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my left arm

January 16, 2013

I’m not a nag. I swear I’m not. My husband actually enjoys a fairly nag-free life. Or he does until our house is dirty…as it currently is.

So why is our house dirty? Well because our amazing housekeeper, who usually comes once a week, has been on vacation for the last month.

I realize this should not be a big deal. I know you’re probably thinking, “For crying out loud Ameena, you three should be able to pick up after yourselves. Especially for just four weeks, two of which you weren’t even home.” 

I realize that some of you probably want to send me hate mail about how lazy we all are. And you would be justified in doing so! But you can save yourself the effort because I 100% agree…we should be able to clean up after ourselves.

And yet, here’s the problem: I live with two people who are oblivious to the fact that the only way things will work is if there is Order. And lots of it.

This unflattering picture about sums it up…

Initially I tried to be nice about it. “Mrs. Maria is not coming for another week Maya, so we all need to pitch in and clean up.”

Then I tried positive reinforcement. “Thank you for putting your dish next to the dishwasher Ali. That was super helpful.”

Next I resorted to threats. “Mama is going to get in a really bad mood if she trips over your shoes one more time.”

And then I finally lost my Sh$%.All I do is clean. Clean clean clean. And then you all wonder why I’m in such a bad mood all the time? I can’t imagine why.”

I’d give my left arm for Mrs. Maria to come back. My left arm.

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106 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2013 12:20 am

    Love that pic of you & Ali- very cute :)! I give you for holidng off as you did before going ape sh1t! Maybe things will change once I am married/become a mom but if there’s one thing that drives me nuts, it’s cleaning up after others!!!

    • January 16, 2013 7:03 pm

      I’m married and it still drives me nuts. More so than when I was single! Hope this is not the case for you. :)

  2. January 16, 2013 12:41 am

    I was gonna make a bad joke about white person problems them decided that I shouldn’t because a) clearly more than white people have them (the problems) and b) I couldn’t keep up after more than myself so the truth is I’m feeling for you right now. I hope the housekeeper gets back soon)

    • January 16, 2013 7:04 pm

      This is one of my most ridiculous posts ever Ellen. Total “white person” problem!

  3. January 16, 2013 2:36 am

    Very very cute pic Ameena… love the title and i had begun to guess that something not-so-nice had happened to your left arm. THank God! your left arm is alright.
    Cleaning up is the biggest job after cooking for me. I know what you mean. I bribe my family heavily to help me clean up. Sometimes i threaten them a whole lot too:-)

    • January 16, 2013 7:05 pm

      Bribing seems to work better though, doesn’t it?

  4. January 16, 2013 4:08 am

    Married life scares me :-(

  5. January 16, 2013 4:26 am

    :) Cute pic :)

  6. January 16, 2013 4:27 am

    you only have to look after three people (one yourself)! I have a family of SIX at the moment, who out of the six, currently my mom and I are probably the ones who have to pick up after everyone else…and the majority of these four other people are males…consider yourself lucky, and blessed :)

  7. January 16, 2013 4:28 am

    You are not lazy at all! I start panicking when the housekeeper (maid in India) is an hour late…and she comes daily…that’s lazy!

    • January 16, 2013 7:11 pm

      To have a housekeeper daily would be just a total dream….

  8. January 16, 2013 4:31 am

    You are not lazy at all! I start panicking when the housekeeper (maid in India) is an hour late…and she comes daily…that’s lazy!

  9. January 16, 2013 4:39 am

    That picture of the two of you looking into each other’s eyes is too cute!!! I know what you mean, I pick up after my family and put everything in its place, only to start all over again. Us mothers!!

    • January 16, 2013 7:12 pm

      It’s the same thing every day, isn’t it? That’s what’s kind of annoying about the whole thing!

  10. January 16, 2013 5:25 am

    I can handle the shallow cleaning. You know… the easy stuff… but when my roommate and I move out? We’re hiring professionals. The deep cleaning? Oh hell no…

    Trust me… I get it.

    • January 16, 2013 7:13 pm

      I love cleaning…I really do. But I agree that the deep cleaning is a whole other ball game. (ballgame?)

  11. January 16, 2013 6:15 am

    That is a cute picture. Love it! God’s speed Mrs. Maria, God’s speed… :-)
    I know right? My husband couldn’t really get it either why I’m in the bad mood by 8 PM. I mean seriously??

  12. January 16, 2013 6:31 am

    The look on your face is priceless. I live with slobs. They think I am the housekeeper. Cause I don’t have anything better to do with my life than pick up other people’s socks and legos all day. I feel your pain.

    • January 16, 2013 7:13 pm

      Legos and socks seem to be a common theme. And have you stepped on a Lego? The pain is unimaginable.

  13. Kathi R. permalink
    January 16, 2013 7:38 am

    love your posts, they always bring a smile! :)

  14. January 16, 2013 8:30 am

    Aaaaaaah! the picture Ameena, is soooo romantic :) !! SupeRCUte !! btw, who clicked it? ;) On bribing and threatening, ditto for me, to get some (any) picking up done. Funny part is, only one of the kids responds each time. Well, thankfully at least one does !

    • January 16, 2013 7:14 pm

      I think Ali actually took the picture with my iPhone. He’s mastered the art of reaching away without looking like he’s reaching away!

  15. January 16, 2013 8:33 am

    I am fighting a losing battle on this as well…I so understand! Three small children, a dog and a husband who does not care about clutter live in my house with me. Every so often I get a look in my eye and my husband recognizes that I am one step from losing my gourd and starts cleaning or tidying something!

    • January 16, 2013 7:19 pm

      I have that look in my eye constantly but nobody around here seems to pick up on it….

  16. January 16, 2013 8:43 am

    That picture is priceless!!!! I always think we need a house cleaner until I remember, “oh yeah, I am the house cleaner!” I love the stages you listed, I can so relate, I have been known to lose it a time or two as well. My oldest is as smart as they come but expecting her to hang up a towel is futile and continues to drive me NUTS!

    • January 16, 2013 7:31 pm

      I can’t imagine you losing it…you seem so calm and serene. I need some of that to rub off on me.

  17. January 16, 2013 9:42 am

    I know the feeling. I’ve been through all of those stages myself and just last week I yelled out I can’t take it anymore and ran upstairs and collapsed on my head in a heap. Unfortunately for me I do not have a cleaning lady on vacation. Or any cleaning lady at all for that matter! Hang in there!

    • January 16, 2013 7:32 pm

      I would collapse on my bed in a heap if didn’t wrinkle my bed and then make extra work for me. LOL

  18. January 16, 2013 10:00 am

    Oh Ameena, you are not alone dear woman. What always continues to amaze me is how the children always shape up and do what they’re told after I’ve lost it? Um, is this what they like, a monster for a mom? Wouldn’t they rather just do what they were told when I was nice? Appparently not. It still boggles my mind. We are all living the same lives. No matter where we live, how much money, who we are, if there are kids involved we are living the same lives!!!! Love it and the picture is awesome.

    Shauna xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • January 16, 2013 7:33 pm

      It boggles my mind as well Shauna…and yes I agree that the only difference is geography! We are all living the same life.

  19. Jeena permalink
    January 16, 2013 10:36 am

    ” I know you’re probably thinking, “For crying out loud Ameena, you three should be able to pick up after yourselves. ”

    What I’m really thinking: OMG I would give MY left arm to have a weekly housecleaner. (Mine comes once a month and I’ve been thinking I want her to come twice a month.) When you work a full time, challenging job, and have a kid to raise, and are trying to maintain some sort of social life, and have travel plans (travel knocks me flat out)– you are totally entitled to hire help! You’re paying for it!

    I like to think that I’m just SO charitable, that I constantly stimulate the economy!

    • January 16, 2013 7:34 pm

      I love this Jeena…love love love your view of this!

      And the fact that I’m being charitable may be my new argument for having a housekeeper (and for everything else)!

  20. Taking On Magazines permalink
    January 16, 2013 10:37 am

    Housekeeper? I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with the concept. Have you heard the rule that it takes 28 days to make something a habit? You need to get Maria to stay away for at least another week if there’s any hope of your family being able to learn to pick up after themselves. :)

    • January 16, 2013 7:35 pm

      I’ve heard it takes 2 weeks to form a habit. Seriously, that has NOT happened around here.

  21. January 16, 2013 10:51 am

    Mrs. Maria IS returning, right? All will be well then. Too funny. Love the photo!

  22. January 16, 2013 11:15 am

    Heh, this post made me laugh because I was clearly the Ali/Maya in our house before Little Man came along. Now that I’m constantly picking up toys and Cheerios off the carpet, I know how the hubster feels :( I wish we had a Mrs. Maria :)

    • January 16, 2013 7:36 pm

      I remember the days of cleaning up Cheerios. After Cheerios comes a whole lot of other stuff….unfortunately!

  23. January 16, 2013 12:12 pm

    I live with 3 slobs. The thing that drives me the most crazy is that they whine about not being able to find stuff. Hello? If you put it back in the same spot, you’ll know where it is. Organizing is hopeless when only one person (me) puts anything back in the right place.

    • January 16, 2013 7:36 pm

      I could have written this….organizing is pointless. Except in my closet where nobody is allowed!

      I love my closet.

  24. January 16, 2013 12:46 pm

    having to clean up and pick up after other people just pisses me off and that is why i have a huge fear of room mates. It worries me sometimes when I think of my anal organizing habits that my future husband/boyfriend will have a pretty hard time with it. Oh well, thats how i get my sanity! I hope Mrs Maria gets back soon. btw that pic of you guys is very cute :)

    • January 16, 2013 7:37 pm

      I don’t think they’ll have a hard time with your anal organizing habits…the problem is when we want THEM to be like US! :)

  25. January 16, 2013 1:00 pm

    AMEN. I was late to work today because my roommate had left a bunch of dirty dishes out (with dried on food on them, naturally) and I needed to get them cleaned up immediately. That’s normal, right?

    • January 16, 2013 7:37 pm

      Of course that’s normal. I can’t leave dishes in the sink before work either!

  26. January 16, 2013 2:46 pm

    Here’s hoping her return is swift, so you can regain some peace again!

  27. January 16, 2013 2:51 pm

    Loved this post. Ali. Get in the kitchen and help Ameena out!

    • January 16, 2013 7:38 pm

      Thanks Masala Chica….bet Ali will read this and immediately gloss over the advice.

  28. Piya permalink
    January 16, 2013 6:06 pm

    lol ameena…love the pic!!!! I can TOTALLY relate to this post. my helper comes once a week too, and God forbid she’s sick a week, the house is a total disaster. I cannot function unless everything is in order and my husband and daughter are the opposite. I live with hoarders.

    • January 16, 2013 7:39 pm

      I live with hoarders too! Do you secretly toss their stuff when they aren’t looking? Or am I the only one guilty of such behavior?

      • Piya permalink
        January 17, 2013 4:23 pm

        ALL the time…and I blame my helper when i’m asked for missing things :P

      • January 17, 2013 7:08 pm

        Me too. :)

  29. January 16, 2013 6:53 pm

    The story of our lives! I get the husband to throw his dirty clothes somewhere near the laundry basket and it’s a big deal. Happy new year, and that’s a really sweet picture of you and Ali!

    • January 16, 2013 7:40 pm

      “Somewhere near the laundry basket.” So it’s not just us who have that problem??

      Happy New Year to you as well!

  30. Rufina permalink
    January 16, 2013 9:32 pm

    Last year, I declared I couldn’ take our cluttered house any more, not one more second of it. I told my husband we were going to become minimalists and made him empty the rooms completely, so that we would only put back what we absolutely loved or what was absolutely functional. The funny part about this story is, I’m the really messy one! When we finally put our house in order, my husband said “You realize we’re not really minimalists right? We’re just normal now…” ;)

    • January 17, 2013 7:09 pm

      You husband sounds just like me! This so funny. Ali’s idea of being a minimalist is having just 2 devices next to him instead of ten.

  31. January 16, 2013 10:29 pm

    I love the pic, Ameena…I am the guilty party at my house.The husband and the junior are both sticklers for “a place or everything and everything in its place”..All your posts on order and discipline make me feel so guilty but I am working on my new year resolve to change myself in this aspect…

    • January 17, 2013 7:09 pm

      Sorry to make you feel guilty! I’m really just trying to make Ali feel guilty. I don’t think it’s working …. unfortunately!

  32. January 16, 2013 11:49 pm

    I was always cleaning after my husband but now with the baby, his toys and diapers and everything else I feel my house is never clean. If I am up and the baby is napping, I am always cleaning the house. Its exhausting :)

    That picture is super cute!

    • January 17, 2013 7:10 pm

      I remember when Maya was a baby I was just stumbling around cleaning constantly. I’d say things are marginally cleaner now…but only because there aren’t diapers anymore!

    • January 17, 2013 7:14 pm

      Okay I did not intend to put a smiley face next to exhausting. Well that probably shows how exhausted I am.**Smiley face**

  33. January 17, 2013 3:41 am

    I feel your pain. I have a cleaner that comes in daily but still the moment my husband walks through the door it looks like a volcano erupted! Socks are thrown across the floor, clothes taken off in the living room and chucked on to the sofa and pockets emptied all over the dining table. I sometimes wonder if men were programmed not to be able to put clothes in the laundry basket or if it’s just my husband who didn’t learn this ever so valuable skill. God help me the day I have to worry about cleaning up after a third person. Hope Ms Maria hurries and gets back.

    • January 17, 2013 7:11 pm

      This is Ali! His socks are in the kitchen, his wallet next to the bed, his phone, keys, glasses, in different places. So confused by this. And Maya is his messy little twin.

      Sorry we are in the same boat my friend!

  34. January 17, 2013 4:42 am

    Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much I share your sentiments. Your parents’ home has always been clean but yet utterly cluttered, no matter how much my mum and I tried, thanks to the three others, namely my dad and two younger siblings, who are entirely oblivious to the fact that it only takes less than a minute to clean up if they’d just put things back to where they were after using them. I had the same problem when my sister came over to Sydney to visit…only a million times worse because I’d have to clean up after the greasy mess she’d create in the kitchen, not to mention the bathroom…oh and the living room too…and her bed…you get the idea. I wish there were a way to not care about any of these stuff and be in peace. It’s just not fair that we’re on this side and them on the other!

    • January 17, 2013 7:12 pm

      Funny enough, my parents home is pristine which is where I get it from I guess. My mom hated/hates clutter and won’t tolerate it. Too bad Maya didn’t take after me in this respect??

      • January 17, 2013 7:30 pm

        If it’s genetic it might pass on to your grandkids though :P

      • January 17, 2013 9:09 pm

        It’s not looking too likely but I can hope! :)

  35. alittlelessfluff permalink
    January 17, 2013 5:13 am

    I lost my shit A LOT sooner while my nanny/housekeeper was on vacation. I think it was after a couple of days of the same asking/begging/pleading/yelling. The twins were like little machines of destruction and my husband could just not have cared. So it was me doing piles of laundry, dishes every bloody minute (it felt like the kitchen was my new bedroom!), cleaning up ALL the time. I am back at work now and although I hate the place, I am thankful to not have to deal with the house.

    • January 17, 2013 7:12 pm

      Work is 1000 X easier than being a stay at home mom. Seriously. And I get paid! Talk about a win-win situation.

      Seriously though, this comment is fantastic. Love the honesty. I can relate!

  36. January 17, 2013 7:12 am

    LOVE that pic of you and Ali! So cute.

    And maybe I should have resorted to threats when the dishes I was promised would be washed weren’t!

    • January 17, 2013 7:13 pm

      Threats are the only way sometimes….unfortunately.

  37. January 17, 2013 8:08 am

    nate uses no less than 6 glasses during the day and then proceeds to rim our sink with his dirty dishware. we have a dish washer and her name is not melissa. please put them in the machine! i usually resort to passive aggressive sighs before flipping my ish.

    • January 17, 2013 7:14 pm

      The passive aggressive sighs are fully ignored around here. One must lost their temper to make anything happen!!

      Sorry to hear you are in the same boat Melissa!

  38. January 17, 2013 12:04 pm

    I’m losing my @#!! too. The only difference is that I’m the main culprit as to why it’s messy. My offspring just follow in their deeply ingrained gene paths.

    I love that pic of you guys – it tells a story.

    • January 17, 2013 7:14 pm

      You messy? I’m very surprised. I bet one of your children will end up being like me and will freak out at some point!

  39. January 17, 2013 3:15 pm

    it would be different if they helped! completely understand the frusterations. Maria -get back soon!!!

  40. January 17, 2013 10:56 pm

    I love that picture of you and Ali, you guys look so in love, at least the way he seems to be looking at you. Very cute. My cleaning lady comes once in 3 weeks cause I keep up with it and also cause I don’t have a kid. Men usually don’t clean up after themselves, socks, house slippers, shirts, dishes, it’s all over. You work hard… and if you want help, that is OK. :-)

  41. January 18, 2013 5:43 am

    My friend Jena tweeted “housekeeper back from vacation and it’s confirmed I want to marry her.” Can’t we all relate? When I tell my family I am cleaning constantly, you know what they say? “So don’t”. As if that’s an option.

    • January 18, 2013 7:25 am

      Ali has said something similar to me….and no, that is definitely NOT an option.

      I love Jena already.

  42. January 18, 2013 9:43 am

    I love that picture of you and Ali. So cute.
    I need a housekeeper, and I’m just one person. Honestly, I can’t imagine what it would be like to pick up after more than just myself. I can barely handle that.

  43. January 18, 2013 10:55 am

    I have two sons who are tornados in disguise so it ALL falls on me. I’d like a self-cleaning house.

    • January 23, 2013 7:06 pm

      I would too…why can’t someone come up with that? I mean who needs a self-driving car?

  44. January 18, 2013 4:42 pm

    girlfriend, let me tell you, i don’t have a maid. not even one that comes once a month. it may happen in a few months but it hasn’t happened so far. so what do i do?
    i bribe the teens. especially when it comes to scrubbing the tub. what? how awful? woman we are a family of 6, i dont wanna be the one to clean that tub. if i can get one of the teens to do it for $20 i’m good. if i can’t, i nag hubby. if that doesnt work, THEN i buckle down and do it. if only the preschoolers were a bit older it wouldn’t be so expensive…as for nightly stuff like dishes, you teens want cell phones, well you’ve got to split the washing at night. or so bye bye to your $60/month bill. yes, i pay my kids and im not ashamed if it means i have more time for me. :-D

    • January 23, 2013 7:07 pm

      I would pay my kid too…no shame in that. My dad used to pay me $20 for every “A” on my report card. Money makes the world go around, right?

  45. January 19, 2013 1:43 am

    That picture of the two of you looking into each other’s eyes is too cute!!! I know what you mean, I pick up after my family and put everything in its place, only to start all over again. Us mothers!!

  46. January 19, 2013 2:12 am

    I know what you mean, Ameena, You would give your left arm eh? Throw in your right one too and I’ll do your and your family’s dishes… Maria will be back… ;)

    • January 23, 2013 7:08 pm

      The dishes I can handle…it’s everything else that I don’t like to do Jan!

  47. January 20, 2013 11:06 am

    I am the luckiest woman in the world, my husband CLEANS. It is rather amazing, as I hate cleaning so much. I hope Maria comes back soon, deep calming breaths…

    • January 23, 2013 7:08 pm

      My God Rhonda…never thought I’d hear/read the words “my husband cleans.” You are beyond lucky!

  48. January 20, 2013 12:41 pm

    I feel the same way about all the people who help me run the household so I can pursue my dream. People who criticize us for using “hired” help don’t understand the concept of “It takes a village”. When my “village” is so far away from me and I am basically living in a place with no family nor close friends around to help, yes of course I have to rely on “paid” help. That’s just the reality of it.

    Sorry for ranting…. Something got me today…

    • January 23, 2013 7:09 pm

      Please don’t apologize…you said exactly what I think but I don’t have the ability to write as well.

      Nothing wrong with hiring people to help! I’m all for it.

      Hope that today is a better one for you my friend!

  49. January 20, 2013 1:34 pm

    thankyou for dropping by my teeny-weeny blog.(LOL)
    Yours is amazing and I’m gonna read it one of these days!

    Hope Maria comes back soon.
    I really like the picture ;)

    • January 23, 2013 7:09 pm

      Thanks Z…for all the compliments and for reading!

  50. January 21, 2013 8:46 pm

    I am your soul sister on this one. My housekeeper is planning to move and I am beside myself with grief. May join a support group and will definitely do therapy.

    • January 23, 2013 7:10 pm

      I feel so sad for you Andrea! I hope you find someone else just as great…

  51. January 22, 2013 10:40 am

    Ahhh Maria Maria… well sometimes i think everyone covered all the things i want to comment about – like the pic of you and Ali looking into each others eyes so dreamily :P or not.
    but for now take a break – go get that manicure – the house will clean itself- thats what i tell myself.

    • January 23, 2013 7:10 pm

      I try to tell myself that but that dream never comes to fruition Anu. :)

  52. January 27, 2013 12:44 am

    I can sympathise – we have two ayahs who clean, wash and cook for us. We just could not function without them! I just don’t understand how four people can make so much mess so quickly!

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