What about Hiring Help?
the words are Sandra Dodd's unless otherwise indicated

On the Unschooling Basics list, Julie M. wrote:
I have a housecleaner that comes once a month for 5-6 hours that I pay $75 to clean our house. I have no shame or embarrasment being a SAHM and using this service that makes all of us happier. Heck, as you know, many SAHMs send their kids to daycare and preschool. I'll keep the kids here and get rid of the work rather than vice versa!
I know a couple, not homeschoolers, but I've known them both since they were teens. They're in their forties now and have two children. They hire a housekeeper. They used to fight about housework, and they went to marriage counselling (more expensive than housekeeping), and this ended up being what they needed to live happily together—less to fight about AND a cleaner house.

When my kids were little I hired other kids (slightly older) to organize toys several times. It was like playing, for my kids, and they would help. The older kid would get $5 an hour for putting my kids stuff away in a fun and organized fashion. It was kind of like playing for them too.

Although I've never hired real professional housecleaners (and probably should consider it), I have hired teenaged friends who needed cash for some immediate purpose a few times.

The next several are from the UnschoolingDiscussion list.

Karen Hsu wrote:

I work from home full-time, and my husband is home with the kids. We pay $90 for someone to come in every other week to clean our house.

My husband and I have different ideas and priorities for housecleaning. We both do lots of day to day picking up he almost always does the laundry, but we both think it's worth it to have someone come in and do the heavy duty cleaning of the kitchen, floors, bathrooms, etc. I feel like it'd take too much time away from the kids for me to do it, plus I don't enjoy it, and would likely feel as if it's something Yuta should be doing. And Yuta doesn't have the same need for a clean, straightened house as I do.

I know it's something that not everyone can afford. For us it's something that helps make our house more peaceful.

Laura wrote:
While we haven't yet gone the hired help route for housecleaning yet (I'd love that), it reminds me of our attitude toward doing things ourselves when we built our house. So many people gave us suggestions for how to build our house more cheaply - stain the wood trim ourselves, do all the painting, etc. Well, we're not especially handy folks and yet the thought of saving money was appealing.

It finally occurred to me one day that it made more sense for us to work hard at *our* jobs - which we knew how to do and do well - in order to pay someone else to do the work *they* know how to do and do well. It was a huge relief to realize we didn't have to do any of the house- building work ourselves!

Pam Sorooshian:
I have no "issue" about getting help - but it seems hard to have someone cleaning up our clutter in order to get to the cleaning. When I had help, I used to have a huge housecleaning spurt each time right before the housekeeper came and, to be honest, it was stressful and some of my stress was taken out on the kids.

That was a LONG time ago - I might be able to do it with a very different attitude today.

Pam Tellew:
Yep, Pam, that sounds familiar. The pre-cleaning was stressful. But when I had help was when the kids were littler and ANYTHING that took me away from them was stressful. I'd like to think I'm mellower than I used to be but the truth is life is mellower now with kids older and not needing me so much.

Pam T., remembering that quote, "The days are long but the years are short."

Luna Moonwolf:
Hi, I found this thread intetesting because when my child was young I was constantly being criticized for my lack of proper housekeeping, I spent more time in the muddhole w my little one than I did the laundry room. Time well spent I felt, but none the less stressed out and guilty for not being supermom and having a spotless house.

When I was young and single, and I worked 16 hr days, I felt no guilt about spending 300.00 a month for 2x a week housecleaning, laundy and cooking services.

But as a mom, I felt obligated to do it all (and could not afford hired help).

Now that my child is a young teen, and I work 12 hr days to keep a roof over our heads, I have resumed housekeeper service, to me it is worth it not to have to "nag" my partner to do his share ; he would be happy to live in conditions I find disgusting. I have the peace of knowing when I get done w my work day and the kitchen is clean, the floors are mopped, the fridge will be cleaned, and Ii will not have to spend the time I do have off, doing endless chores instead of spending quality time with the kid.