10 Reason Why Women Are Afraid to Hire Cleaning Help
1. I can do it all myself. We want to believe that we can do it all, right? We want to keep hot meals on the table, keep everyone in clean clothes, stay on top of the children’s homework and piano, teach the kids a few manners, and still love our husbands. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. A little help could ease the load and keep us a little more pleasant.
2. It’s elitist to hire help. We may feel that we’re being elitist if we pay someone else to clean our messes. But how often do you hear your husband say, “I’m sorry that I came home late from work, but I was vacuuming up all the donut crumbs that I dropped on the carpet in my cubicle.” (Let’s not even talk about the donut crumbs he leaves in the family room.) Your husband’s boss doesn’t expect your husband to vacuum or to clean the office bathrooms because he has figured out that it is more cost effective to hire someone else to clean. Is it possible that the same could be true for you? Is it possible that some of your time maybe we worth more than $10 an hour?
Children do need to learn to work but consider all of the work that is required in your house. Washing, mending, ironing, cooking, putting things away, helping with the babies, cleaning bathrooms, vacumming, mopping, organizing, repairing, shopping, working in the yard, unloading the car, and washing the car. How much time do your children really have after school? Consider their schoolwork, church, music lessons, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Tomorrow, I’ll post a full household work list. Look at the list and determine who is doing these chores now. You’ll probably be surprised at how much you are doing yourself. Look at how you may reassign some of these responsibilities to your children, your husband, and hired help.
4. My mother did all the cleaning so so should I. Yes, your mom, your grandma, that perfect neighbor down the street all seemed to do just fine without hiring help. So what is wrong with you? Really? It’s easy to feel that we aren’t up to par with other women and hiring help would be admitting failure. But seriously, what if your mom can mop faster than you can? Is that something to feel inadequate about? And the reality is, children require more individualized attention than they did a generation ago. Schools expect parents to help in the classroom, help with homework, and complete big class projects with their children. Sports have become more competitive, and children have more practices and far away games. If we have ADHD children, we might be spending more time with doctors, teachers, therapists, pharmacists, and insurance companies. We are also spending more time in our rooms (with a box of Kleenex). This time all adds up and increases the pressure we put on ourselves.
5. I can’t afford household help. Household help seems like a luxury that only the very rich can afford. While you may have to repriortize your budget, unless you have no heat and are only eating rice and beans, you probably can afford at least some household help. In our household, our budget priorities are food, shelter, household help, and clothing. We have even learned to simplify our meals and shop smarter so that even our basics require less money. The next few weeks of this blog will be dedicated to finding money for help out of even the most tight budget.
6. I don’t know where to find household help. It can sometimes be tricky to find household help, but you’ll be surprised what happens when you just start keeping your eyes and ears open. You might talk to a woman at your church who needs a little extra work, you might know of a responsible teenager in your neighborhood, or you might need to start asking other women if they use cleaners. Try someone out a few times before making any permanent decisions.
7. I like things done a certain way ,and I’m the only one that can do it right. I understand because I was the same way. I was even a little quirky about them spreading germs, etc. but you know what? We got less sick when I hired help than we did when I didn’t have it. (Your kids are spreading far more germs than you will ever want to know.) You may be surprised to see that someone else can do something better than you do.
8. I don’t want to delegate my children to other people. I am their mother, and my children are my most important job. If you don’t want to hire help to take care of your kids, then hire help to clean so that you have more time with your kids. It is also fine to sometimes take breaks for yourself so you can be rejuvenated–especially when you have ADHD, active children.
9. My husband’s not on board with hiring help. Sometimes it’s hard for our husbands to see the need for help. They may think that you are home all day and should have plenty of time to clean. Kathy Sherman’s book, A Housekeeper is Cheaper than a Divorce sites studies that show that the average stay-at-home mom spends 39 hours on housework a week (not including child-rearing). The average working woman spends thirty-five hours a week doing housework. Your housework is a full time job without kids. Ask your husband if he wouldn’t mind taking the kids to work so that you can do your full time job. Do it in a very sweet way of course. Also point out that you want to get help so you can spend more time with him and the children.
10. I LOVE housework and I have plenty of time to do it. If this is your reason, then DON’T hire help. In fact, consider starting a cleaning business.