Nowadays? You might find a nanny or a once-a-week cleaning lady in some middle class families, but usually only in homes where both parents work.
I used to wonder about this. Middle class citizens are better off than ever, yet few of us could afford the hired help that people at our same comfort of living level would have easily afforded a hundred years ago. Then I came across the explanation via blog reading.
We do have servants. They're just not human.
Instead of hired help, we spend the money on dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, electric stoves, microwaves, washing machines, lawn mowers, sewing machines, premade meals, premade clothes... the list goes on.
So maybe we have to handle food a bit more than if we had hired help, but there is far less chance that we actually have to be the hired help. Instead other jobs have opened up. Instead of spending time struggling to survive, we can pursue other dreams.
Is this all a good thing? I sometimes think we might be better off going to a more basic level of existence, where growing one's own food was a normal activity.
However as someone who lives with a potentially debilitating disability, I am more than happy to stay in the technologically elite 21st century where hearing aids, texting and the internet allow me to, for the most part, function like most hearing people.
Plus, I think the dishwasher probably gets the dishes cleaner than most human washers would be able to.