with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
I am having the weirdest morning.
Oh, it started out like any other—the alarm went off, I heard the kids scurrying around upstairs, I dragged myself into the kitchen and fixed breakfasts and went and checked my email and then fixed lunches and packed the husband and kids off to their respective schools. But then a bunch of women I’ve never met came to the door and I let them in without a second thought. And then they scattered to the corners of my house and I have no idea what they’re doing.
I guess it’s not hard to tell that I’ve never had my house cleaned, before. It feels a little surreal. I mean, I’m sitting here sipping my tea, and there’s a woman in my kitchen wiping down each and every cabinet door. Did you know that cabinet doors are apparently supposed to be cleaned on a regular basis? I had no idea!
And while I would love to tell you that after years of hard work I finally decided that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me except for the part where I’m a lousy housekeeper, and I went out and hired myself a cleaning service, that wouldn’t be true.
I didn’t hire them.
We talk a lot, in freelancing, about how we’re missing out on all of the fringe benefits that salaried employees regularly enjoy. I don’t have a 401k; I have to rely on my husband for affordable health insurance; there’s no such thing as a sick or vacation day; etc. Most of the time, we regularly bemoan the lack of benefits.
Well, today I guess I get to celebrate those unexpected benefits.
You see, one of my clients is the folks who bring you the 3-A-Day of Dairy site, and that was an easy gig to decide to take, of course, for a cheese-lover such as myself. “Talk about how much we like cheese? No problem!” And I’ve worked with these folks on and off over the last year, most recently doing things like writing about how I simplify our morning routine, and it’s been very nice. Some clients are jerks and some assignments are boring—that’s just how life is—but in this case, it’s been a lot of fun from start to finish.
So one day when they called me up and said they wanted to have a party at my house, I was astonished. “You want to what?” I may have asked.
“Have a party! At your house!” they said. “We’ll cater it, with lots of yummy dairy foods! And we’ll have your house cleaned!”
There may have been more, after that, but I stopped listening after “we’ll have your house cleaned.”
Some women dream of diamonds and fancy cars. I dream of a kitchen floor that my feet don’t stick to.
And that’s why there’s a swarm of cleaning ladies in my house, right now. Tonight’s the big shindig—and I’m drooling, just thinking about the menu—and the house is going to be spotless. And then I am going to have to sell my children so that I can enjoy the cleanliness for a couple of extra days.
Did I ever expect something like this to come out of freelancing? Not in a million years. Is it just about the coolest thing to happen to me since I started doing this? It’s definitely near the top of my list, I can tell you that much. I mean, I could hire someone to clean. I could. It’s not like I can’t afford it. But I will find a hundred different ways to talk myself out of it; different things I could/should be putting my money towards, instead. This? I had no choice. I had to have the house cleaned.
I may be a little tipsy on Windex fumes, but I think this feeling I have right now is euphoria.
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