I am getting a maid

I will be getting a maid soon. I don’t like the idea of getting one. To me, it is an intrusion of my privacy and our way of life has to change a little. We are going to welcome a stranger into our home, someone we have not even met before. We have to include her in all our activities and take her everywhere with us at first until we can establish some trust in leaving her alone. It is disconcerting.

I submitted my request for a maid and deposit in December, called the maid agency a couple of times and was met up with several excuses. Its Christmas and year end holidays. Its Chinese New Year. Finally, after Chinese New Year when I called them up again they had some biodatas for me to look at.

The maid selection process is not fantastic. You don’t get to interview the person whom (you hope) will work for you and stay in your home for the next two years. (if she does not run away before then). If she does run away, you stand to lose more $$$ than the agency does. The risk is upon you. And all you get is a photo and a biodata which you don’t even know is accurate or true. Most of them lie about their age, I’m told by the agent. The young say they are older and the older say they are younger than their actual age. It is not an ideal process.

My seizures are under control with my medication but still it would be better to have another adult in the home. Otherwise, I prefer not to have a maid. I had a part time helper for over 2 years. We treated her very well and we told her not to leave us in the lurch because it would take some time for us to get full time help. But apparently our kindness did not count for much. I guess we can’t really blame them since they are here for the money. If someone can pay them better they leave. Why should they care about you? Still I am disappointed.

Hubby tells me that the maid is there to help me and not to take over my tasks. He’s got a point there. With a maid, it will be tempting to let her take over my tasks and free me up but I have got to establish from day one (not only to her but to myself) that she is around to assist me and not to replace me in my household tasks. I will still be in control. She is to assist me. That is all. I have to put myself in this frame of mind because it will be very easy to allow someone who is experience (whether its trained by you or otherwise) in housework to take over the housework and cooking. Previously, with the part-timer who was very experienced, I made the mistake of letting her handle everything. She even decided what to cook most days. This can cause potential problems.

I have selected a single girl aged 22 with secondary education. She is from a large family of 9 brothers and sisters. That is all I know about her. I had preferred someone who is married with kids the same age as mine so that she will be more tolerrant with the kids mischief but there was none which fit that description. I hope that the fact that this girl is from a large family will make up for it. She is 3rd in the hierarchy and hopefully helped to look after the younger ones. She has no experience although I had wanted someone with previous experience. So I will have to teach her myself from scratch. I am told that a young girl will be easier to manage than the more experienced ones.

I do not intent for her to help me with the kids but it would still be good to have someone who is good with kids. She is here to help with the housework not the kids. The fact that she is around to help me with the housework will free me to have more time with the kids, I hope. I also hope to have a cleaner house, cleaner clothes to prevent illnesses like rashes from dust mites and prepare better food for my family. They have been eating my one dish meals and reheated dinners for too long. Lol!

Finally, I have no experience in having a maid. Any feedback from those experienced ones? I don’t want to hear horror stories because I’ve heard enough of those. My sister once found some pictures of her first maid dressed in her lingerie! From that day on she only took maids above a certain weight. *slaps forehead*. Any suggestions on what I should do to prepare myself for a maid would be most appreciated.

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23 thoughts on “I am getting a maid

  1. Someone said getting a good maid is like striking lottery. You need lucky. I agree. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with maids but last time, I was never involved in the selection process. I find the maid agency plays an important role because that’ll make the difference whether the bios are lies or real.

    MG, married ones are not necessarily better with kids. Sometimes, they are already jaded with their own or worst, get jealous when they realized what their kids are being deprived of. I find that younger maids are better with kids and they’re more energetic. Additionally, they’re easier to guide compared to the older ones who may already be set in their ways. Having said that, they can also be naive and gullible.

    There’ll be teething problems for sure. But set your expectations and manage your maid right, at the beginning. This will help.

    All the best!

    Yes, the agent told us that most problems arise because of mistmatched expectations.

  2. well I dont have a maid (as yet), but from the past experiences while staying with sis who had a maid, it wasnt a fantastic experience lar! We vomitted blood while communicating with her, and she wont ask if she doesnt understand the instruction and she will just simply do it! And a lot a lot more other nightmares!

    Not trying to scare u, but just set the expectation right lar…Ofcoz i’ve also came across colleagues & friends who have had good maids but the ratio is like…1 out of 10 lor…

    My sister’s maids (with the exception of the first one) have mostly turned out fine though.

  3. Oh ya, work out a checklist for her at the beginning. That’ll be useful. If she has no experience, she can get lost easily and become overwhelmed as well. Try to step into her shoes and think from her point of view and that may help you manage her somewhat.

    Thanks for the checklist idea. Its a very good suggestion.

  4. MG, it’s funny to read this after what I wrote yesterday. Well, I guess you have already read my “horror story”, so like you said, I shan’t feed you with more.

    The checklist was also what I did when my maid first started. I printed out a timetable, like on what day I want her to clean which room, on what day I want her to wash the front and back porch, and everything else like washing clothes, ironing. You must also include repetitive tasks in the timetable, like sweeping and mopping and cooking etc.

    There will be mistakes, lots of it. That’s because the way of life there in the kampung is so different from here. You have to be VERY patient and tolerant. In time, they will get the hang of how things are supposed to work in your household. The worse would be to scream and treat them badly (not that I think you would) because you want their full cooperation. Since the maid is probably away from home for the very first time, she is in unfamiliar territory, and would feel homesick and insecure. I mean, just treat her as how you would treat someone you care about. I believe if we try on our part and if we still cannot keep her for some reasons, at least we know the problem really lies with the maid.

    Observe her at all times (without making it too obvious) until you can feel some sense of trust towards her.

    Good luck. I’m sure it will work out. 🙂

    Oh, whatever happened to my reply to your comment? I typed it in some time ago and now checking back it has disappeared! Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. A timetable sounds like a very good idea.

  5. oh yes MG, give her some “motivation” talk once in a while to remind her why she is here, i.e. Money. And paint a picture of how life would be with Money. Can buy a house, can go back and run own business, etc. During the 7 years that my maid is with me, she has bought a piece of land (for farming), a new house, a scooter and a computer for her daughter! How could all that be possible if she had worked in her kampung, earning a low-paid job?

    My sister also gives this “motivational” talk once in a while. It helps to remind them what they are here for.

  6. great to hear that MG 😀 I don’t have a maid but i heard you got to be patient with them, and don’t let them be out of your sight…heheheeh

    Very tiring to not let someone out of your sight all day, like having another toddler to take care of.

  7. i m yet to get a maid but had pleasant experiences wit my sister’s maids. err..may b my sis is just fortunate 2 get ‘good’ n hardworking maids.

    I think sometimes those who are “fortunate” to get “good” maids actually work very hard at it.

  8. Dressed in lingerie picture? Ewwwww I haven’t got a permanent maid but might be getting one also. 22 yrs old not too young and flirty ah? Update us about yr exprience with a maid ya.

    Apa lu takut? Hos oso stand up to you. Muahahahahaha.

  9. well, i thank God that i hv nothing much to complaint about my maid. not easy working for my family though. big house, big compound. she can now cook with MIL’s guidance. she makes mistakes but they are all minor which she corrected it after i told her bout it.

    basically, dont be so fussy. it depends on what u expect of the maid. for us, we just want a clean hse and compound. the rest that she did are extras. she is happy n we are happy. she even volunteered to hand wash my clothes on top of her many house chores. like heaven sent. 🙂

    Yeah, my part timer used to offer to hand wash my clothing as well but then they say part timers are usually better because if you don’t like them you just tell them to leave, whereas you are stuck with the full timer.

  10. of course u would not want to hear horror stories as she is here to help u. so in this case, i cannot be much help as i hv bad luck with maids. 🙁

    actually thot of asking u abt ur schedules of time management with chores and kids as u do not have maid…can share with me as I need advices too 🙂

    I cut corners. Lots and lots of corners. Most days my toilet looks like a public toilet but I don’t care, my house is full of dust but full of love (I hope), I sometimes wash the kids and my own hair only once a week. I cook lunch and reheat the same food for dinner or I make a very simple lunch like sandwiches or porridge etc etc. Thats how I manage it. 😛

  11. Well, this current maid I have is the first maid I ever had. The previous ones were employed by my in-laws. But the training is done by my MIL.

    Actually the idea of having a stranger,especially with a different culture background, in the house and taking care of my kids. But then we really need one to help out my MIL.

    So from day one, I made it a point to my MIL that the maid is only to help out in house chores.

    I don’t allow her to carry my kids except when I’m really busy with the cooking and my daughter is throwing tantrum. I reminded her off a few times not to carry my daughter as I don want to make it a habit. N’ I don want my kids get emotionally attached to a stranger, neither do my MIL and I leave the maid alone withe kids. But my kids have to respect the maid oso on the other hand.

    Guess you have to set the rule from day one. Let’s say U want your maid to get up early, for the first few weeks, you probably have to get up as early just to supervise them. I see all the maids around my neighbours including ours, gets up as early as 5 or 5.30am.

    Get them into a routine like what are the daily tasks they are expected to do.

    Oh, the tv… don let them get into the habit of watching TV. We had one who love the idiot box so much, sometimes she show faces when we ask her to do work and she turned on the TV whenever she likes to.

    Keep reminding them what they are supposed to do, whenever they forget… till they remember… have to b a bit naggy at times.

    We are afraid that if she goes out and mixes around she may meet bad influences, so what else for her to do to prevent boredom but the TV? Didn’t realise that it could be a problem too. Aiyoh.

  12. Not all maids are bad. They’re here to earn a living not to cause you problems. First couple of months would be quite stressful unless you are really lucky to get a good one. But they can be coach lar, just need lot of patience. I don’t think you r as fussy as my wife.

    The other thing is how much you want your kids to rely on the maid. My kids were so ‘spoilt’ that they called on the maid to do everything for them. My wife also rely too much on the maid.

    That’s the reason why I decided not to have a full time maid now. We engage a part time maid who just comes to do cleaning. My kids have been surprisingly independent. Part time maid works well for me in that I still have some privacy.

    Oh, thanks for reminding me about this kids issue. I give you some linky love for it. Hehe.

  13. one of the advices I hear would be to get a safe (for jewelery and $$).. can never be too careful.. the other thing is not to tell them when they are leaving (assuming she stayed the 2 years) until the last night before she flies back.. so that she doesn’t have time to well, take some “souvenirs”.. hope these helps 🙂 all the best

    My friend would help her maid to pack. I hear that sometimes they are quite innovative in hiding the “souveneirs” like sewn into hem of clothing etc.

  14. Thanks for leaving a msg in my post. Glad to know that you are still reading my blog (thought u have forgotten about me). Yeah..thanks for the link too!!

    Regarding the maid, u need both luck and effort. Luck is we hope the maid has good nature. Effort is, we got to treat them as a human, respect them.

    We got a maid 8 mths back. She is also here to help with household but I believe she needs to “love” my child too by allowing her to play with him at certain time, so she won’t try to do funny thing with him. We treated her like a our family member, so she won’t have the “heart” to do funny things on us too.

    Overall, i still believe if she is really here to work (not to create problem), if we treat them well, they will treat us well too.

    So, good luck!!

    Of course I haven’t forgotten you. Hehe. I just don’t have very much time to blog hop, that’s all. Sob sob. Wish I had more time. Thanks for your feedback. Yes, there must be some balance yah? We are afraid if she is too close to the child but at the same time there must be some “love” or bond too. Not easy. Thanks for the reminder about that.

  15. have heard some, and by occasion, Im have an entry “Will u need a house-maid” which just been posted yesterday morning which u might interested in.

    Pls feel free to visit my blog. 10s

    Thanks for visiting mine. I’ve seen the tips in yours. Never thought about the 2nd medical checkup part. Thanks.

  16. I have also been surviving without any maid by cutting corners for several years now. However, hubby has only recently given the green light to get one since i am expecting my 3rd child soon. Now I am the one dragging my feet at it due to the horror stories I hear. I have no experience in dealing with a maid, even indirectly (none of my parents, in-laws or siblings have live-in maids). Hope to get tips and some encouraging updates from you here 😉

    Szu, you can also search around the subang jaya forums has lots of horror stories about maids if thats what you want to read. Haha.

  17. Maid are like any employees .. you get the good ones.. and mostly the bad. But first and foremost.. do not treat them like family. Treat them nice.. but never like your own.. else you will be so heartbroken.

    I guess you are right about that. Otherwise they may climb over your head eh?

  18. All the best with your new maid. Getting a good maid is really like striking lottery LOL! My current new temp Indon maid is my 7th maid in 5 years. So far only 1 maid was good but she does not want to continue staying with us.

    From my previous experience, do not treat your maid too nice like she’s one of your family members, yet don’t treat her like a slave. Don’t get too close to her or she will climb over your head. Handling maids is just like handling your subordinates in an office.
    Do update us on your new maid!

    You need to find the perfect balance yes? Be nice but not too nice etc. Allocate work but not overwork etc.

  19. a work schedule and the rules are extremely important. I should know..sigh..had probably more than 30 maids the last 8 years, with only 3 good ones among them. No choice, MIL won’t mind the kids without maids and my experience with babysitters and daycare for toddlers arent that great either. You also need to let maids know right from the start what are the do’s and don’ts and anything that you doubt that she knows, you need to let her know right away. ie. that she cannot open the gate even for “polisi atau imigrasi” etc, that she is not to treat the microwave oven as a cupboard to hoard food etc

    OMG. Did yours hoard food in the microwave oven?

  20. hi, i cant find the post about what to do when the maid comes. i am surprised u went thru some hassle with this agent. i’m assuming it’s the same agent as mine too. mine’s at ss2 and it starts with a p and ends with an e. 😉 ….i think i should email 2 u personally.

    anyway, my application was a breeze. i guess coz they had some available in their database then when we applied last month and they told me i can get her as fast as less than 2 months! i chose a 36 yr old who has 2 kids. and seriously, i chose by judging the book by its cover and in this case by her picture. she was the best looking one, not as scary as the rest! she’s also christian indon so i’m paying the highest – somehow, after speaking 2 more and more ppl abt my future maid, i cant help but feel cheated in some ways. i’m wondering whether i will have problems with this agent later on too when the maid comes. hope u get your replacement fast!

    Oops. I forgot. The url is here. Look for the post called “What to do to prepare for the arrival of a maid”.

  21. Hi, just wondering whether you can share your timetable with me. Haven’t had a maid for 5 years and I am out of touch and unable to formulate one.
    Many thanks
    Edith (small_cookie66@yahoo.com.sg)

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