I once heard the month of June described as the “gateway to summer.” I can appreciate that sentiment, for sure. But, as the parent of a graduating high school senior, I find myself thinking about how June is the gateway to so much more.
To me, June is truly a season of beginnings and endings. It’s a time to celebrate so many things, like weddings, graduations, and even just the arrival of summer! But each of these wonderful occasions represent a time of transition, and all transition brings some challenge and stress.
Now that I have a kid on the brink of leaving the nest, I look back and remember, somewhat remorsefully, how I often let the arrival of summer cause our family stress. After the busyness of a long school year, the transition into a less-structured summer routine brings sometimes unexpected challenges. Finding a good balance between wanting to create fun summer memories, yet maintaining some semblance of order and productivity for our kids, all while maintaining our own professional lives—it’s hard. Add to that the fact that no matter how old your kids are, having more people in the house for more hours a day obviously will translate to more messes and more things to clean.
Now that my youngest son is about to graduate and move on to college, I long for those simpler kinds of challenges. This transition is much more monumental. On the one hand, it’s a sentimental, nostalgic time for a parent; if you’ve ever made a graduation party slideshow, you know the strange combination of tears and joy and pride that come with looking back at how your child has changed over the years in this way; it’s hard to let go of the past.
On the other hand, I also have to admit to having developed a serious case of “senioritis” right along with my son. The last half of senior year in particular is so crazy, so hectic, so up and down, between college acceptances, AP tests, senior nights, banquets, ceremonies, Prom, finals, graduation parties, dorm essentials shopping— it’s a lot of big stuff packed into a relatively short amount of time. I will be ready to celebrate the end of that madness for sure.
This intersection of sentimentality about the passing of time and the relief of putting some things behind us, mixed with the excitement of watching the future unfold— that’s what we will be celebrating this month. And you know, I think that’s true for almost everyone, whether you have a child graduating from preschool, a son or daughter getting ready to walk down the aisle, or a loved one with a big upcoming birthday or anniversary. Although this can seem like a chaotic time, it’s important to take time to reflect and celebrate together; it really does make those transitions easier.
Of course, there are stresses that come with the prospect of throwing a party. Don’t let worrying about cleaning your house be one of those stresses. Immaculate Clean can help you with their “Summer Stress Relief” offer! During month of June and July, book a One Time Pre and/or Post Party Clean and receive $40 off! (Some restrictions apply.)
For many of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s—I think they call us Generation X—the idea of paying someone to clean our house is something that takes some getting used to. Many of us saw our parents and grandparents fulfill traditional roles, with the dads working full-time outside of the home, while the moms stayed home and kept house. Hired help of any kind was usually seen as a luxury reserved for the wealthy, or for large, blended TV families like the Bradys who required a full-time Alice.
Well, times have changed. The way families spend their spare time has changed. Our focus and priorities have changed. If your perception is still that you can’t afford or don’t deserve to hire a cleaning service, it’s time for that mindset to change as well!
Full Time Workers Deserve a Cleaning Service
If you work full time outside of the home, especially if you’re a parent, you already know how limited your spare time is. Evenings and weekends are filled with kids’ activities, and you barely have time for your own personal life. The last thing you need to worry about is fitting in time to scrub the floors and dust the light fixtures. If you can outsource the cleaning to someone else on a regular basis, you’ll get more sleep and you’ll have more time to spend on your family and on yourself. Please don’t fear that you are setting a bad example for your kids, either. There will always remain plenty of household chores that you can enlist their help with.
Full Time Parents Deserve a Cleaning Service
If you are a stay-at-home parent or work-at-home parent, you might be especially hesitant about whether you should outsource your housecleaning. Please: don’t feel guilty. Unless you are one of those rare people who loves to clean and who is extremely organized, sometimes living in the midst of the messes all day long makes it even more difficult to stay on top of them. It’s overwhelming enough to try to keep up with today’s parenting duties.
Think about it: June Cleaver did not have to run the Beaver to play dates, soccer practice, Cub Scouts, piano lessons, and karate, and she wasn’t trying to run a business out of her home or be the PTO volunteer of the year. She had plenty of spare time to set her hair, scrub toilets in her apron and kitten heels, and shake up a martini to hand to her husband at the end of his long, hard day at the office, all while Wally and the Beav were outside messing around with that rascally Eddie Haskell. Now, I don’t know that the world of the Cleaver family was really an accurate depiction of life in the 1950s, but for many people and for many years, it represented an ideal for housewives to aspire to. It’s long past time to let that ideal go.
Elderly People Deserve a Cleaning Service
If you have elderly parents, they may be of the generation that has an even harder time accepting paid help to clean their home. But they are the ones who may need it the most. I have a 93-year-old mother-in-law who is still living independently. She is in amazingly good health for her age, but pushing a vacuum cleaner or scrubbing a bathtub could be dangerous for her. A regular cleaning service keeps her place sanitary and germ-free and helps to keep her floor space cleared of objects she could trip over. It’s not a luxury; it’s truly an important safety consideration.
Who Can Afford a Cleaning Service?
Most of us can’t afford to hire an Alice to live with us and cook and clean for our family each day. But fortunately, there are options that can make housecleaning fit into even the tightest budget. Immaculate Clean offers many different levels of service, and are flexible enough to consider your budget and your individual cleaning needs. They offer one-time cleanings and recurring service options ranging from weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
So, what are you waiting for? Lose the guilt and call Immaculate Clean today: 410-549-0727. To paraphrase Oprah, “YOU deserve a professional cleaner! And YOU deserve a professional cleaner! You ALL deserve a professional cleaner!”
How’s that for a headline? Do you think it’s a little dramatic? Well, I admit that I do have a tendency to exaggerate and be a bit dramatic sometimes, but in this case, it’s not really much of a stretch to say that cleaning your house the right way could possibly save your life.
That’s because it’s flu season. And if you’ve been paying any attention at all to the news, you know that this year’s flu is especially widespread and severe. Even people who received a flu vaccination are catching it, and otherwise healthy people of all ages are actually dying from this flu. This is not fake news! This is all coming straight from the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm
Everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of the flu
So, with this deadly flu virus floating around, what is there to do, aside from locking yourself into a germ-free incubator, a la John Travolta from the 1976 classic made-for-TV movie, “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble?” (And if those of you reading this are too young to remember that one, perhaps you will recall “The Bubble Boy” episode of Seinfeld?) Clearly, bubble living is not a practical solution for many of us.
Instead, the aforementioned CDC suggests that in addition to getting a flu shot, we should, “Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of flu viruses!”
By “everyday preventive actions,” the CDC means avoiding contact with sick people, covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu viruses.
How the flu virus travels
There’s only one problem with that: “Surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu viruses” covers just about EVERYTHING. That is because, according to my other source for major medical news, The Today Show, droplets from a sneeze can travel 26 feet! And if there are flu germs living in one of those droplets, that virus can stay alive for 24 hours!
Not only is that a really gross thought—it’s pretty scary. It means that some sicko could have sneezed at Wal-Mart, or in the school cafeteria, or in your office, or even in your own home, from far enough away that they could barely hear you say, “Gesundheit,” and you could end up with a real, live flu virus on your shoe, or on your lunch box, or on your cell phone, or on your kitchen counter—and that sucker is going to stay alive for one whole day, just waiting for someone to touch it.
Cleaning is the answer
So, aside from teaching your kids to cough and sneeze into their elbow instead of their hand, and to keep their hands out of their mouth, and to wash their hands constantly, the most important thing you can do for them is to clean, clean, clean. Make sure you are frequently wiping down things like doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, and keyboards with disinfecting wipes. Another thing I learned on The Today Show is, those surfaces carry a disgusting amount of germs. https://www.today.com/health/which-today-anchor-has-more-germs-their-office-t121656
If there is ever an important time to have your home professionally cleaned, it’s during flu season. Hire Immaculate Clean residential cleaning services in Sykesville, MD to come in and give your surfaces a good disinfecting. Let them put their professional products and expertise to work on your sinks, countertops, floors, appliances, and all the rest of the hard surfaces that could be harboring viruses. Give them a call today, and keep the flu at bay: (410) 549-0727.
Now introducing the new writer for our blog—Karen Walker!
Karen Walker is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and admitted “serial clutterer” on a mission to perfect the art of juggling a work-at-home career with parenting and maintaining a household. She blogs about first world problems and more here: www.lifeinanutshell.blog.
My son comes home tomorrow. The end of his freshman year in college. His twin sister returned a few weeks ago. Our home will finally feel whole again. It may also feel like complete chaos.
Family is messy, and not just in the literal sense of the expression. Yes, there will be more dishes in the sink and more laundry to do. I will need to go to the grocery store more often, cook more, and, in general, spend more money. Somehow, more bodies around will not equal more helpers in the house. Just more stuff. It will also mean more disarray and turmoil for all of us.
My youngest and I have gotten used to the calm and quiet of just two of us in the house. It seemed strange at first. We were once a family of five in a large home with two dogs. All of a sudden we were two, in a small house, with one little dog. It took some adjusting, but we have our routines now and we have gotten quite comfortable in our new norm. Life seems far simpler than it did.
With the return of her siblings, rivalries start stirring again for my youngest. Arguments over who is meaner to whom, which child is, in fact, the golden child, and whose turn it is to walk the dog will start permeating our days. The twins, being twins, have always had their sidekick, so there’s a constant two against one mentality among the three. And, I will repeatedly be trying to bring peace without demonstrating any favoritism. If I scold one this time, it must be another the next.
Adding divorce into the equation makes things even more complicated. My youngest follows a specific schedule for where she stays and when. Her brother has agreed to generally go along with that. His twin, on the other hand, is far more interested in convenience. “Where do I want to sleep tonight and for what reason?” seems to be her mantra. Considering she’s almost 20 (OMG!), it’s a bit nonsensical to demand she follow a specific schedule, but it definitely creates more confusion as to who is coming and going.
There will undoubtedly be moments when I am holding my breath, counting the weeks until college starts again. I’m sure the same can be said for my oldest two as well. And, I know my youngest will announce at least once a day that she can’t wait until her brother…or her sister…or both, go back to school.
But, there will also be moments when I never want the time to end. I will look around at the messy house and thank God that I still have all three kids coming home. I will hopefully ignore the arguing and sibling rivalries, and remember to savor the time we have together. I will count my blessings and remember that not everyone is so lucky to have the madness, and messiness, of family.
I remember asking my kids a few years ago to go clean their bathrooms. After years of having a cleaning service do it for them, it was probably the first time they had to do it on their own. It didn’t take long for me to realize they had no idea what I was actually asking them to do. It dawned on me then that cleaning, like most things in life, was something they had to learn. Sure they had pushed a vacuum around the living room, and probably used a broom to sweep, but I had never taken the time to explain what it meant to clean a room.
The more I thought about it, the more I recognized that the idea of cleaning a room entails a whole lot of things. First of all, do you mean “clean” or “pick-up”? Then, is it a quick surface clean or a deep down one? If the idea is complex for a “mature” adult like myself, imagine what goes through the mind of a 10-year old when asked, or told, to clean his/her room.
I wish I could say that I took all of that knowledge and used it to create some sort of cleaning system that worked flawlessly from then on. That’s not what happened. I’m sure I yelled at them for not doing what I expected, got frustrated and ended up doing it myself. But, in hindsight, I think there was a better way. I’m trying it out with my younger daughter; in bits and pieces, anyway.
So, here’s what I came up with:
- Teach the Basics
What does it mean to dust?
- Stop Saying “Go Clean your Room”
Try to be more specific. Try “Please put your clothes away.” Or, “Can you take off your sheets and put on a set of clean ones?”
- Keep it Simple
Nobody likes spending hours cleaning. Least of all, your kids. Pick and choose what is most important and have them do one or two things each time you ask. Which leads to my next suggestion…
- Make a Checklist or Schedule
It might be a list of simple steps to be completed every day, or a schedule of different things to do each day.
- Pick a Consistent Time of Day
Every night before bedtime, or as soon as they get home from school. It doesn’t really matter when, just keep it the same for best results.
- Have the Supplies Ready
Think in advance about what they are going to need. Bags for trash? Clean sheets? More hangers? The easier it is for them to do, the more likely they are to do it.
- Finally…Choose your Battles
One of the best lessons I learned from my mother was that sometimes you just have to close the door and walk away. (Yes, this is how she dealt with my mess of a room when I was a teenager.) In the realm of things to worry about, does it really matter if your kid’s room isn’t clean.
As Terry Chappell from Immaculate Clean said, “this could be a million-dollar blog.” Of course, that is if it were actually fool-proof. It’s not. Kids will be kids, and they will always fuss about cleaning their rooms. Hopefully, these tips will give a few ways to decrease the likelihood of an all-out war.