One hasn’t balled a pair of socks for years. Another would never dream of wrapping presents herself. And a third pays someone else to cook every family meal. So, how much do you envy the… Women who refuse to lift a perfectly manicured finger at home
- YouGov poll reveals eight per cent of women in the UK never do any housework
- Penny Lancaster only ventures into the kitchen to prepare the children’s food
- Model says husband Rod Stewart had a chef since they met about 20 years ago
- Women reveal the eye-watering sum they spend on staff to do their housework
With so many of us juggling busy jobs, hectic social lives and family demands, there’s no doubt women across the country fantasise about leaving behind the drudgery of home chores. For when it comes to housework, it is still women who bear the brunt.
In fact, according to a YouGov poll earlier this year, some 38 per cent of women who work full-time and have a partner say the lion’s share of housework and childcare falls to them.
No wonder we all feel run off our feet. Even if you’re on holiday, you’re probably the one who’s responsible for cleaning the rental accommodation, doing the washing-up, organising meals and sorting out the laundry. But within those damning figures lie a set of enviable anomalies, one being that there are 8 per cent of women who say they never do any of the housework.
And no, we’re not talking about slovenly hoarders in filthy hovels. Rather, these are lucky beings who never flick a duster, take out the bins or fold the laundry, yet live in immaculately kept homes.
Three women, who live in the UK, explained their decision not to do housework as a survey revealed eight per cent of women never do any (file image)
Former model Penny Lancaster revealed earlier this week that she employs a private chef at home, and only ventures into the kitchen to prepare the children’s food.
The wife of Rod Stewart, who’s starring in the new series of Celebrity Masterchef, said: ‘When I first met Rod about 20 years ago he had a chef, so there wasn’t much need for me in the kitchen, thank God.
‘Rod likes the fine dining every evening — three-course dinners, candles — and it’s kind of out of my league. So I do the kids’ cooking, but otherwise not really au fait. We’re very lucky to have a chef, so he’ll do the dinner parties because I want to have a drink and have fun with my guests.’
And she’s not alone in outsourcing those pesky domestic chores. Get ready to be jealous — meet the Women Who Don’t . . .
I pay people to be A 1950s housewife instead of me
Entrepreneur and investor Helen Pritchard, 41, lives with her partner and two daughters, Katie, 16, and Megan, 14. They live in Grappenhall, Cheshire.
I’m the youngest of five girls and grew up in a traditional household. Dad was a sales manager, often on the road, and Mum kept a tidy home. She was house-proud and it was important to her that everything remained in its place. I grew up with no clutter or chaos around me.
That’s why I craved the same set-up at my own home. I need clean and organised surroundings for my sanity — but I just don’t want to do any of it!
I am super-driven and I’m living my dream life, so I am happy to make the money to provide it.
Helen Pritchard, 41, (pictured), who lives in Cheshire, started outsourcing her laundry after taking holiday suitcases to a company who washed and folded everything for £30
The way I see it is, I support a lot of businesses, too.
The first thing I outsourced was in 2016, for my business, when I employed a virtual assistant: a PA who works remotely. It meant I could focus on doing the things I enjoy, and it also gave me a reason to make more cash.
My assistant began to do more things for me in my personal life; it was a relief knowing she had organised, for the cat to go to the vet.
I started outsourcing my laundry when I took our holiday suitcases to a company who washed and folded everything for £30, and I now use them to do all of our laundry.
Indulgences like this one take the stress out of my life — it’s picked up, collected and my housekeeper puts it all away. I haven’t balled up a pair of socks in years. It means I don’t feel like a drudge either.
I didn’t enjoy doing housework and certainly didn’t get any satisfaction out of doing it. Who gets rewarded for cleaning the back of the loo?
Helen (pictured) employed a housekeeper who cleans, files household paperwork and tidies her wardrobe seven months ago
It never felt like a good use of my time, so seven months ago I employed a housekeeper who comes two mornings a week. She does everything a cleaner would, as well as filing my household paperwork, managing the fridge, tidying my wardrobe and she lets me know when we need to update household items — from lightbulbs to bed linen.
She is so organised and intent on making my life easy that even the eggs are labelled according to which ones we should eat first. My children call her, not me, when they can’t find something!
I am sure my parents think I’m raising spoilt and entitled children, but I want my girls to grow up knowing you can pay someone to valet your car. I want them to know there are no prizes for doing everything, and you can have what you want if you work for it.
I’ve been with my partner for a year, and he knew when he moved in that I don’t identify as a housewife; I’m a business owner and a mum. He loves my approach to how I organise my domestic life. He wasn’t looking for a woman who is good at housework, but someone loving and caring instead.
When I walk in after a day at the office, my home is perfect. I can enjoy a glass of wine (which has been thoughtfully chilled by someone else) in a glass I haven’t had to wash-up or put away, rather than spend an hour, frazzled, trying to catch up on domestic jobs.
Helen (pictured) said there are no rewards for doing absolutely everything yourself and finishing the day exhausted
I’m present for my girls, too. As teenagers, I feel they need me more now than they have done in the past.
I’m always looking for ways to get extra headspace. For example, I’ve got an app to open my front door, so I don’t spend time looking for my keys. I also get our food delivered, and while I prefer to do the ordering, it is my housekeeper who will put it away.
Yes, I pay people to be a 1950s housewife for me. But for me, there are no rewards for doing absolutely everything yourself and finishing the day exhausted.
COST: Cleaner, housekeeper, a laundry service, a car valeter and gardener — approx £1,500 a month
COST: Personal admin such as appointment-making, travel and pet care — approx £500 a month
TOTAL: £2,000 A MONTH
As children, my sister and I cleaned our council house
Business strategist Lisa Johnson, 44, is married to stay-at-home dad Sam, 50. They live in Bedfordshire with their twins, Finnian and Albert, nine.
Lisa Johnson, 44, (pictured) who lives in Bedfordshire, began outsourcing her cleaning, because time is money
I grew up in a council house in a single-parent household from the age of 11. The sort of hired help that I use today just wasn’t a part of my childhood world.
Dad brought up me and my sister, and when my parents split up we took over from my mum, who had kept the place spotless. It was down to all of us as a team to do the cleaning, cooking and washing.
But these days, and especially since starting my business, doing that has never felt like a good use of my time, and I certainly wouldn’t get any satisfaction out of it.
That’s why I started outsourcing early on, because I knew time was money. And, yes, cleaning was the first thing, four years ago, originally paying someone £10 an hour for three hours a week.
It was simple maths: I knew I could make much more than £10 an hour in my business.
But it was hard at first. I had to remind myself that there was no point making money if it didn’t give me the freedom to spend time with my family.
Fortunately, I’ve let go of the guilt of spending my earnings.
But the other issue I had to overcome was that voice in the back of my head asking: ‘Can someone else clean as well as I can?’
Lisa (pictured) said her household has a weekly cleaner, gardener and someone who does their ironing
But my motto now is: Luxury only!
As the breadwinner, it’s my work that is the priority over household chores. I started my first business eight years ago, when the twins were one. Until then, I had been an analyst for an investment bank in the City, where working 80-hour weeks left me zero time with my family.
We’re travelling this summer, but if we’re at home I’ll usually be working in the day, and my husband Sam will take the boys to and from school.
We are a team —we all know what we’re good at and what we like to outsource.
I suspect our household is run similarly to that of most businesswomen. Each week we have a cleaner, a gardener and someone who pops in to do the ironing.
Then there is the car valet service and, of course, there is our hot tub maintenance, too. I’d far rather be in it sipping a glass of fizz than cleaning it.
If we have more than six for dinner or, say, 20 for my birthday, we’ll hire a catering company.
It’s a no-brainer to use an outside firm. We’ll do that a few times a year.
Lisa (pictured) said having a present-wrapping team who organise Christmas is another lifesaving service for her
Another lifesaving service is a present-wrapping team who organise that side of Christmas for me. We recently moved home and spent £30,000 on having it professionally decorated before we set foot over the threshold.
Tricks like this free up so much time.
As for my friends, there haven’t ever been any snarky remarks or jealousy because they understand my rationale.
Perhaps my best investment has been getting a driver. I decided to hire one a year ago.
It means I can work in the car or catch up with friends, which isn’t something I can do if I’m at the wheel.
My life is far more fulfilling since ditching everyday chores.
COST: Cleaning, ironing, gardening and hot tub maintenance — £380 a month
COST: Driver — £100-£300 a week
TOTAL: £1,580 A MONTH
We never argue about who should do what around the home
Luxury online sales expert Jane Baker, 32, is married to Lloyd, 34, who also works in the business. They live between Wales and Lanzarote with their three children, aged 12, 11 and five.
Jane Baker, 32, (pictured) who lives between Wales and Lanzarote, said not having to do cooking and cleaning helps her to stay focused on what is important
I’m from a traditional South Wales valley town and, hand on heart, I never enjoyed doing housework. I had a go at the Mrs Hinch [domestic goddess] trend and it just wasn’t for me.
It’s one of those unspoken things with friends — we just don’t talk about the fact I don’t lift a finger around the home. But life is too short to worry about what other people think. I’m at a point in my career now where I work three days a week when the children are at school, and I take the summer off.
I started outsourcing in autumn 2019, when I hired a gardener simply because I can’t bear doing it. Not all of us are green-fingered Charlie Dimmocks. It was a revelation not having to mow the lawn or get to grips with a complicated sprinkler system. And it got me thinking about what else I could pay people to do for me.
I find cooking and cleaning real chores, and not having to do them helps me stay focused on what is important. Two years on, we pretty much outsource everything in the house — we even have someone on call for small DIY jobs.
I’ve been married for 11 years and not doing any housework has only added to the harmony of our marriage, because we never have to argue about who is doing what around the home.
Jane (pictured) said having a personal chef saves the mindless conversations about meals and frees up two or three hours a day
And, no, we’ve never had a row about putting the bins out either — the housekeeper does that!
I don’t like thinking about what we’re all going to eat; it’s draining to focus on that when I’d rather concentrate on family time. That’s why having a personal chef saves the mindless conversations about meals and frees up two or three hours a day. The bonus is that we eat more healthily as a family, because it’s being sourced, prepared and cooked from scratch.
Breakfast and lunch will have been made the night before and left for us. Our cook arrives around 5pm to prep the evening meal, cooking individual dishes depending on what we all want, then serving it and clearing up.
The cleaner comes twice a week and on one of those days does a deep clean. This saves four hours a week. Honestly, I don’t know how I used to survive without her.
Jane (pictured) uses an event stylist and planner for everything from birthday parties and Father’s Day to anniversaries
We’re all used to living with people in our home round the clock. And I think the children would rather someone else was occupied with the mundane stuff than me having to do it. I use an event stylist and planner for everything from birthday parties and Father’s Day to anniversaries. And once a month I’ll do something special for the kids, whether that’s glamping or a mini-festival outside.
Not having to deal with the household stuff has freed up more time for me, and for more fun time as a family. I joke that the next thing I’d like to hire is a chauffeur.
The more productive I am, the happier I am, and that translates into more sales and money, which is perfect for our family future.
COST: Gardener, cleaner/housekeeper, birthdays and family events planning — £2,150
COST: Chef — £2,000
TOTAL: £4,150 A MONTH
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