, twice monthly, etc. cleaning crew is not the same as a maid service. In other words, it's not as though you are stepping out of your clothes each night, leaving them on the floor for someone else to pick up. And it's not as though you have someone there full-time, following your kids around, putting their toys away each night, setting out their clothes each morning. Having a weekly service will keep the place clean, but you and the kids will still keep the place picked up, tidied, maintained day to day. You're still doing dishes, laundry, cooking, etc. I say get the house cleaner, "go for it!" I have one, after persuading my husband, and we also have someone to cut the grass. My husband has a long commute, works long hours, and is in school on the weekends, and we have no family around. At first I worried whether hiring people would send the wrong message to my kids. But I firmly believe that there's value in teaching our kids that we sometimes need to get help, and that there's absolutely no shame in doing so. Good luck to you--get the help, you won't be sorry.

1 mom found this helpful

We have a lady come to help with cleaning once a week at our house. It really helps me stay sane! I don't know why having a cleaning lady teaches laziness. If you work AND have four kids, then of course you're not going to have time to do everything! The only way that having help would teach laziness is if you didn't require your kids to still help around the house, and also clean up their own rooms. Day-to-day cleaning and picking up still needs to happen. It's just that the cleaning lady will do the deep-cleaning things that you don't have time to get to. For my 4-year-old, I try to make sure she's still cleaning up her toys herself during the week, and helping with various chores. I still must spend a fair chunk of my time (and I'm a SAHM) cleaning the house, too. It's not like I'm sitting watching TV and eating bon-bons all day every day! It can really be a relief to have help. If you think it would be good for you, then go for it. You can always stop the service if it doesn't work out! Oh, and we found our lady, who is honest and friendly, on Craigslist. Just make sure you get references, follow up on them, and ask the right questions. God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

OMG, no. With four kids, a job, and no additional help, you need a maid. Your kids will learn accountability as you teach them to pick up their own room and personal things. They will also learn that if you work hard enough, get an education and make a good salary, you can afford to pay someone to do your chores. And while it's important that they learn accountability, it's also important that they live in a clean and safe house. Your ex-MIL is ridiculous. Sleeping less won't make you a better mom. Just ignore her comments. You know what's best for your family.

You could also try flylady.net She has great routines to help keep things orderly without being overbearing. If you can afford a housekeeper, go for it! But try flylady for the in-between times. I'm still fluttering myself but can see a change! Good luck!

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