Did your family have household staff when you were growing up?
Mine did, but the size of the staff dwindled over the years. We had a live-in nanny until the youngest of my siblings was about 12, as well as a cook, a maid, and a butler who oversaw the staff. We also had a laundress, but she didn't live with us; she about once a week.
The maid and the laundress were the first ones to go, and after that we only had the butler, the cook, and the nanny, and a cleaning lady who came once a week.
Who else grew up in a household with live-in staff?
Sure you did. You have been watching too much Downtown Abby you dizzy queen.
Yes. We had a full time housekeeper, not a cleaning woman, but basically a domestic office manager. There was a live-in maid/cook and a part time cleaning woman,there was a part time laundress as mother was quite particular about linens (she had a whole room devoted to them), a gardener/chauffeur with his own staff, Mother had a part time secretary as the housekeeper did not do typing, there was a part time librarian for the library and a curator for the art. My brother and I had tutors during the summer. I have probably forgotten someone.
I was the family chauffeur's daughter. We lived in an apartment over the garage. I married one of the two sons from the family. And lived happily ever after.
No. My family WAS household staff. At least my great-grandfather was. Head Gardener at the Loew estate on Long Island.
When I was growing up we had a part-time housekeeper/cook/babysitter because both my parents worked.
We had a housekeeper named Nanny. She did the general cleaning and child raising. She was from Alabama and she made these wonderful meals that were overloaded with fat and sugar. My twin sister and I adored Nanny. Our baby sister couldn't say Nanny, but called her Na-na. Whenever my grandparents visited, Nanny would make sweet potato pie and Grandfather would bring her a bottle of really nice whiskey. She died the day after I graduated from college. She was the first person I told I was gay. I loved that woman.
But then we had that nasty little war and all the household staff became free issue! Why I had to learn to scrub my own petticoats! It was just ghastly!
When you're alone and have nowhere to go...
Nice try, OP, but American homes would have had a housekeeper before a butler in the small staff you describe. It was not seemly for a small household to mix males and females the way you propose.
You also appear to be completely clueless about what a maid's job actually would have entailed in a small household. A house where the lady had a full-time nanny would have had a life requiring a lady's maid (upstairs maid, if you will), and a downstairs/cleaning maid performing both lady's support and cleaning would not have been let go.
Plus, the "butler" (again, this is a false set-up, and a housekeeper would have stepped in to assist the lady in a way the fictional butler couldn't and left the cleaning to the downstairs maid) would not have had enough to do.
The least you could have done was say that you grew up in a three-staff living-in house, with a combination chauffeur, gardener and all-purpose man, a cook, and a housekeeper, that a cleaning maid came in three times a week and also came in to serve at larger luncheons and dinners, and that of course the housekeeper had a woman in twice a week for the laundry. And you could explain a nanny by implying your mother had a morphine addiction.
I grew up in a house with a service of five, and all the ladies ever seemed to talk about was their clubs and their philanthropy and the trouble they had with their help. Ours were all Irish and German - I'm old. Housekeeper (Mrs. Davies), Downstairs Maid (who also did scullery work), Cook (Called "Cook"), Upstairs Maid (my mother's help with clothes, and she did our laundry, too), and the House Man, who did the yard, drove, ran errands, fixed things, and answered the door at parties and lunches and dinners. He was married to the cook. They lived in the carriage house, and the rest slept on the third floor, where the nursery was as well. So that's the real set-up for what was looked down on by my mother's friends as a "small staff for a modest house." But we also had a couple who lived at the country place my parents kept, and none of the other families had THAT.
R9 do you mind sharing when and where you grew up?
I've had to let Helga go!
We had a cook for years, until my mother decided she could cook and started cooking things out of women's magazine. We begged my dad to bring back the cook. He did convince my mother to bring her back, but it was only part time and for only about five years. I'm pretty sure he brought her back to teach my mother how to cook.
We had a live in nanny until the youngest went to school. For several years there was a second nanny who also lived in because during those years there were always at least two kids in diapers and two kids under school age. I have no idea what they were paid, but it wasn't nearly enough to have to take care of us eight kids. After the nanny left during the school year we had a baby-sitter that worked from about 3pm when we got out of school till about 10pm when the last kid went to bed.
In the summers we had a live in tutor, same college kid for the six years he was in college. He was really mostly a babysitter. He took us on outings 3 or 4 days a week, he taught us how to swim and supervised us, and our friends, when we were in the pool. He didn't do much in the way of tutoring us, but he did get us all to love reading which was invaluable once we got to high school and college. When he left the youngest kid was 12 and the oldest still at home was 17 so we didn't need a 'tutor' after that.
We had a woman who cleaned and did the laundry, she also drove us kids arround for our after school activities. She lived in for several years when we were very young but then she married and moved out and came in every day to work. My mother kept her as a full time employee even when there was less cleaning and laundry to do year by year as we started leaving home for college. Years later when her husband died my mother had her move back in and was my mother's (paid) companion for years as well as supervising the string of maids that came after her. She 'worked' for my mom until my mom died last year. My mom left her enough money that she bought her own, much smaller, house in our neighborhood and now has her own live in maid.
We also had a guy and his son that came in and did the yard work and the pool maintenance two days a week.
R12, tell us more about the dad/son pool boys.
Sure, we had live-in household staff, they were called "daughters".
My mother called herself a feminist, but she was damned old-fashioned in some ways.
[quote]A house where the lady had a full-time nanny would have had a life requiring a lady's maid.
Wrong, Gramps. Many professional couples now have live in nannies (Au Peres) but no other household staff.
I used to love ringing the foot bell under the dining table, it sent the servants into a frenzy!
II don't think ya'll want to hear about my house staff. Not to mention our field staff.
Yeah. We called her Mom. She was a terrible cook but kept an immaculate house. My dad would tell us kids to clean up after ourselves. We tried to but she always thought we never did it right and would redo it, then bitch to dad. There was no winning with her.
My parents travelled a lot for business (about 2 weeks of each month) so we had a housekeeper, Ozzie, to look after the five children. It was an almost seamless arrangement - like having two mothers on rotation - and it continued more or less until the last of us left home.
I worked as a gardener for a well known family, in Beverly Hills. I would sneak into one of the girl's rooms, and she would give me bj's every afternoon. Eventually , I would marry her, would go on to become a realtor, and she and her sister, would go on to star in a reality show.
Yes, I am tedious, R22. To people who don't care to understand that the OP needed some help with reality. And for cunts. And for people who tired after reading two sentences. I guess you fit all categories. Here's a cookie.
R10, St. Louis City - Westmoreland. Like living on an island.
I stay on Popponesset - I got the summer place when my parents died.
I don't have any live-in help. Having discovered privacy and the need to live by my own wits, day help is plenty!
Don't worry about R22, R9.
I enjoyed your posts as well as the others that have contributed. I think it's an interesting thread idea and wish more people would respond.
Same here R we called our staff Mom. Unfortunately, my mom could cook hence my food addiction.
We had a live in cook and nanny.
Two maids, but they lived out and came in every day.
& a butler. The butler was shared with three other families. He came to live in our house for the last twenty years of his life. He was an old school butler and first went into service in the '20s, so just caught the tail end of the 'Upstairs Downstairs' era.
We also had a full time housekeeper in our country house and a full time gardener there and brought the cook and the nanny with us.
This was in England in the '60s and my mother was in her twenties and my father his early 30s.
As I grew up I hated the lack of privacy and of course they were always gossiping about us.
Recently my BF due to health reasons had to have a woman move in to take care of him. Do all the cooking and I suddenly thought how much I'd like a live-in housekeeper as long as there was enough room to keep out of each other's way.
My partner did; he grew up in Rhodesia. Consequently, he's lazy and contributes nothing domestically. Expects me to do it all. Also always has outrageous requests for our cleaning lady like, "Re-arrange all of my books." I tell him, "She's only her a few hours a week, organise your own fucking books."
Yes and they lived behind the green baize door.
R15, that is now. It was unheard of before 1980.
Of course we did. All of the "good" families in Birmingham did.
One more thing. America is one thing. But Asia and Latin America are something else altogether.
I had a Filipino friend whose father was well-connected in the army. Oddly, the father also was a priest who had his illicit family with a European woman and three children, one being my friend. They lived well but secretly, and after going to court after the father's death they inherited.
So my friend grew up with a staff of 12, because servants are cheap. Three in the kitchen, maids, house boys (he had his own boy), two older men to take care of the grounds and building, and others, including an old man whose job it was just to sit in front of the house and keep an eye out for things.
My friend inherited a plantation with a house and 15 employees. And yet in America he struggled with cash and lived pretty much at a lower middle class level, sending money back to keep staff in place while he was going to school in the USA. Such can be the difference in living standards.
I had parents and siblings.
Hilarious, R27. Your helpless partner must be fun to pick on.
I don't know R9's experience, but my brother and I were hardly raised to be helpless. We were expected to make our beds every day- with hospital corners. We were constantly reminded that the floor was not a shelf. Nothing was allowed on the floor except furniture. We had chores, which probably made more work for the staff. When we were of to school, we did our own laundry. We had summer jobs the second that we were legally able to do so. In general, our parents did not believe in idleness.
He's soon to be former partner, R33, as soon as the house sells and I'm very much looking forward to life where I'm no longer someone's carer, PA, short order cook and waitress, 24/7. And whatever you call the person who cleans up the piss, shit and vomit.
R15, you clod. This was in response to the OP's fictional presentation. And R29 is correct.
One notes that not only do the pretentious, uneducated, suburban types here assume they know something because they thunk it all up fer themselves, but they are wrong and cunty in directly proportional ways.
Also, R15 no doubt is too stupid and unfamiliar with past and current trends to realize that there is a difference between a proper nanny and a little-girl-slave-companion au pair, whose only requirement is that of being able to tolerate the insipidities of Americans who can afford them. The fact that cunts such as R15 insist on calling these people "nannies" does not mean that that is what they are. A nanny remains a very rare commodity in American houses today, because of the extreme range of real skills they require.
Again, the overreaching pretensions of those who lack knowledge, experience or understanding of the life styles discussed here should not oblige them to assume they know shit about anything except the shacks in which they were crapped out. Got it, R15? Or is your attention span to short for you to return to a thread to which you've contributed nothing but a bit of phlegm?
Of course we did. Who didn't?
Yes, but we didn't call them "staff."
They each had a name.
Señora was my nanny, Mrs. Williams our housekeeper, Harold did the yard stuff. Ann kept the calendar & Rolodex. We had tax consultants, etc.
I forget the name of my junior high French tutor, but I remember her coming to the house. I think she was gay.
Oh, I was going to let it go but the presumption involved just requires it.
R15, you idiot, you also smugly misspelled the word you claimed to know so much about. One understands you didn't grow up with French in the house, but even clods know that an au pair is not a father.
We had a housekeeper and from the time my brother was born until he was three, we had a nanny.
Now we have a live in nanny.
do you morons think for one minute that anyone believes your grandiose bullshit. What a bunch of phoney losers.
No, but I did have a private tutor for kindergarten.
R41, why would you think that some people on this board would have grown up without staff/servants/help?
R36, you sound so disagreeable, you must be well off.
I'm sorry. Did you say you were from St. Louis?
R41, having a nanny doesn't seem so grandiose to me. As a gay man who decided to have children without giving up my career, what were the alternatives? Day care? I wouldn't have had kids if I couldn't provide for them well; it was hardly an unplanned pregnancy.
R45, I don't think R41 was taking about modern families that have a nanny and a cleaning woman. He was taking a jab at R9, myself, and others who really did grow up with more servants than family members.
I am only part of the 1% when it comes to intelligence, but not, sadly, obscene wealth. I knew of no friends/families that grew-up with live in staff, and I knew some business families with names you would recognize from products you see on a daily basis. Some had a maid come in weekly, but that was probably it. And most enjoyed cooking and that kind of stuff too much to pay someone else.
I'm really curious about this. So don't take it the wrong way. I also have kids, and not all of them were planned. I do "want" them, though. And to me, a big part of wanting them entails not outsourcing their upbringing.
Millions of families have all adult members of the household working full-time yet could not afford maids or nannies. Further, if a nanny were affordable for most careers, that would imply that a nanny is very cheap and people who pay them do not value the care of their children, which is fucked up. Of course, there is a middle-class version of this- sending the kids to daycares that employee minimum wage staff to rear their children- but usually these people have no other choice but to work. They aren't prioritizing careers over kids- they need to work to eat.
I care about my kids too much to see them as profit center- to outsource their development to third world workers (or first world ones on third world wages) and then profit on the spread between that payment and the amount I make at my job.
No, but my son went to public school in NYC with a boy whose mother was a live-in nurse for a very wealthy woman. They lived on East End Ave during the school year and on the woman's East Hampton estate in summer. The boy's mother was from the Caribbean and his father was not in the picture. He attended tennis camp in summer, had a huge room in the East Hampton house and a smaller room in the city.
The lady had live-in and part time household staff. A caretaker all-around man Friday lived with his family in a separate house on the estate in East Hampton. Their house is larger than mine. The man, his wife and older daughters acted as drivers not just for the lady but also for the nurse and her son. They drove everyone back and forth bewtween the house and the city depending on the schedule. Sometimes the lady stayed in east Hampton during the school year while the boy returned to the city during the week. Either the caretaker or his wife or daughters stay with the boy in the city.
The caretaker hired landscapers, pool guys, driveway groomers, people for the stable and oversaw all those other people. He and his kids had full use of the pool unles there was a fundraiser going on at the house.
We moved out of the city a few years ago. My partner saw the caretaker shortly after we moved and he said the wealthy woman had died. The caretaker was still employed at the house and the boy and his mother had moved out, but the woman's family had found the nurse a similar situation with another wealthy family. I'd never met the woman but my partner said she was an extremely nice woman.
R48, First, you are relating this to your own circumstances. The rich are different.
One thing that I heard over and over is that money is about choices. If you want steak, you can have steak. If you want hamburger, you can have hamburger. It is your choice. If you don't have money, you have hamburger. Servants are about choice. My mother could cook, if she wanted to. She could go grocery shopping, if she wanted to. She could drive herself into town to the grocery store, if she wanted to. But, she did not *have* to do any of those things.
My parents did not outsource our upbringing. They were very involved in our lives. They just had the luxury of picking and choosing when. Both my brother and I were breast fed. I know from family photos that both parents played with us as toddlers. We had family dinner every night. My parents played board games with us, and went to movies with us, etc. And they handled all discipline. If we did something wrong when they weren't home. They took care of the issue, not one of the servants.
When my father was stationed in Thailand in the 60s, we had a couple of live-in maids. Help was cheap in that place and time and most of the US families had staff.
Back in the states, in high school, I had a summer job working for a large estate on the Potomac. I don't know how many staff they had but I do know they had a full-time gardener who was my boss for the summer.
We had a live-in housekeeper/babysitter for most of my childhood in the 60s and 70s. There were 5 of us kids. Both my parents worked and we lived in a huge (8 bedroom) old New England house on 12 acres in the country. She cleaned, dusted, "hoovered" and made breakfast and lunches for us kids but my dad did most of the laundry (he was very fussy about it) and my parents always made weeknight and Sat. supper and Sunday mid-day dinner. She washed the daytime dishes and helped with the supper dishes and made great desserts. She helped my parents can, pickle, and preserve the stuff from our little farm garden, berry patch, and orchard. She didn't directly supervise us but was always there if we needed her. She stayed at our main house when we moved to our somewhat primitive small lake house (it was equal distant to my parents' jobs) for 6 or 7 weeks in the summer and cleaned closets, carpets, windows, etc. and only came to the lake for the day a couple of times a week. She was a paid part of the family.
Yes, we always had live in household staff. Yet, I don't ever remember a proper turkey Thanksgiving as something always happened to the turkey Cook made like dogs somehow getting into the mansion and eating it. Yes, we called her Cook, not her actual name, and now we have Alice who is built like a brickhouse and may be a tranny. We're not sure, but we all trust her with our lives. I have to confess that I'm in my 30s and still live at home. I can because my mom, the head doctor at the local hospital owns the house. My Aunt Tracy, who lives there too, hates me and the feeling is mutual. But we've bonded a tiny bit since my long lost brother showed up. The whole town hates him as he's a murderer slash artist. He's a twin of the now deceased brother I sent into permanent brain damage when I was driving drunk. Now he and his daughter are living here too. Luckily, we've got tons of rooms, a boat house, swimming pool and everything.
We had a staff that seems enormous by today's standards. A housekeeper, a cook, two maids, a gardener and his helper, a chauffeur/mechanic, a laundress several days a week and a proper English nanny until my youngest sibling left for boarding school. My parents were English and although we lived in America, they kept an English house.
As an adult, I'm completely lazy about everything but cooking and driving.
I WAS household staff.
No, not "houseboy"
Growing up, I was always close to my nanny who was hired from a really poor area in the Philippines. My father was a diplomat so we always had live in help (I never called them maids or servants like other people because they were closer to me than even my parents) wherever he was posted. In the US, our driver used to take me to the local public high school and he'd come back to pick me up after school but I begged him not to because other kids were labeling me as the 'rich girl' (the school was ghetto as hell but it was close to my house). I walked to school from then on.
In Asia, particularly South East Asia, middle income families can afford live in help especially since they're sourced from really poor places like Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines.
[quote][R41], why would you think that some people on this board would have grown up without staff/servants/help?
I'm not r41, but I don't think that some people on this board "would have" grown up without staff, I think some people on this board *did* grow up without staff. Obviously, you did not grow up with a tutor who taught you English grammar and usage.
Why would you think that everyone or most people on Datalounge grew up with staff?
R57, my grammar may not be perfect, (Though other than being "passive" which was not a crime when I was in school, I am not sure what is wrong with that sentence), my logic is just fine.
[quote]Why would you think that everyone or most people on Datalounge grew up with staff?
I said nothing of the sort. At the time I posted R9, myself, and perhaps one other had posted about growing up with a household staff. Hardly "everyone" or "most".
[quote] Why would you think that everyone or most people on Datalounge grew up with staff?
I imagine orphanage kids had some kind of household staff - foster kids and adoptees not so much.
I'll bet the vast majority of families didn't get staff until all of the children had moved out of the house. What's the point of hiring people when you have troubled youts readily available and pouty?
DOn't call them "servants" rich boy. They are "staff."
How many staff are employed by the OP and R9 now?
We had two - "Ethel Mae" the maid and "Mertz", but had to let them go after a horrid incident with our dinner guest Tallulah Bankhead.
My father's family HAD domestic staff. My mother's family WAS domestic staff. One of those situations.
In my Dad's childhood scrapbook, there are lots of him pictured with a black woman identified only as "maid." He told me these "maids" were the only source of affection he found in his young life. Otherwise they drove their own cars, cooked most of their meals, and nobody lived in.
It was just like "The Help," Northern-style, except they didn't show a lot of the people like my Dad who actually learned empathy and love from these black women who gave up their own lives to raise someone else's child.
It is not unusual for wealthy, older, widowed women to have a paid companion who works as a secretary/confidant. The companion would do a little bit of everything. A friend's grandmother took this "companion" all over the world with her ... to her homes in SF, Paris, and Venice. She was paid $12,000 a year, plus all expenses.
R9 is completely unhinged. We did indeed have a butler, a dear friend of my grandmother (she lived with us). He was quite old and didn't really do much after she died. My mother didn't cook, clean, or particularly care for looking after children. The maid was fired after my mother accused her of stealing and was never replaced.
Agree with R50. Work-a-day people don't "get" that it isn't outsourcing parenting to give the unpleasant custodial aspects to the paid help. I would MUCH rather have quality time with my kids than be so exhausted from domestic drudgery that there is little time (or money) to have fun and do enriching things with them--- go to museums, hang out on the boat, ski, play tennis, travel.
Our super would come up now and then to fix the toilet.
My Mom kept having men in.
Oh these are getting good now.
LOL, R53. Didn't your family always end up having pizza at Thanksgiving and please let me say I'm so glad to have you back from the dead, just like your most current long lost bro. At least you're a natural blond. P. S. good luck with Liz but I think you're going to end up with Carly. May God have mercy on your soul not to mention your body parts.
R52, I'm curious, when people say a housekeeper is part of the family, where is she now? Do you keep in touch? Do you and your family make sure that this member of the family is doing okay financially, like she has a decent roof over her head and good food and medical care, the kind of stuff most would do for a blood relation like an aunt or grandmother? If she passed away, did you take care of the arrangments? I'm not saying you're obligated to her. I'm just wondering if people who are considered a part of someone's family are still considered that when they are no longer needed or able to work.
Our housekeeper was fairly young widow, her husband died when she was around 45 or so, had no children. She had been mostly a housewife but did cleaning one day a week for a couple of older ladies in town. After her husband passed away(from cancer)she couldn't keep up with her mortgage and taxes and didn't like living alone and sold her house.
My mother was a friend of one of the ladies she worked for(my parents were both in the medical field and often looked in on the older residents of our little town to make sure they were okay) and somehow an arrangement was made that Helen would come live with us and help out.
My aunt(my father's older half sister) had lived with us prior to that time in mostly the same role but moved when in with [bold]their[/bold] mother when [bold]she [/bold] became ill. I was 6 or 7 when Helen came to live with us and she stayed until my younger brother left for college and my parents divorced soon after that. Helen moved in with her older sister and brother in-law and stayed with them until she passed away in the 1980s.
She had a small pension and health coverage from her husband's employer and a small nest egg from the sale of her home. And basically saved almost all the money she made while she lived with us because my parents paid for pretty much everything during the time she lived with us (even her clothes and shoes- my mother used to take her shopping a few times a year when my mother bought clothes for herself - they always made a big day of it)
My Dad continued to visit her and take care of anything (which really wasn't much I guess) she needed until she passed away. Unfortunately most of us kids lost touch and mostly heard news about her from my Dad - shame on us.
We had staff while growing up, but my mother took on all the roles to save money.
A woman named Louise came in every day to help my mother with cleaning. There was a farm across from us and her husband worked on the farm.
Louise was mentally handicapped. She was a sweet-natured lady who was kind and patient with kids. She was very good at some things and not so good at others, mostly those things that required learning new skills. My mother had taken a liking to her and had helped her through some difficulties and she ended up offering her a job, a mutually beneficial arrangement.
When the farm was sold, Louise and her husband moved several hundred miles away, and we only got to visit them a few times. When Louise died a year or so after they moved, her mother wrote to say that Louise always said her time with us was the happiest of her life.
What I really could envy my mother for is that she also had a woman who did laundry. Three times a week a lady came to our house, picked up our laundry and returned everything spotlessly clean and folded and ready to be put away. She was the best ironer I have ever seen, and she also mended anything that needed it and sewed on buttons.
My mom had a "cleaning lady" come in 3 times a week after she had 3 kids in 2 1/2 years wearing cloth diapers, but they devolved into therapy sessions (the woman was battered)so that only lasted a few years. When she went back to work after we reached school age, she employed a maid service once a week but they broke too many items. So says my mom. She didn't like anyone seeing her home less then perfect. She would pre-clean for hours before the cleaners. I wish I had inherited that gene. I'm a total slob.