Finalist: Melanie Moore


Most people despise them. I wanted to hang onto mine for dear life.

I live in a home as the only female, surrounded by males – one of which is potty training – so you would thinking giving up toilets would be an answer to prayer.

But for me, handing over my toilet cleaner wand meant only one thing.


When my husband tactfully brought up the subject of hiring a housekeeper, I immediately felt an ache deep in the pit of my stomach. Warm tears burned my cheek as I he told me that I was doing the “best I could” but that hiring a housekeeper would be a huge help.

Deep down, I knew he was right.

My husband’s job as a pilot kept him away from home so often that I felt like a single parent to our two rowdy but sweet boys. My full-time job as a software developer, while wonderful, left me mentally drained at the end of each day. Then there was my commute, cooking, packing lunches, helping with homework … and cleaning had become a chore I dreaded daily.

However, I didn’t want anyone else to do it either.

So, I did what any overwhelmed mother in her right mind would do. I re-treated to the bathroom and cried. I felt like the biggest failure, worst wife and mother, and all-around-unfit-housekeeper.

After much thought – and pouting – however, I knew I had to ask for help. I had to finally throw away the notion that I could (and “must”) do everything perfectly by myself at all times.

It was the only way to find balance in my life.

So the housekeeper starts next week … but I will still have occasional cleaning visits with my toilets, making our time together that much sweeter.


Melanie Moore is a software developer in Elizabthton, Tennessee where she lives with her husband and two sons. You can read more of her writing at Only A Breath. Vote for Melanie’s entry here.