Author Topic: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....  (Read 14207 times)

jane x

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #50 on: July 02, 2017, 11:19:56 AM »

ANNND the biggest one of all is that I have 4 kids, ages 5 and under (compared to MMM's either 0 when he wrote that, or 1). Those are tough ages because while I do encourage them to help with chores, their abilities are still behind the messes they make.

And it's just exhausting!!! I know I should clean the house rather than work out, but there's something about the on your feet all day that just hurts to the bone.

I feel the same way.  Cleaning a house well is a lot of hard sweaty work.  And taking care of 4 kids under 5?  I can't even imagine!

Because of this, my sympathy has been with your employee from the get go.  You're asking a LOT from this person (and paying very little in return).  To demand folded underwear on top of that seems harsh and inconsiderate to me.  If your standards are that high, and there's nothing wrong with that, then it seems like you need two full-time employees. Or pay this one person what the work entails.  We are often ourselves victims of employers who expect one person to do the work of two on a single salary.  It's exhausting and demoralizing.  I think they call it a HSSJ.  Consider whether you want to be that kind of employer.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #51 on: July 02, 2017, 11:23:22 AM »
Yes, but I gave her a raise, and she's not doing them both at the same time. She's cleaning the house while I'm with the kids. So it's basically that she has two part-time jobs at one convenient location.

Dicey

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #52 on: July 02, 2017, 11:29:14 AM »
And Dicey, I missed your comment! Thank you! Thanks for being my sounding board.
LOL, I noticed you didn't seem to have seen it, and was just about to say something to make sure you did, so yay, I'm glad you found it. You are doing so, so much better these days that it just kills me when people who don't know your amazing story are critical.

Tuskalusa

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #53 on: July 02, 2017, 11:37:23 AM »
Lady Stache, I think your move to give her a raise, and to communicate the it was commensurate with the expectations of the job, was an outstanding move. I think you've made a solid trade off on your time. Life is challenging with four kids and multiple job responsibilities. Also, we're seeing study after study showing that women handle a lot of the "mental load" in managing the house and family. Completely understand how you might need to outsource some of the work.

I struggle with this a lot, especially when it comes to housekeeping. But the reality is that house cleaning is a boatload of work. The choice comes down to whether I want to clean the house regularly myself, or whether I want to (micro) manage everyone in the family to do their part on a regular basis (week after week after week). Each option takes more physical/mental energy than I currently have, given other career and home responsibilities. So to optimize, we hire help too. We balance this with cutting costs elsewhere (food, reasonable house, old cars, biking, etc.).  Certainly not 100% mustacian, but definitely optimized for our current situation.

Please let us know how the new arrangement goes. I hope it works out beautifully!

Cassie

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #54 on: July 02, 2017, 12:08:12 PM »
I just read this thread but have not read your journal. You have a ton on your plate. I can't even imagine having 4 kids under 5 and working, etc. You are smart to outsource some of the work. I like your new plan of giving her a raise but also providing more guidance for her.  Women as a whole tend to take on too much and then burn out, become depressed, etc and you certainly don't want that to happen to you. I also like my underwear and socks folded because it saves time not having to dig through everything. With the raise in pay she should now start doing things the way you want them.  When I first semi-retired I gave up the cleaners but what I found was that all the bending from doing 2 bathrooms and scrubbing all the floors in the house was throwing my back out and then I would pay the chiropractor more then the cleaner to fix it and I would be in pain. After a year decided that was just stupid. So now I hire the cleaners to just do those tasks.  Give yourself a big hug for being awesome:))

Hargrove

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #55 on: July 02, 2017, 01:06:45 PM »
I'm sorry... am I reading this correctly?

You were paying 240/day and are now paying 350/day for 8 hours of work?

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #56 on: July 02, 2017, 01:16:12 PM »
Yes that's correct. The going minimum wage for an entry level position is $216 pesos/day where I live.

The LEGAL minimum wage is something like $70 pesos/day.


Goldielocks

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2017, 05:21:09 PM »
Look,  I am a strong proponent of not outsourcing one's housework.   If you don't have time, let a few things go / get messy.   But even I have tried hired help in the past (with kids under 5 yrs at home);  it did not work for me because managing the help was quite a bit of time, it was only one day a week, and only DH had less work to do.  It seemed the maid took over his tasks, but I was left with the same amount of work.  Or more, because of weeks where she would switch days and I had a guest in between.  I digress...

There comes a time when we all need to ask or pay for help.  That help may come from a friend, a sister, a mother, or hiring it out.  Most working moms have nannies or child care for 40-50 hours per week, really, they do.   

The fact that OP has many kids, and no relatives near by is not typical for large dual income working families.   So you need to find your help one way or another, at least until the oldest are actually net helpful (instead of making things take longer) around the home during chore time (around age 8 or 9).

If we want to quote MMM -- I will point out a second item that he is even a larger advocate for -- biking.  Now that I am FIRE, I am biking a lot more for my errands.   But do you know what?  It takes an incredible amount of additional time!  You need a lifestyle free of many scheduled commitments in order to make it work, and a simpler lifestyle.   I bet the vast majority here drive a car more than bike ride, so who are we to argue that MMM advocates no house cleaner to a busy mom?  It really is a similar argument against both (driving a car / hiring help), and I would be a hypocrite to point fingers at one and not the other, and not at myself, too.


MDM

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2017, 06:41:33 PM »
I'm sorry... am I reading this correctly?

You were paying 240/day and are now paying 350/day for 8 hours of work?
Yes that's correct. The going minimum wage for an entry level position is $216 pesos/day where I live.

The LEGAL minimum wage is something like $70 pesos/day.
240 or 350 dollars per day seems incredibly high.

240 or 350 pesos (aka $13.26 to $19.34) per day seems incredibly low.  Not sure which way Hargrove was interpreting. ;)

Hargrove

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2017, 05:56:53 AM »
240 or 350 dollars per day seems incredibly high.

240 or 350 pesos (aka $13.26 to $19.34) per day seems incredibly low.  Not sure which way Hargrove was interpreting. ;)

Haha ok, yeah, I can't constructively comment on a salary paid in pesos. It was incredibly high in dollars, and I don't know what lifestyle those pesos support (seems like a pretty big range, though!).

TVRodriguez

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #60 on: July 03, 2017, 09:57:05 AM »
I'd been hesitant to do it because I always wanted my quality time with my kids to be us working together. But they're just so young still. Even if my 4 year old is helping with the dishes, and can mostly do it correctly, there's still a shit-ton of other tasks I'll have to do. They don't sweep well enough. They can't hang up the laundry, though we have a plan to make a clothesline at their level and make them start doing their own laundry. Having a nanny will actually help with that because while I'm helping one with his daily chores, she can keep an eye on the others. With 4 it's just really hard to get any one-on-one time, especially teaching time where we're doing something difficult together without 3 others running through grabbing stuff!

So yeah, maybe in 6 months everyone will be trained and we can just do the chores together! Or maybe in 12! We'll see. I'm happy.


Your kids will get there in time.  My kids are now 10, 8, and 6, and they do their own laundry together as a team once a week.  They load the washer, run it, and hang up their clothes to dry, then put them all away.  The first few times were a lot of work for me--showing how to do it, pushing them to get it done.  Over time, it's gotten better, although I do have to get on them to get started.  They've actually made a game out of it, which is fantastic.  They have other chores, too.  And if they're up to date with their chores, they can earn few cents for doing extra household work.

But guess what?  I still have the cleaning lady once a week.  She does the sheets, towels, any clothes for the whole family that need to be washed that day, dries, folds, and puts away.  She even folds my socks instead of balling them up b/c she noticed that I prefer it that way.

I think it's great that you spoke with her, and I hope that things improve.  If the kids already know her, it's best if you can make that work rather than switching out caregivers.  I second the suggestion to speak to her personally whenever possible.  I have great respect for the woman who cleans my house, and I think my communication with her reflects that.

And on the point of "needing" a cleaning lady:  I honestly need her less because of my kids and more because of my husband.  I love the man, but I married Pigpen from Peanuts.

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #61 on: July 03, 2017, 10:34:04 AM »
But does MMM fold his own underwear and match his own socks, or does MrsMMM do it for him? Not picking on MMM, as I completely understand separation of household tasks, but it's always hard for me to swallow a man basically saying "I would never outsource women's work!", especially if they are currently living with a woman who does the vast majority of it in his house.

Uh, what?  I'm a man and have not had anyone else fold my underwear and socks since I was a small child. What leads you to question whether or not MMM does any housework?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 10:37:07 AM by GrumpyPenguin »

fuzzy math

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2017, 07:42:44 PM »
My socks are wadded up in the sock drawer and my underwear is wadded up in the underwear drawer. I could never fold my underwear because I'd have to go rifling through it to find the appropriate pair for the day. Its like those people in certain clothing stores (GAP comes to mind) who walk around behind you re-folding the shirt tables after you touch one.


LadyStache in Baja

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #63 on: July 04, 2017, 07:59:41 PM »
fuzzymath, wow, i just grab whatever's on top!

Dicey

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #64 on: July 05, 2017, 12:38:48 AM »
I admit, for my own stuff, I match the socks, but only fold or stack them. I stack my undies flat, no folding, no colorizing.

For DH, I fold and tuck his socks, and fold his underwater. Why? Because it makes him ridiculously happy. He literally smiles when he opens the drawer and it's full of clean, neatly folded stuff.

He has never asked me to to any of his laundry, much less in any specific way. I just noticed that's what he did when I started dating him, so now I do it for him. Silly as this sounds, I love doing it for him, because I know it makes him happy.

He is a widower and doesn't speak much about his first wife, who I knew only slightly, but my educated guess is that he did his own laundry, made his own lunches, and genera.lyrics saw to his own needs. I'm FIRE, so it makes me happy to be able to do these things for him. That said, I have a cleaning team too, remember?

One of the best things about having them is it forces me to keep up with all the things they don't do. It also gives me leverage with my MIL, who has ALZ and lives with us. For some reason, she never wanted her sheets changed. Now I use the excuse that the cleaning people are coming, and she strips her bed without hassle. What a relief!

obstinate

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2017, 04:47:49 AM »
Honestly you have been far more graceful than I would have been. My expectation would be for both jobs to be done better than what you are describing. I view a job done poorly as a sign of negligence, and I don't want a negligent person responsible for my kids.

Mmm and his family can afford to do all their own cleaning because none of them are currently working a highly demanding job. That's all there is to that.

zhelud

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #66 on: July 05, 2017, 08:37:56 AM »
People fold underwear?
Underwear needs to be non-wrinkly?
Have I been living my life completely wrong, not worrying about this?  Asking in all sincerity.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2017, 08:50:37 AM »
^ People are different :)
There is, of course, no right or wrong to underwear matters.
Everyone gets to choose how they do it. Yay!

PoutineLover

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #68 on: July 05, 2017, 09:19:28 AM »
People fold underwear?
Underwear needs to be non-wrinkly?
Have I been living my life completely wrong, not worrying about this?  Asking in all sincerity.
Haha my thoughts exactly. Mine get stuffed in a drawer, and I stack all my socks as pairs but don't fold them together or anything. I don't care about stuff like that and laundry is a chore that I don't really mind because I just takes a minute to throw in, a couple minutes to hang and a couple minutes to fold. I have also been known to leave laundry hanging for many days and just pick clothes to wear off the rack... But clearly everyone has their own standards for tidyness/cleanliness

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #69 on: July 05, 2017, 12:19:22 PM »
I buy a couple dozen pairs of the same kind of sock (ankle/sport or dress) at the same time so that they become evenly worn. After laundry, I don't need to match a single pair!  I stack all of the ankle socks together and the dress socks together. Boom, done.

Ok, so I don't get anyone complimenting my sock selection, but I don't really care.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #70 on: July 05, 2017, 01:10:39 PM »
:)

I used to fold my underwear 1-2-3 and just loved the little square stack resulting. The first day I didn't bother, I was intrigued: How did that happen? Was I reincarnated overnight? Now it all goes loosey-goosey into a purple filing crate, with my socks and the rest of my (very few) clothes.

My socks are of two kinds: black anklets that work like GrumpyPenguin's system -easypeasy- and very distinctive fuzzy socks that go with only their Friend Sock, but are happy to be tucked loosely together.

So sometimes we start out one way and go a new direction. All ways are groovy.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #71 on: July 06, 2017, 08:37:38 AM »
Yeah laundry is actually my favorite chore! We do a load a day around here, so it takes more than 15 min. 2x a week. 6 of us. 4 of whom are boys who get dirty everyday and have to change clothes at least once a day, sometimes more.

Even though I love it, it still sometimes doesn't get done daily, and then I'm scrambling to find clothes. Not so much for me, more for the boys. It's hard enough getting them ready without having to go out to the line to find pants. Which I do and have done! But this is better! :) Opening the drawer and finding it full of clean clothes is better. Again, if they could dress themselves it'd be easier.

Underwear doesn't have to be not wrinkly, but for me, it brings me joy to see the folded stack. I'm a recovering slob. You know the born-again types are the worst! ;)

Anyway, I decided not to tell her HOW to order the intimates drawer, I just asked to order it. So she did. And now I'm sure it'll be easy for her to keep it that way.

Update:

She's been way more thorough. She's been taking the boys on massive adventure walks, which is exactly what they need. She is no longer cutting corners on being ready to leave early. She's been waiting for us to pick her up on time, instead of us waiting for her. (Although it took DH just driving past once and me picking her up 2 hours later when I had a trip to town for it to really sink in).

She's clearing the table after they eat and rinsing the dishes instead of leaving the kitchen a mess.

So it's working! I'm still ambivalent about spending this amount of money on household help, so we'll see how long it lasts!

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #72 on: July 06, 2017, 08:42:32 AM »
Wonderful results of your internal clarity and external communication!

Does your employee seem happy in the new gig?

Letj

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #73 on: July 06, 2017, 06:28:01 PM »
Why can't the kids clear their own dishes? Andyou and your husband can do the same. Teach them early. They may not be able to afford maids like you.

MayDay

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #74 on: July 06, 2017, 07:50:17 PM »
Why can't the kids clear their own dishes? Andyou and your husband can do the same. Teach them early. They may not be able to afford maids like you.

Do you have kids?

My son is 9. He's been expected to clear his own plate since 15 months old in the toddler room at daycare.

I still have to remind him several times a day.

My daughter does it probably 70% without reminders. My son perhaps 20%.

They are 7 and 9 and it's still less work to do most chores myself (although I do still make them).

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: incredibly un-mustachian dilemma, almost embarrassed to post this....
« Reply #75 on: July 07, 2017, 04:01:29 AM »
Why can't the kids clear their own dishes? Andyou and your husband can do the same. Teach them early. They may not be able to afford maids like you.

Yes that's what I've told her to do. They even wash their own dishes if their in the mood. We're working on it. But again, the oldest is 5, so they don't do it consistently without a reminder. So I said, when each kid is done eating, have them take their dish to the sink. :)