A commentor with the screen name Thinking posted a question to me on my post regarding my post on a conversation with my son where he asked why we don't have a cleaning lady. Thinking writes:
Just a thought: IY"H your children will grow up and get married. The odds are that one of your children's spouses may prefer to have cleaning help then cleaning themselves and may even be willing to give up something else not to have to do the cleaning. How are you going to make sure that your children are open to that possibility? As an aside, as a bochur I ate out at peoples homes 100's of times. I can assure you that both my friends and I, many of us who grew up with housekeeper at home, were no less likely to be willing to come over before shabbos to help clean or watch the children or clean up on shabbos then our friends who did not have cleaning help at home. This was based on our upbringing not our socioeconomic status.
I found the question interesting because it would be the exact opposite of the question I might ask which would be how are we as a community steeped in relative luxury preparing our children to survive on less? While I hate to be doom and gloom, I think this is a likely scenario for a variety of reasons.
But back to the question: I am not, nor do I intend to prepare my children for taking on this luxury or that luxury. A few things:
1. We cannot prepare our children for every scenario in life, we can only give our children survival tools.
2. Frugality is a survival tool. A person who is frugal is far more prepared to search for alternatives, substitute one product for another, and cut back, than one who is not accustomed to doing so. Frugality equals flexibility.
3. Living with more is far easier than living with less. If my kids decide to add a cleaning lady to their budget either by finding more income, saving less, or taking it from somewhere else in the budget, than that is their own decision to grapple with (although I really don't know where all the money for cleaning help is coming from). But if there is no room in the budget, at least they won't feel like they are taking such a hit in "lifestyle."
P.S. It does not surprise me one bit that children who grew up with housekeepers have nice middot and are willing to help out where needed.