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deeplydisturbed's Blog
Outsourcing for Men: How to get sh!t done
Published 02/16/22 by deeplydisturbed [0 Comments]

Quick Background

My becoming a single father was not by choice. My ex-wife passed away very suddenly a few years ago, leaving me with sole custody of our three children.

Throughout my life I had heard how “being a single parent is sooo hard” and “I never have time for myself.” So my expectations were less than optimistic.

But I quickly discovered that being a single father was not only not that difficult, but it was amazing!

There are many threads behind such a comment, but I will focus on the non-emotional administration and logistics aspects – because that’s what most people seem to struggle with.

Disclaimer

Before I get started I must mention that I make an upper middle class living. I am not wealthy, but I am comfortable. It should also be noted that my children were out of diapers and could shower and dress by themselves when their mom died. These two factors cannot be ignored in my story, so I recognize that your mileage may vary with this advice.


The Advice

Some time after her passing, when my mind became a bit clearer again, I did a lot of soul searching and a lot of writing (which is very much not my usual habit). There were no journals or diaries, just thoughts on paper - electronically. This helped clear my head and organize my thoughts more than I expected it would, so I recommend it highly if your brain is on fire.

Among the epiphanies for me was this: Of all the things a woman can bring to a relationship, the only thing I cannot outsource is sexual intimacy. (More on that in a separate post)

Almost every other single thing that a man used to depend on a woman to provide, can now be outsourced.

For example:

  1. A cleaning lady deep cleans the house once a week. It is less expensive than you think. When I come home on Monday after work, my house smells fresh, the toilets are clean, sheets changed, and kitchen sink is all shiny. I cannot overstate how amazing this is.
  2. Once a month I go to my local mall and get a massage. The tables are all open and next to each other, (so inb4 "happy ending" comments). They also know me now and it makes a big difference.
  3. There is a local laundry place that has wash and fold service. Best tradeoff ever! I despise folding laundry, and with four of us in the house, there is ALWAYS laundry. Also, if you dig into the cost-benefit, you will find that the amortized cost of your washing machine and dryer, plus any repairs, electricity, soap, bleach, fabric softener, water, HOT water, and in my town "sewer rent" (yeah, don't ask). It is only marginally more expensive to outsource this when you know the TOTAL cost of doing it alone - not to mention the time and effort saved.
  4. A few years ago, my daughter asked me once to come with here to get a mani-pedi. I said “Sure. Why not!” and so we went. The ladies in the nail place thought it was cute – us being there together. They all spoke Spanish, which I can muddle through, so that helped too. Men, trust me, we have been missing out all these years. I see more men going there these days. We don’t go regularly, but at least twice a year now. But always attended to by women. A good foot massage is relaxing, and let's be honest, what man takes the time to cut his own cuticles.
  5. There is a restaurant about three blocks from my house. The woman who owns it makes the best homemade Peruvian food ever. And it is dirt cheap! I have no idea how she does it, but it is not much more $ than making it at home – and MUCH more delicious.
  6. In addition
    • I have a female barber
    • Most of my children’s teachers are women
    • My children’s doctor is a woman
    • My children’s dentist is a woman
    • About half of restaurant waitstaff is female

I could go on, but it should be clear at this point that almost every single logistical family matter I can either do myself or outsource to a woman.

Not only is it much less expensive than being married, in light of spousal and child support, these service providers often do their respective jobs better, more efficiently, and with more courtesy and appreciation than my wife or any female romantic partner ever has for me. While I will refrain from delving into the emotional aspects, it should be noted that this outsource model is devoid of complex relationship dynamics, which makes it all the more attractive.

Each year, I give a few of my service providers an annual tip (Garbage men, mailman, barber, and a few others). When she opened the envelop, my housekeeper lady nearly broke my neck with a hug! It was such a spontaneous, endearing moment that I still smile when I think about it. She was genuinely appreciative – and believe me, while the bonus was generous, it was not over the top. We are an easy family to care for and deal with, so when these women provide us with a service they seem to genuinely appreciate us as customers.

This stands in stark contrast to many of our experiences with wives and co-parents. In romantic relationships, there is not only little-to-no appreciation; on the contrary, there is too often strife, anger, resentment, passive-aggressiveness, or open hostility.

Conclusion

The moral of the story is, if you can outsource something then OUTSOURCE IT!

This post is ultimately about finding ways to fill the spaces left by the women in our lives. Men are not wrong to wish for a helpmeet, partner, wife, mother, housekeeper, co-parent or just someone to lend a helping hand. It is simply not reasonable to expect such things these days.

It is best for each of us to come to terms with this as soon as possible, and to start thinking about how to most efficiently get the mundane work done so we can spend more time being good fathers.

Tip deeplydisturbed for their post.
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