8 spiritual benefits of hiring house cleaners
“You do?” I exclaimed. “Me too!”
From the way her eyes lit up and her body relaxed, I could tell that she had braced herself to receive judgment, not camaraderie. And until that moment, I hadn’t realized that I had felt the same way.
Jason and I are not perfect by any means, but we’re typically pretty neat people. Years ago, when we only had one child, we had to shoot a video in our house for a Mother’s Day tribute at church. The cameramen actually had to make our living room messier before we began shooting because they said it wasn’t messy enough to reflect true parenthood!
My, how quickly times changed.
By the time we had four children, all six years old and younger, there were times that we couldn’t even find our living room floor, much less vacuum it. I tried so hard to maintain the same level of cleanliness that we had enjoyed for so long, but no matter how much I worked, I rarely got past the clutter to the dirt.
After a lot of prayer, a lot of discussions and a lot of time analyzing our priorities and our finances, we decided to try a cleaning service on a temporary basis. It’s been a year now, and we both agree that it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made since we got married.
I realize it’s not an option for everyone, so this is by no means an attempt to assume that our way is the best way, but in case you’ve ever wondered if hiring help is worth it, here are eight spiritual benefits I’ve experienced since we started using a cleaning service:
1. It keeps my pride in check
I used to pride myself in how well I cleaned my house. Look at me. Look at my perfect home. See how white that grout is? I did that! Now I’ve been put in my place. I have learned that a clean heart is much more important than a clean house.
2. It’s made me more empathetic to others
Whenever I used to see someone’s untidy home, I used to assume awful things. I bet she watches soap operas all day. They’re probably lazy. Their poor children will never learn how to clean. It shames me how much judgment when on in my tiny little brain! Now that I know just how quickly a house can spiral from pristine to disaster-recovery-zone, I never assume anything based on the condition of a person’s house. If anything, I assume that a woman is probably a terrific mother because her piles of undone laundry are probably proof that she spent a lot of time with her children that day. Moms with dirty houses, you are not a failure! Your children will rise and call you blessed because of how much you loved them, not because of how neat their underwear drawers are.
3. It has strengthened my relationship with my children
I used to yell at my children. A lot. And 90% of the time, it was because of messes around the house. Now that we have a regular cleaning schedule, the yelling has lessened and my expectations are much more realistic. We work together as a team and our relationships are much deeper as a result of the decrease in stress.
4. It has taught my children to value hard work
It was extremely important to us that our children not feel entitled once we started having help with the house. This has given us the opportunity to teach them that their messes are ultimately their responsibility and they have probably worked harder to prepare for cleaning days than they ever did before we had help.
5. It has allowed me to help others
The women who work to clean our house are amazing. I respect them so much for how they are working hard to help provide for their own families. In a culture where so many fall into a trap of government dependence, I thank God all the time that He has allowed us to help others provide for their family in an honorable way.
6. It has saved my marriage
This isn’t as much of an exaggeration as you may think. Jason and I both come from similar backgrounds where our moms did not work and were very good housekeepers. We just function better when our home isn’t buried in chaos and clutter. Before we had help in cleaning, it wasn’t that we were directly angry with each other for the messes around the house, it was just that we were both naturally more irritable because of the state of the house. As a result, our tempers were shorter and our arguments were frequent. We didn’t realize how much the messes were affecting us until they were no longer an issue. It’s amazing how much fewer arguments we’ve had over the last year.
7. It’s made me more aware of my blessings
I am acutely aware of what a luxury it is to have help with the housecleaning. I never take for granted how God has blessed our family and allowed us this luxury. I hold this blessing with an open palm and promise to enjoy it as long as the Lord allows and to let it go if or when He ever asks. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord, especially the ones that show up on Fridays with mops, brooms and vacuums.
8. It has strengthened my relationship with God
Unfortunately, I am one of those people who finds it very difficult to be still until all the work is done, and when you’re a mom, the work is never done. There is always something to clean, something to put away, something to scrub. My house became one of my excuses to procrastinate time with God, and this should never be. Now that I’m on a regular schedule, it’s helped me to see that the messes will always be there. They will never go away completely, no matter how hard I try. No one ever gets to the end of their life and wished that they had spent more time cleaning. Instead, they lament that they didn’t spend more time with their Savior and with their family.
The truth is, I’ve sat on this article for months for fear that admitting we have help keeping our house clean will expose me as a Proverbs 31 fraud. I am fully aware that some people feel that it’s a woman’s responsibility to personally keep her home and that if she can’t she should reevaluate her priorities in light of the “biblical roles of women.”
But I’m willing to expose my weaknesses and I welcome judgment if it will help any other women out there who are drowning in their own homes. Y’all, it’s hard! And there’s no shame in admitting that you can’t do it all. In your weakness, He is made strong.