Do you currently have "household servants"?

As a follow on to the GQ thread about the history ofhousehold servants in England and then digressed into the US, I thought I would pose the question as to who currently has some form of household servants.

I would qualify household servants as cleaning service, lawn maintenance, in home child care, etc., done on a regular basis.

We use a weekly cleaning person, weekly lawn maintenance, a regular gardener, regular baby sitters and part time nanny. None of our folks live with us, but most have access to our house, even if we aren’t at home.

Poll to follow.


I live in a country where the gap between the rich and poor is so large that people will work for what I consider next to nothing* in order that they and their families can survive.

I have a 3/4 day child carer/domestic and an occasional gardener.

Neither are unusual in middle class South Africa.

  • I do pay more than what is legislated as the minimum wage, in both cases more than double.

I am sure our cat considers my wife and I to be servants.

I don’t, but my mother does. The servant in question is what’s locally called a “girl for everything”, she’ll do different household tasks depending on what’s needed. She currently goes for two hours, two days per week, but there have been periods when she’d go one hour every day because what Mom needed most was help dressing.

She’s got other houses, has also held part time jobs as a waitress. One of the other families she works for will hire her full-time when they go on vacation, they take her with them. She usually works at their grandma’s home and they take grandma along; four young children and a semi-invalid are a bit much for two adults to handle but with three it works out.

The cleaning girls come every 2 weeks and the lawn guy once-a-week from April to October.

We have a cleaning service that comes in every other week.

I have a lawn guy, and I used to have a house cleaner come in every two weeks until I moved to another state. Services are much more expensive here, but I will never mow another lawn (yellow jacket attack a few years ago), so I’ll pay any price for that particular service.

I hate having people do things for me. I’d rather do it myself or find a way to leave it undone. I often walk several miles, rather than take the bus.

Do you grow your own food? Make your own clothes?

I’m looking for a good lawn servant.

Of course not, but I cook my own and I wash my own.

If there is no difference between hiring a butler and using a product made from iron ore, I’m willing to listen to a logical argument.

I just hired a lawn service this year. The kids are all grown and either moved out or working, so that source of servitude is no longer available. Between the remodeling that we’re doing and my job I just don’t have time to keep up the lawn myself. I’ll gladly pay $40 every 2 weeks for that so that I can concentrate on remodeling the master bedroom.

Cleaning service every two weeks. More often if needed.

We have a lawn service that comes and mows/trims the yard as needed (weekly in the summer, bi-weekly in the fall/spring, and monthly in the winter), and we have a couple of cleaning ladies who show up every other Wednesday and do more heavy-duty type cleaning like scrubbing out the tub, etc… versus the normal vacuuming and counter-wiping, etc… that we do.

I used to do all the lawn care myself, before we had kids, but hired the lawn service after our first son was born, as fitting lawn care in between work, kid stuff and sleeping was going to be hideously onerous and unpleasant. I figured that this was definitely a case where if I could afford it, I should do it.

The cleaning ladies are also a result of the kids; with the stupendous increase in the cleaning burden on my wife and I with 2 little boys (2 and almost 5 yrs old) running around our house all the time, we decided we really needed some help keeping up with it.

We have three cats, we’re the servants!
Kidding aside, we have a guy come in once every other month to clean areas which give us physical difficulty. Lawn maintenance is handled by the condo association’s property management.

I have a lovely lady who does the major cleaning jobs every two weeks. She has stopped many marital conflicts and is well worth every dollar we spend.

I’ve had lawn service in the past since we both hate cutting grass but we have a deal with our neighbours and he cuts the grass for both houses in the summer and my husband uses the snowblower on both driveways in the winter. Now we only have to maintain one set of outdoor equipment and both of us are extremely happy with the trade.

I have a friend who’s nanny has an assistant.

For us, there’s a team of women who clean every two weeks and a guy who has a crew that helps with the lawn and garden chores. I actually mow the lawn when needed, but they do a lot of other routine heavy tasks.


For starters, most manual activities like landscaping and cleaning are pretty decent exercise and Lord knows I already need more of that, not less. I would rather mow lawns and scrub toilets than go to the gym.

Beyond that, it’s just not the kind of thing I have money for in my budget. Maybe when I’ve maxed out my retirement contributions, given to charity, bought some extra stock and I’m still scratching my head for where to put the extra money. I’ll pay for servants long before I start buying lattes at Starbucks, that’s for sure. :slight_smile:

We have a nanny for when my wife and I are at work.

It’s a luxury condo, so do the doormen and maintenance staff count?

No, the good times stopped in '98 when we left the Foreign Service. We had housekeepers and gardeners throughout our brief tenure, and I didn’t feel the least bit bad about it. It provided employment in very poor countries, and we paid well, along with helping out when there was a problem; example: our housekeeper in Mali had his moto stolen and was bicycling to and from work every day, which was some 15 miles one way. That meant getting up at the crack of dawn and not getting home to his family until late. So we bought him a new (used) moto, which was of benefit to both of us.