Why Is It So Hard For Me To Relinquish Control?

Here’s something you’ve probably guessed about me if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time. I’m a control freak. 😀 I’m not a team player. It’s not easy for me to trust people to do things for me. I’ve been this way all my life. My mom tells me that one of the first complete sentences I ever learned to say as a very small child was, “Me do it me-self!” So I’ve always been fiercely independent.

As I’ve worked on this house over the last almost-ten years, there have been things that I’ve obviously had to hire out because there was no way I could do them myself. I hired out the structural work when we converted the garage into my studio. I mean, there’s no way that I could have turned this…

…into this all by myself.

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 5

But I’m sure that those guys would tell you that I was always around, always hovering, always making sure that things were going according to plan. And things certainly didn’t go off without a hitch. There were some pretty significant frustrations with that contractor — miscommunications that could have easily been avoided and never should have happened — that just added to my determination to never hire out work unless I absolutely have to because I can’t trust people to do things correctly. (I shared more details about that here.)

And then there was the carport. No way could I have ever built that myself. It required pouring concrete, adding huge and very heavy structural beams, etc. That was a job best handled by several men. (I really need to get current pictures of the carport!)

And I hired out all of the foundational work (subfloor, drywall, electrical, rough-in plumbing, framing) in the guest bedroom, home gym, hallway, and master bathroom.

I also hired out the installation of the new HardiPlank siding, painting the exterior of the house, pouring the new front sidewalk, and I’m sure there are a few smaller things I’m forgetting.

So if it’s something that I know I’m just not physically capable of doing, or something that requires several people, or something that I’ve vowed never to do again in my life (like installing, taping, and mudding drywall), I’ll hire it out. I’ll do so begrudgingly, and then I’ll hover and ask tons of questions as the work is being done, but I will hire it out.

But I’ve always had such a hard time allowing myself to hire out work that I know I can do myself. And it’s not really a matter of not wanting to spend the money. It’s just a matter of me being fiercely independent and not trusting other people to do the work up to my standards. I’ve never let anyone do any of the finishing work on the interior of our house, because I don’t trust anyone to do that.

The problem is that my fierce independence and control freak tendencies aren’t just directed towards my DIY projects and work on the house. But I also find it very difficult to relinquish control of things that other people can probably do much better than I can, like cleaning my house. And as y’all know, that got me into quite a bind last week.

While I was sick in bed all week, watching helplessly as my house became more and more of a complete disaster area with each passing day, it never even once occurred to me to hire someone to help me. That thought never even crossed my mind. That’s just not how my brain is wired.

There was actually a time back in 2016 and 2017 when I did hire someone to clean our house, but that kind of fizzled, and I never thought to hire anyone else. For at least six months now, Matt has been urging me to hire someone to come at least once every two weeks, if not every week, to clean the house so that I can focus on other things, but I’ve just been dragging my feet on that. It’s just so hard for me to relinquish control over things that I know I can do myself. Whyyyyyyy am I like that?!?!

Right now, there are three things that we hire out on a regular basis. The first is the lawn mowing, and I’ve never thought twice about handing that over to someone else. We have an acre of land, and I have absolutely no desire to mow it myself. We also hire out our pest control and HVAC maintenance, both of which happen on a quarterly basis. Those are the only things we hire out right now.

I look around my house, and I see so many little projects that I could and should hire out. The faux stone on the porch skirt. Why am I determined to do that myself? A handyman could get that done in an afternoon. Re-installing the shutter that fell during high winds during a thunderstorm. It’s been sitting there for about a year while I tell myself that I’ll get to it as soon as I can. Why am I so determined to do that myself? I could give you a whole long list of projects like that that I could easily hire out, and yet, I have such a hard time handing those over. Whyyyy???

Anyway, all of that to say…

Hi. My name is Kristi, and I’m a control freak.

But I really do want to get better and learn to trust other people to do things for me. I’m going to force myself by making some phone calls today.

What house-related things do you have outside help with? Do you have a handyman on speed dial? Do you hire out your lawn maintenance? Do you have someone clean your home? I’m just curious. Any other control freaks like myself out there?

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I Will Be Damened
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