(well, actually, rarely are any of my ideas truly original. this one, though, is not something I am doing...and I don't even know if I have anyone I'd feel close enough with to actually clean each others' homes. Not even my sister. Well, on to the story.)
My first months as a new mom were LONELY! I talk about it and try to share that with with friends who have their first babies. I had a pretty easy baby. She slept well and nursed a lot. I worked until a few days before giving birth, so I didn't really know other moms. We just hung out at home or shopped. My house was the cleanest it had ever been after the first few months, and I made some great routines for us. When my Nanny came to stay with us for a visit, I proudly showed her my cloth diapers and how easy to care for they were. Just toss them in the washer. Set the machine to run a prewash, a hot wash, and an extra rinse. The machine does all the work. I thought she'd be jealous.
"All these machines make it easy. But that sure is lonely," she sighed.
I gasped. Then I chuckled. She summed up my feelings perfectly, but what did my amazing washing machine have to do with that?
When she was a young mama, she told me, she and her sisters and friends got together and washed their diapers together. They'd wash and hang. The kids would play. They'd all have time together. I think I remember her mentioning something about clothes-pinning babies' dress hems to the clothesline to keep them from wandering off...but that's not the point today. She told me how they'd all go to each others' homes and scrub the floors. I was inspired by the community.
Perhaps it was some of her inspiration that brought me to get our dinner co-op going. I realized when we took a week off this month that this group really does make a difference in our family when I ordered pizza one night and picked up a ready-made-meal at Costco another.
I discovered a blog (of people I do not know) today of a group of mamas who get together each week and tackle a home organization or cleaning project together. What a beautiful idea! Nanny Jenkins would be proud. (I need to call her tomorrow.)