I have always dreamed of coining a phrase that describes a moment in time, a craze at a point in history. And here I am. I have reached the pinnacle of my writing career, only fifty-three blog posts in!
Wait for it...
The Sadie Phenomenon. I think it has a poetic ring to it, and I am sure it will catch on. It will on this blog, anyway, and that's enough for me.
So what is it?
I have been noticing lately that roughly every second person I speak with (therefore, I have a statistic to back up my fancy phrase: fifty percent of the Australian population) has a cleaning lady. One friend even has a cleaning man.
How has this come about?
I think it goes hand-in-hand with the busy lifestyles everyone is leading. Trying to find time for partners, children, careers and other interests, as well as cooking and cleaning, is a handful. Just ask any woman from our grandparents' generation, and they will tell you that raising children and running a household is a full-time job in itself.
So something has to give. And it can't be the family, the career, or the interests that hold the sanity together. It must be the housework. The problem, then, is that the choice becomes living in a revolting mess or hiring some help.
Help, it is.
I have found that most people who do this are a little reluctant to tell others that they do so. They feel a little awkward about having a cleaner. Embarrassed, perhaps about needing help, or maybe more of feeling 'above' themselves. 'It just sounds so self-indulgent', said one lady I know. And, let's face it, having a cleaner used to have a certain ring of upper-class snobbery about it.
Not anymore. One friend of mine hired a cleaner a couple of years ago and was out and proud about it. And so she should: she works hard, spends time with her children and enjoys life. She just chooses to spend a little of her hard-earned money each week (and I must admit, I was very surprised when she told me how little it costs) to have some help around the house. Surely that cannot be faulted?
Me? I would love to have a cleaner. But how on earth could I justify it? I work from home (with very casual hours), spend most of my time here with my little girl, and we live in quite a small house. Surely I should be able to keep it clean. My husband even does some cleaning (refer to the 'ten things I don't have the guts to do' post where I admitted to my 'fear' of cleaning toilets).
But I do so want to be a part of The Sadie Phenomenon.