Part of me hesitated to bring up this topic on the blog, because I think it can be kind of touchy. When it comes to running a household, or parenting, obviously we can’t do it alone. Everybody patches together the help that they need in one way or another. And it can be all kinds of different help — everything from childcare to hiring someone to mow your lawn. But I wanted to open up the conversation, because for the year after Maggie was born, we hired a housekeeper. And it was amazing.
To be completely honest, I was actually a little bit embarrassed that we had a housekeeper. She every other week and helped with the deep cleaning that I just couldn’t get to between work and babies and everything else. I still did all of the laundry and the day-to-day stuff like dishes and dusting. But she scrubbed the bathtubs and mopped and that kind of thing, and it was a huge help. A major load off. When I would tell people, the reaction was varied. Some people said they had similar help. Some people asked for her number. And some people looked at me sideways (even members of my own family!), which obviously made me feel awful. And guilty. One woman who I’m particularly close to, after I told her, sighed at me and said, “Gee, I wish ALL I had to take care of was my kids and that’s it.”
So. You see why it feels a little touchy to bring up? I think that there’s a stigma that if we need to hire help, we’re not doing enough, or working hard enough. And there’s lots of judgement thrown around about it. I think there’s also the issue of resources, and having the extra money to hire the help that you need or want. And on that subject, we actually have now let our housekeeper go because we’re sending Maggie to preschool in a couple of months and it’s just crazy expensive. So we rebudgeted. But, at the end of the day, preschool is another form of hired help, so those resources are just being funneled elsewhere.
And this brings me to my original question: what kind of help do you have? A yard service? Housekeeper? Childcare? Pool cleaner? I’d love to know what kind of help makes your family function better. Or even which of the things you prefer to do yourself, rather than hire help for. And a really honest question: if you don’t have help, how do you feel about the people who do? I’m just kind of trying to bridge the gap and make sense of why there’s a little bit of tension around the topic, especially as it pertains to my world. After all, I feel like we could all use a little bit of help now and then! xoxo