Today we signed up for a housekeeping service, as well as a lawn mowing service. These are things we could do around the house, but which we dislike doing and which we occasionally have conflict around. Pea and I so rarely have conflict that this stands out. Pea would have had a housekeeper years ago, but I balked because, while we could afford it, I could not afford it, which was a semantic difference that loomed large in my mind.

I have elitist guilt surrounding having services come to my home and take care of routine chores.  This is misplaced, but very common, and, interestingly, mostly common in women. Certainly Pea does not have this guilt.

I am pre-tenure. I am pregnant. Pea and I are both very allergic to cut grass. We have a big house and a big lawn, and we work long hours.We have no shortage of things we would rather be doing with the free time we have. We make enough money and live in a cheap enough area that we can easily afford these services (mortgage, house insurance, property taxes, utilities, internet, AND these services are still clocking in at less than 60% of our rent in Hilly Quirky).

I eventually rationalized these services by deciding that if we have the income that we do, it is only fair to redistribute some of that money to local businesses.  In the end, that was the only argument that allowed me to let go of my guilt over not “doing it all”.


2 thoughts on “outsourcing

  1. Turia

    I am SO GLAD you made this decision. I think it is by far the right decision- we’ve already talked about the housecleaner, but after we saw your place, on the drive home, I said to Q., “Oh, I really hope they decide to get someone to look after the lawn”.

    I was going to say that if you are providing work for someone local who wants to do the work (and is not part of a big chain that will exploit its employees and take a large cut of their pay), then it is not a bad thing. They want the job. And you have so many, many other things that will take up your time.

  2. rainbowgoblin

    Oh, man, I need to do this. I think my current level of guilt over the household cleaning tasks that aren’t getting done might actually outweigh my guilt over hiring someone to do them for us. I’m so impressed with you for doing this before the baby arrives and things get truly unmanageable.


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