I met my friend Sally for coffee yesterday. She is far from an extravagent person. Actually, her practicalness and willingness to tackle projects are two things I really like about her.
As a woman who works full time (actually she has two jobs) and maintains a house/garden, she gets pretty tired. She sounded guilty when she confessed that she had hired help. A neighbor helped her with a bunch of yardwork this spring for the day and she paid him to mow her lawn once every two weeks this summer.
"Good for you, Sal!" I said.
"I just couldn't do it alone." she admitted.
I don't understand how someone can work full time and maintain a house by themselves. In my years living alone, I had whole weeks that my yard looked fieldlike and the house didn't get vacuumed. Sean and I are two people and we have a hard time getting it all done.
"It's really nice to drive up to the house and have the lawn looking so nice." Sally said, smiling when she realized I was very supportive of this development.
One reason not to hire help is you can do it yourself. Sure, it doesn't mean that you will or that even if you do, it'll come out well but you are an able bodied adult. You can probably do a lot of things for yourself.
Also, people hesitate to hire help is you don't necessarily have something in the way of a physical object or product to show for it. (Sometimes you just have something to not show actually.) We ask ourselves, Is it spoiled or extreme to pay someone $30 to mow your lawn? $60 to clean your house? In our culture,we like to have a physical object to show for our money spent. If your friend told you she spent $100 on a pair of jeans or $100 on a garden consultant, which do you feel more subliminally judgemental about? Exactly.
Finally we're uncomfortable with hired help because we aren't comfortable with the inequality that is created by the hirer and hiree. A relationship with someone you've hired can be delicate. Don't we spend our lives in disfuctional relationships? Why create another?
I run into this when discussing creating content for or marketing a website with a potential client. I can tell what they're thinking. I can probably do this myself if I put in some time, effort, and research. What will I have to show for it in the end? Do I want to create a relationship with this person? All valid questions when thinking of paying someone to help you out.
But why try to do everything yourself? To be Superman? To prove you don't need anyone? So that if someone ever asks if you did it yourself, you can say yes?
Ok, I've made my point. If it's worth paying for help on a project or chore and you can afford it, you should. Because hiring help says "I can't do it all, and that's ok". And isn't that a pretty healthy way to look at life?
The alternative is I wax my own eyebrows. Not pretty.