Just kidding, I don’t have one, but I’d definitely pass their number out if I did and they were good! And I’d get rid of them if they weren’t any good.
So, is this the most sickeningly middle class blog post I’ve ever made? Possibly, but gimme a sec.
I’ve discussed the ‘issue’ of cleaners and food delivery services with various people at various times, and there is a lot of guilt out there!
One of my dear friends had cleaners every fortnight and I was SO GLAD for her! She worked really hard all day, and then on into extra hours and also participating really fully in her church community. She lived alone, and, as I’m sure you can understand, keeping on top of cleaning and cooking for herself in the midst of all this was a bit of a headache. And she had money. She gave to church and charity, wisely saved and wasn’t indulgent, why not spend money on something that almost every previous generation of Westerners wouldn’t question and what many other cultures see as a normal part of life?
In fact, certainly in our past, but also in other cultures now, it’s seen as somehow selfish and ungrateful if you have the income to employ ‘help’ but don’t. And having been in that side of the coin, being the help, I’ve really needed the money and have been grateful people were happy to have me in their home and taking care of their children. Their employment of me has kept me in food and shelter.
So where does the guilt come from?
Is it guilt at having that much money?
Ok, y so you’ve been entrusted with this income, what’re you gonna do with it? Is spending it on semi-skilled labour any better or worse than the other options? Which will include what? Saving for holidays…? Buying a fancy car? Or providing employment for people which will help your household function well and driving a slightly crappier car because seriously, having a cleaner is more useful?
Maybe it’s guilt at the idea that you should be able to do it all?
NO ONE has EVER done it all!! Seriously!
Ok so, you grew up without servants, well surprise, your family had gadgets instead, which are supposed to help but usually don’t. Running a household is TOUGH especially if you want to actually spend time with your family as well as keep everything clean. So, it’s not a surprise we’re always looking for help of some kind.
Now obviously this would be a ludicrous conversation to be having with people or families who don’t have enough income for shelter and food, but I know that like me, most of my readers can afford that and then some. So. Ponder where your guilt has come from and examine it.
Also, think about what kind of help would help you most?
Is it laundry that kills you? Ironing?
Would your life run a bit more smoothly if you had someone in once a fortnight to vacuum, mop and dust? I know if it were me, that would be the only times such things occurred as frequently as that!
Maybe instead of ordering semi-crappy take out three times a week cos you’re all exhausted, recognise that gap in your life and preorder food from a decent home delivery service that provides fresh food.
If your pantry is already full of prepackaged, processed food because you have five minutes a day for cooking, recognise that you’re already spending a tonne of money on that and consider if it’s the best option.
If a robot is already doing your vacuuming, you officially don’t have time to do it.
Maybe just try it. If you find yourself wishing you had help with something, and you can, give it a go and see what happens. Maybe it does free you up to focus on what you’d like to. Or yes, it impacts other things financially but it’s worth it. Less money on coffee, more on not living in a cess-pit.
My money is prioritised in other directions at the moment, but for most of the people I talk to about this, I love them, they work super hard (whether it’s paid or un-paid), the decision is not about ostentation but using their time and money well. I don’t begrudge them one minute of their fortnightly cleaner or ironing lady.
And if I have to go back to un/semi-skilled labour, I’ll be thankful for anyone who’ll pay me to do the above.