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Putzfrau Power to the Rescue… A well-kept German Secret

06 Feb Posted by in Culture, Family Life | Comments
Putzfrau Power to the Rescue… A well-kept German Secret
 
We finally broke down and got a cleaning lady (Putzfrau in German… almost as good as “Ausfahrt.”). I wouldn’t say that I broke down; I have wanted one for about a year and had been casually throwing hints at Kay. Although, “I think we should get a Putzfrau,” isn’t really just a hint, but whatev.

It probably helped that (a) my neighbor reserved a spot for us in the Putzfrau lineup, (b) I worked and have money in my savings to pay for it, and (c) my mom was in town to take the reins and steer Kay in the Putzfrau direction. (Yes, our house is that bad that an outsider spoke up to say so… and yes, I totally played the mother-in-law card. Don’t judge.)

The interesting part is, if you asked me about cleaning services when I was living in the US, I totally would have thought you were a high-maintenance, stuck-up prima donna for having one. I mean, who is too good to clean their own house?

Um, this mom with two kids. I’ve learned to put my pride aside and admit when I need HELP!

And the weird part is, once I learned that one household in our neighborhood had a cleaning lady, it was like suddenly I learned that I was one of the few households who didn’t. Ok, maybe that is exaggerating just a little, but I had no clue that so many people here had cleaning ladies. My Tagesmutter (Fynn’s daycare) has one, my Hebamme (mid-wife) I just learned today has one, and now I wonder how many neighbors have one.

The Germans seem to value cleanliness like no other culture I have seen before. And I have to admit that not being able to keep up with the squeaky-clean expectations was wearing on me. With as many neighbors unexpectedly stopping in as we have, it is so embarrassing to have them see our dirty house.

So… I know that our house will always be full of clutter since living like an American in a German house just doesn’t work (as much as we try to organize, there is still just too much crap in tight-quarters, which can’t completely be blamed all on me since my husband acts like a stereotypical, consuming American), but all I have to say is that after the Putzfrau got done cleaning, I felt like I was in whole, new house; like I was again ready to face the world; like I was a whole, new woman. (I know, I need to get out more.)

I don’t consider myself a spoiled-brat because I am so thankful; there is a fine line between spoiled and appreciative. And apparently it had an effect on Kay too. We are so appreciative of someone else cleaning (and probably also that we paid for it) that we have been more conscious of cleaning up our messes. Well, today at least. Fingers crossed that the enthusiasm doesn’t wear off.

It also helps that we saw the Putzfrau before she left literally wiping the sweat from her brow; she spent an hour alone on our main bathroom. Yikes! Luckily she made it out alive.

I knew previously that when I am stressed, being in a messy house makes me feel suffocated, but I never knew that having someone else clean my house could make me feel like my life is again worth living. Ok, yeah, a bit extreme, but let me have my emotional high for the day please.

I also have to give a shout-out to my super-duper mom visiting from the US who made it possible to even have the Putzfrau enter the house. If it weren’t for her organizational skilz and daily maintenance, I would have been too embarrassed to show the Putzfrau our house in its state before my mom arrived. Thank goodness for moms; they have to love their messy daughters… and their family too.

Or maybe she just didn’t want her grandsons to be threatened by oversized dust bunnies?

Now… about those window washers… Um, maybe I need to save up before my mom’s next visit.

Yes, window washers at a private home. Yet another German secret revealed.

 


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