Have you ever wondered if homemakers should hire help?
Is it okay for homemakers to hire help?
I’ve wrestled with this question so many times.
After all, isn’t it a homemaker’s responsibility to provide childcare, cook, and clean? Whether you’re a working mom, work-at-home mom, or a stay-at-home mom, you’re also in charge of keeping your home!
As a homemaker, I wanted to do it all. In addition to my homemaking responsibilities, I also run a business from home. This blog is our family’s primary income source. But since my husband is at school four days a week as a high school Spanish teacher, I’m also our kids’ primary caregiver!
I had too much on my plate, but I struggled with asking for help.
After talking with other women in my situation (many of whom hire help gladly!), I’ve come to realize that not hiring help is a pride issue for me.
You see, I want to do everything on my own. But also, probably more than that, I care about what other people think. I haven’t wanted other people to know when we’ve need to hire help.
When I’ve hired help in the past, it has been when I am at my wit’s end, when I’m about to burn out, and when the house looks horrible. I have been advised by my business coach and other mentors that I really need to look into more consistent help. Otherwise I am not going to be a good wife, mom, or business woman.
I will continue to burn out if I think I am superwoman and can do it all.
Friends, nobody can do it all!
2 reasons why we all should consider hiring help:
First of all, you should only hire help if you have room in your budget. (But I will also talk about what to do if you don’t have it in your budget…read on!)
1. It frees you up to better minister to your family and community.
When I am not with my girls I’m working, and then when I am with my girls I’m still working–I’m working on the home. I would rather be pouring into them, discipling them, and doing read-alouds. Instead, I am working on cleaning and doing the laundry and everything else that entails running a home.
With this pattern I’m not getting as much quality time with my kids, and I keep telling myself that “someday” I am going to be a better mom and wife.
Having someone come in to clean or cook occasionally can be a HUGE blessing…and free you up to spend more focused time with your kids! It can also allow you to get involved in community activities outside the home that you might not have time for otherwise.
2. It gives someone else a job.
I have hired a college student working her way through nursing school to clean my house. I’ve hired a single mom. I have hired a woman whose husband lost his job and their family had to live off of savings. With each of these people, the blessing and benefit was mutual. We needed each other!
A lot of people that are in full-time ministry or full-time blogging have help. There is just no way they could do everything they do without help. When you read big, successful blogs and you see the woman behind it is a wife, a mom, a writer, and also creating new products and homeschooling their kids, you begin to wonder what they are doing that you are not.
How do they get it all done? It’s usually because they have help.
Sometimes hiring help is a cultural thing. In the United States I have found it’s a lot harder to “admit” when we have help. In other countries, it’s the norm.
When my husband and I lived in Costa Rica–we met there in 2003–I was single, but I had a woman come clean my house every other week. My husband was single, too, and he had someone come and iron his clothes.
At first I struggled with it, even there. Then I had other missionaries tell me that it’s not looked on favorably when you’re from the States if you’re living in Costa Rica and not contributing to their local economy by hiring someone to come help you in your house.
When we were back in Costa Rica in the summer of 2015, there were two weeks where we stayed at one place. We were going to language school and we were told that it wasn’t required–but highly recommend–that we hire someone to help with cleaning and cooking.
So a woman named Blanca came four days a week. She cooked us breakfast, she cooked us lunch, and she cleaned our house.
I always tried to talk to her when she came over. The second or third day she was there we were just talking about life. She got tears in her eyes and told me she was a maid for another family for a long time, and then she lost her job.
She didn’t know what she was going to do. The pastor of the church that ran our Spanish language school approached her and offered her this job for when families come to stay here in this house. It supports her family.
That conversation was a turning point for me. I realized what we were doing was really helping her, every bit as much as she was helping us!
What if you cannot afford to hire help?
I was there. Several years ago, we could barely afford to eat. We were living on $18,000 a year after taxes. I know that it might not be realistic for you to hire help, but there are some ways that you can lighten your load a little:
1. Trade with somebody else.
Maybe you love watching kids, but you are not great at cleaning. And maybe your friend needs a break from her kids, and she’s great at cleaning. Why not swap services?
2. Offer your own services to make money.
If you really need the money, you could be the one to ask around and say, “I am willing to clean your house.” You might be in that situation where you are the one that needs the job, and your friend might need the help. It can be a win-win for both of you: your friend gets the help she needs, and your financial burden is lifted a little!
Is hired help just for work-at-home moms?
Although I’m writing from the perspective of a work-at-home mom, I think any homemaker could benefit from getting help!
I know women who don’t bring in an income, but they still have help.
Talk with your spouse, family members, or mentors, and consider honestly about whether or not your home could benefit from some extra help.
Those of us who have hired help need to be more transparent about it. Let’s show other homemakers that there’s no shame in not doing it all!