There was a time when a only a few would hire a full time Domestic Maids. Hiring of any kind of domestic help, especially a full time or live in helper, was associated with either the super-rich or old traditional households. Today, it has become more a need, especially for nuclear families which either have multiple earning members. Or a busy social life or just want to have a comfortable life without the drudgery of daily chores.
These together would in effect cover about two thirds of the urban young population families. As per statistics shared by DWSSC and NSDC, there were more than 70 million urban households in India in 2015, and more than 20 million domestic workers in major metros alone. That should give us an idea of the great unorganised industry that domestic work is.
Today, to have it all for the urban families involves managing a career. Family life while keeping a lovely home. Managing multiple activities and socialising increasingly more. With both husband and wife often managing full time professional work. This obviously gives rise to the need to hire someone (or maybe two) to take care of the more mundane, day to day matters of daily life in the house.
As a result, even though we might grumble about the inflation and increasing expenses. We are ready to pay other people to do our chores. In fact we consider that an essential expense, which cannot be slashed at any cost.
Live in maids are sometimes called the new status symbol for the ever growing middle class . But, are they really a luxury? I would argue that with people (and couples) working long hours, domestic help is increasingly a necessity to ensure a good work-life balance, as well as to help children get protective environment in the absence of parents. Let us look at some of the obvious advantages of hiring a live in help, especially if you have a paying job or your hands full with too many responsibilities:
Your domestic help can do everything from general household chores to picking up the child from school or school bus stop. doing laundry, ironing, food shopping and babysitting
If there are elderly at home. the domestic help can give you a peace of mind. that someone younger is around to help them in your absence
There’s always someone around to collect couriers, let in the electricians and plumbers. Hold the fort in case of a sick child or if you have a guest
You can leave your house in shambles in the morning and come back to find everything in place when you return. That way you can enjoy the comforts of the home on which you have spent so much money
It is cheaper than ordering food every time you are too tired to cook. which we all know is often for home owners returning home late in the evening after a hard day at work
It works out cheaper than employing a deep cleaning service by the hour to get the house cleaned up once in a while because you do not have the time to clean it up regularly
In short, a good full day or 24 hour domestic helper can be a boon in disguise, and may be considered indispensable, by working couples. For them she/he frees up the time to earn the money they do. Have the fun they want to have with their families and friends. In fact when you calculate based on the last two points above, a full time or live in maid might become cost neutral if not an earning member for you.
As per research by Helper4U, normal charges today in a metro (Delhi. Mumbai, Gurugram) approximate Rs. 12-15 K for a live in maid, and 8-10 K for a full day maid. Off course teh rates may vary depending upon your requirements. So, if you need an English speaking nanny. You need someone who can cook great Italian you may have to pay more.
While it is not always easy having a stranger living in your small homes. It’s a small price to pay for the comfort you get. Hiring a live in maid or full day helper is like delegating what does not require your time. In the process you are also generating employment for others!
So, don’t hesitate if you need to hire a life in help to free up your time for your family, and yourself. Spend on paying someone to your hours of household work. That you can spend that time with your children or as your own “me time”. A 10 or 24 hour maid can in many ways be a savior of your marriage and sanity.