How Hiring A Housekeeper Can Improve Your Relationship
Hiring Domestic Help - The Best Marriage Advice for Busy Couples
Dear April Masini,
My husband and I don't fight about much, but there's one thing that keeps coming up over and over again: the cleanliness of the house! We both work full-time and neither of us wants to dust and vacuum by the time we get home at night. He gets mad at me for not getting rid of the clutter, and I get mad at him for not washing the windows. Do you have any advice for how we can put our house cleaning issues aside and just get along with each other?"
Sincerely, The House is a Mess
April Masini's Advice :
Dear The House is a Mess,
One of the best marital aids a couple can invest in, doesn't need batteries. I'm talking about a housekeeper or maid who comes in to your home on a regular basis -- either weekly, monthly or daily -- and keeps the home clean.
A messy house, let alone a dirty house, can raise tempers and irritability faster than poison ivy on a hot day. Many people really need a clean and orderly home in order to feel good and behave civilly. Don't pass judgment! If you or your partner need or want a clean home, find a way to get it. And if you can't do it yourself because you're not so inclined, you're genetically messy or because you're both too busy and too tired at the end of the work day to think about laundry and dishes, investing in domestic help is a smart idea -- not just for your house but for your relationship, too.
People who hire domestic help:
- People who grew up with a model of a home that featured domestic help. If you grew up with domestic help, it will seem normal to hire domestic help.
- People who are problem solvers. If you have a messy house, you want a clean house, and you can't clean it yourself, for whatever reason, it will occur to you to hire domestic help.
- People whose friends have domestic help. If your friends and neighbors hire domestic help, even if you didn't grow up with it in your house, you'll see the benefits all around you.
How often should the help come?
How messy are you? That will determine how often you need help. Of course, there's always your budget, too! In addition, some people feel funny about their privacy and don't like to have an employee around the house when they're home. Other people ONLY want domestic help around the house when they're home so that they can supervise.
How to hire domestic help:
- Referrals are best. If you have a housekeeper or maid in the extended family or who works for friends, this is a great reference.
- Place a classified ad or else look for domestic help that has placed their own ad in the classifieds.
- Agencies will find you a domestic helper, but will charge a fee for the work.
- Never hire someone without interviewing them, first. Remember, you're hiring someone to be in your home and go through your things. You want someone you can trust.
- Make the hours clear, and make sure your maid can get there during the hours you require. If your domestic helper is taking public transportation to your house, be prepared for some delays based on traffic. If your domestic helper is driving his or her own car, find out if their car is in good shape. If it breaks down, your house will be dirty.
- If your domestic helper has children, find out who will take care of the children if they get sick and have to stay home from school. Reliability is important.