With this brand new house we have, I've suddenly discovered house pride, and I'm just not willing to let it sink into the sort of disreputable shape that every rental I've ever lived in has eventually reached. So this house gets cleaned a lot more often than any other place I've lived in, simply because it's *ours*, and so there's a vested interest in keeping the sinks from getting that lovely hard-water buildup, for example, or not letting the cat nose prints accumulate on the window so much that it looks as if we're getting an early frost.
We've toyed with the idea of getting someone in to clean. We've even come up with time frames - once a month, perhaps, or maybe every other week. But so far I haven't actually called anyone. I've been tempted, but I just can't work up to the follow-through. There is this annoying little part of me that insists that by golly, we're two perfectly capable grown adults and there is no reason why we can't keep this house clean by ourselves.
It also doesn't help that with the abrupt end to my most recent project for work, and then the rather extended vacation I took after the wedding to do the full-time job hunt, I've been home a lot more. This means not only do I get to greet Richard with home-cooked meals most evenings when he comes in from work, but also that I really have no excuse for not keeping the place clean. I can't really complain about the housework piling up when my only excuse for not getting to it is that I was merrily engrossed in yet another rousing game of computer backgammon, or surfing the 'net looking for more interesting journals to add to my already over-long list of daily must-reads. And while normally we try to divide the housework evenly, lately I've had a bit of guilt over nagging Richard to do more than the occasional whole-house vacuuming because he's actually doing something during the day, while I'm being just the teensiest bit lazy. Okay, so with the exception of those two weeks I had to live down at corporate headquarters, the past few months have been spent making curtains and cooking and applying for jobs, but even I have to admit that that doesn't eat up the entire eight-hour work day, especially when the hairballs are growing large enough to give the cats something to worry about.
In two weeks, I'll be back into the workday grind (although this time I'm actually looking forward to it a lot more than I've done in the past two years since the Big Fish took over). We'll see how things go, but if our work hours start to get overwhelming again (as they have in the past), we may have to revisit that whole idea of having someone come in to keep up with the seven little hair-shedding machines. Because despite my best efforts, all attempts at teaching the cats to operate the vacuum cleaner have met with miserable failure.