I must admit that after having a housekeeper for four years, I am struggling with the thought of having one (and not having one) in the U.S.A. I truly don't want to do without one. But as a "doctor's wife", I do think about what people will think of me.
You can click here to read the post I wrote detailing the reasons that I want to have s housekeeper for the rest of my life.
I continue to echo the sentiments in this post. I find it interesting that in America you are allowed to eat out as many times a week that you want (something that just isn't done in Turkey or here in Portugal.) You are "allowed" to drive a car you don't actually own and really can't afford. We run our dryers and heat without a second thought. We would not consider living without a cell phone, cable, or Internet. We have to have a yearly vacation.
But getting a housekeeper is considered "only for the rich."
As I continue to think about what I will do in regards to this when I return to the U.S. of A, I wanted to share some of the comments I received when I wrote my first post on this topic:
- I love this! We had a housekeeper who came twice a month while my sister and I were both working full time. It essentially saved us two whole days a month where we would have to clean the house. I really loved it. Now, since I do a little work online and take care of E, I feel like it would be bad for me to have a housekeeper....bad as in I'm not a great enough mom to do it all. :( It's all about perception and expectations though. When E goes to school and I go back to work, I plan on definitely having one so that all of my free time can be spend with the fam. :)
- I think the one thing holding me back is the safety issue. I
would be interested to hear what others think about this. I'm a very private
person, and to have someone in my house often is uncomfortable for me. Okay,
(now don't yell at me!) but I worry about theft or weird stuff happening. I
know, I know, too much tv watching for me! :)
I guess one other option is that people could do what I do---just not clean their house often enough, and then once a month (or thereabouts) have a big house cleaning party with the husband and kids. :)
- I understand what you are saying, but it seems a luxury stateside. And for a family where one parent stays home, it seems unnecessary. With two working parents, I could see it making sense- times truly at a premium. As the kids get older they help more around the house, and I think the chores are important in character building, as well as pitching in and participating. When we had a maid in the Philippines, my parents wouldn't let her clean our rooms. That's my stand - I live in a gated community with lots of housekeepers employed. It's just not for me.
- I'm making dinner so I had more thoughts- also in my neighborhood most lawns are cared for by lawn care services weekly. My hubby, a healthy 40 something, still cares for the lawn - a large lot, lots of landscaping, etc. I talked him into letting a local high school student with a lawn business and a push mower into mowing our lawn all summer...and though we certainly can afford the $15 a week for mowing and trimming, he really struggled with letting someone else do it. But my argument was the boy, #1 academically in his class, would benefit from it, andit would free up time from my very busy husband. Summer is over, though, and hubby is back at it.
- It's funny you posted this today because it has actually been on my mind to hire someone to come help me. I am a stay-at-home mom to a 3-year-old and 1-year-old but I've been struggling with some depression and feel like I can't even keep up with the basic housework. I paid attention today and was in the kitchen from 8:30-12:30 - breakfast, clean up, snack, clean up, lunch, clean up. My entire morning - 4 hours!!!- was spent just cleaning the kitchen - that's ridiculous! (Though I did mop/sweep/vacuum the main living areas, too, this wasn't even deep cleaning or anything. Just your basic make a meal and do the dishes thing.) We plan on homeschooling and I keep thinking "how in the world will I find time to do any school work with the kids when it takes me 4 hours to clean the kitchen?? I've debated hiring someone for awhile but always talk myself out of it. I think just having someone come one day a week to vacuum, mop and do a quick wipe down of the bathrooms would help so much. It wouldn't even take them that much time... an hour and a half? Probably less since they wouldn't be stopped a billion times to take care of kids/dogs/husbands/phone calls. Then I think, "It's only an hour or so. I can do that. I don't need help." and the cycle continues.I think I'm going to have a talk with the husband tonight about this. I even know someone who who would jump on the chance to earn some extra cash and passes by here every afternoon on her way to work...
- I wonder if most families in the Azores have two working
parents? If I worked all day outside the home I would definitely hire help. As
a SAHM I have always felt it was part of my job to also be the housekeeper, and
I hated doing both when I just wanted to do fun stuff with my kids! So yes there
was a time when I really wanted a housekeeper, for sure! Now my older one is in school all day so I try to get all cleaning done while
he is at school and the little one is napping. It is much more manageable now.
I do agree with the previous comment about character-building. I have worked really hard at involving my kids in cleaning up the house, cleaning up after themselves, and generally helping out. I know they are kids and need playtime, but I think teaching them that work is part of life is a good thing too. And who says chores can't be fun or at least tolerable when you have someone to help, and do a little bit at a time so it doesn't like pile up? Great post though, especially about the money part - it is amazing how much we spend on little things like coffee and TV!
- In college, I cleaned houses and babysat. (usually for the same families!) i was able to establish relationships were they trusted me. The first few times I cleaned, someone from the family was usually around to monitor and/or answer questions. After that, I was usually given a key and cleaned while they were at work. As a college student far from home, it was really nice. I was able to work a few less hours than if I had worked at McDonalds, etc. Which really freed me up to study more. And I was able to enjoy interacting with families instead of just other students / professors all the time. I did not make $100 / house. More like $50ish every other week per house. College kids work a little cheaper! :) I would love to help out some of our youth group or college students (from our church) this way, but we're working hard to pay off debts. (No more car loans! yay!) So, maybe in a few years it will be more of a reality.
- With 5 kids soon to be 6 and nannying full time for 2 I have debated seriously on hiring someone myself. Even my DH's Aunt has offered to come in a few hours a week and do just simple things like laundry and kids bedding. Which in fact would be the bulk of what I do anyways. I look at my house sometimes and say "thats it. I am hiring someone to help me." Then realize. No, I don't want to do that. This is my house. My responsibilities. My kids clothes, bedding, blankets, toys. Our laundry, dishes, messy backyard. I have really debated back and forth on the idea of someone coming in my house to take care of these things for me. But in the end, just feel more accomplished and glad that I did it on my own. That even with 7 kids around the house all day. And loads of laundry and homework and bills to pay and emails to write back and phone calls to make. I am proud that I can right now take care of these things. No, I am not superwoman. I never claimed to be such. But for me. Its all about responsibility. My mom was a horrible housekeeper and not always the best mom. I want to make sure that I can do all of those things and show my kids that if you organize and manage your time well. Anything is possible.Now I am not saying that this is for everyone. I have a lot of friends who have 1 or 2 children or some with even no children. They hire someone to go in and do housekeeping for them. I even baby-sat and took care of someone's house myself. Cleaning and organizing is not for everyone. But for me. I enjoy it. Though some days you will hear me utter under my breath "thats it, I am hiring someone to help me."
- I'm a medical resident and the first thing we did when I started working (my husband is non-medical and worked during my training) was hire a weekly housekeeper. No, they may not scrub the floor behind the toilet as well as I would, but at least it gets done weekly instead of whenever I have a free half day and some energy. It's worth having the time to spend with husband and kiddo. I grew up in a home with a stay at home mom and a weekly housekeeper and still learned to clean; my mother made sure of that. I think your kids learn what you teach them, and teaching the value of your time and highlighting that something like housecleaning is a luxury, but families choose their own priorities, is a completely reasonable way to raise a family.
- I wish it made sense to line dry clothing in Oregon, it rains too much :-( I think the idea of a house keeper is nice but I agree that it really is a luxury. Sadly American culture was not built the same as European culture and therefore cannot be compared. True, I lived in Spain for a year and Italy for 6 months and never drove. But public transport is Ah-Mazing there. Not so much here. As such, gas and car insurance, necessary. Soda and specialty coffee? Totally do away with. Also, in general, cell phones just don't seem as necessary there but part of my cell and many others is a way to connect with work. I can be home with my child but connected to work if they need me. More time at home, less in the office. Another part of American culture that end up wasteful is our idea of space. We want huge houses and huge yards and it takes a lot to heat and cool these houses and a lot of money and time to keepvupbeith the yards. In Spain and Italy, most people live in huge apartment buildings getting rid of yards and huge places to heat and cool. This also helps with better public transport. Most European cultures have few children because living is so expensive, another thing that Americans don't seem to think about as much. This comment wanders. I am with the person who mentioned trust. I tried out a housekeeper and she broke my dyson vacuum. 350 vacuum broken, no apologies or anything. After that I ended up sour and decided I will clean my own house.
- We live abroad too and have had a weekly housekeeper the past few years. We still clean on a daily basis, make beds, tidy up, do laundry, cook, wash dishes, etc. So when our kids are older, they will definitely help with those things as chores. But the housekeeper comes once a week and gives the floors, bathrooms, and kitchen a good clean, plus does the essential ironing for the week. Ensures the house always feels clean - instead of just tidy - and saves on dry cleaning as well. We also have someone who we trust to watch our place (and help water plants, air it out, etc.) when we do long visits to the States to see family.I can't guarantee we'll get someone when we get back, but it gives us peace of mind to have the house clean all the time, and not just when we can find time to do a good job on it (and/or take us away from the kids).
- Timely post. We are seriously considering it. Whether you are sleep deprived, working 40 or 80 hours a week or a stay-at-home-mom, it's nice to have those extra few hours to do something you enjoy. I'd also love someone to cook for me. :)
- I totally agree with you. Except for the cell phone. I NEED my cell phone.