Mom Syndrome: do you have it?
I Know a Lot of House Cleaners with Mom Syndrome
And here’s the weird thing, most of these house cleaners, (and I could be calling them cleaning technicians, maids, cleaning lady, cleaning service providers, etc.) are aware, tidy and immaculate people. When they show up at a client’s house, they don’t miss a spot. They are fantastic at what they do, and yet their own homes or apartments don’t reflect the same type of care.
I Call It the Mom Syndrome
(Note: Dads can have the Mom Syndrome too.)
A Mom, for the most part, is a caring loving person, who wants the best for us. They are the first one’s in the family up in the morning and the last ones to bed at night. A Mom is on the move all day. Putting stuff away as she moves from room to room. If you want to find Mom, she’ll be at the kitchen sink washing dishes or preparing dinner.
If Mom is not fixing dinner tonight, she’s playing taxi to the kids. She’s driving them to soccer, dance, piano, karate, or swimming. Don’t worry, Mom will pick something up for dinner along the way. Instead of hiding out in the car for a moment of rest and relaxation during karate, Mom is cheering for the kids and networking with the other parents. Shush, don’t tell, she’s not really just a mom, she’s superwoman! I’ll bet you know her.
But What About Mom?
Mom is taking care of us, but who is taking care of Mom?
The Mom Syndrome is all about a woman (or man) being responsible to their family. Giving them the best of their energy, time, resources and love. Even at the cost of their own well-being. A Mom will make sure the kids get to their sporting events, but when does Mom work out?
Mom packs the lunches for the day, but when does Mom get lunch and who makes sure she’s eating healthy?
While we are in watching TV or resting or at the computer, where is Mom? Who is taking over while Mom gets a break?
You get my point. Here’s where it gets crazy.
Lots of House Cleaners Are Also Mom’s
This attitude of “I’m going to take care of everybody else first” mentality spills over into her work. She shows up at a client’s house to clean, tidy up, and do an endless list of not-so-pleasant chores. She does an amazing job because she cares about her clients, she takes pride in her work and she gets paid to do it. The payment for the house cleaning jobs pays her bills so she can take care of her own family. It’s a win, win, and the client’s love her because, at their house, she’s also superwoman.
Then Mom house cleaner goes home, and her own dishes need washing, she has her own laundry. Dust comes to visit her as well, and there’s dog hair that needs vacuuming up. She’s exhausted physically and mentally, and she’s hungry. The worst part of Mom cleaning her own home is it’s a thankless job that nobody is going to pay her for. What’s the incentive?
Now Mom has a choice, she can do the laundry so everybody has clothes to wear tomorrow. Or she can fix dinner, or maybe just throw some snacks in a tote to tie everybody over while they run out to swim practice. Don’t worry, she’ll figure out dinner somewhere along the way.
Forget about dusting the lampshades over the bathroom sink, or dusting the blinds in the bedroom. I’ts not going to happen. Not a priority. Not today, not ever. Just doing the basics and “getting by” is asking a lot.
Take Care of Yourself First
The busier your work schedule, the less time and energy you have to take care of yourself, your own family and your own home. Don’t fall into that trap.
As a house cleaner myself, I believe that everybody deserves to live in a clean space. Cleanliness is welcoming, it’s calming and promotes wellness.
If you are a house cleaner I have a message for you:
As superwoman (or superman), you deserve healthy food at regular intervals to keep your sugar levels in sync. Your brain will function better on a spinach smoothie than on a Krispy Kreme doughnut. (I know this from personal experience.)
Here is a free download: Angela Brown’s Favorite Energy Boosting Smoothie Recipes
You deserve the endorphin high that comes from a cardio workout. Staying in shape and keeping your joints flexible will be the awesome sauce that your cleaning business needs. Exercise each day for your health, for your family, and for your clients.
If you have to, start your cleaning jobs one hour later in the day so you have time for your morning workout.
When you return home from a grueling day of cleaning, come home to a clean, tidy home of your own.
You Deserve The Good Life
Put yourself on your cleaning schedule. There is no pay for cleaning your own house, but clean like you are at a client’ house. Bring your cleaning caddy with you from room to room and knock out the house just like you would if you were being paid. Don’t get distracted with other interruptions while cleaning – give it the solid 3 or 4 hours you give to a client. Nobody is going to do it for you, do it for yourself.
NOTE: I’ve had my home on my cleaning schedule for years. There are times where I gave up my slot for cleaning emergencies. Then I took cancellation slots as my own house cleaning time. Either way, I did a “professional clean” on my own home at least every two weeks – because I deserve it. My family deserves it.
You do too.
Taking care of yourself is not about celebrating you one day a year on Mother’s Day. Taking care of yourself is celebrating you every day. This is your life we are talking about – and it’s not a practice life, this is the real thing.
When you work for yourself, you get to decide your own schedule. So create a schedule that allows you to take care of yourself first. Then you can take better care of your family and your clients.
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