Letting go of unrealistic cleaning expectations during the holidays
‘Tis the season for blasts of cold wind, family get togethers, parties with close friends and staying warm by the fire with a hot cup of apple cider. It’s also the time to partake in some deep cleaning so you won’t feel embarrassed when people come over to your house. Although I’ve been in the cleaning industry for over 13 years, I, myself, have difficulty finding the time to deep clean my home–especially during the holidays when client cleaning requests happen by the dozen.
With my time spent deep cleaning other people’s homes, upon my arrival, I often hear them comment that they feel embarrassed, weren’t sure how the cleaner would react to their mess, or they’ve never had someone in their home to clean before because of all that. After I assure them that I’ve seen it all–almost literally–and that my job is not to judge them or their home, but to clean it and bring it to a point where they can be proud of it again, they seem to get a sense of relief and can’t wait for the final result.
Cleaning car seats and helping parents take the car seat out of their ride, it’s the same scenario.
The cache of stale cheerios, lost goldfish and cracker crumbs the car seat hides can bring on feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt. These negative feelings seem to be universal amongst all parents, and for what? Alas, I’m here to propose something to you that can ease the stress of the holiday season–at least in terms of cleaning up after your family: stop judging!
For the hundreds of families I’ve cleaned for, not only are the shameful feelings ubiquitous, but the messes are too. Toys strewn about, food crumbs on the floor, pet hair on furniture, dust bunnies tucked in each corner. No matter the level of income or how big and fancy the house is, humans are human and create messes. If you have small children in your home, the mess amplifies five fold. Who has the time to take care of a child (or more than one), make food throughout the day, run errands, pickup siblings from school, get in park time, help with homework, engage minds, run a business, read stories, get kids ready for bed, do some laundry, then clean up the house (and I’m sure I missed a few things you may do in your busy day)? Answer: no one.
So why is it you expect perfection when going to a friend’s house?
Do you really care if their home is spotless? If all the toys and books are put away and organized? What kind of friend are you if you think ill of the person you came to visit just because there have been other priorities throughout the day?
One answer might lie in the fact you place too many expectations on yourself. This can lead to projecting them onto other parents. Often times you are likely a much harsher critic of yourself than anyone else could be. When your expectations are not met, that’s when those negative feelings (and stress) creep in. You think others will judge you based on how you judge them. Just know that when it comes to the mess in your house, it’s okay…let it go…We all have busy lives and messy homes. Nine times out of ten, your home is just as messy as your neighbors and anyone you think highly of.
So to ease some stress in your life–especially for the holidays–try something different: give yourself a break.
To do this, simply lower your expectations and stop judging yourself and others! It could be the greatest gift you give and receive this season.
Owner: Lyndon Conaway
Germz Be Gone