You hire house cleaners? Part TWO

advertising hiring house should story storytelling Nov 17, 2022

I "SHOULD" be able to do this on my own.

Have you heard the phrase "stop shoulding on yourself"?

It's so ridiculous and I love it. Because we should all over what we think we should do and who we should be. It's really not helpful and kinda gross. 💩

I should clean my own house.

Ok. But why?

Because... as soon as I write it I know I'm going to feel really icky, but here we go... because I felt like a woman should be able to cook and clean and maintain an ideal home.

Ok. But why?

Because... that's the cultural expectation.

Ok. But why?

Because... from the late 1800s through the 1950s, advertising agencies created and idealized the role of "housewife" to sell household products. The gender-defined role of woman as homemaker was marketed and advanced in pursuit of sales. Society bought into it (in more ways than one) and that expectation was passed on to my generation as the ideal. Ergo, if I don't keep and maintain a clean home, am I a "good" woman?

Well, when you say it like that...!

That's just bananas, right?

So there I was, working in my field, loving what I did, helping businesses and brands grow, as well as raising four humans, and trying to be a good partner to my husband, a kind friend, helpful daughter and sister, neighbor, member of society and so on.

And I was worried that I was lousy at cleaning my house?

That the cleanliness of my house was the litmus test of my womanhood and my humanity?

Not gonna lie, it was difficult to hire and then budget for a house cleaner at first. It felt superfluous. I felt embarrassed and unworthy.

Who did I think I was?

And I had friends tease me and others comment that I was employing people to clean because of my privilege. That didn't alleviate the guilt I had, I'll tell you that.

Then I would remind myself that so much of our "beliefs" are created by marketers, who are telling a story we choose to believe. As Seth Godin says (and in his brilliant book All Marketers are Liars), we are all storytellers. We all choose to believe a story that fits our views on life. And we buy into it (both figuratively and literally).

I had to change my belief. I had to realize that hiring someone to do a job and asking others to hire me to do a job is part of the exchanges we make in our society. Did I have to choose to hire a house cleaner?


I could have hired someone to take care of our yards or do our shopping or pay our bills. And in fact, those all sound like jobs I would love to hire out. 😆😉

The first choice for me was the one thing I liked doing very least of all and felt the most guilt about.

As marketers and as humans, we can take control of our own story. With gratitude and kindness, I hire people to help me do things that weigh me down, so I can accomplish the things I love to do and help others to alleviate what weighs them down.

Is the story you are telling yourself true? Is it helpful? Does it feel like you're shoulding all over yourself? You can tell it differently. You can change the story.