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Having It All and Plumbing Too

I Am Woman

Sometimes Having It All means Doing It All.

Or at least it feels like it. I do my share of whining. I’m the first to admit it. But I try not to complain too often (ok, not as much) about situations or challenges that result from conscious choices I have made. I became a working, single mother by choice through adoption thirteen years ago and it was the best decision I ever made. That said, sometimes the unrelenting lists of have-to and should-do are overwhelming. The want-to list gets more attention now with an older child but it’s always tempered with responsibilities.

Today was one of those days I just knew I had to stop avoiding a task and get it done. My kitchen sink pipe jiggled loose and I was unable to make the pipe fit back together firmly enough to keep it from leaking. I’m too ashamed to say how long ago this happened because I have washed a bunch of dishes in my bathroom sink since then. I made an attempt to fix it but the weird angle of the pipe was causing too much tension to keep it in place. I bought extra parts and still could not get it to fit correctly. So I’ve had a bucket under the sink to catch any leaks.

If you’ve never had to sit on the floor and bend under the cupboards to unscrew and replace plumbing pipes then you’re in for a real treat. Today I knew I had to try again. Did I mention that it was about ninety degrees in my kitchen? After trying for over an hour to switch out parts and make it work I finally admitted the ones I had were not going to work. I did not cry but I wanted to. Male joints. Female joints. Did you know they are called that? My dogs were there to give emotional support but were otherwise useless. Finally, I took some photos on my iPhone and off to McClendon’s Hardware I went.

What’s wrong with this picture?

God Bless the plumbing supply WOMAN at the store. She looked at the pic and told me that the J bend slip joint (yes, that’s what it’s called) was on BACKWARDS. Now I just want you to know I did not install it that way (and I made sure to tell her too). Whoever put in my sink put it in that way and forced the pipes to barely fit together. Until they didn’t any longer. After advising me that I just needed to turn it around and make sure to only use a washer on the tall side, back home I went. I ended up having to cut off about an inch and a half of the upper tailpiece pipe to make it fit. But ta-da and without slicing my finger with my box cutter, I was in business. I have my sink back and no leaking.

Maybe There’s A Better Way

You might ask “why didn’t you just hire a plumber?” That would be an excellent question. Here’s the thing. I get much satisfaction knowing that I am capable of doing many household maintenance tasks that others would not attempt. Plus I don’t like spending money if I can do it myself. I have been been independent most of my life – sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity. But I really need to be better about outsourcing tasks instead of letting them linger until I’m too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help. As I get older, the thrill of doing it myself is becoming replaced by the desire to just have it done for me and off my to-do list. I’ve always struggled with hiring or asking for help. Sometimes because I can’t be home to supervise but also because I’m never quite sure who to trust. I know there are referral resources available but I still find it challenging. I don’t like to inconvenience my friends, although they would surely help if asked. Maybe I don’t need to do it all. And that’s not failure.

Do you ever struggle with this? How do you approach asking for or hiring help?

I’m going to try harder to:
1. Get over it. Recognize when fear of embarrassment is keeping me from asking for help.
2. Ask for help. Hire out a small job. Realize that my issue is probably one they’ve dealt with many times.
3. Not wait so long. Don’t ignore what needs to be done.
4. Be kinder to myself.

Leave me a comment and share your ideas. Do you sometimes feel like you have to do it all?

All my best,

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