One of Room Redefined’s core principles is changing the narrative. What does that mean and how do we do it?
We are focused on changing society’s damaging narrative that women need to do it all. That we need to constantly carry the burden of having a magazine-worthy home, the high achieving job, and the perfect family. What if we rejected these expectations and asked for help when we need it instead of struggling and juggling in our lives? What if we shared not just the physical burden but the mental one, too?
Changing the narrative means changing the way society views and accepts help and altering our expectations and the burdens we place on ourselves. Room Redefined believes in finding an enabler that helps relieve some of the responsibilities and stresses of everyday life.
Something’s got to give – and it’s not a sign of weakness or failure
Hillary Simmons of A Little Help, a nonprofit that helps the elderly age well in their homes by matching them with volunteers that provide services, knows the value of finding support. Says Simmons, “We all have lots to do and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. I think you do need to have those enablers. There is value in surrounding yourself with supportive people who can help make things happen.”
In balancing her personal life with her professional one, Simmons has recognized that, “Even if the woman of the household isn’t the one doing everything, they are often the captain of it and have to be the one delegating.”
Professionally, it took Simmons some adjusting when her team began to expand. As she started to take on more at work (coupled with her continued personal responsibilities) Simmons realized that something had to give. “You can’t keep it all. Whether that is a job role or a house role, you get to the point where you must delegate because there are too many things on your plate. And that is not a sign of weakness or failure. It’s working smart,” reflects Simmons.
It is not often easy to let things go and to make room for enablers. It is a process in self-reflection and growth. You must learn to trust others to get things done, accept that they may do things differently than you, and know that a different approach is not necessarily wrong. For most, it’s a steep learning curve to trust yourself and others, and to learn to let go and accept support. Simmons shares that, “Delegating is so important. But it is hard. I had to learn it.”
How do we change the narrative?
Simmons’ approach to changing the narrative is simple and direct – and all the more impactful for being so. She advises, “Know what you are changing the narrative to. Figure out how to talk about what you want to change. That is going to hit home with folks.” She emphasizes, “You’ve got to share the bigger picture as well, so people know where you’re coming from.”
We all live busy lives and details are easily lost in the day-to-day shuffle. Simmons acknowledges and understands this. She knows, “It’s easy to get lost in the task of it but to remember the relationship of it and the heart of it and to always be communicating that piece especially to new audiences.”
Enthusiasm creates engagement
We change the narrative by communicating our message simply and clearly, by exposing people to what we are trying to change, and by encouraging new people to join us. “The why is so important. People will respond to it and it will resonate,” says Simmons.
People engage when they believe in the message and when they feel inspired. Room Redefined believes our work to help people let go and share the work in their spaces will inspire people to engage and change the broader narrative. We empower people to find an enabler, accept support in whatever capacity they need, and reject society placing the burden of do-it-all-to-perfection on women. We reject the notion that women should do it all. We embrace the power of finding those who can support and enable you so you can do what you do best – whatever that may be. Enablers can be found in your personal life and professional life; it is just a matter of feeling empowered to ask for help and to accept it.
We are excited to see how Hillary continues to shape the narrative.
A Little Help is a nonprofit helping elderly age well in their homes. You can learn more about them and get involved here.
Erin Gaskins is owner of Room Redefined, a professional organizing company based in Denver, Colorado. After 25 years in public education, Erin decided to put her passion for organizing to work in the service of others and entered the entrepreneurship journey. Five years later, Room Redefined stands out in their dedication to offering customized organizing services to homeowners, businesses, and schools. She and her company are strongly committed to the work of changing society’s narrative- helping other women feel comfortable with the notion that we are all stronger when we give up the “superwoman complex” and work together to accomplish our goals!