Getting Help–The Male/Female Struggle

It’s long been a source of conversation that men hate to ask for directions. We joke about it, but it’s really true! The bigger truth is that men hate to ask for help. I think they are programed that way from childhood. They are taught not to cry, not to be a wimp, not to need any help.

When men are married to women who need some help because they have more on their plate than they can sanely manage, the male mantra of “I’m not paying to have someone do something we can do ourselves!” can become a relationship issue.

The reality is that women are typically the CEOs of their homes. They make sure that there is food in the house, meals are prepared, laundry is done, the house is clean, the interior and exterior of the home are organized and maintained, social events are planned, not to mention that they coordinate the hundreds of activities that are involved with child rearing. In many cases women are doing all that AND working a full time job.

Is it any wonder that sometimes they have difficulty keeping their house organized and clutter free? And, there are women who on top of all those responsibilities have the added challenge of a condition like ADD or depression, neurological problems that make getting and staying organized extremely difficult. In our increasingly complex world there are very legitimate reasons that women need to hire outside help to get and stay organized.

Unfortunately not all women who want to get the help of a professional organizer get the blessing of their husband. I know this happens because I get inquiries from overwhelmed women wanting to know about my services and what I charge. When we end a phone conversation with, “I’ll have to talk to my husband about this,” I rarely hear from them again. In some cases I actually get hired and while we work a woman will tell me, “My husband just doesn’t understand why I need to hire someone to do this. He thinks I should be able to do this myself.” How sad! One client with seven children was so desperate to get help to make her house presentable for a graduation celebration that she hired me, swore her children to secrecy and never told her husband she’d hired me.

When women get the help they need they are less stressed, happier and make better wives and mothers. Why would any man not want that for his wife? My wish is that every man would take a look at his mental programming, those myths that he carries about how needing help from others makes him less of a man, and transform his belief into, “Everyone needs help sometimes. Getting help actually will make all our lives better.”

One thought on “Getting Help–The Male/Female Struggle

  1. Dianne

    Debbie,

    This reminds me of what my mom used to say about what she considered one of the great injustices of the world. No one expects every man to be a carpenter but they expect every woman to be a housekeeper.

    Reply

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