Tuesdays With Murray (Chapter 49)

Toby and I hired a maid. We made the appointment two weeks ago. She was to begin Monday.

On Saturday night I began to freak out about the logistics. (How would she get in the house? Were we supposed to leave? Did she need to use our supplies? If we left the house, how would she lock up? Am I supposed to tip her? Does she do laundry? Am I supposed to tidy up the house first? What if she’s allergic to cats? Oh my crap! Murray!)

I voiced my concerns to Toby starting with the more reasonable.

“Do we stay here while she’s cleaning?”

“We don’t have to.”

“Do we need to move things around so she can get to certain areas? Does she do the closets?”

“I’m not sure. We’ll have to ask.”

Realizing that he wasn’t going to suggest that we cancel, I dove right in.

“What about Murray?”

“What about him?”

“What will we do with Murray?”

“Nothing. He’ll probably eat her.”

“Well, what if she uses poisonous cleaning supplies? I think we should cancel. I’ll clean instead.”

“Whatever you want.” He rolled his eyes.

On Sunday I canceled the arrangement and asked Toby to keep an eye on Em so I could clean up. I started with the counters and the stove and worked my way down. Just as I began to mop the kitchen floor, I was attacked.

Murray leapt into the air—all four feet off the floor, arms spread wide, eyes wider—and bear-hugged the mop with all his might, deploying a move we liked to call “The Grizzly Bear”.

The mop gave way beneath his weight. As his hind legs touched the floor again, he slid full force into the mop bucket, spilling water everywhere. Unsure of how to regain his composure on the slick surface, he tried running, which sent him sliding all over the linoleum surface.

I looked down at the wet, hairy mess. The kitchen was dirtier than it had been before I started.

“See!” I said from the kitchen. “This is why we can’t hire a stranger to come clean our house!”


  1. hiring a cleaning crew to come in about every 2 weeks was one of the best decisions we made. We have 4 ladies that come in for an hour. We are usually home and I just steer clear.

    Rehire her and Murray will be Murray and I am sure a cleaning lady or service has seen it all.

    Provide her with the cleaning products you want used.

    DO IT.


  2. I can’t tell you the number of times I have longingly looked at a “Merry Maids” car outside of a neighbor’s house…and yet we have not made the step of actually hiring a maid. Should we? The dust bunnies say yes. Will we? Probably not, because I have this stupid voice inside my head that tells me that I should be cleaning my own house. This voice is probably a holdover from my mother and grandmother, who are the annoying sort of women who felt the need to do things like polish wooden baseboards on a regular basis…and clean behind the refrigerator.


  3. I am with ya, Milissa. It’s pricey here. Not sure the going rate elsewhere. I keep telling myself that I could and should use the 70 bucks a week on the gym or the Might Mommies group at the park.

    And, yes, get off my ass and clean!

    We’ll see.


  4. I don’t think I could part with my pennies to hire someone – and I’d totally be the type to pre-clean before they arrived. A gym membership or $ for a babysitter seems like a better investment… but then again, like Milissa, I am from the school of ‘picking up things to dust under them’ parenting. Thanks mom!


  5. did you try that woman i gave you the number for? she’s super good and we love her.

    she just uses your cleaning supplies.


  6. I held off for years. I felt I should be doing my own housework. OMG, Strangers would see my things! I would have to pick up the kids toys each time before they came. The house was too messy, the house was too dirty, I would have to do a thorough pre-clean before I could let them in….

    I compromised by hiring a team to just do downstairs, i.e. the parts people see. It has been a revelation.

    Recently I did contemplate saving the $35 and doing it myself, but when it came to the crunch, i just couldn’t let the cleaners go. I know they are coming and that forces me to tidy up once a week or (novel idea) keep the place tidy. Plus, they mop my floors. Somehow, left to my own devices, I never get around to cleaning my floors.


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