Tarzan Kay


December 5, 2023

to you

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“you should hire more help”

Sometimes I feel mildly resentful that my ex has a lawn guy and I don’t, especially when I am sweating my balls off mowing the lawn at 8am on a Saturday in 35° summer heat. 

When I was married we hired people to do our housekeeping and lawn care for us. All the women business coaches on my Insta were shouting at me to get more support at home, so I did. 

I hope they are still shouting about this because we still have a real problem with women doing a disproportionate amount of unpaid labour in their homes. Men have not increased their participation in unpaid work to the same extent that women have increased their participation in paid work.*

But that was never my problem. 

The chorus of “hire more help” wasn’t directed at me, a sole breadwinner living with a full-time stay-at-home co-parent for our two children, but I wanted to avoid replicating patriarchy so I did it anyway. 

I dutifully contributed to RRSPs for both of us, bought us life insurance policies, and was 9 years from paying off our home.

I never imagined I’d be starting over on my own, that I’d go back to being a tenant, that my formerly Gucci-clad ass would be learning how to darn socks on TikTok, or get excited about discount Doritos at the Dollarama.**

It’s been just over two years now, and it still doesn’t feel like I’m back on my feet, financially speaking. 

What does “on your feet” even look like as a divorced mother of 2 with hefty support obligations? My financial priorities are way different now. 

Divorce taught me to appreciate what I have a lot more. The chorus of “you should hire more help” sometimes plays in my head, but the truth is taking care of what I still have has become a real source of pleasure. 

This weekend I raked 9 bags of leaves from my backyard after running the mower over the whole yard twice. Even as my hands burned with blisters, I felt so damn grateful.

Maybe one day I will have a cleaner and a landscaper again – I think about it literally every time I vacuum my house – but right now I’m okay doing it myself. 

Shifting priorities, y’know? 

We all have our pandemic stories of loss, but one of the biggest things we lost was certainty. 

The certainty that next year would look something like this one and maybe, if we were lucky, just a little bit different in a good way. The certainty we could send our children to school and go to work and come home to people whose values we shared. The certainty that the world was what we thought it was.

That’s a lot to lose. 

If your customers aren’t buying at the same rate they were pre-pandemic, or clicking with as much predictability as they once did, this might be one piece of the puzzle.

Or maybe it’s something else. 

Maybe you simply need to try some new audiences for your ads, or tackle objections in ways that are relevant to the world we currently live in. 

Either way, I would like to advocate for not pushing customers into making buying decisions the same way they did in 2020, and especially not convincing them their lives are not enough, and that they should want something more than what they have. 

I want to remind you that being ‘okay' is more than enough. I hope you take a second today to acknowledge all the strength and resilience it took to get where you are today. 

We are here. Still standing. Still fighting the good fight.

And that is so damn awesome. 

Anyway, thanks for coming to my TedTalk. If you're feeling inspired to share your pandemic stories of change, you have a willing set of eyes over here. (Especially all you divorce people out there. We need to stick together.)

Thanks for being on the journey with me ♥️ 


*Here’s a report by the Canadian government, if you feel like reading. In case this isn’t obvious, it pertains to heterosexual marriages. Basically, people just need to be more like the gays.

**Listen, when you have my appetite for merino wool, darning socks is an essential skill. 

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