How does the split of domestic chores look at your place? Could you place a figure on it? 50:50 for each partner, or maybe it’s 33:33:33 if you have kids to help (that sounds like a good ratio to me!) Whatever your ratio is, how does it make you feel? Are you happy with your domestic arrangements?
The reason I ask is because it’s an important question, often assumed, and often the root of frustration and resentment in households. If one person in the house is perceived to be doing way more than is actually fair, then something’s gonna blow.
Enter the concept of out sourcing. Yep, getting help. Yep, paying someone else to do the jobs that you don’t want to do.
I have had a lady helping me clean my/our house since before I left home (so it was technically my mum and dad’s house.) Even when I lived alone in Mudgee, I still recognised the value of having a woman come into my home, once a fortnight, to give it a once over, fluff up the cushions and spread a little bit of magic female fairy dust around.
The women that have cleaned my house – much like the mechanic who services my car, the practitioner who services my body, the grocer who provides my veggies – are great at what they do. It is their job, their gig and they are making a living out of this caring and vital work.
I could do a lot of this work myself (back in the Datsun Sunny days, Dad tried so hard to teach me the basics of mechanics) but much of it either doesn’t interest me, is not my particular skill set – hello pruning roses – or I would rather spend my time doing something else. Like writing this newsletter!
I sometimes hear talk like ‘It’s alright if you can afford it’ when speaking about a service such as a cleaner, but my philosophy is that if it’s important enough then I will find the money. I put the cash on my bench for lovely Bec each fortnight and then whatever I have left after that is spent on other things that light me up.
Teacher and writer Polly Dunning has nailed the ‘Chewed Up and Stressed Out’ culture that we can either choose to be a part of, or choose differently in this article in the SMH a couple of Saturdays ago.
So I choose out sourcing, and here are some suggestions:
Firewood: Send a text to a local supplier and have it delivered the next day.
Cooking: Follow Kellie on Instagram and she’ll have your meals whipped up in a jiffy.
Child care: Get in touch with the local Pre School and Day Care Centres in your town and see if any of their educators are up for some extra casual work.
Gardening: Ask around for retirees that are looking for some outdoors work. They might love to do some weeding and pruning in the winter sun.
Mowing: There might be a Jim’s Mowing in your town, which is a local service (bonus points if you can text them) or perhaps your friendly retiree can throw in the mower for extra cash.
Cleaning: Start talking to your friends about who cleans their house and grab that phone number. (I am slightly reluctant to share Bec’s details in case she gets too busy and leaves me!!)
What else? I’d love to hear how you outsource in the comments below.