Oct 1, 2009

Fitting in and Cleaning House in Japan

I have this problem. (One of many.) I'm house-keeping challenged. I blame my ADD. See, every time I try to clean a room, I get side-tracked by some small insignificant detail in the room. For example: I might go to put something away and notice the drawer where it belongs is a mess. So I start cleaning out and organizing the drawer. Then realize that to properly organize said drawer I need a drawer organizer. Which means a trip to the 100 Yen store. Which may take a few days to get to. And wherein (when I eventually make it) I will be sidetracked by all the cool stuff, buy supplies for an art project I'll never complete, and forget the drawer organizer.

So you see, my home is never very tidy. (But I'll be darned if my drawers and cupboards don't look AWESOME!)

I thought it was pretty bad!
Then I got pregnant.
Got morning sickness.
Got tired.
Got pukey.
Took lots of naps.
Got a nasty cold.
Got over the cold.
Got the flu.
Didn't shower or get out of bed for two days.
etc. etc.
(ad nauseam, if you will)

And weeks ago I gave up even trying. The kitchen makes me sick. The bathrooms make me sick. Thinking about cleaning anything makes me sick. So I've stopped all that nonsense.

And it turns out I must have been accomplishing something before, because things around here have actually gotten a lot worse.

Doug helps all he can (with only a slightly disgruntled air) but he's only home for so many hours. And he's already doing all the cooking.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I called in the heavy artillery.
I hired a Mamasan.
What is a Mamasan? A Mamasan is a magical being.
A Mamasan is a Japanese lady--usually an old lady--who will come to your house and work wonders.
She is (usually) hired to babysit or clean.
She (usually) rides to your house on her bike.
The standard fee is (usually) 5,000 yen/day. (Roughly $60.)
And she (usually) wants lunch. Or in some cases, coffee or a Coke.

My Mamasan (whose name I wrote down but now can't find the paper) came at 8:30 a.m. last Monday and left around 14:45. (2:45 p.m.) I got her a Subway sandwich. (Like I said--I don't go in the kitchen these days.) She brought her own Instant Coffee.

While she was here she cleaned the kitchen, the bathrooms, straightened the bedrooms (made the beds) and vacuumed all the carpet.

While she was here, I left and did my Visiting Teaching!

Talk about a win/win.

She's coming again next week and I can hardly wait.

I know it wont last long. Doug is too cheap and my nausea is easing somewhat. But I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

And on a totally unrelated note:
Isn't this a cute family tree Max and I made? It includes three boys, two parents, and six grandparents.
That makes three whole things I've accomplished in the last 3 months. Hire Mamasan to clean: check! Visiting Teaching: check! Help with school project: check!
Good to know I can still pull my own weight around here!!!

(Oh yeah! And Write Blog Post: CHECK! I'm totally awesome!!!)


i-will-never-be-organized said...

you are ! and notice, you are getting better. life is ...... ...... hummmm ....... life. you're doing fine.

Bartimaeus said...

I'm not slightly disgruntled, just disgruntled!

Linda M said...

Such a hard choice--mamasan or money to go on neat projects. I think you made a good decision. Check!

Emily said...

I want a mamasan and I don't even need one! No puking and nausea for me just plain apathy to all things involving cleaning, cooking, and organizing...I blame the pregnancy. Glad you've accomplished your goals!

Kristen said...

Sounds all too familiar. And my baby is 3 now. I'm just beginning to get better. yay for me!

Sarah said...

Some times it is just good to learn that I am not the only one out there without a clean house. Thank you for advertising that to the world so that I could feel better. :)

Jenn said...

I need to get me one of those mamasans! Hang in there, you're doing great! miss ya

Unknown said...

Oh that's the way life should be. I can't wait til we make our millions to hire our own cleaning lady!! So glad you found her my luv!

acte gratuit said...

PB, you just have to take up teaching pottery. Then you'll be rolling in dough like me. (Or maybe just barely able to afford two visits from a Mamasan per month. And then you'll have to give up your clothing/housekeeping allowance to afford the other two visits.)

Lyana said...

I wonder if they have papasans:) Maybe to do projects around the house people, you know? Like to hang up pictures, paint walls, do some yardwork, etc. Just kidding. I think you made a wonderful by hiring a mamasan.

Beeswax said...

I've got a couple of mamasans, but they are nice people from Guatemala, and sadly, don't babysit. But when I am sick, just getting the house decent enough for them to come over is too much for me.

mama bear said...

my mamasan is free, her name is grandma. oh how I will miss her when we finally move out!!

Anonymous said...

A Subway Sandwich shop in Japan?!Awesome.

acte gratuit said...

Anon--only on base. Though they do have a McDonalds off-base here.

Unknown said...

emily thank you soooooooooo much for the surprise! it made my day and the japanese paper is still strewn across my counter.

thank you most of all for sharing your faith. i understand what you mean about misconceptions. i am grateful to learn from you.

blessings for the week ahead!

The Incredibles said...

I loved this post, i can almost hear you say it!
in my case im being the cheap one ish wants me to hire the mamasan for me not to be "grouchy all the time"

Garity said...

Gah! $60? And here I thought maids in Mexico City were expensive! They call them "muchachas" here which I still think is pretty derogatory but it's what they like. Mamasan sounds so much better. All I can say is I'm with you. I would have never survived while pregnant without our maid's help. Then again, this city is so filthy you HAVE to mop the floors everyday and there was no way I was going to be able to do that much less keep up with laundry. 3 cheers for extra help while pregnant!