My mother worked three jobs, maintained a house, put a warm meal on the table every night for dinner, and managed to raise two children who became well-adjusted, contributing members of society. She also had someone come into the house twice a month to scrub the toilets and floors and she paid a sitter to watch my brother and me every day after school. She was a working single mother who did an amazing job at keeping our family happy, safe, provided for, and healthy.
Fast forward to the present.
I was e-mailing back and forth with a woman about how she came to employ her house manager. I wanted to know if she used a nanny service to find her manager (she did) and how much she felt was valuable compensation (very similar to what one would pay a nanny who comes into your home for a few hours each day). The difference between a nanny and a house manager is that a nanny watches your kids so that you can tend to all of the house-related matters, and a house manager tends to all of the house-related matters so that you can be with your kids.
Over the course of this conversation, she made a few statements that indicated to me that she was hesitant to talk about her house manager. Admitting that she had a house manager was admitting she couldn’t do it all on her own. And, you know what, I was surprised that she had this perception.
No one can do it all on her own, every day of her life.
My working, single mother definitely didn’t do it all — she was exhausted from doing all of the wonderful things that she did. Adding more to the pile was impossible, and no one begrudged her for that. We do what we can and then let someone else take care of the rest. If you’re married, a spouse can pick up some of that slack, but he/she doesn’t have to. If you’re single or simply need help, there are nanny, cleaning, and house managing services to cover what slips through the cracks. We’re human, not superhuman.
Being an unclutterer is about clearing the distractions that get in the way of a remarkable life. In the process of clearing those distractions, it’s okay if you hire someone to help you or ask a friend/spouse/roommate/family member to lend a hand. In fact, life is usually more fun when someone else is there to share the load. There is no need to beat oneself up about seeking outside help.