Dear Gwen and Molly,
I just want to let you know why I decided to spend the child benefit on getting a little bit of help around the house.
I could save it for when you're bigger and need cash for house buying or uni or something equally sensible. I could use it to buy you clothes, but you have drawers full of beautiful hand-me-downs and you're not old enough to care. I could buy toys with it, but you're happier with a pile of blankets and pillows (Gwen) and a few kitchen implements (Molly).
So instead, I am investing it in a different sort of way. You see, at the moment, I love being with you two, but I spend most of the day with a little niggly thought at the back of my mind. A little voice on my head is saying "Look at the floor, it's filthy. You need to Hoover the stairs. Oo, look at those dust bunnies under the sofa. The bathroom is mingtastic." All day long, I wonder when I will get time to clean, when my days are spent with you lovelies, my evenings are spent washing and tidying up and cooking lovely healthy food (and cakes) for the next day, and occasionally actually sitting and talking to your Dad or having a night out with one of my lovely lady friends.
We have a doggy who you both love very much, but is very hairy, trails mud through the house and chews up sticks on the lovely stripy rug.
We cook. A lot. We make bread and cakes. It's messy. There's flour all over the kitchen.
We craft. And you love glitter. So there are sparkly bits all over the floorboards.
We eat cake in the lounge in the afternoon and there are sticky fingerprints and crumbs on the sofa.
Baby-led weaning results in lots of sweet potato and spaghetti being flung around the dining room.
You splash about in the bath and the bathroom floor gets all mucky.
In short, I live a charmed life. It's just a little bit... dirty.
So I've decided to face facts. It's important to me that I spend time with my family, cook you all nutritious food, spend lots of time messing about outside, do lots of nice things like photography and cooking and gardening and meeting friends and reading and writing and watching films and eating Thai curry with Daddy Dave. And I can't do those and have a clean house too. But I also can't get full enjoyment from those things with the cobwebs quite literally looming over me either.
I'm not lazy, honest. I actually like cleaning. Bit of loud music, bucket of hot, soapy water and a old-fashioned stringy mop and I'm happy as can be. And I could put you in front of a DVD for an hour while I went off to do that. But I don't want to do that. Because I like spending time with you. And that's worth a million dust bunnies.
So we will welcome the fifth member of our family this Thursday - Lynne the cleaner. I can't wait.