How I made my peace with hiring a housekeeper

How I made my peace with hiring a housekeeper

J.D. and I have been employing an independent housekeeper for about 10 years. The one who's been working for us for almost five years, Michele, is fantastic and we feel lucky to have her. (We found her through Craigslist). Housecleaning is her full-time job.

It took us some time to get over our self-imposed barrier of hiring some help with the house chores. I'm not lazy, and it struck me as a weak, self-indulgent thing to do. But, as J.D. freely admits, he's a slob. We'd fight over the mess in the house, and time and time again would try to institute a “system” to keep it clean, only to fail once more and descend into arguments. With both of us working full-time, we wanted to spend our time at home in other ways than cleaning.

Still, I felt guilty for paying someone else to do work I didn't want to do myself. I admit it: It feels weird to pay someone to clean your toilets! And I felt guilty for even being able to afford considering “outsourcing” the housework. After all, anyone can do housework, right?

The “Housekeeper Dilemma”

Over time, however, I've realized that my guilt is misplaced. (Although it still lingers a bit.) Why would I feel any guiltier paying someone for cleaning my house than cooking my food at a restaurant, or growing my food at a farmer's market, or knitting a hat I buy at a cute store? I can cook; I can grow food; I can knit. But often I choose to pay someone else to do these tasks rather than do them myself. Why does the housekeeper, then, represent such obscene luxury in our debates on the complexities of social economics?

J.D.'s note: Some of Kris' thoughts here remind me of my own meditations on the guilt of wealth.

Primarily, I believe it's because we see our housekeeper face-to-face. We invite her into our homes and our lives. We see the struggles in her life (she's a divorced mom of two teenagers) in a way that is invisible for the many other jobs we outsource. The agricultural worker doesn't deliver pears to my door, nor the factory worker bring inexpensive mass-produced products to personally stock the shelves in my pantry. I don't directly pay the garbage-collector, the office custodian, or the guy who sweeps out the theater after J.D. spills all his candy on the floor. For these things, there's an insulating layer of “a company” between the producer of the goods and the consumer. With housekeeping, no such dividing layer exists.

Professional housecleaning, like agricultural harvesting, child-care, and many service-industry jobs, is a job that is frequently performed by people without much higher education or unique skills. (Or they are choosing not to use that education or skills, or perhaps there is no market for their particular talents.) These jobs are typically low-paying, but that doesn't mean the people who perform these jobs are unworthy. I'm all for a living wage, but the more specialized and rare your skills, the higher salary you can command if there is a market for those skills. It's basic supply and demand. And just because a job doesn't pay well does not mean that job is demeaning.

I won't pretend my housekeeper has such a “passion for cleaning houses” that it led her to this profession, but she's a survivor, and has chosen housecleaning for many personal reasons, not the least of which are the flexibility in her schedule, the freedom to choose the clients she serves, and the chance to be her own boss. The trade-offs include a physically-demanding job, inconsistent income, and a relatively low salary (due to not working 40 hours a week, although at $22, her hourly wage is decent).

I think another part of the “housekeeper dilemma” is the historical disregard for the value of work that has been “women's work”, and the expectation that if there is a woman is in the house, she shouldn't need to pay another person (usually another woman) to do the tasks she is supposed to be doing herself. If someone is cleaning a house that's not their own, they must feel degraded, right? But any work can be found degrading, sustaining, fulfilling or mind-numbing. I doubt that those of you who clean your own toilets feel degraded by the process.

What matters is not so much the type of work but the working conditions and the self-respect possible for the worker. Michele knows her work is valued in our home. The days I come home after Michele has been at my house are like a treat to me! And she knows it — because I tell her. I'd gladly give up other expenses before I cut Michele out of my budget. For her part, I'm pretty sure she values having us a steady clients who always have the check ready on the table and share the garden produce in the summer months.

Everyone Outsources

The popular opinion is that anyone can do housework (so you shouldn't outsource this labor), but does that mean that everyone has to? As GRS readers know, we grow and preserve much of our own food. That's something I truly enjoy. Housework? Not so much. Someone else might think canning applesauce in a hot kitchen on a 90-degree day sounds like pure drudgery; they'll outsource the task and get their jar of applesauce at the store. No one gives that a second thought, but there are a lot of outsourced laborers between the apple tree and that jar. Me? I'll outsource cleaning the kitchen instead.

In my mind, the bottom line is that everyone outsources. Unless you grow, harvest, and process your own food, make your own clothes from fibers you've produced and spun, build your own house, create your own power sources, and are completely independent from the long chain of people in the manufacturing economy, you're paying other people to do that which you do not want to do, don't want to make time to do, or lack the skills to do. In the modern word, specialization is the norm.

So, do what work works for you — I'll be in the garden.

Bonus! After Kris wrote this article, I made a point of talking with our housekeeper when she came by on Wednesday. Here's what she had to say about her work.J.D.: What sorts of people hire a housekeeper?
 
Michele: All sorts of people. Students, new mothers, women with careers. It's usually women, although lately a lot of men have been responding to my Craigslist ad. That kind of makes me a little nervous sometimes, but so far it's been fine. I think they're just trying to give their wives a break.J.D.: Should people feel guilty about hiring a housekeeper?
 
Michele: No way! Why should they? I had a housekeeper for a while. I had so much going on that I didn't have the time to clean like I wanted, and I could afford it then. I'd do it again if I could. But I guess some people do feel guilty — especially women. There's this stigma: People think women should be able to do it all — raise the kids, go to work, clean the house — but they can't. A housekeeper helps relieve some of that stress. So I guess women feel guilty because they feel like they're not doing everything they should. But bachelors that hire me? They don't have one ounce of guilt! I think once people get past the guilt, they love having a housekeeper. It's just a matter of where your priorities are and what you can afford.J.D.: How do you feel about cleaning houses? Is this what you see yourself doing the rest of your life?
 
Michele: Well, my passion is working with animals. I'd love to work in an animal shelter. And I'm a trained doula, but I just haven't done anything with that. So, I clean. But that's what I do anyhow. It's just what I do. It's in my blood. My dad owned a janitorial service. My sister cleans houses. My mother cleans houses. I clean houses. I like it. I like being my own boss. I like the variety, going from house to house, and I like the flexibility. Last time, you let me adjust my schedule so I could take my son to get a tattoo, for example. I couldn't do that if I wasn't my own boss. And it's pretty good money — if I can fill up my days, which is harder with the economy like it is. But I enjoy it.
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TheDebtHawk.com
TheDebtHawk.com
10 years ago

I have a really hard time paying people to do things for me. I always feel guilty.

One thing that I hate is getting my hair cut. I hate the feeling that someone is performing a service for me. It is funny that we feel this way.

Ron
Ron
10 years ago

There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to do a task for you. We hire financial advisors, don’t we? We hire tax accountants, don’t we? We hire someone to build our homes, don’t we? We hire someone to maintain our vehicles, don’t we? *When you can afford it* hiring someone to help you with the complexities of life, whether financial, mechanical, or otherwise, shouldn’t be a source of guilt. And speaking to the “degrading work” issue, I make a very, very good income in my job as a corporate executive, but nothing is more degrading than having my inexperienced boss (hired… Read more »

Mrs. Money
Mrs. Money
10 years ago

I personally think this is fantastic! I would love to have a housekeeper. I love that you shared this story, Kris. 🙂

Ann
Ann
10 years ago

FINALLY, we have a housekeeper. This frees up some time in our life to get to some projects (like “must clean and reorganize the laundry room”) instead of just doing the chores (“must mop the floors, clean the toilets”). We never had energy left for the “projects” after we had worked on the chores.

Someone
Someone
10 years ago

One, it is easier to keep a home clean with frequent, less intense sessions, so having housekeeper on a regular schedule is better for the worker and their employer, so that no task gets too huge again. I’m thinking that at some point we will have one as well. Two, I have to say I am getting increasingly angry about the expectation that we women are automatically the world’s janitors, cooks, and chambermaids. In my opinion this is NOT our work, we are just forced into it largely because we are still not paid equally in the work force outside… Read more »

Lakita (PFJourney)
Lakita (PFJourney)
10 years ago

I like the way Ron put it (#2)…we hire people to do a lot of things. In fact, any of us that read a variety of personal finance blogs will see people talk about generating income with a side hustle. Find something that people don’t have the time or skill to do and offer your services. This could be consulting, writing, organizing and yes cleaning. I had a professional housekeeper a few years ago. When I was laid off I had to let her go. Now, I have outsourced the work to a teen in my church. It is an… Read more »

lostAnnfound
lostAnnfound
10 years ago

My mom cleaned houses for 30+ years. She started one day a week after the last child turned two years old so she could buy a pool for the family. She enjoyed housecleaning and it showed; she is good at it. People started calling her (heard about her from other clients). Some of her clients lived “uptown” – multimillionaires. Some were middle class two income families looking for some help around the house to save some time. They all treated her well, very appreciative of the great job she did. With four kids, her time was flexible & she could… Read more »

Malisa
Malisa
10 years ago

Thanks for this. Thanks for reminding me that this needs to be first in line when the credit card debt is paid off!

I’ve gotten names and numbers from people before, but I’ve never pulled the trigger.

Four Pillars
Four Pillars
10 years ago

Very well put.

So JD spills candy on the theatre floor? What else does he do? 😉

Beth @ Smart Family Tips
Beth @ Smart Family Tips
10 years ago

What a terrific post, Kris. Thanks for sharing this with us. We don’t have a housekeeper, though we probably should. I could identify with your comments about arguing, then making a plan, then arguing some more. We do a lot of that. Similarly, my husband is very handy and has the skills to fix most anything around the house. What he lacks, though, is time. Because he works full-time outside of the home and we have young twin daughters, he just can’t get to it all. Yet it kills him to pay someone to repair something he knows he can… Read more »

Rhea
Rhea
10 years ago

I grew up in a home where my parents paid a ‘cleaning lady’ to come in every week. I am totally opposed to this now. Partly, I hate that it’s always a woman, and partly, if you can handle your other chores, why not your cleaning? Personally, I would never have a cleaner.

Judy
Judy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhea

Rhea when you are over 50 and tired. Maybe you will have an adult opinion on this subject. At 70 years old I fell and broke my back. So I will never get to enjoy life. However I have a wonderful husband and we have an RV and travel with family in their RV. We have two beautiful Portuguese Water Dogs that are always with us. We were gone from Washington for 8 months last year. We are now in Wash. enjoying the weather. Planning our next trip will happen after summer in Washington. It’s a great option to be… Read more »

Brian B
Brian B
10 years ago

Maybe the weirdness of hiring a housekeeper comes from that person being in your home? Comparing it to having someone cook your meals at a restaurant: How would that feel if the person cooked for you in your home?

Also, how do you people prepare for the housekeeper? Do you do a “pre-clean”, just so you don’t look like a slob? If that’s the case, then I would say a housekeeper is a horrible way to spend your money!!

Peggy
Peggy
10 years ago

My wonderful mother paid for a housekeeper to come weekly when I was disabled. I had three children under 10 and had just had a horrible C-section with complications for both the baby and myself. The girl who came was wonderful! There was a tiny bit of “not the way I’d do it” to get over, but I was so grateful for the help that I got over it pretty quickly.

Now that the kids are (mostly) teens, I have lots of help. But I’ve written the cost of a housekeeper into my retirement plans!

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
10 years ago

I just thought I’d give a quick look at my perspective on hiring a housekeeper. Like Kris, I find it a little strange. I feel guilty. I grew up in a family that could not have afforded such a luxury. Our house was a disaster, and I’m sure my mother would have loved to have somebody clean for her, but there was barely food to pay for needs, let alone wants. But I learned from watching my parents fight about money and housekeeping that I didn’t want to live that way. When Kris and I first began to argue about… Read more »

Money Reasons
Money Reasons
10 years ago

We’ve been thinking of supplimenting our cleaning schedule with a housecleaner that comes in a few times a month. Just to make sure the best job is done as possible. You don’t have to hire a housecleaner for every day. Housecleaners appreciate the money because it puts food on their table. And if you’re busy like J.D. and his wife Kris, a housecleaner sounds like it’s a wonderful solution! If you have the money and it improves your quality of life, then I would say jump on it! We are not to that point yet, but if my wife worked… Read more »

Alicia
Alicia
10 years ago

What a great post–I think you’re spot on. I’m going to bring up some of these points the next time my boyfriend and I have the housecleaner conversation.

Andrea
Andrea
10 years ago

I had been wanting to hire a housekeeper for a long time. I love having a clean house as much as I hate cleaning it. But I lived alone and felt like I should just do it myself. But when my fiance moved in, it was a great excuse to do it. We don’t ever argue about chores. If his messes are around, I can just let it go since I know the house will be cleaned again in less than 2 weeks. We do pick up before she comes, but that’s b/c I want her to be able to… Read more »

Molly On Money
Molly On Money
10 years ago

I love your point about ‘seeing the housekeeper face-to-face’. I have felt that when I was purchasing an item I knew was probably constructed in a factory with horrible conditions that if the tag had a picture of that exploited worker with story of how the item was made I would be more active to NOT buy the item. It’s taken me years to support only companies that have ethical business practices.
I have had a housekeeper, I have been a housekeeper, and currently have no housekeeper…..I miss my housekeeper!
I think Kris needs to contribute an article weekly!

Kelli
Kelli
10 years ago

We have a housekeeper as well and we love her. My husband and I both have full time jobs, he works 50+ hours a week. I also have a side job of tutoring on weekday nights. We found ourselves always cleaning house on the weekends and when we were busy or out of town things just did not get done. Our justification is that I would rather tutor for 3 hours on the weekdays to pay for the housekeeper than clean for 3 hours at the house on weekends. It is a win, win for us both. Now we have… Read more »

Kevin M
Kevin M
10 years ago

I could never see us doing this, but we are pretty clean to begin with – you have to be with 2 nosy dogs and a 2 year old running around.

But I like your comparison to going out to eat and paying someone for that service.

I think Michele should raise her rate since you guys clearly value her!

Matt B.
Matt B.
10 years ago

My wife and I have discussed a housekeeper for two years and still haven’t taken the step. For us, and particularly my wife, the biggest hurdle is the “how do we know we can trust her” question. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but that seems like a valid question. Aside from personal recommendations, does anyone have any tips for assuring yourself that the person you hire is someone I shouldn’t be worried about being in my house unsupervised? As to the sexism, why is this even an issue? Some jobs just simply have more women (or men) sign up for them.… Read more »

dls
dls
10 years ago

This post was great. My wife is a stay-at-home mom and she works her tail off. Chasing around our son and keeping a 4,100 sqft home spotless. I have a $1,000,000 term life insurance policy taken out on her because if she died, there is no way I could afford to pay someone to do all that she does! Side Note: Ok, the housekeeper interview in this post was excellent…then she dropped the funny bomb, “you let me adjust my schedule so I could take my son to get a tattoo.” Wow, that is funny. That is a sentence that… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
10 years ago

I thought about this a lot after spending some time in West Africa. It seems like everyone there (we mostly spent time with white ex-pats and missionaries) hires “house help”. It was neat to see the relationship that the people we were living with had with their help — they were good friends, and there wasn’t at all the feeling of “master/slave” that one automatically thinks of, when initially seeing white people hiring an African for labor. In fact, the wife in the house was, as often as not, working alongside the help. We do not currently hire house help,… Read more »

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
10 years ago

Kevin M (#20) wrote: I think Michele should raise her rate since you guys clearly value her!

Yes, I was thinking this too. I think Michele is scared to ask for more money (she’s done it once since she started with us). Maybe I should teach her how to ask for a raise! 🙂

Chickybeth
Chickybeth
10 years ago

Great post, I really enjoyed it! I used to clean houses in the summer and never once thought it was degrading. I was happy to have to the work and it paid a lot better than the grocery store job I also had. Cleaning houses was a lot better than cleaning grocery store isles and the people were a LOT friendlier that the typical grocery store customer! If I ever have the money, I will definitely pay someone to help me clean. It’s funny because I enjoy cleaning other people’s homes, but hate cleaning my own! (Maybe because the work… Read more »

Bob
Bob
10 years ago

I’m not sure if justification for a housekeeper is a good way to save money in 99% of cases. Maybe for people who have the option to work long hours on overtime their money becomes worth less than their time. But for most people working 9-5 mon-friday on fixed income their time is worth less than their money. One way to get rich is to think like a poor person. Poor people don’t have housekeepers. Rich people think like poor people and that is how they get/stay rich. Being lazy is a goodway to stay poor. If people are overwhelmed… Read more »

Kate
Kate
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob

This is illogical. The time of a rich person costs much more than the time of a housekeeper in terms of pay per hour. Going part time in this case is plain stupid.

ami | 40daystochange
ami | 40daystochange
10 years ago

Kris: I think you’ve skillfully articulated the reasons why hiring a housekeeper makes sense – and JD added the reason why what can seem like a big expense is really a bargain. $180 p./month is cheap for marital happiness. Bottom line for me: when we had more cash, we hired a housekeeper. I felt guilty as others do, but this woman was a professional – a small business owner. She didn’t view her work as artistry, but she was proud of providing value to others, of making her clients happy, of making a decent living and supporting her family. She… Read more »

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

My husband and I have had a housekeeper for over 10 years. And I don’t feel guilty about it at all. I have my own business, my husband works long hours; plus, we both dedicate our free time to making art. Without our housekeeper, we would not have time for our passions. It’s the most important line-item on our budget.

kelle
kelle
10 years ago

I worked for a cleaning co. for about a year after my employer moved out of the area. We were a 3 person crew: one would start dusting, next one followed them vaccuuming, 3rd would start on the bathrooms. When the duster finished they went to the kitchen and the other two also finished into the kitchen. We rotated the bathroom/dusting/vaccuuming jobs daily. The employer evaluated each house/business as to size/clutter/filth before giving a quote on cost. It was a good experience and I learned people that design/build/furnish houses haven’t cleaned them and clutter and animals are a large percentage… Read more »

Andrea S.
Andrea S.
10 years ago

This is a great post! My husband and I recently hired a cleaner ourselves to do the kind of cleaning that we totally fail at doing- it’s been really worth it, and actually less expensive than I thought it would be(when a professional cleaner comes in, turns out it often takes less time than if I were to do it myself!) If you can at all afford it and don’t like cleaning or can’t devote the time you need to it, definitely outsource- assuming you’re paying your cleaner a fair wage, it turns out to be a win-win situation for… Read more »

Ms. Clear
Ms. Clear
10 years ago

I’m very much planning to play it by ear, but I would consider hiring a helper once my baby arrives. I’ve heard those early months are hell. Plus, my hubby will probably be working at his seasonal job at that time, so he won’t be able to do it. We’ll see. I have money saved if I want to go that route.

But truthfully, I’m really cheap and it would be hard for me to take the plunge. I’m just trying to be open-minded, because our lives are in for big changes.

KC
KC
10 years ago

I think its perfectly normal as we age (and hopefully prosper financially) to feel guilty about some of the “luxuries” we can afford that we couldn’t have years earlier. I have a friend who owns a salon and charges me $50 to cut my hair (I go about every 2 months). For years (10+ years) I struggled to find someone to cut my hair – I didn’t like the job anyone did be it the person at Fantastic Sam’s charging $12 or the salon people charging $35-40. But my friend is great – sure she’s expensive, but I can afford… Read more »

Lauren Muney, behavior change specialist
Lauren Muney, behavior change specialist
10 years ago

I have many friends who NEED a housekeeper. I agree with Kris: if she goes out for dinner sometimes, and buys her clothes in a store, why not have a housekeeper if you both work so many hours per day (or week)? You’re contributing to the economy. Years ago, I had a male friend with a 18/6 sole proprietorship job. He figured out that it actually cost him $200/hour (his own fee) to clean his own house while he took time away from work, when he could easily pay a housekeeper $25/hour to do it once a week. He actually… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

Nice post. I like the idea of doing this, but I doubt I ever will. My mom cleaned houses for a while, and I used to help her. I hated it. Also wanted to point out that $22/hr sounds like a lot (it’s quite a bit more than I make…) until you factor in that she’s not getting paid to drive between all her clients, she has to buy her own cleaning supplies, and she has to pay self employment tax (so, double the income tax you’d normally pay). And she probably has no health insurance, or has to pay… Read more »

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

My wife and I have a housekeeper clean our 1 bedroom apartment. She comes every three months or so for the “heavy” cleaning. She only charges $60/visit, and I really don’t miss the $240 I pay her annually.

Adam
Adam
10 years ago

Haha, I liked this post (MUCH BETTER THAN ERICA’S). Good on you guys. I have a cleaning lady come once a month for the hard to do cleaning that I’m no good at (scrubbing floors, corners, behind the fridge, the oven, etc.) but generally do the dusting, vaccuuming, and bathrooms myself. It costs me $60/month, and its one of the best $/happiness bargains out there besides the gym for me. Was anyone else gobsmacked by this line: “Last time, you let me adjust my schedule so I could take my son to get a tattoo” WTF. Call me old-fashioned but… Read more »

Andy
Andy
10 years ago

I hired a small local maid service on the cheap as a valentines day gift for my fiance. We are both so busy with full time jobs and lots of interests and hobbies, not to mention my own side small DJ business that can take up entire weekends, we still had christmas decorations up!! The girls that came over helped me get the house picked up and decorations put away. My house hasn’t been this clean since an hour after I moved all my furniture in! The girls were fantastic, very friendly, amazingly helpful, fast, and they enjoyed getting paid… Read more »

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
10 years ago

Haha. I like that the tattoo thing is throwing people. And to be fair to Michele (if she reads this), what she actually said was “you let me adjust my schedule last time”. I added the “so I could take my son to get a tattoo” because that’s what she did, and I thought it was funny, too. 🙂

lynn
lynn
10 years ago

Great post Kris! I’m glad you brought up the stigma of hiring out “women’s work.” I thought the same thing when reading some reactions to Erika’s post, and it also, in my mind, intersects with the Motley Fool guest post here on the financial gap between men and women. It is interesting that your housekeeper noted that women feel guilty but bachelors do not. Ladies, learn from the men, we cannot do it all 🙂 To Bob, #26, everyone has to figure out if a housekeeper is “worth it” The simplest way for us is that we make more per… Read more »

ClaireTN
ClaireTN
10 years ago

LOVE this post. It answers a lot of questions I’ve had about whether to hire someone to clean for us. One question: how do you handle the tax/FICA issue?

Stan
Stan
10 years ago

This was a great article, thanks! I find it very closely parallels our decision to hire a lawn service company a while back. I feel like there’s a certain expectation that a guy should cut his own grass, and I still feel a little weird at times when it comes up (even though most people in my neighborhood have moved in this direction over the years).

In the end it boils down to the fact that I would rather spend my free time on the weekends playing with my kids on the lawn rather than cutting it. Worth every penny.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Great post Kris…I’m a new home owner,and LOVE the idea of having someone clean my house. The only problem is how do you find someone you can trust to let in your home when you’re not there? I have a full time career during the day, and am in grad school at night, so I would never be home when they would be over to clean. I tried checking the Orlando craigslist postings and was a little overwhelmed…any suggestions for finding a trustworthy house cleaner in a big city?

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
10 years ago

@ClaireTN (#40)
Our housekeeper is not out employee; she is an independent contractor. Because of this, taxes aren’t an issue.

Mary
Mary
10 years ago

For all the reasons mentioned here, we thought long and hard about hiring a housekeeper to come in twice a month.

Now, I can’t believe we waited as long as we did! It has reduced my stress level like I never would have imagined and I think it is some of the best money we spend in our rather frugal budget.

Steph
Steph
10 years ago

Great post Kris! Could you do a small follow-up post on how to find a good housekeeper? I don’t like the idea of someone new coming into our home when we’re not here. How do you get over that and how do you initially interview someone? Thanks!

Bob
Bob
10 years ago

To Lynn #39. Your point is totally valid. I just fear that some/many people may not be making use of that extra time. My father’s wife used to clean houses. 25-50% of the houses she cleaned were the households of “yuppie” hosuewifes. None of them were millionaires or anything. They would drink wine and watch TV or run on the treadmill while she cleaned. This was only a year ago…at the height of a recession! But like I said in some cases sit makes sense…I would argue in many cases it should be the first thing to cut when going… Read more »

amanda
amanda
10 years ago

I have 2 small children and 3 dogs, my husband I both work full time, and I am also working on a Ph.D. in engineering. Between the commute, the kids, the dog hair, and school, I just wasn’t able to keep the house where I wanted it. As soon as I got something clean, either my husband or the kids would mess it up. Or, I would spend all of my weekends trying to clean and wasn’t getting quality time with my kids. My husband and I have totally different standards of clean also, and we were fighting about it… Read more »

Scott
Scott
10 years ago

I guess I’m in a different demographic than a lot of your readers. My wife is a stay at home mom and we get by on my income. We don’t have to pay for day care, or a maid so she can work. I agree with what bob said above “Being lazy is a good way to stay poor.”

kelle
kelle
10 years ago

I’d just like to add that like Peggy #13 there are times that the help from someone cleaning can be very justified. When I cleaned our crew’s favorite place wasn’t the cleanest. It was the family that’s life did a 180 when the father was paralyzed in an accident. The mother went to work with a long commute and they had two teenage boys. It was obvious from pictures in the house that the father had been very active in sports with his sons. Even though the boys didn’t pick up their room like they were suppose to, we worked… Read more »

jammer(six)
jammer(six)
10 years ago

JD: Be careful on that independent contractor thing. Just because you/she say(s) she is doesn’t make it true. The IRS has a clear view of what they consider an employee vs. independent contractor.

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