Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toilet Paper Roses

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We recently made the decision to try housekeeping services, a covered benefit through Noah's Medicaid Waiver.  I struggled with the decision and in fact wasn't entirely certain I was going to even blog about it.  The thing is I think I felt really guilty about it.  Guilty that I'd have to admit that I don't have enough time to adequately do everything in a day.  Guilty that I'd be asking someone to help me pick up the mess me and my family created.  And especially guilty knowing that not all Medicaid programs are created equal that it's not common for many special families to be offered this service at all.   I didn't feel like I deserved it.   I after all am a Special Needs Mom,  I should be able accomplish everything on any given day.  I wasn't even sure what to expect.  I only had a home that I lived in cleaned once and it was during a transition to a new home.  So, it was rather cleaning up someone else's mess left behind and not my own. 

I figured if I didn't use the service then Noah's allotted Medicaid dollars would simply go to waste, and that wasn't a good feeling.  Especially since  we struggle to find resources and work so hard to get anything for Noah and I didn't like the idea that it would be a use it or lose it kind of deal.   So we made the decision to give it a try, we could always cancel if we didn't like it or if we still felt uncomfortable with the idea.    Today was the first day cleaning services came to assist.  I didn't know what to expect.  Toilets?  Floors?  Linens?   I just kind of felt my way through it, and they sent a really sweet person who I really liked, and she put me at ease, even though I still felt badly there was someone there to pick up our mess. 

My maternal grandmother was a maid for the Holiday Inn, and then refusing to retire, later went on to clean a local bowling alley.  I remembered how hard she worked, and I always worried her crippled hand was a result from wringing out rags day end and day out,  when it may have even been a combination of arthritis - I'll likely never really know.   She did a good job always.  She loved what she did.  And I think I learned the art of being a really detailed cleaner from her and my mother.   They took pride in cleaning, so naturally so did I.  She seemed happy and she loved the connection she had with others while doing it.   It was never beneath her to clean for others. 

My aunt is on another round of chemotherapy fighting cancer again and communicated that she had to hire a cleaning service to help her as she couldn't keep up while sick.  She swore by the help and said it was wonderful to have.  Yet again I battled the guilt... but I am not sick.  But then there is Noah and all of his needs.  I'm trying to balance all things in a day.  Feeding, clothing, activities, therapies, making him happy and tending to his little brother, returning phone calls, running to appointments, advocating, fighting insurance battles, and making sure dinner is ready and everyone is fed and taken care of.  And I do usually a decent job of cleaning, but I am so utterly exhausted.  To the point where you are just tired of being tired.   My aunt's advice was that I'd likely really love the help.

And she was right.  I could start to smell the fresh aroma of a clean bathroom looming in the hallway.  And I felt a tremendous sense of relief.  I sat on the couch holding Luke, then switching to the floor to lay with Noah.   A moment to just relax.   A moment I didn't have to be using to clean and tidy the house.   And I was amazed at the detail.  Sometimes you think well is someone going to be as detailed as I try to be?  Will they clean the all the corners and do a thorough job?  And I was so impressed, right down to the help with the baseboards.   I was so thankful for the help.  So very thankful. 

Then after our cleaning lady left, I noticed the delicate rose she made in all three bathrooms with the roll of toilet paper.  I've seen many times the folded peaked edges, and have been known a time or two to do that myself after cleaning a bathroom but I've never seen a toilet paper rose until today.  It felt like such a gift.  I loved it.  It made me feel cared for.   It is so amazing on how something so simple - a roll of toilet paper with a tender rose upon cleaning left me with such a special feeling - like I was deserving of help.

I know that there are so many families that would hope and pray for the same covered benefits, and I genuinely wish across the board all services were equal and universal nationwide.  But if you happen to have that available resource and were a bit hesitant like me, I'd encourage at least trying it.   I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed having an extra set of hands to help.  And am learning accepting help is not the equivalent to admitting defeat. 


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.