Wednesday, 26 January 2011

What would we do without our cleaners?

I know, I know, only spoilt middle class people have cleaners. Sorry to disappoint, but this blog does not address the rights and wrongs of having a cleaner, but the horror of losing one.

Last week a fellow Tweeter posted that he had picked up a comment from a working woman that she was terrified of losing her cleaner, his take on this was "Where do you start?" To most men the idea of being anxious about losing domestic support is hard to imagine, but I don't know a single working woman, mothers specifically, that wouldn't have her day/week/life seriously rocked by their cleaner being a no show.

Magda is our cleaner and I love her, she has worked for us for over 12 years. She's is a mate and I rely on her utterly. This morning my daughter was ill, I had a meeting to go to,  so I went and, Ta Da, Magda held the fort.

Similarly only yesterday, Sabina, our breathtakingly smart and lovely Director of Policy and Research who is currently on maternity leave, was able to join us at a vital staff meeting because her cleaner stepped into the breach and looked after the baby.

This working, mothering thing is a complex proposition and frankly, to achieve it, we need all the help we can get.

I would be devastated if Magda moved on, not only because I value her forensic insights into our family life, which are priceless, but over the years she has been a loyal friend and the person that has allowed me to work the long hours I do and come home to a house that is ordered, at least once a week, every week. This in turn lets me think that I am 'getting away with it', having the 'big' fulfilling job and a harmonious family life. I know how lucky I am, and long may it continue.

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