With 3 kids, a dog, 4 cats, 8 kittens, a husband and a full time job, trying to keep the house clean and tidy is a bit like trying to nail jelly to the wall. Ain't gonna happen!
I recently looked into the possibility of getting a cleaner a couple of days a week, freeing up Sundays to spend some quality time with the small fry, i.e. mooch around in my PJs all day eating rice pudding straight from the can. After extensive research, I found that to get my house cleaned would cost me £10/hour, minimum. That's ten. Pounds. TEN POUNDS! Two hours twice a week= £40!! £10/hour is more than I was earning as a teacher.
There is, however, a way of getting your house cleaned for free...
Last month, we enjoyed a family holiday abroad. We were away from home for a week. Bobby, who is in the middle of exams, begged to be allowed to stay home- alone- to "study." Although my maternal instincts flinched at such a request, my parents live in the next street and would pop in regularly and unannounced, and Bobby is nearly 18 years old. Trust must be extended, apron strings must be cut, fledglings must be allowed to try their wings.
Valuables and breakables safely locked away (I trust Bobby, but her friends? Not as far as I can throw them!) hubby, Peter, Phyllis and I set off a week of relaxation...
A week later, we returned to a house that resembled a show home in its gleaming cleanliness. Yes, Bobby had thrown a party. Yes, the party was gate-crashed. Yes, someone threw up in the sink. Yes, fluids were spilt on the carpet. Bobby and friends, terrified that they might miss a clue that would lead to their antics being revealed, had deep cleaned the house from top to bottom, including drains and patio, to a standard that would impress Kim and Aggie.
I haven't told Bobby yet what all parents know: the very act of a teenager getting the cleaning stuff out alerts us parents to potential misdemeanours. I'm not stupid. I've just booked another holiday. Hey, don't judge- it's cheaper than a cleaner.
Today: Bobby's deception started young
When Bobby was 3, and Peter still a baby, Bobby graffitied her name in felt tip pen all over her bedroom wall and blamed Peter.
Top tip: If your child is showing criminal tendencies, make sure they are clever enough not to get caught.