A friend and I were commenting today on how the kitchen so often seems to just swallow us up with messes, dishes, and whatnot. There are so many days that I just can't stay ahead of the dishes. I come to the end of the day and there are two loads (and I do mean LOADS) of dishes to wash.
I was pondering over housework this morning, and the thought occurred to me that it is actually a new phenomenon that most families do all their own housework. A hundred years ago, a middle class family could afford at least part-time household help, for the hardest, gruntiest sort of work--laundry, ironing, window washing, etc. Now I know there are some ladies who do this kind of work, five hours here and ten hours there, but even that is probably less than what most middle income matrons had in the last century.
If you remember, even the March family in Little Women had Hannah--who did most of the cooking and household care, and they were not a wealthy family at all--though I don't know if they always paid her wages or not.
I wonder how the economy could improve if we were still requireed to hire out for those kind of household necessities. And heaven knows it might provide our households with a bit more order!!