AerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1050 times:
For the benefit of non-Americans who may not be familiar with our popular culture, there was in the 1970's a popular television series called The Brady Bunch, a situation comedy in which a middle-class architect, Mike Brady, and his perky wife, Carol, tended to their mixed brood of six lovely children. The series lasted for years and subsequently has rerun indefinitely, creating a pop mythology that still attracts a following.
Living with the Brady family was their kind-hearted maid, whose name escapes me right now.
The days when a typical middle-class family could readily afford a full-time live-in maid, however, seem to have disappeared some time between the 1970's and today. Even back in the 1970's, I don't recall a whole lot of live-in maids among middle-income families.
All this is by way of a question: Does having a live-in maid make much sense now in the typical middle-class family? Perhaps the maid has been replaced by the nanny. You would think that with the popularity of dual-income families, maids would be more necessary than ever, and perhaps nannies also serve as maids.
UAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1016 times:
Depends on how much time parents are willing to put into raising their children and how often they have to be at work as opposed to being parents. The way children act these days, I'd rather see a family pay a live-in nanny to cook, clean, and raise the children than letting them run rampant. Then again, not many people can afford that, even your typical middle class family.
AerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1007 times:
Quoting UAL747 (Reply 5): The way children act these days, I'd rather see a family pay a live-in nanny to cook, clean, and raise the children than letting them run rampant.
The upper half of the middle class can definitely afford nannies, as can be seen in the case of the famous "nanny problem" that derailed one of Clinton's appointees during a confirmation hearing. In fact, illegal alien nannies or paid-under-the-table nannies are rumored to be a not-uncommon phenomenon for those who work inside the Beltway, or who reside in the tonier places around the country, like L.A.'s West Side. (Could this be the reason that much of Hollywood opposes further restrictions on illegal immigration, I wonder?)
Anyway, the middle class is hardly becoming much wealthier relative to high-income earners, and I think we can safely classify live-in maids as mostly a thing of the past where most Americans are concerned.
Dtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1004 times:
When I was growing up we always had two household "servants" living in, plus a "man" who would come in once a month or so to do heavy cleaning.
I currently have a maid who only comes five days a week for 4 hours a day, but also helps serving when I have larger dinners.
But, my house is no where near the size of my parents, but I could not do with out help.
I think the statistics are homes over 5K sq. ft need a housekeeper to be kept up.
Yeah, that's what I thought, and I actually did think about identifying her by that name, but then I got all confused because I thought that that might actually be the name of the actress who plays her. Also, I thought that the name "Alice" was far too obvious, since it's also associated with another, completely different pink-collar professional (waitress) of television fame, Alice of the subsequent TV series of the same name (based on Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore).
AR1300 From Argentina, joined Feb 2005, 1743 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 915 times:
well, it's a common thing down here.
Cecilia has been with us for the past 9 years.She gets 500 pesos a month(wich are a hell of a lot for her family in Peru)and has her own room, with bathroom and all the meals and wathever she wants, one free day a week, or more if she asks to.Also we pay for her medical insurance.
We ''legaled her up'', cause she was illegal.
She's part of the family now.
She went to peru for good, but after a few weeks she came back.So i guess she relly likes it.
Her name was Alice, And I don't agree with nannys or maids, The family should work together to do the jobs that the maid is required to do, Parents should be spending time with their children, not hiring a nanny, I understand that working wouldn't give you much time with the kids but you spend what you can with them...
Flyingbabydoc From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 900 times:
Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter): All this is by way of a question: Does having a live-in maid make much sense now in the typical middle-class family? Perhaps the maid has been replaced by the nanny. You would think that with the popularity of dual-income families, maids would be more necessary than ever, and perhaps nannies also serve as maids.
Both my wife and I were born and raised in Brazil. It is still very common for every middle-class family to have one or two maids ("empregadas - assistants") at home, although they generally do not live with the family anymore (like they used to).
Now living in Europe, we find that this is a habit that is difficult to let go, yet not affordable here - the maximum we can get is someone to clean the house once a week. However, if it were up to my wife, we would certainly employ someone for the whole day. And not only a nanny, but someone who would take care of the daily chores.
I strongly believe that these employees are the reason that so many Brazilian women were able to have a career and be successful professionally.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13255 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 883 times:
The typical household doesn't need as much help as it used to. The growth of machines to do a lot of housework, including automatic washers, dishwashers, microwave ovens, automatic central heating, automatic water heaters, vacuum cleaners and the like have drastically reduced the need for others to help with various chores. We have more pre-prepared and convenience foods today that require less preparation work for your eating. People today are less fussy about cleaneness as they used to be as well as less soot from heating systems, different and lower maintence materials used in the typical home today and the like requiring less cleaning and maintence.
Where you see the greatest growth today for special household assistants is with assisting the elderly at home, often subsidized by government funds.
AerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (9 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 862 times:
Another wonderful set of comments. I'm struck by the difference between South America, on one hand, and North America and Europe, on the other, in that it's common in middle-class families in Latin America to have live-in maids.
Part of it has to do with the availability of labor, I think. The upper half of the middle class here in the U.S. can avail itself of relatively cheap labor from Third World immigration. The middle class can easily afford regular gardening services; that's part of why Southern California lawns are so well kept. Even with the cheapness of certain kinds of labor, however, while the wealthy and the upper middle class can afford live-in help, the middle class generally cannot.
I also appreciate the insights on the modern conveniences that are available. I agree that food preparation, among other things, takes up only a small fraction of the time it used to. Perhaps we can credit the TV dinner for the decline in the need for live-in maids!