The thing about having a communication blog is that, really, everything communicates. Everything you say, of course, but also what you wear, how you spend your time and money, the friends you have… it all says something about you, intended or not. Even accurate or not, it communicates.
So, that’s why I feel justified in talking about how to handle domestic chores on this blog. I am a huge fan of outsourcing. Really, I believe in outsourcing virtually anything that is not either one of your personal strengths, something you genuinely want to improve upon for your own internal reasons, or something you hold dear to your heart and soul and therefore do not want to hand over to another person to handle. Often, the three go together so keeping particular things “in-house” is a no-brainer. For example, my friend Lydia absolutely adores gardening. She is good at gardening, she wants to be a better gardener all the time, and she holds gardening dear to her heart. So, Lydia should garden!
I, on the other hand, am lucky if my thumb gets even the slightest tint of greenish yellow in Spring and, when I am honest with myself, I really don’t prefer to garden. It can be fun to pick out plants and flowers and even a bit satisfying to stick them in the ground and have an instant remodel of my front flower mound. But really, I’d be equally happy (okay, maybe even more happy) to have our earth-loving, a-bit-too-laid-back, talented landscape designer/gardener work his magic in our garden and then adore his mastery when we have dinner picnics on the front lawn.
Still, sometimes I feel guilty about this position I so passionately hold. It’s as though I have some old programming that says that my very womanhood depends on my ability to handle all of the zillion domestic duties involved in caring for a household. That makes sense since my mom really was a brilliant homemaker. Our house was drop-by-visitor ready anytime, she made dinner most nights, she showered every day(!!) and she was always ready to go out with my dad when he got home from work and wanted to see a movie or go get dinner on a whim. When I get particularly insecure about my total disregard for domestic prowess, I like to seek out others who share my position. It’s validating. That’s why I was pleased to find this article in the Wall Street Journal and then run across this wish-I-could-say-things-this-beautifully blog post a few weeks ago on my friend Melissa’s blog.
We have a wonderful woman deep clean for us once a month and we have a brilliant, fun, totally fabulous person come in for two hours three days a week and do whatever makes life easier that day. Some days she just picks up the total crazy mess we’ve left in every room. She has installed a closet organizer system, reorganized our kitchen cabinets and cleaned out our garage. She has made dinner and played countless games with our girls while she did various things around the house. She is a huge, meaningful part of our lives and I could not be more grateful for the help. It would take a pretty dramatic change in our financial situation (which is not extravagant, by any means) to let go of this amazing gift in our lives.
I’m not sure what this communicates about me – or anyone else who does it any other way. I just want to offer it up to anyone who can swing it. Life is so much better with help. Feelin’ the love tonight (and the thrill that tomorrow is Monday and Olivia will be here!), I guess.