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Do you have household help - babysitter, cleaner, yard work? How much $ do you make?


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I'm at the beginning of yet another school year and looking at the length of our days, the outside activities, the cooking, the cleaning, the yard work, and more.

 

Some years I hire a house cleaner. It is very nice, but about half way through the year, I think "I can do this. We don't have enough money to spend on a cleaner." And then I fire the cleaner. I've done this twice.

 

Now I'm back to thinking a clean house would be wonderful. Sooooooo, do you have any hired help of any kind: cook, cleaner, Mom's helper, yard people, pool boy (lol)? If so, what income bracket are you in? This poll is anonymous.

 

ETA: If you do hire someone, leave a comment stating what you hire done. :) If not, tell me how in the world you get it all done, lol!! AND, if you are less than $50K either way, let me know too! I couldn't get everything on the poll I wanted to.

Edited by KIN
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I had a cleaning lady start two years after I had a surgery and was in a wheelchair. DH insisted - meaning he didn't want to do the housework. I have her come now once a month. I would feel guilty to not employ her because she needs the income and she is a good person. I had surgery two weeks and it was so nice that she was scheduled to come 10 days after that. I work about 25 a week and this is my treat to make life easier.

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When I had babies, toddlers, and school age children, I had help come in for a half day five days a week. I don't know how I would have survived otherwise. She did all the housework and laundry. I took care of the babies and schooling.

 

Now that the kiddos are older and two are grown and gone, we divide the chores up among us and handle things well enough ourselves.

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:lol: You need a less than 50K... waaaaaaaaaaaay less than 50k.

 

DD does go to a babysitter while I'm in class, but no hired help other than that. Of course, it is just her and I in a small apartment, so nothing overwhelming. Then again.. our apartment isn't really spotless either, as long as it is livable, we are happy. :D Our educations, DD's dance class, DD's soccer, our friends, the library... all more important than a spotless house to us!

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I'd LOVE to have someone clean the house. I generally wait long enough and dh gets annoyed and takes care of it. :001_smile: The dust bothers him more than it bothers me! He hired someone to do the lawn the past two summers. It bothers his allergies and after wincing at the cost, I agreed. On the plus side, we don't have the dandelion lawn anymore!

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We currently don't have any paid help. We have in the past. When I had 5 kids 5 and under, I had a housekeeper that came and cleaned my house once a week. I have also had housekeeping help when my house was on the market. Oh, we also paid a gentleman to do our yard a bit ago.

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We make less than 50K (much less) and I do not hire outside help of any sort. I can't work it in the budget on a regular basis. I did however hire someone to mow our lawn once at the beginning of summer for $40. We had been out of town with the death of my grandmother and had not been able to do it. My dh was also working overtime and I had many things happening with the kids. I paid for it by reducing my grocery costs one week.

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We have a biweekly yard guy and a weekly cleaner, and a babysitter whenever I have meetings and a date maybe 1 time a month.

 

I am married to somebody who works 100-plus hours a week. He always has, and I think he always will. It took me a few years to realize that converting some of his hard-earned money into household help was the best way to make sure that the time he did spend with us was fun, happy, no-pressure time. Once he switched to being WOH, he spent drastically more time with us but he still does not want to mow the lawn :D

 

Long-term, I'd like an au pair. I want to enable a young woman to take college classes in this country and/or travel with us to lots of great places, and I want a consistent backup caregiver who is living in my house and thoroughly understands how I like my children to be treated and can be left overnight with no worries. And I want a lifestyle that includes no privately owned lawn, and thus no lawn guy.

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When I was working full time I had a live-in nanny, a weekly house keeper and a bi-weekly yard crew.

 

That seems like a long time ago! :)

 

We are now self-employed, I work part time for the business and we have no outside help. nada.

 

We're also in a smaller house and, truth be told, a whole lot happier as a family.

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I voted YES, but I'm not sure if it really counts!

 

We live away from family and long-time friends, and dh works away fairly often. After 18 months I have finally decided that whenever he is away 5 days OR over a weekend I will hire a babysitter for 4 hours. I've done it twice now, and it was bliss. Even going to the dentist was kinda fun without kids in tow ;-)

 

Worth noting that when he is away he gets an "away allowance" (free-and-clear, as his expenses are all paid for) - 1 day of his allowance is equal to four hours of babysitter. I wouldn't hire a babysitter otherwise, and I wouldn't hire any other help.

 

That said - when we lived as expats and weren't paying off a house, I did have regular help.

 

Nikki

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I answered 'Yes', which is technically true I suppose, because we are renters and there is a lawn service for this property. This service is mandated by the HOA in this neighborhood though and the homeowner covers the cost of the lawn service (or it's built into our rent, however you want to look at it).

 

The lawn service does not do the shrubs/mulch/trees/etc. so we do those ourselves.

 

And I don't have a regular sitter, but I do use the drop-in daycare center from time to time when I really need a break (or have an appointment to run to). My sister is moving in with us for a few months this fall to help out with the kids while I'm in school.

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In the past, when children were not costly (bfing, cloth diapers, no cribs, barefeet, onesies as an entire wardrobe etc etc) I hired help (cleaning and mother's helpers). Now, every dime goes to organic food, education (college + ) and enrichment; voice, ballet, art, guitar, drums, piano, travel, language classes, car insurance etc.

 

As soon as I can, I am hiring back the housekeepers. Coming back to a shiny & sparkling home , that I did not have to clean, is one of my most favorite treats, ever.

Edited by LibraryLover
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I clicked yes, but we haven't started using her yet. We're going to have a 14-year-old homeschooler come and be a mother's helper. I just haven't figured out the transportation yet, she lives about 20 min. away, so it's almost not worth it to drive out and pick her up (her mom will drive one way). We had a different girl come over and babysit when they were little (1, 2, 4 and 5), and she always cleaned and folded laundry while she was taking care of the kids.

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We've had occasional help, but my husband said it was so he could give money to the guy across the street that's out of work.. My husband overpayed the guy... I would have liked twice as many hours for the same cost :)

That being said, I wish that I could have an organizer!! More than a housekeeper!!

 

:)

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I'm a control freak. I prefer to do a poor job on my own than chase a "stranger" around, making sure they do things the way I want them to. :tongue_smilie:

 

No outside help, never have, probably never will. I wish tho. Or at least I think I do. I think I would feel the need to straighten up for the housekeeper to come.

 

This is why I've never had a cleaning lady/service, even when I was working and needed it desperately. I don't think it would have been any less stress!

 

We do have lawn mowing service now, and we'll probably have them do the leaves (we have gigantic oak trees) in the fall, but maybe not.

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We have a biweekly yard guy and a weekly cleaner, and a babysitter whenever I have meetings and a date maybe 1 time a month.

 

I am married to somebody who works 100-plus hours a week. He always has, and I think he always will. It took me a few years to realize that converting some of his hard-earned money into household help was the best way to make sure that the time he did spend with us was fun, happy, no-pressure time. Once he switched to being WOH, he spent drastically more time with us but he still does not want to mow the lawn :D

 

Long-term, I'd like an au pair. I want to enable a young woman to take college classes in this country and/or travel with us to lots of great places, and I want a consistent backup caregiver who is living in my house and thoroughly understands how I like my children to be treated and can be left overnight with no worries. And I want a lifestyle that includes no privately owned lawn, and thus no lawn guy.

 

You just described what I would like! We have just hired a cleaning person to come and clean the house. We did have a gradener but DS11 wanted to be paid to do it so we pay him instead. My DH works up to 75hrs per week and he just recently started saying to me that I should hire people in to help with the house. We have always used a daycare center when we need time off/us time but I would love an au pair too. :)

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I sometimes think I would like to hire someone to help with the cleaning, but I never am actually willing to part with the money.

 

When I'm desperate, I'll offer $10 per room to the kids, but it has to be scrubbed, vacuumed, and the carpets cleaned before I will pay them.

 

I can't stand to pay for anything my husband can do either, and the poor guy is just too talented. He can fix/build anything.

 

Ten years ago, we paid to have a new motor put in one of the cars, even though Dh COULD have done it. He just didn't want to spend his Thanksgiving working in the garage. What was I thinking?

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Yes. DH works long hours and travels for work sometimes. We are also away from all of our family so we don't have a built in support system. Trying to keep up with two special needs kids and homeschooling is about all I can manage most days.

 

We finally got help with the yard again after taking a break for a couple of years. I'm so glad we did! We can now enjoy it without thinking it is just one more thing that must be done on an already too-long list.

 

We used to have a house keeper that came every week but lost her when we moved to a new house. It was too far for her to drive. I miss her! We are now trying to find another housekeeper to come once a week for all of the deep cleaning. As much as I would love to be able to do it all myself (I'm picky about things and prefer to do it myself) I am well aware that I can't do it all. A clean house makes me feel better and is essential to my mental health. To maintain my sanity and living conditions, I must outsource.:lol:

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We have a yard guy. For $80/month, he comes every week. He mows, trims, edges, weeds, and takes care of the trees and shrubs. He is a great and I don't think we'll ever get rid of him, even 2 years ago, when DH had been laid-off two times and was starting his own company and I wasn't spending a dime, we kept the yard guy.

 

Several years ago, I had house cleaners every other week and it was FABULOUS. The best part was that it forced me to get the house completely picked up and ready for them. I could afford to have them come again but I can't get over the guilt so I do it myself (kind of :glare:).

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In America we only had our neighbor mow our lawn. We just made do in America and if the house didn't get cleaned, we lived in it that way. And having a sitter just never happened.

 

Here in India it's just really cheap to have help and so we have a driver and a cleaning lady. We used to have a cook but I just don't like having so many people around, and I get tired of one person's cooking, so I don't have one anymore.

 

Do you remember that thread about servants a few months ago? I remember thinking that the people who said they'd like some just had never had any, because if they had, they would know what a challenge it can be to manage them, at least in the developing world. The standards of cleanliness are not the same, and the language is usually a problem. You can show them how many times what you want done, but they may still not do it the way you want, or really slowly, or something like that. You find yourself wondering if you should just do it yourself.

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We have a housekeeper and yard service.

 

We did have the housekeeper come every week, but this summer decided to cut back to every other. We decided we would prefer to all chip in on the off week to do a basic cleaning - we don't dust, or mop unless there is a soiled spot. We just don't like the disruption to our day having the cleaners in, since we homeschool and Bud works from home. We work it so that our biweekly library trip falls on housekeeping day, and Bud usually makes an outside appointment.

 

We have a very small yard and pay $15 per week for our yard service. They do ours and three other neighbors right in a row with us. They get it done so fast - it would take us much longer to get the stuff out, mow, edge, etc. It's totally worth it.

Edited by Amy loves Bud
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We hire someone for our yard work. He charges $25 to mow, trim, etc. the yard and comes about every 10 days. With the heat and humidity of the Deep South, it is worth every penny. While we have had a major decline in DH's salary, we have tightened our belts in other places in order to be able to still afford to hire out the yard work.

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"Do you remember that thread about servants a few months ago? I remember thinking that the people who said they'd like some just had never had any, because if they had, they would know what a challenge it can be to manage them, at least in the developing world. The standards of cleanliness are not the same, and the language is usually a problem. You can show them how many times what you want done, but they may still not do it the way you want, or really slowly, or something like that. You find yourself wondering if you should just do it yourself."

 

I have only ever been happy with hiring successful self-employed people, enjoying a thoroughly middle-class American standard of living, to work for me. Lawn guy, cleaning lady (or guy - we had a guy once!), babysitter - if they aren't coming from the same place lifestyle-wise, then they're not happy with my standards and I'm not happy with their work. When we are on the same page with how a house/yard should look and how a child should be treated, then it's easy-peasy.

 

If I were an expat, I think I'd have to drastically alter my expectations if I wanted help around the house. Of course, with no lawn and a tiny apartment and older kids, I might find that I didn't need or want such help anymore.

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We have 5 acres, a good acre or so was planted very high maintenance when we bought this place. We had crew come in weekly for a year or so until we decided to save the money and do it our selves. Now it is a couple of years later and we are just about finished tearing out the hard to manage stuff and replacing it with lower maintenance items. We do still go back and forth on the gardener issue. It would be nice but I'd rather save the money right now.

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Yes. I have a girl come every other week to clean and sometimes more. She's a single mom and I keep her even though I could do a better job, it's nice to never clean the bathrooms! We have a lawn guy b/c it's too much work and we'd rather spend the time gardening. I also have a regular date night sitter who sits for us 2-4 times per month and in the fall I will have a 17 yr old come (6 hrs per week) and watch the little one while I do school work with dd.

 

We pay $200 per month for for the cleaning and lawn and it varies with the sitter. In the next few years we will drop most of these things as the kids get older.

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I sometimes think I would like to hire someone to help with the cleaning, but I never am actually willing to part with the money.

 

When I'm desperate, I'll offer $10 per room to the kids, but it has to be scrubbed, vacuumed, and the carpets cleaned before I will pay them.

 

I can't stand to pay for anything my husband can do either

 

I used to feel the same way. But as I was staring down 40 about a year and a half ago, crying on the phone to my mom about how burned out I was and something had to give, she said, "Barb, when I was your age, my youngest child was a high school junior. You have kids in college and are still nursing babies. You need to sacrifice in other areas of your financial life and make this a priority. You've earned it."

 

I love my mom.:001_tt1::thumbup:

 

We still do our own appliance and computer repairs :) But Rich loves having a housekeeper. We'll probably have to drop it altogether now that our financial situation has changed...we'll miss it.

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We don't now but we've already decided that when the boys leave home, we will hire someone to do all of the lawn work. And I will get house cleaning help, which may come sooner. The boys do some house cleaning, as do I.... but I could use some help with the deep cleaning, a couple of times a year. Finding the time is difficult, and we can afford it so now, that I'm thinking about it as I write, I think I'll look in to it soon!

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I have a lady clean my house every other week and sometimes her DH will mow for us.

 

DH makes fun of me for cleaning before the cleaning lady comes. I'm NOT really cleaning. But I tidy up because I want her to be able to do things like mop and clean the bathrooms without our stuff being in the way! And the house is sooooo nice afterward!

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We are definitely in the under $50K camp and don't have any paid outside help. I do, however, have a good friend who comes and mows my lawn for me for free.

 

To be perfectly honest, I don't get it all done. I often have unfolded (but clean) clothes on my bed and used dishes in the sink (no dishwasher either). I'm also a single mom and trying to keep my kids home with me and bring in income from various sources. I let a lot more slide now than I used to simply because I either don't have the time or don't have the energy. Thankfully, my child support will more than double what it has been in just the next few weeks! I might actually have a little bit of breathing room in my budget now.

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No outside help here, and 50K looks like a lot of money for a family that makes less than half of that. :)

 

Gardening and yard work is part of school (especially growing dandelions - that's our specialty). MIL lives nearby, so I get free babysitting when I need it (which isn't too often). And I've only got about 850 square feet, so I have no excuse not to clean it myself.

 

We live in a parsonage (church-owned home, DH is a pastor), and we used to have someone from the church who did all the yard work for us. Unfortunately, he had no idea what he was doing, so his "help" made more work for us. If I could hire a real landscaper to take care of the yard and flowerbeds, I would.

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I'm really surprised that the $90++ and no help category is the largest. Although maybe that would be different if there was an under $50 category??

 

Our only help is my 16 year old daughter who babysits, but we usually don't pay her so I put No.

 

I'd love a housekeeper but we have storage issues in my house which are the cause of most of the mess and a stranger would have no idea what to do with things without very close supervision. Which makes it not worth it. Of course, when we finally get our new bigger house, we probably won't be able to afford a housekeeper, at least at first. :glare:

 

Dh mows the lawn when the weeds get too long. Our "lawn" is more wildflower/weed garden since I don't think any of it is actually grass. Another one of those things we may need to hire someone for once the new house is done. The new lawn will be much larger and, since the landscaping is part of our "package" should actually be grass.

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We're in the WAY WAY under $50K with no help group.

 

If we had income over $60K, I would hire help. I think I would want someone to help me with the kids rather than a housekeeper or yard person. We can get it all done, but getting it all done with school too makes me TIRED.:D

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When I had babies, toddlers, and school age children, I had help come in for a half day five days a week. I don't know how I would have survived otherwise. She did all the housework and laundry. I took care of the babies and schooling.

 

Now that the kiddos are older and two are grown and gone, we divide the chores up among us and handle things well enough ourselves.

 

 

This is my dream! I would love to hire someone to help me get everything done in the morning: make all the beds, get that laundry going, breakfast dishes and such. Then I could nurse the baby and bathe the littles and get school started. I don't know why, but my morning routine is not efficient enough, which adversely affects my school time. I have olders, but they put A LOT into their school time. They are very helpful, but there comes a point when I feel like I am taking away from their education. I don't like that feeling!!!!

 

We now have someone come in to doing the mowing. My dh and ds both have grass allergies and my dds are too busy. I also now have "cleaning ladies" come once a week to do the deep cleaning: mopping, dusting, baseboards, windows, bleaching the bathrooms. My daughters are the cleaning ladies, but we are paying them. I came to a point when I realized that with the baby around, the deep stuff just wasn't getting done often enough for my taste. I thought about hiring out, but offered the job to the girls first. They are still in a trial phase, not sure if it is going to work or if it is taking too much time away from school. In addition, they still have daily zone work.

 

I don't know why it seems like we spend so much time working but never feel done. It is a huge source of frustration to me.

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