Mannahattamamma was struck by MamaMzunga’s post “The Help”.

“The help” can have different connotations in different parts of the world, so let’s hear about it!  This week we asked…

“What is your relationship to hired help?  Do you have any?  If so, what kind?  If not, why not?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand writes:
“Most people in New Zealand do all of their own domestic chores. People with two incomes will sometimes have paid help come in to do the basics once a week, but this is not always the case. Full-time help or live-in help is rare and for the wealthy. It is my biggest ambition in life: to have a full-time cleaner!”

Lady E of Indonesia writes:
“I have a team of people keeping my house going, and I don’t know what I would do (ok, yes, I would clean ALL day) without them.

I have a “pembantu” who looks after the cleaning and general house chores. There is a lot to do because we have an open style Balinese home, and because laundry is dried on the line and needs to be ironed to get rid of parasites. She also navigates the markets for me, which are closed by the time I am finished with work.

Then I have the gardener who takes care of the massive tropical garden.

I have a nanny who provides amazing care for my son when he gets out of school until I get home from work, and a driver who picks him up from school.

And, finally, I have a pool manager who looks after the pool.

I know, it all sounds like luxury, but the day-to-day life here is so different than what we have in the states, and exists in such a way that, if you are at work, you need someone else to manage tasks for you. We cannot pay bills online, get decent produce at any hour, throw the clothes in the dryer… And with an open house, there is SOOO much to clean – I am talking bat droppings and blown-in leaves, etc. on a daily basis.

Anyway, I feel like I am making excuses because I do feel a bit guilty sometimes, but I know that what I pay in salary is far greater than what they could make in the factory jobs/menial labor jobs that are available to those without higher education, and we work together to keep my son happy, healthy and thriving.”

Hamakkomommy of Japan writes:
“Household help is only for the wealthy in Japan, too. There is a lot to be done since clothes are dried outside, having smaller houses with less storage means many families need to do the shopping every day, and child care is hard to find. Many married women are housewives or only work part-time.”

Carol @ If By Yes of British Columbia, Canada writes:
“In Canada maids are only for the wealthy, and considered a bit of an affectation.

When I lived in the Caribbean, though, everyone had a maid. If anything, in a place like the Caribbean, if you could afford to give money to house and garden staff, you were expected to. Our maid was a Haitian who sent money home to her family in Haiti and only flew home for vacations.”

Eva Fannon of Washington State, USA writes:
“Since my husband and I both work outside the home, our help comes in the form of childcare.  Our youngest goes to pre-school, and our oldest goes to after-school enrichment activities/classes until one of us picks her up on our way home from work.  I would love to have some “help” at home with the housework, but that is beyond our budget at this time.”

What about you…what is the norm around hired help where you live?

And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers?  If so, email us at to see what they have to say.

Don’t forget to visit us tomorrow to check out the travel itinerary for next week!

– World Moms Blog

Photo credit to Carol  This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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