I hate cleaning. But I like things to be clean. My partner and I have a deal that I do the writing while he does the housework. But we both have demanding day jobs and spending so much more time in the home since the pandemic started made the situation so much worse. Like everyone else, we’ve been getting all of our food delivered, whether ready-made or as groceries. But that also meant a lot more cleaning. Around the beginning of the year, a friend of ours talked about hiring a part-time housekeeper, and turns out, she had space for us as well. So, since March, she’s been cleaning here once a week and life is so much better for it.

The thing is, getting help like this can feel hard. Especially for women, there’s this thought that you’re not good enough if you can’t keep your home clean and looking pretty. And I am here to say that is complete and utter bullshit. But knowing that doesn’t help the irrational guilt.

But the fact is sometimes we need help. Hell, sometimes we even just want it. And it’s a good thing. Society runs on people acknowledging that they need each other to make their lives worthwhile. We help each other in ways big and small. It’s important to let other people help you and to help others in turn.

“Do you know where ‘policeman’ comes from, sir? … ‘Polis’ used to mean ‘city’,” said Carrot. “That’s what policeman means: ‘a man for the city’. Not many people knew that. The word ‘polite’ comes from ‘polis’, too. It used to mean the proper behaviour from someone living in a city.”

Terry Pratchett – Men at Arms

This maxim, of course, goes double when you actually need the help, not just want it. There’s nothing shameful about accepting help. There’s nothing shameful about asking for help. And sometimes, when you’re very lucky, you can be the one giving the help in turn.