Stop Making People Feel Guilty
Today I did something I have never been able to do in my entire life. I have paid a cleaning service company to come in and clean my home for me. Some people do this on a regular basis. It is a normal thing for some people. So why the hell do I feel guilty about it? Because of the reaction I got when I told a few people that I was going to do it. I think I even got a “But, why?’, with a sideways look. So I think the real question is “Why was I made to feel so guilty about this?”.
To answer the obvious first question, my home needed a good cleaning. I’m not good at it. I start out with good intentions but then at some point I realize that I am better at doing other things and I get discouraged and give up. I’m also somewhat lazy when it comes to cleaning. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not like I live in a dirty, filth infested home. I do enough to get by and keep things manageable and livable, but I’m definitely not winning any good housekeeping awards! When I was married and my kids were young, I was really good at it. But over the years, my housekeeping routine has become somewhat more laid back and at some point I just felt like there was less of a need for such “structure” in my routine. Especially after a divorce, then my kids grew up, and then I was on my own again. So, bottom line, I wanted my home cleaned. Properly. By a professional. This really requires no more of an explaination than that. Period. End of story.
But, no, it’s not the end of story.
I was made to feel guilty about paying someone to do what I am expected to do. And why am I expected to do it? I work full time and it isn’t an easy job. But to others, it is an easy job. What others don’t know or understand is that I have paid my dues. I have worked since I was 16 years old. I did take time off in between to be a full time mommy when my kids were young, but that is an entirely different story, and YES, that counts as a job! When I was married and raising my two kids, there was a time that I worked three jobs at once just to help provide when times were tough. I have worked shit jobs almost my entire life and I have finally landed a job that I love. I have worked hard to get here. It can be stressful and difficult at times but on the outside it looks like an easy job to most people. I finally make enough of an income to be able to afford a tiny, little luxury like having someone clean my home for me. This should be a proud moment in my life. But no, I am made to feel like I don’t deserve it. Why is that?
I can’t exactly speak for anyone else but what I do know about the situation in general is that we become accustomed to people acting a certain way or doing certain things and when someone gets an opportunity to do or have something better, others have to question it. It’s human nature. BUT…why is it also human nature to make another peson feel guilty or even undeserving of getting something better, aquiring something more, or making more of themselves? Something as simple as coming to a point in my life where I can afford to have someone clean my home. As a treat to myself, nothing more. I wasn’t trying to be a pretentious asshole about it. Not trying to say “Look at me, I can afford to do this now!” Nope. Not at all. It wasn’t about anyone else at all. Just a treat to myself because I felt like I deserved it. And I wanted my home cleaner that I knew I could get it by doing it myself.
So, the next time I hear news that someone has bought a new car, home, furniture, designer handbag, or whatever object they so desired, I will not question it. If someone tells me they are going to pay another person to do a service for them like detailing their car or getting a pedicure, I will not ask them “Why can’t you just do it yourself?” I will congratulate them and maybe even throw in a “That’s great, you really deserve this!” And I’ll even mean it! But the next time I have someone clean my home, I absolutely will not share that news with anyone. It will now have to be my own little secret guilty pleasure. But from now on, it will be without the guilt.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi