Everyday I hear maid horror stories from friends and relations.

My maid ran away after _________ (Fill in the blanks. It can be anything from 1 week to 1 year).

This is the most common of them all. Most of them whose maid ran away are surprised by it. Wouldn’t you be surprised if the maid you have come to trust runs away after a year? I would. So the question is how and when do you learn to trust? I don’t have the answer to that.

Sometimes, I think it is outside negative influences that causes them to run away. The  promise of better things that sometimes do not materialise for these poor girls. Sometimes its the agents using them to recycle and earn more. Sigh. Its so sad isn’t it?

The other thing is the maid advices. The most common ones would be…

  • Don’t allow her to nap or she will get lazy
  • Don’t let her watch tv or she will get lazy
  • Don’t be too nice to her or she will take you for granted

The agents even came up with a list

  • Don’t buy her things too soon or you will spoil her
  • Don’t give her too many of your old clothes or you will spoil her

The list of Don’ts is endless. Its a little bit crazy. It makes it hard to manage to be always on your toes and trying not to be nice to someone in case she takes you for granted.

So perhaps I am making my maid lazy but at the moment she naps when I nap and she has quite a lot of free time because I don’t load her with work from morning till night as advised. She does not cook but she helps me to wash up. So I also cook and serve her meals. Crazy? It does not matter to me. I am happy that there is someone to help me wash up.

To me, she is here to be my housework assistant. She is not here to take over my housework. I am still very much the lady of my house, in charge of my  house, knowing every nook and corner and when things run out etc. Previously I had a part time helper who was quite good. Soon, I became lazy and left a lot of things to her. She cooked and did the housework independantly but although things were easier for me and it gave me more free time, I do not think that it is an ideal situation. It is still better to be the master or mistress of your own home. It is also not a good to be too reliant or dependant on another to look after your own home. Do I sound very idealistic?

I do not give her free access to my closet and my bedroom. She helps me fold my clothes and put them in a basket then I sort the clothes out myself and keep them in the closet myself. She comes to my bedroom only to do specific tasks when told. My bedroom is still our private place. No one should walk in and out of it whenever they like even if it is to do work.

She doesn’t help with the children. They are my children. Thats it. The sentence “They are my children” says it all. I am their mother and I am the one who is responsible to take care of their needs like feeding, bathing etc. If the maid is free or if I am busy, I may ask her to sit with them for a while but she does not handle the children. I also asked her to refrain from wearing their shoes etc because they must do these things for themselves. I hate seeing maids running around after children carrying their stuff and fussing over them. Once I saw a maid pushing a boy in a stroller fussing over him and feeding him buns in a bookshop. The boy is older than my 4 year old. That kind of thing is a No No for me. We ditched our strollers as soon as they could walk and we don’t feed them to keep them quiet. So, no, the maid is not here to be my kid’s assistant. She is my household assistant.

When she is free I give her a magazine to read to pass her time. Everyone needs a little recreation and rest. I do not worry that she will become lazy. (Ok, maybe I do worry a bit after hearing all the advise but I can’t worry about everything. From running away to health issues to laziness to this and that. It’ll drive me crazy!) In the future I hope to teach her some cross stitch or something so that she will have a hobby to occupy her when she is free. Hopefully that will take care of her mental wellbeing. I am afraid I am going to have to limit her contact with outsiders because there are many negative influences for young easily influenced girls like her. This does not mean that I will lock her up in the house. Far from it. She goes whenever we go and she eats whatever we eat.

Maybe I will end up with a lazy maid who walks all over my head but I still believe that I am doing the right thing. Perhaps I am naive since this is the first time I am having a maid but I still believe I am doing the right thing. Somehow I can’t allow myself to be not nice to a person just because I think she will take me or my kindness for granted. If she does or if she runs away then at least I have done my part.

One thing that I always hear is “I was too soft and too nice to my maid but no more!” So, I do worry a little bit but how do you avoid being nice just because you are afraid. However I also remind myself that being nice does not mean there are no rules. We lay down the ground rules immediately in a firm but nice manner.

Now, regarding the maid. The maid that I have selected has had 2 years or recent experience in Malaysia. Initially I thought that may not be such a good thing because my agent and others had advised me that this might make her more stubborn and cocky etc. However, so far it has turned out well since I don’t have to teach her everything from scratch.

My first impression of the maid. So far she seems like a obedient young girl. She learns fast and is always ready for new instructions. She is good in ironing and folding laundry. She does not cook but that is fine with me. Cooking myself gives me better control of the food cleanliness etc for my family. She is good in personal hygiene which is very important for us. She does use her own initiative sometimes but not overly so. She does not do careless work. For example, when cleaning the toilet, I saw her picking out the hair that has clogged on top of the drain pipe to throw instead of sweeping them into the drain like me. Hehe. So far so good. Some people tell me that this will change in _____________ (Fill in the blanks. Can be anything from one month to after 6 months). But I shall not worry too far ahead. I am satisfied with her performance for now and hopefully we can work together for the next 2 years and she won’t run away. When we first opened our doors to the maid, we did it with almost zero expectations (after hearing so many horror stories) and that is why we are positively surprised now. Keeping fingers and toes crossed that things will stay this way.

Regarding her health. She has been certified fit by Fomema and I have spoken to the clinic that did the test. The doctor assured me that the Fomema test covers the infectious deceases like STDs, AIDs, Hepatitis etc and there is no falsifying of results as the test is sent to independant labs who keys in the results. Doctors are not allowed to key in the results. She has also worked for 2 years up to last year. She looks healthy and has good personal hygiene so I have decided not to take her for a second medical check up for now.

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