Sunday, September 26, 2010

Martha Screw-up: The guilt of hiring help

So as the average reader may have noticed, posting has slowed down here. The main reason: I'm gone for 12 hours a day, and I tend to spend my weekend doing as close to nothing as possible.

Now as you may have noticed in my profile (or I may have mentioned it before), I'm a teacher. High school, specifically. The school is an hour away from where we currently live, so 2 of those hours are round-trip travel daily. I'm also teaching all low-level classes, which makes for a very demanding day - I literally do not sit down from when the bell rings to when the bell rings to dismiss class. Yeah. I come home EXHAUSTED, and it's been affecting our level of cleanliness like whoa. Not that I was that clean to begin with, but still...

Another concern with me being gone 12 hours a day, and The Hubs gone for at least 10 (he has a half-hour commute, and he carpools since we're down to one car), is our poor sweet Daisy dog. She was seriously staying in the apartment for 10 hours a day without a chance to pee! We noticed she was refraining from eating or drinking until we were home to avoid having an accident (which, while showing how smart she is, isn't good for her). We finally looked at our finances and managed to find a neighbor who was willing to walk Daisy for half an hour every weekday in the middle of the day. We're happy because it gives her some fresh air and a chance to take a wee, and since we're paying her, we also have her take her on a good 15-20 minute walk rather than just out to the grass.

The reason it took us so long was partly financial, but partly GUILT. We are perfectly capable of walking our dog ourselves, after all! We are lazy people by nature, granted, but we draw the line at paying people to do what we should be able to do! Well, the welfare of our dog is what pushed us to finally look past our pride and seek a dog-walker, and Daisy has never been happier. She is FULL of P&V every night almost, because she got some attention and outside time that we couldn't give her when she needed it, and are too tired to give her as much as she deserves when we are home (we take her around our apartment complex at night and play with her, but it's not enough when she's alone 10 hours a day).

The point of this is, why are we so prideful? I mean, in this situation, everyone wins: Our neighbor loves Daisy and is a somewhat-lonely retiree who now gets paid to spend half an hour with a cute dog everyday. We can work without the fear that our poor dog is sad and fighting off an exploding bladder. Daisy gets out of the house AND human company, and it breaks up the monotony of her 10+ hour day of loneliness. SO WHY DO WE FEEL SO GUILTY?

Personally, the freedom it gives me outweighs the guilt in this case, and it benefits our "child" the most which furthers smooshes down the guilt level. But any other kind of services, like housekeeping? OMG. The guilt at the mere idea of it is overwhelming... I feel like I should be at the point where I WANT to keep my house clean on my own. It's not like the want isn't there, it is, but the flesh is like, "Do I have to?" Or, since Hyperbole and a Half puts it so much better:
Artistic rendering of my sadness courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half. Please don't sue, I'm broke and simply wish I was as talented.
I have a feeling most of you feel my pain. xD The Hubs is becoming MUCH better about the cleaning than I am, which A. makes me wonder how he's a boy who's 1.5 years YOUNGER than me and yet maturing at a faster rate and B. also makes me feel WORSE. If we could afford it, though, even once a month... oh man, it'd be SWEET. I'd feel a little guilty, but ultimately the stress release would be worth it. The Hubs feels differently, though. He's very prideful, and the idea of paying someone to do something he can do himself makes me twitch. Maybe when we have a kid and are even MORE exhausted he'll consider a monthly deep-cleaning... as it is, we mainly deep-clean for company. (So come November, this apartment will SPARKLE for Thanksgiving!) But still, WHY DO WE FEEL THE GUILT? The cleaners are willing because they get paid, we don't have to stress about it and feel guilty for letting it get so bad... ugh. It's a vicious cycle... and a cycle that shall remain cyclical until I somehow convince The Hubs it's not such a shameful thing. ;D

Sidenote: My mom saw our messy apartment this weekend and said it actually gets better every time she visits, and smells better, too! I wasn't sure whether to feel proud or still embarrassed.


  1. man, I TOTALLY relate. I am sure (hopefully) the guilt feelings will pass and you will enjoy your happy puppy! :) I got B a cleaner for our annivsary and he has never been happier! Once a month to do the "deep" cleaning and he just maintains! No shame AND it helps him keep the crud picked up. :)

  2. See, that's EXACTLY what I would like - a deep cleaner monthly, and we just do our own maintenance. The Hubs' pride issues jump in, though, and he feels like we should be able to do it ourselves.



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