I am thankful for my domestic helper

I would like to find something to be thankful about everyday. Today, I am thankful for my domestic helper. I use the term domestic helper because it sounds nicer than maid.

She has been around with us for a  year now. I am thankful to have her around. In all this time, we have not lowered our guard with her. She still accompanies us everywhere we go. We have never EVER left her alone at home NOR alone with the kids. She also does not handle the house keys. However, not handling the house keys does not mean that she is in a jail with her freedom curtailed. She is goes out all the time…. with us.

She gets to enjoy dining out, going to the cinema, walking around the mall or even just going out for a drive for fun. To us, this has increased our living expenses quite a bit and we have reduced privacy as a result. However, what we get in return is….

  • a clean house – no more toilets that look like a public toilet! It would look that way if left to me alone.
  • clean clothes, clean shoes, clean everything
  • more home cooked foods. She still prepares and I cook most of the time.
  • more time to spend with the kids playing with them and supervising their school work
  • more time for me to rest with the kids
  • more time for me to do my own things like exercise, blog, play the piano, read or whatever
  • she has also become a companion of sorts, we can do gardening or try new recipes together and discuss newspaper articles together etc
  • less stress overall

As it is, I am under pressure with the stress of not enough time. There just isn’t enough time in a day. There is so much to do. So much I want to do with the kids, for the spouse or for myself and never enough time. If I have to do housework on top of all that, I would go mad… or rather…. I would become even more grumpy then I am now which is very very GRUMPY!

I wouldn’t say that she is a perfect helper. She does have her moments. She likes to day dream, is sometimes a little rough handling things and I believe she sometimes takes short cuts and doesn’t tell the full truth. She usually nods her head, repeats after me and says yes first. However, she is good at ironing, she is diligent and hardly forgets to turn off the gas after cooking. She is an early riser. She also goes to bed early but thats perfectly ok with us. She doesn’t quite know how to put the plates nicely arranged on the dryer after washing and uses too much detergent (we seem to keep on buying detergent and all sorts and manners of household sprays and washing liquid all the time) but at least the dishes are clean and do not have a sheen of oil still on it after a wash so I can live with it. She is good with the kids but her job is a domestic helper not a child minder or nanny so she doesn’t have much to do with them. She is good at mopping but will usually not see the dust in the corner etc unless she is told but nevertheless with her around, my floor is clean most of the time.

I wish to add that at the end of the day whether we are happy with our helpers or whether they are happy working with us all depends on expectations, the expectations we have of them as well as the expectations they have of us. When there is a mismatch of expectations then all sorts of problems may arise. Recently, my sister’s MIL’s maid actually clapped her hands in glee and begged (or rather pestered them) to be let go at the end of her term. She just couldn’t wait because she was not happy working for an old lady with diabetes who has to be injected a couple of times a day.

Anyway, that is another story. Today, I am thankful for my domestic helper. The most positive part of it would be the time I get to spend with the kids without being weighed down by housework. Its her birthday next month, so we’ll probably get her a cake again and this time, I am thinking of getting her a little gift as a token or our appreciation.

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  1. adrianlee says:

    If you like ur maid, oops, domestic helper, it’s best to try to keep her.

    This is about the time when my wife would start ‘psycho’ the maid about the reason why she is in Msia. About how she must work hard to ensure that her family in Indonesia could have a better life. Remind her of how hard life is in Indonesia. Constantly ‘advise’ her that she has a real opportunity to make a change for the better, bla, bla, bla. My maid extended her contract. 😛

    Depends on the maid’s motivation for coming here to work lah. Not all of them come to escape proverty and have a better life. Mine claims she came to escape her step mother.

  2. adrianlee says:

    Oh I forgot, coz its a real headache to re-train, re-teach a new maid if ur existing one leaves.

    Yes, have to start all over again. However, my sister never keeps her maid more than 2 years. She says they usually start giving her problems starting from the 3rd year…. I dunno. We’re only into our 1st year.

  3. JoMel says:

    I actually think of all the positives, clean toilet, clean floors, clean clothes, etc, whenever I am driven to the point of having the urge to bang my head on the wall…

    Haha. So before you bang your head on the wall, think about the clean wall then.

  4. Moomykin says:

    What you say about expectation is so true.

    I am so glad for you that all has worked out well for you.

    (*gasp* has it been a year already? So fast. And I remember that time we were all “talking” about what you should expect and have to do in getting a helper.)

    Yes, time flies doesn’t it? I remember I was so worried! Hehe.

  5. Ann says:

    Well, the time it leaves you with the kids sure makes everything else work out better.

    My house is deteriorating coz I am too tired and have to leave some energy to play with the kids instead of cleaning the house!

    My motto is : Housework is not important! And Its better to have a dusty house that is filled with love than a spick and span house devoid of feeling.

  6. Martini says:

    Good to know that you are happy with your helper. Me too, was quite happy with mine, but for some reason she can’t extend her stay with us after her 2 years contract. It has been 1.5 years now and we still keep in touch with her by calling each other 🙂

    Agree with you, with their help, we can have more time or concentrate at our kids!

    Its nice that you still keep in touch.

  7. syn says:

    glad that it worked out well with ur maid. have to agree that we still need to monitor them now and then like mine. anyway, i won’t be keeping mine once her contract is up. i’m done having a maid (i’m just not use to having one in the house), my no. 2 will be a few months short of 2 yrs old then so i wld think i can handle to young kids on my own. and yes, i will have a dirty house then but it’s alright. i have lived in a dirty house before. 🙂

    I have mine for my health reasons. Otherwise, I’d probably live with a dirty house too since I prefer the privacy and the satisfaction of doing things myself. But since I have one, I might as well make the most of it altho I must admit that it has made me rather lazy. 😛

  8. zmm says:

    Yes.. I’m thankful too.. and I don’t know how I can do without one.

    But for mine.. she prefers to stay at home when we go out, she goes out once a month.. so she has more freedom.. and of course b’cos of this, she has her own set of keys.

    Living expenses do get higher having them… but that’s the price we pay for getting some time back for ourselves right.

    I am home so I prefer to handle the keys because I’ve seen how my neighbour’s maid lets in her friend (another maid) when the employer is out. She also gets time off on her own. She really does look like a reasonable maid who does her work well but since she is given a lot of freedom like walking the kids to kindy, going out to collect borrowed tapes, buy stuff etc, it is natural that she should meet and make friends with other maids and if the maids come a calling, what can she do but to open the door for them when they visit?

  9. mott says:

    Got one solution for the excessive use of dishwashing liquid. U know those drink bottles (with the pull up top – normally sports drinks have this), fill in the dishwashing liquid, then add water.

    Just get her to use that diluted liquid. Yes…only a maid like me would know what to do.

    Haha. Thanks for the tip. However, one thing about doing things like that is you sometimes offend them because they’ll wonder why you are suddenly doing that when you have not done so for a year? Feelings must be taken into account for every action. Very mafan hor have maid.

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