COMMONLY HEARD MOMVERSATION:
MOM #1: Want to go for a cup of coffee after drop-off?
MOM #2: Can’t. Got to get home and clean. My cleaning lady is coming today.
Bizarre but true. Most women I know who have someone come and clean their home feel compelled to actually CLEAN before the cleaning person comes. Why you ask?
Well, after talking to many moms and doing a little much-needed soul searching, I have found that there is more than one reason for this. And sometimes, these reasons work in tandem to create this bizarre and, yes I’ll say it, ridiculous behavior.
WHY WE CLEAN FOR OUR CLEANING PERSON
1) We’re hard-wired to please.
2) We don’t want the cleaning person to think we’re dirty.
3) We have to get rid of the mess on top of the dirt so they can actually get to the dirt to clean it.
4) We don’t want to seem rude.
5) We live in mortal fear that they will discuss our personal dirt with one of our neighbors for whom they also do housework.
This strange pre-cleaning cleaning is not only exhibited in stay-at-home moms who, arguably, have a more flexible schedule that allows them to more easily engage in this baffling ritual. Nope, it is also a common phenomenon displayed in even the most haggard, overly-booked and stretched beyond her limits working mother who barely has time to shave her legs in the shower let alone pick up for someone whom she is specifically paying to pick up.
Even I, a working mom who works out of my home, have been guilty of this. Because it mortifies me to think that, while I am typing away at my computer, my cleaning person is in the bathroom next to my office quietly judging the condition of my toilet. Or that she shares the details of my family’s personal hygiene with friends over margaritas. Ew.
I mean, how can I look her in the eye knowing that behind her smile she is secretly replused by the little hair clippings I may have neglected to brush out of the corner of my countertop last time I got too impatient to wait for my next hair appointment and took my dull scissors to my bangs. (Sorry Patrice, but yes, you’re going to have to fix those….AGAIN.)
I don’t know what the solution is. Meditation. Xanax. Growing out my bangs.
Until I figure it out, I will continue my pre-cleaning cleaning compulsion. And continue to wish that the complusion manifested itself WITHOUT the impending visit from my cleaning person. It’d sure save me a few bucks. Sigh.