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Cleaners

(23 Posts)
Jellycatspyjamas Mon 04-Sep-17 07:04:23

My two DC need me close, all of the time - if I'm not physically attached to one or the other they'll create merry hell to bring me back into the same room as them and then will need me to physically cuddle, soothe and sit with them. It's a stage they need to go through but it means I literally get nothing done beyond feeding them. I'm barely keeping up with the basics around the house, or bathroom gets a wipe down while they're in the bath, laundry gets put away while they're getting dressed.

We were given an adoption allowance to support the children and we've decided to use some of it to get a cleaner in - which will help save my sanity coping with two limpet children. The thing is, I don't know what cleaners will and won't do for you. I assume they don't do general tidying up - more proper cleaning etc so I'm thinking of things like deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, dusting and polishing, cleaning the floors all of which would definitely help. What other things will they do?

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hidinginthenightgarden Mon 04-Sep-17 07:32:38

Just as you said. You would have to tidy first, clear all floors and surfaces and then they will clean as much or as little as you like.
Some will also iron but not all.
They are paid by the hour so a full house clean will be maybe 3/4 hours the first week and then should be less the following weeks as they are just keeping on top of it. You would have to allow an additional hour or two for the ironing, or you could send that to a separate service.

Daisy151 Mon 04-Sep-17 09:27:55

Hi jelly we had a cleaner for 1st 6months of placement (wish I'd kept them longer) for exactly same reasons. I would tidy stuff off all floors and they came in washed all my floors, cleaned bathroom and kitchen. That's all I asked for really as it was what I couldn't manage but we only have 1 LO. Then we took all washing once a week to launderette to wash and dry. Saved my sanity. Get deep clean to begin with then just follow up with floors, bathroom and kitchen etc after that. We're over a year in and I still struggle to get stuff done but it doesn't bother me now as much as it did early on.

mamoosh Mon 04-Sep-17 10:42:31

I have found it depends on the cleaner but several have tidied up, just specify that's what you want.

We had a cleaner for years who refused to clean the oven. This week a new one came and that was the first thing she did without my even asking. They are all different.

Bostonkremekrazy Mon 04-Sep-17 11:23:17

Our cleaners doesnt tidy...we blitz the night before...including the children who know if toys arent tidy they will go up the hoover!
All floors are hoovered/mopped. Bathroom/kitchen cleaned.
Rooms dusted.
I send the ironing home with her and it returns the following week if needs be....or she drops it off in passing...

My fridge & oven are cleaned if needed as extra.

Cleaners will do what you need usually - negotiate whats important to you at the begining.....mine would change beds etc but i get the kids to help with that as i think its an important life skill....but if thats not where you are then that may save you an hour a week too....

Our adoption allowance pays for our too... best use of it i think!

Bostonkremekrazy Mon 04-Sep-17 11:23:57

Oh and we are nearly 10 years in....and still pay for a cleaner 😉

tldr Mon 04-Sep-17 11:32:34

I've had a cleaner for years and I actually stopped her coming in the early days of placement because the disruption of having her in our house was too much. (She'd try and kiss and cuddle them, they'd chase her round and get overexcited and dysregulated, she'd leave bottles of cleaning stuff unattended, she'd move my cleaning stuff from out of reach countertops to in reach but out of sight cupboards etc).

I only got her back in when we started going out to group things in the morning and she'd come whilst we were out. If you could arrange something like that - even a slow supermarket trip would do since you won't be at toddler groups yet - it might be easier.

I managed by having very low standards and doing most of it with kids underfoot. And if I'm being honest, I quite liked it because I could say 'I'll cuddle you in a minute, but just right this second, I'm hoovering.' and they understood that in a way they didn't understand if I said 'I just need three minutes where no one is touching me'.

Also, wet wipe thingies for bathrooms/floors and a hand held cordless vacuum mean it's much easier to do little and often, rather than having to get out the proper Hoover or what mumsnet tells me are called cleaning caddies. (So, I Hoover the kitchen floor when kids are still eating etc)

And the other thing you'll find is that a once a week clean doesn't last very long with LOs in the house so you will need to do stuff in between anyway...

But, other than that, a cleaner will do whatever you agree with them. We just get 'public' rooms done. Bedrooms and upstairs bathroom don't get a look-in. Do our own laundry, iron nothing.

Rainatnight Mon 04-Sep-17 11:56:42

Getting a cleaner in is a great idea. We've always had one but got her to come twice a week after placement.

I've actually got a thread on AIBU about what you can and can't ask a cleaner to do (because my DP's view is that she can do everything hmm). Some people were dead set that they only should do cleaning. Others have said that it's whatever you agree with them.

I'm in the latter camp, specially in your circumstances. If you want a tidy up, find one who'll do that and just specify what you want.

Ask friends for recommendations. I sacked my last one because she couldn't manage boundaries with newly placed DD and kept chopping and changing her arrival times which made it a nightmare to plan to be out. Our new one, recommended by a friend, is lovely.

2old2beamum Mon 04-Sep-17 12:04:30

Another one here who has a cleaner, have 5 with SN the youngest 2 have complex needs. She doesnt do kitchen or bathrooms, we have an 8 bedroom house on 3 floors there is no way I could do it myself! She also changes beds and does the ironing
BUT I do feel guilty and I do console myself that it does give me some spare time.
BTW I do use our adoption allowance.
Please enjoy your ?spare time

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 04-Sep-17 13:20:52

Thanks everyone, my DC are 4 and 6 but don't get at all the concept of "I'll cuddle you, come to you, play with you once I've done the dishes/made lunch etc". Doing anything with them in tow takes forever - I've spent 90 minutes making ham sandwiches before now and I just don't have the patience to keep trying to clean the house with them stuck to me.

I can keep roughly on top of things on a day to day basis, it's the "proper" cleaning that just doesn't happen so cleaning out the fridge, wiping down cupboards or giving bathrooms more than a lick and a promise. I don't need the house to be immaculate by any means, but it just doesn't feel clean iyswim.

The kids are going to be starting school and nursery soon so I'll have child free time to have someone come in and clean - I feel guilty about not using the mornings to just do it myself but it's the only headspace I'll get and really need to keep myself on an even keel. Interesting that there's so much variation in what they will or won't do. I've got a couple of companies coming to talk things over and will go from there - it does seem like a popular use for adoption allowance.

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Bostonkremekrazy Mon 04-Sep-17 13:39:32

i did find jelly....personal recommendations are so much better than big companies. if you can ask friends or friends of friends on fb....

i found with these big companies where they send 2 or 3 people in that the personal touch is lost, they also send different people in every week and i found myself repeating what i needed....it became a headache and actually the job was pisspoor and overpriced. we tried a few different ones and the same story each time. friends found the same thing.....

i waited a few months on a list for a cleaner who works alone, came highly recommended and we have not looked back....i let her in as we are going out so there is minimal contact with the kids, and she pulls the door shut as she leaves - it also gives the floor chance to dry!

one thing to say about your LO....this doesn't sound quite right....at 4 and 6 they should be able to sit and play quietly for a few minutes at least, obviously they are fairly newly placed yes, but if they are off to school soonish they now need you to teach them this skill and begin to leave you for a few minutes - school will be hellish for them otherwise....can this be your next goal for them?

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 04-Sep-17 14:17:05

Yep, they should be able to sit and play, my 4 year old can and will if he's left to his own devices, hes been very settled so I think he's just a bit anxious at the thought of going to nursery. My 6 year old really struggles to be by herself for any amount of time and we've been working on it over the last couple of weeks. She's going in to primary 2 and will have individual support to help her settle and cope. It's quite soon to be putting them in to school but both SW think it'll be good to get them into a routine and the school/nursery are excellent- I know the HT professionally and she really gets the issues for my two and is committed to supporting them.

I've asked a couple of friends for recommendations for cleaners - thanks for your advice on that one.

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tldr Mon 04-Sep-17 14:19:32

I totally agree with Boston - a big co will likely expect you to agree a fixed list up front of what will be done. Someone working for themselves will likely be far more amenable to doing whatever you ask on a particular day.

Am wondering too about the cuddling - wondering if it's competitive? Eventually DC1 would voluntarily get off me for a few minutes, but if DC2 came near, DC1 would be right back on me - terrified I might prefer dc2. Just a thought. flowersbrew

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 04-Sep-17 14:42:44

It's definitely competitive for DD, my DS can't come near me without her needing cuddles too - which has a lot to do with how things were for them in foster care where he was very favoured over her. She's naturally clingy in her own right but that combined with her not being able to cope with him getting care or attention if she doesn't means the last week or so has been very hard work.

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Rainatnight Mon 04-Sep-17 19:13:28

That sounds tough. Do not feel as though you need to spend your child free time cleaning. It's really important to keep your own tank topped up. flowers

Bostonkremekrazy Mon 04-Sep-17 19:44:58

I agree.....don't clean!!! and do not feel guilty - gawd life is too short!

go and meet friends, have a coffee, try on clothes, be you again, top up that tank....the first year is the hardest

you have to find yourself again....be kind to yourself...cake

B1rdonawire Tue 05-Sep-17 12:02:01

Totally understand about needing to be on you All The Time. Might be good to start gently exploring with them other ways to soothe as well (without denying them cuddles or closeness). So, a rocking chair, or an indoor swing can be good (we have a hammock rigged up from a bar in a doorway, which was a cheap recommendation from an adopter friend!). Experiment with textures with them a bit and see what they respond to: squeezy things like playdough, or soft things like baby blankets, or visual things like sensory bottles, etc. Something to suck (thick milkshake through straw) or blow (bubbles). And then you can gently re-direct them to something you know they'll get sensory pleasure from, while you do something wild and selfish like have a pee without an audience grin

We also have a cleaner, and try to make sure we're out while she comes, because it's too disruptive otherwise "a stranger touching all my stuff, that's MINE etc etc" Priority areas for us are floors, bathroom, and kitchen. Oh and wiping 8 billion fingerprints off the TV...

B1rdonawire Tue 05-Sep-17 12:04:24

Sorry, just thought of one more - can you give each of them a well-worn cardigan/hoody of yours, to snuggle up in when you need 5 minutes?

Jellycatspyjamas Tue 05-Sep-17 13:05:15

Some really good ideas for self soothing, thank you. They both have snugglies that sleep with me and will cuddle them (and me hmm) for comfort. I'll try other sensory stuff and see if that helps ease them off me for a few minutes. I had wondered about a rocking chair type thing too god us to cuddle or for them to rest on - more shopping 😀

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Kr1stina Tue 05-Sep-17 18:30:42

Some great suggestions here.

Can I check if you are starting your 6yo on mornings only ? i think a full day will be too much for many children like her and she will miss all etc stress of lunchtime . You can always then move to collecting her at 1pm as she's more settled.

Just a thought.

Jellycatspyjamas Tue 05-Sep-17 19:30:28

the plan is that she starts on full days with lots of flexibility around her taking time out in school and me keeping her home if need be. She is very sensitive to any sign that she's being treated differently so we've really needed to consider that in our planning for her. While I didn't think she'd be ready for full school days, for her the idea of being different to other kids is so anxiety provoking I think a supported full time place will be easier for her than coming home when she knows everyone else is staying for the afternoon.

We've planned her packed lunch together and she can choose school dinners if she changes her mind. The school have a lot of support in place for her and we'll closely review things. I know the usual way would be gradual introduction but it wouldn't be the right thing for her at all.

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Kr1s Sat 09-Sep-17 22:28:37

Yew of course you must do what you think is right for her on the leghth of the school day . And I guess you can always change if it's too much for her.

Pack lunch is much better I agree, no need to negotiate the queue and make stressful choices .

Best of luck with it all , please let us know how she gets on.

Corcory Mon 11-Sep-17 18:42:11

We had a cleaner. Have had one for years and have used our adoption allowance. I have had a number of health issues which hasn't helped my ability to cope with the house and the children. Our cleaner does everything bar the bedrooms. She also irons and cleans in side of some of the windows downstairs of sticky finger marks! We use a local company and have had the same cleaner for years but they will provide another cleaner if she is ill or on holiday. And will replace her if she leaves which has happen in the past.

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