Sunday, March 26, 2006

more of my boring life . . .

I used to have a wonderful cleaning woman that helped me out around the house. Fatima came two or three times a week and worked up a storm. Unfortunately, she found a full time job and left. I thought it would be a snap to relace her. After trying out others I found that there was no one like Fatima and I finally gave up the search. It was easier just to clean my own house than to constantly have to stand over someone else. I've got a million things to do in my life, I don't think it should be necessary to have to explain how to sweep a floor (I had to do that with one woman every time she came!) - I guess that if these ladies had some smarts they would be doing something besides cleaning people's houses . . sigh . . .

A friend of mine hired a new cleaning woman and said she was pretty good and said she would see if she had any free days. So I informed the kids that a cleaning woman was going to be coming and they better get in their rooms and clean them before she gets here. They looked at me like I was crazy! I told them 'Do you think the lady is going to pick up all the junk you have laying on the floor in your rooms? She has to be able to move around in the room to clean it.' - you can't even see the carpet in the girls bedroom! 'Get busy! Now!' I said and pushed them in the direction of their rooms (while waving the magic stick).

So the kids got busy and as usual, all the clothes that were on the floor ended up in the laundry hamper. Eight loads of laundry! My ears are ringing from the sound of the washing machine an I still haven't gotten to the bottom of the pile!

The kid's rooms look nice now - waiting for the lady to come . . . I hope she gets here sometime this week or we will have to start all over again. . . sigh . . .


  1. My humble question is: what do you need a cleaning woman for when you have 7 kids??????

    A Moroccan friend of mine taught me to do the McDonalds scheme:

    Make a schedule for each kid and put it on the wall. Tell the other 6 kids to monitor the progress of today´s kid in charge.

    When done with a chore the kid gets a mark. The kid with biggest number of marks at the end of the month is "kid of the month" and gets a surprise.

    Suprise can be money, gifts, a trip of choice or "house-king for one day", whatever makes them happy.

    Even small kids can have chores like dumping garbage, putting cooking utensils or other stuff in place, washing car or folding clothes and putting them away.

    With seven kids each one only has to work 4 days a month - and you should not have to do anything but the cooking.

    Look around - no Libyan mother with kids does other housework but cooking. You have been tricked into slavery ;-)

  2. Safia - it's six kids and one husband.

    Safia my dear you have ben living abroad for way too long. Libya is full of wonderful chores that you don't have to worry about in the 'civilized' world. Fun things like washing carpets and blankets, cleaning up after sandstorms, mountins of dishes because everything is cooked 'from scratch', piles and piles of laundry. The list goes on and on and on. I cook for an small army every day. Eight of us, plus food for the dogs at the farm and also the cat. Not to mention occasionally sending food to the worker. Cooking is a big production that takes lots and lots of prepartion time and clean up. Veggies don't come packaged in nice cellophane wrappings all clean and ready to put away - You've got to do all that yourself. Plus there is the procssing of foods from the farm.

    We can afford to have someone come and clean the house. So why not? It's not like we all sit around and stare at her while she does the work - we all have jobs to do. Having a worker just helps with all the major, heavy and time consuming work.

    One of my big headaches is trying to get all the housework done while being interupted a zillion times a day. I think I do dammned good at running a house and working full time. I still manage to fit in my hobbies and enjoy life too. All my kids are kids of the month! :))

  3. Was the lady Fatima from Morrocco? About 35? With a daughter back in Morrocco? There was a lady of the same name who used to clean for me and one day she just stopped coming. As you say, the thing with having a cleaner is that you have to clean before the cleaner comes, so you end up thinking 'why don't I just do the entire job myself?'

  4. Of course she was Famitma from Morocco - almost all of the cleaning ladies from Morocco are named Fatima - and if they're married they have kids back home. ;)

  5. Now I know I'm not the only one complaining due to lack of help!My kids are all grown up you'd probably say but believe me it gets worse as they grow older.They have their own jobs and studying to attend to that by the time they get home they won't help with anything !

  6. Ah , the mythical cleaning woman/ maid. I used to dream of her as some might dream of riches or fame . I would think of all sorts if scenerio's of what life with her would be like , if only she were here with me .Then one rude day I actually found her . I had to show her how to properly mop the floor with out stopping up the drain by shoving all the derbis on the floor down it . Then , there was how to clean the toilet, followed by how not to kill the vacum cleaner by trying to suck up all in it's path . Oh yes , the dream of " Fatima " came to a screeching halt when it dawned on me it would just be simpler to do it myself.Now I just need help once in a while for all the jobs God meant men to do instead of women !You know the stuff men get paid a great deal for in the Western world to do and women here just do because they are the ones who do all the heavy jobs ?I saw something this morning that made me remember that sometimes men here do lovely things for their wives. I remembered my own husband who would wash up all the dirty dishes when I was pregnat with our first child .I would gag everytime I went to the kitchen and saw them .I still dream of " Fatima "now and then .Syd


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