Is guilt preventing you from hiring help in your home?
You work full time, you are a parent full time, a spouse or partner full time and you are on the go full time. You meet yourself coming backwards, run out of hours in the day and still you will not hire the help you know need. But why? What is stopping you?
It’s that nagging guilty feeling in the back of your head isn’t it… and I bet it says these things to you:
1. Only the rich and well off have cleaners, we don’t need one, we can’t afford one. People will think that I think I am Lady/Lord Muck?
2. I should clean my own house – my house, my mess, my responsibility right? How lazy would I be to hire someone else to do tasks I don’t want to do?
3. I feel like I would be exploiting someone. What if the cleaner thinks that I think I am better than them? How do I handle being a boss/client and telling the cleaner what I want to be done without coming across all superior and Lord-Like?
Can I read minds? No, sadly I cannot, but I have worked in this industry many years and have done hundreds of quotations in peoples homes. What I have found is this: Women fight with the decision to hire a cleaner far more than men do. Men see it as a practical necessity; who has time for cleaning bathrooms? Women, however, have a harder time – they guilt trip themselves into thinking that they should be able to do and have it all; then they feel inadequate when they can’t keep a hundred and twenty-seven (often self-imposed) plates in the air at all times, it’s a vicious circle of guilt and pressure.
My advice? Let it go people! Take a deep breath and come join us in the 21st century and step out of the pre-programming of an old society and out dated gender roles: it is okay to ask for (and hire) help! You are not a bad person for not cleaning your own toilet, you are not a bad person for sending your ironing out to be done and you are not a bad person for having a gardener cut your lawn – you are a busy person and a hard working person and you deserves to have some quality time to yourself and if you could give yourself some quality time, you would wouldn’t you, it’s a no brainer?
How to tell the guilt monsters to hush!
1. Only the rich and well off have cleaners
Maybe once upon time that was true but now, with busy lifestyles, a fast-living culture and individuals having more disposable income than before, it is no longer the case. Did you know that over 6 million people in the UK employ a regular cleaning service in their homes and this number grows year on year? Having a cleaning service is for people of all walks of life and I guarantee that there is a cleaning service out there that will suit your needs and your budget. See my earlier posts on What To Look For In A Cleaning Service and What Are the Different Types of Cleaning Service Available.
Even if you cannot afford a weekly service, you could think about having a clean every month, or maybe every quarter. At the very least I would recommend a deep clean/spring clean at least once a year to tackle all the jobs that everybody loves to avoid.
2. I should clean my own house
Firstly, says who? Where is that written other than in 1950’s Good Housewife Guides? Let me ask you – Did you build your own house? Do you grow all your own food? Do you sew all your own clothes? No, no you do not, (other than in imaginary Pintrest World 😉 ). You feel perfectly comfortable paying for those services to be done for you; why would paying someone else to clean your home be any different?
Secondly, unless you live alone, you will not be the only person responsible for making the mess. As was a great, and often repeated phrase of my mothers throughout my childhood: “I did not make the mess alone, so I am not cleaning it alone” – Now you can either 1. draw up a family/roommate cleaning rota (future post coming up about this) and live with the moans, groans and half jobs as your children/spouse/partner/roommate attempt to make you stop asking them for domestic help, 2. mutter sentences of resentment to yourself whilst you begrudgingly clean the kitchen floor because no one has mopped it in three weeks, or 3. You can hire a cleaning service to come in once a week/fortnight/month to help you keep on top of it all without all the drama and family rows.
3. I feel like I would be exploiting someone
Now unless you are forcing someone into cleaning your bath tub I would imagine that there will be no exploiting going on. In the 1911 UK Census there were 1.3 million people employed as domestic servants, more than in any other industry; the hiring of help within the home is nothing new. Cleaners (some 800,000 thousand registered cleaners in the UK today) have voluntarily decided that cleaning is the job they want to do, just like you decided on your job or profession.
Some people see cleaning as lowly profession, even among the working classes, and that I take great insult at and is a myth I try to dispel within my own work force… cleaning is a very noble job; without cleaners, shops, schools, hospitals, doctors surgeries, dentists, heck even the roads and pathways would not be open or function the way they should. I tell my staff that cleaners are like the fourth emergency service; the silent, forever working presence to every backdrop in society. Do not feel sorry for someone being a cleaner, they are not wanting sympathy, most cleaners are happy and take great pride in their work and enjoy to clean, so you are not exploiting anybody, it is their job.
As long as you speak to your cleaner in the same manner you would speak to anyone else you interact with then there are no problems. If you are unhappy about an element of your clean or need to give a different set of instructions to your normal clean, just approach your cleaner as you would a colleague for example, in a friendly, polite and straight forward manner. Cleaners want to do a good job, they like to have happy clients and will not take offense at an area that was missed being pointed out or being given a list of different tasks.
As a final point, and just as a forewarning, even when you hire a cleaning service you may still feel pangs of guilt and also resentment at some one else cleaning your home when you feel like you should be doing it. This is normal and is something I will cover that in next weeks post to help you overcome.
If you have any thoughts or feelings (or stories) about the topic of guilt when hiring a cleaning sevices, I would love to hear them.
Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x
NEXT WEEK: Top 3 Cleaning Client Problems And How To deal With Them