I don’t like to invade other Internet spaces to defend myself or UfYH when someone takes exception to the site, but I do like to address those criticisms. Following the links from referral tracking, I came across this comment:
There’s a weird sort of void in the “taking care of your physical surroundings” stuff, in the archaic “how to keep a home” and “how to be domestic” arenas. It tends to ignore single people, or people without kids, or students, or people with pets, or people with roommates, or people with full-time jobs, or classes, or other shit going on. [From UfYH About page]
Or people who are physically incapable of doing housework. (That is me.) Or people who are on their feet all day in their jobs and/or in the service industry and therefore too exhausted both physically and emotionally to do anything when they come home. (That was me.) Or people who are depressed — and therefore also incapable of doing housework. Or people who work two jobs. Or…
If I did not live with my fiance, and if I for some reason had my own apartment anyway, it would be an utter and absolute disaster, and I would be able to do nothing about it. I’m not unique. If you see someone with a home you think is dirty and feel like judging them, stop and think for a minute. First, what are your standards for cleanliness? Maybe they’re really high. Maybe you’re using a metric to judge them that assumes they have a comfortable income and someone who can spare a couple hours a day for housework. Second, does anyone want to live in a mess? (If they do, they likely have an issue like hoarding which you shouldn’t be judging them for anyway.) Do you honestly think people who do so are just “lazy”? Do you know so much about this person that you can know for a fact they aren’t exhausted from work/kids/relationships/life, that they don’t have any mental, emotional, or physical obstacles (including allergies), that they do have plenty of time and money that can be expended on housework and cleaning supplies? And remember, the cheaper your cleaning supplies are, the more physical ability and time it takes to clean.
If someone has physical or emotional or mental or time challenges AND lack of money for fancy appliances and plentiful, fancy cleaning aids — here’s an idea. Instead of judging and instructing a la a late-19th century upper middle class reformer, offer to help them clean, or to clean for them.
The whole point of UfYH is to NOT judge other people’s messes, or the reasons that they came about or haven’t been dealt with. It’s about working within your own abilities, whatever the limitations, to improve things, even a little.
Anyone who says I don’t deal with how to handle housework and depression hasn’t read the blog. I don’t know what else to say about that. Click the “depression” tag and see what the archives have. It’s a subject we deal with all the time. Also the two jobs thing. And the physical disability thing. And the exhaustion thing. UfYH is about working within the limitations of those situations to improve your environment.
I don’t assume anyone has “a comfortable income and a couple of hours a day for housework.” I assume the exact opposite. I assume people have no time and no money, and operate based on those assumptions.
I don’t know. Usually criticisms don’t bother me this much, but I think because the commenter is judging this blog from a place that makes assumptions that go directly against everything I’ve ever stood for. UfYH exists for people who are overworked, underpaid, tired, sick, depressed, overwhelmed, and, on occasion, lazy. I’m not upper middle class, and I am offering to help you clean, the only way I can. Over the Internet.