Who’s In Your Village?

I am, technically, a stay-at-home mom (save for my cherished gig here, and the whole homeschooling side job).

By definition, this means I should be raising my children, cleaning, cooking, and. . .what else? Am I supposed to scrapbook? OK, I draw the line at scrapbooking.

The other day, a neighbor was walking by our house with her kids, and my children lured them into our driveway to play. Soon, I had two of her kids riding scooters and bikes with my three. Her last child, a newborn, snoozed happily in the stroller.

At one point, one of her children needed to use the bathroom, so she came into my house with me as I showed the way.

“Wow”, she breathed looking around, “your house is tidy”.

I looked at this other mom, tired from having two toddlers and a newborn, and debated whether to keep my mouth shut or to tell the truth.

I confessed. “The cleaning people were here this morning“.

This was a big step since I feel like admitting I pay other people to clean my house is kind of akin to saying I have a personal chef or live-in nanny (for the record, I don’t have either of those, but wouldn’t begrudge anyone of them). I know I’m a stay-at-home mom, and accept that responsibility, but, who says I can’t outsource?

This all reminds me of that “it takes a village” saying. I need a village.

I need my mom who comes over to help out whenever I call. I need my sister and friends who are happy to have my kids over for a playdate. I need my neighbor who always has an extra egg or cup of sugar; she also has the incredible daughter who babysits my kids so Fairly Odd Father and I can go out to a movie. I need the television that entertains the children when I’m out of ideas and energy. I need the internet, oh, yes, I need that.

And, I need those three smiling women who show up at my front door on Thursday mornings, ready to tackle the jobs I hate, freeing me up to do things I enjoy a lot more. Like what? Well, let’s just say that I won’t be employing a personal chef or live-in nanny anytime soon. I’ve got those jobs covered.


  1. oh man, i am so envious. i wish i had smiling cleaning ladies. actually, i wish i had a professional laundress. now that, would rock.

  2. Subspace Beacon says

    Yes. Yes to kimblahg’s laundress idea. I don’ have a cleaning lady but I’m usually okay just wallowing in my own filth.

  3. Actually, you’re in my village. Thanks so much for today! The kids had a blast. (And yes, I envy your housekeepers – they would probably pass out if they saw my house)

  4. I’ve always said that my free time is limited enough – I don’t choose to spend it scrubbing toilets. I’d go without food before going without my cleaner.

    Of course in between times tidy is not a word that would quite apply to my house… Thank god he comes tomorrow.

  5. The Cooking Lady says

    Oh that would be grand, but we are trying not to have our home repossessed(Got to love this economy).

    With being a stay at home mom, who home schools and is recovering from major back surgery, my financial options are taking limited to a whole new level.

    But hey, it is teaching my daughter what you can do with $20 at the produce stand and $60 at the grocery store.

    Ahhh to be able to eat bon bons, while someone vacuums under my feet. Lucky girl you.

  6. Ladybug's Picnic says

    My smiling housekeepers come every Wednesday afternoon. It is the best money I spend all week by far. And I am a SAHM as well. I am absolutely in favor of outsourcing!

  7. Forget a village, you need a wife. Personally I think polygamy gets a bad rap. Also, those people you want to outsource to are way too “putting your family first-y” If it were me I’d wish for a live-in chef/chiropractor/massage therapist/personal trainer. It’s all about me!

  8. Chicky Chicky Baby says

    I just had to get rid of my cleaning lady due to the move and the whole belt tightening thing. It hurts.

    Embrace your village. Especially the cleaning crew. Mine kept peace in my family for almost a year and I MISS THEM.

  9. I would collapse right into a big pile of dead if I didn’t have my smiling parents to ferry my kids around….

  10. Dontcha know the first rule of being a supermommy? Like a magician, you never reveal your secrets. A house cleaner here, BJ's rotisserie chicken there: it's all good. :>)

  11. That’s IT! I swore I’d hire a cleaning service as soon as I get the finances finagled around, and this has just convinced me.

    I’m tired of dust bunnies that give birth to more dust bunnies. I’m sick of cleaning that’s always on the to-do list but never gets done because things I’d rather do distract me. Not that it takes much to distract me from housework.

    I’ve already outsourced the yard work, and that’s been a big relieve. Can’t wait to job out more of it!

  12. Oh honey. Don’t apologize. If I could have afforded to keep my housekeeper I would have. I never could do half of the things that I do with my career without the help I get from my mom and other family members.

    How many women have a deathbed confession expressing regret that they wish they would have kept their house cleaner? Hmmm. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Spend your time where it matters.

  13. I have a nice Japanese lady that comes twice a month. Shhhh, I am a stay at home mom… HA HA!

  14. girl, I don’t need a village, I need a major metropolis. great post. and I too outsource cleaning – just started. Can only afford once every 3 months, but the woman scrubs INSIDE OUR REFRIGERATOR. As if I would ever, in 20 years, get to that.

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