My husband and I plopped down on the couch after putting our toddler to bed, exhausted after a full day of work, juggling two dogs, and parenting. We looked around at our humble abode, and by humble, I do mean very humble. Dishes were still piled in the sink, toys were still dotting the floor, and the socks and shoes that our 2-year-old ripped off her feet upon her arrival home were still littering the doorway.
Sure, we could have sucked it up and cleaned everything up before retiring to bed, but frankly, we just didn’t have the energy. Fortunately, I’m not so delusional to believe that others don’t suffer the same fate. Parents are busy these days, and that’s just plain fact. Between working, child rearing, and taking care of basic necessities, like food, clothing, and bills, there’s little time for a spotless home.
As we sit there, breathing that traditional sigh of relief at the end of the day, I say, “We need a butler.” My husband responds with the same “Yeah…” that he always does when I suggest something impractical, and then we drag our feet off to bed.
Butlers of Today
However, due to my morbid curiosity and propensity to research anything and everything, I actually looked into butler services. Originally, I instinctively pictured Downton Abbey-esque men in tuxedos, waiting and ready to jump at the chance to serve. I was quickly relieved to see that butler services are still very much used and needed in today’s world, perhaps even more so. And they truly are simply professional servicemen and women that rank among the highest in customer service, personal assistance, and household maintenance.
Butler services can include a wide range of activities. While the stereotypes can be misleading, a large number of butlers are still used in private homes and in assistance or consulting roles. However, rather than polishing silver and serving fancy meals three times a day, most butlers of today take on greater roles in managing homes, including everything from paying the bills to overseeing larger estates. Butlers can often specialize in particular services, such as accounting, organization, child care, and much more.
Butlers can also help with chauffeuring, which may seem like a stuffy role, but for families with multiple kids, who may need to be transported to multiple schools, sports events, and extracurricular activities, it might just be the thing a busy parent needs. This service can also be ideal for the elderly who can’t easily transport themselves to doctor appointments, family gatherings, meetings, and more.
After-school care can also be essential for young kids whose parents must work into the late afternoon or evening hours. Simply having a hot meal and adult supervision to come home to can provide stability and a sense of safety for children and parents. While some butlers and nannies are hired to focus on the kids, others can be hired to also take care of other obligations, such as basic housecleaning, tutoring, pet care, or more. Websites like Care.com offer these services and more from reputable workers.
Finding a Butler
So how do you get started in your butler search? There are numerous international services that can place butlers and other servicemen and women with families all over the world. For example, the International Domestic Placement Group offers a wide variety of service people, such as housekeepers, estate managers, au pairs, personal assistants, bodyguards, and more. However, these same services can be found locally as well, depending on where you live.