Recently, we were invited to a late night wedding dinner which we declined. The person who invited us wanted to know why we would not let our maid put the children to sleep while we attended the wedding dinner. She seemed surprised. I am surprised that she is surprised.

To me the duties of a maid is that of a domestic helper. They are not nannies and not trained to be nannies. Quite often I see pictures of smiling maids carrying baby sized dolls as part of their training. I think it takes more than that to be able to handle babies, toddlers and kids. The main duty of a maid should be helping around the house to ease housework burden. Sometimes it may be necessary due to circumstances where the maid has to help out in looking after kids too but I think sometimes people forget that the important word is “help out”.

Sadly, quite often I see the maid ‘taking over’ the duty of a parent in feeding toddlers, bathing babies, changing infants and sometimes even helping older children with homework etc. They have become almost like substitute parents. Sometimes I see maids walking around the mall wearing the baby of her employer in a sling. Isn’t it strange that this special place next to mummies bosom that should be exclusive to mums and dads only is being substituted by another? It does not seem right to me that even such a personal ‘task’ is ‘delegated’ out to maids.

Just yesterday, I saw a very young maid chasing two toddlers around. She was obviously unable to handle them and she does not have the authority to scold or discipline. The kids were uncontrollable.  Where was the mother? She was chatting nearby. She only called out to the kids once after a very long time despite them getting into a lot of mischief while the maid tried to pick them up and carry them away from trouble again and again.

Maids are for helping ease the burden from housework so that we will have more time with our children. They are not supposed to look after our children for us so that we will have more time for ourselves. So my friend, I am sorry I can’t attend your wedding. I know my kids are older now but I will not let someone else put them to bed. Neither will I leave them at home alone at night for several hours with just the maid while I am out enjoying a dinner with my spouse.

I don’t think I am being overly cautious either. With kids, it is always better to err on the cautious side. We brought them to this world and it is our duty to protect and look after them until they are able to look after themselves. Out of topic here, recently, sister’s Filipino maid ran away after 6 months. Sister is not as cautious as me. She allows the maid to go out on errands with just the driver at times. Recently, the maid, my very old disabled dad, his nurse and the driver were out. The maid took RM300 to buy necessities for dad from the pharmacy while they were out. They waited and waited for her at the car but she never came back….


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