When we were in Africa a few years back, the women there asked if we had a maid. No, of course we don't have a maid, I thought.
We were in between jobs and graduate school at that time...volunteering our time that summer. I felt very poor...unsure of how we would afford a move, insurance, day to day living, etc.
As we went throughout the trip, though, my view of having a maid changed. We went to an orphanage and helped with whatever we could - scrubbing the children's clothes, washing dishes, chatting with women as they cooked the daily meal and sweeping the dinning area after the meal. Whether we were helpful or not I don't know, but those activities consumed a large majority of our moments (and almost the whole of their days).
I think about this sometimes while I do my laundry or wash my dishes. My maid is a machine. How can I complain that I have to switch over and fold the laundry? How does it get piled up over the days? How hard is it to put dishes into the dishwasher...adding a bit of soap?
I think about this as Evee and I read "Little House in the Big Woods" as well. Each day Laura's mom had a task, Laura and Mary would help. That "simple" task would take the entire day...baking, washing, mending, etc. All done by hand.
Brings a little perspective to my days. I know it's all relative and that the times I feel overwhelmed don't necessarily need to be diminished since we all live a different story. But all the same, it is a good reminder that I am spoiled in many ways. I have more "help" than most people living in this world (and machines are only a small part of that). I can be thankful.