More skills please, less housework

It’s 10am and I’m trying to mend my new dress I bought. I’ve been trying to mend all week to bring in the top and bodice because it’s too big for me. The alteration I had planned was designed with a friend’s help but it’s just not working. It’s hard to explain. I’ve been persisting all week with it amongst taking breaks to mend other clothes that have been on a ‘mend’ list. Two pairs of Tim’s work trousers which he split, a favourite dress of mine which has a hole that I’ve patched to turn into a work/garden dress and a bra strap that came undone. Now I’m back to the dress. I’m looking for a magic trick right about now. A job that I though would take ‘a hour or so’ has turned into a week-long job. Now I’m so far into the job I feel like I’ve got to keep going to not waste the investment. I’m now at a crossroads. 1.) Keep persisting 2.) redesign alteration 3.) find someone to alter for me. I feel frustrated by the time it’s taken to do the task. I want to be doing other things.

I’ve stopped writing on my blog – something I’ve wanted to do. Somewhere along the way I’ve let other things become a priority. Like housework?!? The housework jobs never end. I’ve wanted to get on top of a job like altering my dresses I bought. Then these jobs take too long. I think *other people* wouldn’t bother persisting like I do. Now I think about the time I’ve spent already and definitely think I could have been ahead if I’d paid someone. Now I’m too far in. Committed already. There is a truth to paying someone to do something they are skilled at. There’s also a truth that we can learn new skills and some jobs are easy for us to do. I thought it would be in the ‘easy job’ list.

Such seemingly mundane things to think about sometimes. But in reality they are questions of household economics. I feel caught between two ideas sometimes. Paying someone to do something and doing it myself. I want to problem solve and be diverse in my skill set but I am also sure now that someone else would do a better job. Finding someone with the skills is a task in itself too. Recently we paid a local business to do a job for us. We were disappointed with their service – we definitely thought we could have done a better job than them. Even my husband who humbly admits he is not very handy said ‘I could have done a better job’. So finding someone with good skills is actually not a straight forward task, especially in a small country town. One of the challenges living in Broken Hill is getting stuff done in an isolated place. So it’s a risk to try someone out if you haven’t had a recommendation from anyone about their work.

But back to that dress. I have definitely been procrastinating what I am going to do about it by now writing a blog post about my conundrum. I must give back the sewing machine to my friend very soon. But writing this has been cathartic. And I really should read Annabel Crabb’s book The Wife Drought. I’ll get to it after I finish the housework.   

2 thoughts on “More skills please, less housework

  1. G’day Katherine, I can only offer a bit of local knowledge in regards to where to find sewing help.
    When my girls did their Proms we went to the dress shop in West B. H. near the Red Robin Deli. They know the sewing ladies in town that may be able to help you.
    Cheers Wayne (from Landcare BH )


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