NRAS

How many have housekeeping help & how do you know when you should make that choice?

Although, relatively new to the official diagnosis, RA has been with me for a number of years. I have found that the last 6-8 months have been particularly tough. I've had more flare ups and generally more fatigue. I work full time from home, but work flexible hours because I also watch grandkids a couple mornings a week and I'm sort of a caretaker to my husband as well in the morning as he is partially disabled. This hasn't been a problem in the past. I could still get housework done while watching the grands, then work when they went home or before they came & still take care of meals, etc and be ok. But in the last 3 years or so it started to wear me out a little more. Then about 8 months ago I noticed that I am dead tired by mid-afternoon and actually could fall asleep if it was I sat down & it was quiet for more than 10 minutes at a time. I've seen my housekeeping slip during this time. I find myself having to make a choice between work, family, hobbies that I enjoy, and housekeeping. Housekeeping usually loses out. This is not good for me. I have to work really hard to stay organized, as it's not a natural gift for me. While my house isn't dirty. I can't handle that, it is super unorganized compared to before RA decided to no longer be my silent partner. I have to work. I want & like to watch the grandkids. I feel like I deserve to have some free time to do what I enjoy as far as hobbies, and even then, all of these suffer because I'm so tired. It's not even a good tired, like I actually accomplished something. It's a dreary, dogged type of tired that leaves me exhausted to my core.

So my question is, how do you know it's time to get some in house help? Should I give up hobbies & family time in order to keep house because I feel like I only have enough energy for a certain amount of activities? That doesn't seem like a good answer. I've done the workaholic, too many irons in the fire life for many years, putting family to the side sometimes and hobbies much of the time and I'm simply no longer willing. I also don't know how people swing having in home help financially. When do you know that you've gotten to the point where maybe you shouldn't work as much & do need in home help? Then how do you afford that?

26 Replies
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Yes, I have help. I think you should always have a housekeeper if you can swing it financially. So much peace of mind. You do a lot! I hope you can get some help, however that looks.

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Hi Jess, I think I'm reaching the same conclusion myself. The housekeeping has definitely slipped in the last year. I don't have the responsibilities that you do, but because I get tired I'd rather spend the energy I have doing something I enjoy, rather than housework. Think it's time if I can manage it!!

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I have help...decided I only have so much energy and I want to save as much as I can for the things I want to do....also stopped doing hubies ironing as he doesn't work full time any more...as he is semi retired I thought I should be as well...so I retired from his Ironing!

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If you can afford it definitely get help. Don't give up your hobbies because of housework. You have got it hard darling so cut yourself some slack and get someone else to do your housework and don't go cleaning the house before your cleaner comes.LOL.xxxx

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I do housework when I have nothing else I want to do!

It took me far too long to realise that "hoovering through" most days was NOT necessary!

My house is clean, but wouldn't qualify for a page in Good Housekeeping any more! Every so often I have an agency cleaner come in to clean where I can't manage to do a good job.

People who come to my house come to see me, not how clean & tidy it is!

I now watch my very house proud neighbour cleaning around her taps with a cotton bud (yes really) & think"get a life"!!!

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No! Really! Good grief, she's made me look normal

J

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Don't tell me...you clean your taps with a toothbrush !

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I find that CIF mousse left for a minute or two then rinsed and dried with a microfibre cloth does the trick, thanks

J

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Get with the times Gnarli! I bought a hand held steam cleaner too...you just press a button & the steam spray melts away all the dirt around the taps, & the gas hob too!

My hands won't rub away ....no grip these days, so any cleaning gadgets that works without needing any pressure.....lead me to them!

Sounds like I have a very clean house doesn't it....all top show I'm afraid...there must be dust under the beds, but as I can't see it...who cares?

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I don't have help, I have dust balls..... and I've learnt not to let that get to me. I did think about a cleaner at one point, but realised that a lot of the problem was the clutter and disorganisation making things look messy. A cleaner or even housekeeper couldn't tackle that. So I have slowly de-cluttered. And so even when a bit dusty it all looks ok'ish. And we have a big hairy dog, so blame everything on him.

Even when I was at full strength I was never someone who thought it necessary to hoover through every day (did you AC - really?) so perhaps it comes more naturally to me to be calm about a less than perfect house.

Interesting point tho', and makes me realise I haven't cleaned the windows for a while. Perhaps I should consider gettting in an agency every few months to do some deep cleaning...... that seems a possible compromise as I would struggle to spend money on a clean floor instead of a nice garden plant/ a meal out/ a visit to the cinema etc. Q

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I have white ceramic tiles in 2 bathrooms,cloakroom, kitchen & utility room so I bought an electric floor steamer...best £50 I've spent in a long while! All clean & shiny in half an hour instead of days crawling around with a mop!

I balk at £18 per hour for a cleaner, but £50 every so often I can take!

But I agree clutter is the problem.....but I was born with the hoarding gene & it ain't 'arf 'ard for me to dispose of anything! I even keep the pretty boxes the clutter comes in!

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Wow - £18 an hour seems excessive - I thought I was being ripped off at at £16 when others charge from £12-£14! But maybe you're in a more expensive part of the country - I'm in a small town just outside Glasgow.

I have to admit, I'm also a sucker for pretty boxes!! 😜

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Yes I'm in the Cotswolds ...when I first moved here even Sainsburys food was more expensive than where I moved from.

I didn't realise supermarkets charge according to area!

You Live &Learn don't you?

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Hi jessquilts. I reckon that if you've got to the stage of having to ask the question you've also got to the stage of getting help. I'm one of those weird people who have to have things a certain way. Call it pernickety, call it fussy, call it what you like. Certain things have to be just so. Like ironing. When my hands were really painful last year I decided that someone else could deal with that and it works for me. Its a funny thing that if you really want something you can find a way of affording it. Wishing you well

Jan

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I strongly agree with Gnarli that if you're even thinking about this then it's time for you to look into the feasibility of one.

I've developed a backlog of DIY jobs and house cleaning that needs to be done. I'm only just realising how much I picked up after everyone on a reflex - and the chaos and dinginess is getting to me. Yes, I could give up my hobbies - but they're already very restricted and I feel it would turn my life into an endurance event rather than something that I'm living.

Maybe a combination of a regular handy person visit and a deep cleaner is something that I should look into!

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As others have said, there comes a point when you realise you can't do it all on your own, and it sounds like you're at that point, so I say go for it. Do your homework first though, if possible, to get recommendations and an idea of cost, as this can vary quite a bit. I was able to get info from a facebook group for my local area, which highlighted that the cleaners I first got in to do a deep clean followed by a couple of regular cleans were vastly overpriced!

There's a saying that 'Life's too short to iron your underpants', and it's so true. As for cleaning your taps with a cotton bud - words fail me! Save your energy for the things you enjoy and improve the quality of your life - you'll feel so much better for it. 😀

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Yes, I have a cleaner for 2 hours per week, paid for with my DLA. I got to the stage that I couldn't clean my house properly, and even if I had given up enjoyable activities, I would still have struggled with basic jobs like hoovering and washing the kitchen floor.

I have never been excessively houseproud, but when you are immunosuppressed it is important that your surroundings are clean. I pay £25 for those 2 hours, and feel it's money well spent. If you are asking the question maybe it would be the time to try it and see......nothing ventured....... M xx

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I have help in the house. They only come every two weeks. I gave in when I realised I could not clean windows easily anymore. As it's only my husband and myself every two weeks suit. We had a new kitchen put in and now have a dishwasher. Couldn't live without it now. You just know then it's the right time. Spend your energy on doing what you want to and are able and if you can afford it get help x

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I confess I've been quietly fend shui-ing our pad over the past couple of years and just don't buy anything that I feel will translate into clutter - much easier alround!

Ali

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I agree with all that's been said , especially that if you're now wondering about it, then it's a good indicator that you'd benefit from the help.

I have someone who comes in every week and I'm so glad that I do. I dont see it as an extravagance but a necessary.

I had both hips and both knees replaced over the past two years and as a result I can't kneel ( skirting boards etc) and my balance is poor so can't climb to do tops of cupboards .

However, I also can't bear the thought of them not being done so help seemed the safer option with the added bonus of having a little extra downtime .

Whatever your decision, be kind to yourself going forward.

Marie

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Go for it! Life's too short, and your grandchildren don't stay wee for long! Have you ever read the poem "Dust If You Must"? Google it if you haven't. I have it printed off and stick up in my kitchen!

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I really enjoyed that poem - thank you for mentioning it! ellenbailey.com/poems/ellen...

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Hi! My husband has sworn a solemn oath that when all the remodeling is done, we are getting a cleaning service to come weekly. He likes a super clean house (which I did by myself last week for guests)while "picked up and tidied" is fine with me and is what I have the energy for. Right now, my hobby work is project at his request for his colleague so he can live with a messier house til its done.

Hoping you have a pain free day!

Dani

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Certainly have help if you feel you need it. As to how to pay for it, consider asking CAB for a benefits check, it is a standard procedure; also discuss Attendance Benefit, which is not means-tested.

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Update: I mentioned to one of my daughters that I was thinking about looking into a housekeeper for the bigger chores that are just once a week or twice a month, as well as doing some catch up cleaning, basement, organizing, de-cluttering, etc. She said that She I could pay her to do some of that for me. I am even up for helping with it. It's just too much to do alone and my husband can't help with some & we would disagree on how to accomplish other tasks. So it's just easier to have someone else help me out. Anyway, I'm taking her up on her offer. We'll see how this goes first before I look for someone outside the family to help.

I see pros and cons to having family help. The pros are that She knows me, she knows my organizational mess and is willing to work with it and knows how I would think in order to find something. I also don't have a problem texting her if I can't find something that She puts away. The cons are that She knows me and it is embarrassing that She will see my dirt and I feel bad that She's picking up after me. I'm the mom and I feel like I should be picking up my own mess.

However, we have gone through some tough times before and we've come out of them with a stronger more adult to adult relationship, which is a great place to be in our lives. Maybe this will work out fine because we are more than mother/daughter. We can now see each other as adult friends too.

I think it's great that She can use the money and I can use the help. I just don't want either of us to feel like we are taking advantage of our relationship. I've hired my kids to help with my work before with mixed results. Better now that they are well into adulthood, but it hasn't always been that way and it's a hard line to walk without leaning too much toward boss or too much toward parent.

Has anyone else hired family to help and how has that worked out?

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I now have 2 daughters willing to help. I'm hoping to get them to each take twice a month to come help. I totally need help. Not so much with the day to day stuff, but the seasonal prep work and the deep cleaning that I would like done at least once a month, so I'm not overtaken by dust bunnies and dog hair.

I have decided that if they don't work out that I will be finding a service to come in at least once every month or two to do the heavy & seasonal type cleaning. I've also asked our sons and son-in-law to help with hauling wood for the wood stove and cleaning up the yard for winter.

I tried again to do all of this recently and it set me up for a week of hardly being able to move. I'm done. I do need the help and I don't want to just let everything go, so that means asking for help.

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