Thursday, September 29, 2011

A stranger in the house

I have always had reservations about having a full-time, live in maid since I am essentially a very private person. However, as with all things in life, situations change. Currently as a working, full-time, single mom to three children under the age of six, I had to admit that I could not do everything myself.

My biggest concerns were the kids, of course. I worry for their safety. How would a foreign maid interact with them? We have all seen the horror youtube clips of maids abusing children under their care. The second issue was trust, how trust-worthy are these people. I did not want to be constantly suspicious of whether my belongings would go missing or if she would allow strangers into the house during my absence. Thirdly, I truly am not used to ordering other people to do work around the house. What sort of employer would I be?

Therefore, the decision I made to employ a foreign maid was made after great deliberation and thought. I knew that since I was working full-time and still wanted to spend as much time with my kids as possible that it really was the most practical solution. Two months living alone in a new city with them taught me that caring for them alone and still doing everything that I wanted to do for them was an exhausting task. By the time I had cooked and settled the basic housework, I would be all worn out.

Currently, I view the maid as an expediter. She does all the housework and ensures that the house is clean and tidy, the laundry is washed, ironed and folded and some light gardening (we only have grass at the moment). I still take care of anything to do with the kids (getting them ready for school, ready for bed) and do all the cooking. I do not want her to cook for us, as I really do believe that it is best for kids to grow up with home cooked meals prepared with love by their own mother (old-fashioned ideals but I stick by them). But cooking is alot easier and enjoyable (not to mention faster), when all the "work" part is removed from the equation, namely, I don't have to worry about washing the dishes or scrubbing the pots or throwing out the garbage.

Though the maid settles all things to do with laundry, I still pack for the kids each day, picking out their outfits for school. I also make sure they pick up after themselves, putting dirty clothes in the clothes hamper and hanging their towels after showering. I do not want them to take it for granted that there is someone who will pick up their mess after them.

So far, I have been able to set boundaries with the maid as to what she is expected to do and what she should not do. Compared to other maids, I believe she has a very small workload. She eats with us and watches tv at night after she finishes tidying up. As long as she does what I need her to do, I do not mind. I am hopeful that, without having to worry about housework, I can spend more quality time with the kids. I am doing my best to be careful not to fall into the trap of having a stranger raise my kids. How about you?

InsyaAllah, you can also read this post soon at


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