Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why having a maid is such a big deal to me.



{via http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/tag/slavery/}
I have been thinking a lot about getting a full time domestic help or a maid lately.

It’s not that I am going to have anyone in the near future, but as I think ahead I see some possible situations that require me to have another pair of extra hands especially if I am still employed.

I am not sure whether I have said this before, but I am quite a private person when it comes to my family affairs. So certainly, having a stranger who lives together under the same roof does not tickle my fancy.

What’s more, I am a strong believer in nurturing my own family myself – I always prefer that my family eats from my own cooking, and my children learn from my own teaching and such.

Sometimes it sounds too ideal even to me. It’s like I am trying to live the perfect mom character that exists only in fiction.

But reality says that such character does not exist, that at one point even the most resilient mom needs extra help, and the relieve that it brings is just liberating.

Having a maid in the family has its own perks, I admit that. 

How lovely would it be to have someone cleaning up after the mess in the kitchen, and doing the laundry? 

How liberating would it be to have someone who can make sure the floors are spotless and the toilets shine each and every day? 

And how convenient would it be to have someone whom you can leave your child to while you hit the gym for a workout or when you just want to enjoy a cup of coffee on your own?

To be honest, I can’t say no to that.

But as I think and weigh my options, I could not help but think of these…

Am I going to let my family be too reliant on these extra pair of hands? What happens when the maid needs to leave eventually? Can we survive that?

Am I able to teach my children the meaning of hardship and efforts when I know even I myself could not resist leaving the “hard and inconvenient” things to the maid’s hands?

Am I going to let the maid take my children to the playground every time? Is she going the one who is always there for my children instead of me?

Am I going to complaint if my child is more attached to the maid than me?

Am I going to dislike it if the maid brags to her peers that my child loves her so much?

Am I going to let my family be the “diva” that always has someone to “order” to get things done? With that how do I make sure that humility and respect still get to survive (after all maids are human beings too)?

Am I going to let my family and I get comfortable with such a life?

These things bother me. Maybe I think too much, but then am I wrong to come and think of it?

I have come across many instances that brought me to those thoughts. 

Every afternoon when I take Bella for a stroll I try to look for my neighbours so that I can get to know them. Alas, most of the time the kids are out with the maids watching over and playing with them at the playground.

Some of my colleagues who are used to having maids at home don’t even have the decency to clean up after their own mess in the pantry, even when it is just as little as a sugar spill or one dirty cup. I understand that there is a cleaning lady to do the cleaning, but you know…. (well, I hope you know what I mean).

Sometimes when we go out during the weekend, I can’t help but notice children who were so bossy and ordering their maids to do this and that. I do not want those traits in my children.

A friend’s family went so out of control when their maid ran away, he ended up jeopardizing his health and focus at work.

I am in a dilemma.

In one hand, I want those extra pair of hands. But on the other, I am not sure if I am able to be in control.

Like I said, I don’t deny the convenience. But I cannot ignore the downsides either.

Perhaps it’s a matter of principles. Which is why some families are all OK with having a maid, and some are not.

Whatever it is for me in the future, I must be ready to draw the line.

Or while I still can, I’ll just put it as a very last option.

How about you? Are you comfortable having a fulltime maid living with your family? If yes how do you stay in control? What are your principles?

10 comments:

laydiefa said...

I have the same concern. Especially on privacy. To be honest it does cross our mind about getting a maid, since husband has a bad back. I think you agree with me, in a house without maid, both parents working, you need to have a helpful husband to get by, betul tak? So far we can survive without one. But on weekends we call up our cleaner. So durinh weekdays tu tahan je la lantai tak spotless.

Husna Hadzarami said...

I've been thinking about the same thing too! You know, with two kids now, it seems cheaper hiring maid than sending them to the babysitter. Talking about cost-wise la kan. Tapi, baaaaanyak sangat benda to consider. I'm having a serious trust issue, bila bercakap tentang penjaga anak ni. I already have the best nanny now, I don't think I'll be too lucky to have the best maid as well. Another thing, my husband sendiri tak selesa ada stranger dalam rumah. Pasal aurat la kan, tak boleh la nak berjalan ke depan ke dapur pakai boxer je kalau ada maid HAHA. I tak tahulah future nanti macam mana, so far we can still survive without maid, and macam your friend cakap kat komen atas ni, bila taknak hire maid, we need a husband with helping hands. Syukur I'm blessed with one ;)

Puan Hazel said...

salam.. i share the same thought with you and couldn't agree more with both Ladyiefa & Husna..perhaps you could find the best solutions becoz we might have diff situation/problems.. gud luck!

Mama Haraz said...

I think many of us have the same concerns as you. Me and my husband have both been raised in a household with maids. More often than not more than a maid, usually two maids at a time. I have to admit it's very convenient but somehow we've both agreed that having a maid for our family is a no no.

We feel that we can always make do without. Just have to work together and if things get a little overwhelming you can always rely on laundrettes and takes outs. If that fails then you can hire cleaning services that come by your house once or twice a week to do the major cleaning or any chore that still lies await.

Getting a maid these days is like a lottery draw, most of the time you lose. It's very difficult to find someone that's right for your family.

Just my two cents.

yantysamsul said...

ayuni,

for me..im thinking to hired daily maid, just to watch the kid (s) during office hour..
reason:
1) when they come back from school, at least they can duduk kat rumah rather duduk kat taska.
2) only during office hour..mcm taska but at my home..so in a way still can control the diva in them (i hope!)
3) kemas rumah still 50-50.. maid kemas after the kids during weekdays, weekends, still aku buat..

tu idea aku for my future kalo aku nak amik maid.

yanty

Ayuni Ayatillah said...

Thanks for all the comments ladies :) I have to agree with each and every one of you.

Hazel, thanks! Yup I can see how unique our requirements and concerns are. Which is something very normal, and it always comes down to finding the best way for our family kan..

Yanty, yes I also have the same plans someday, cuma harap2nye senang nak cari maid part time. Insya Allah :)

Mama Haraz, totally lottery! Kalau apape jadi, duit habis macam tu je kan :(

Agreed with laydiefa and husna too! Above all, taking care of the household should always be a teamwork with the husband and children. I personally think that everyone has responsibility to keep the home livable for everyone :)

ctsal said...

Salam perkenalan Sis.

To have or not to have a maid? This is like a universal dilemma of us the modern moms. I have never hired one but Alhamdulillah managed to survive without a maid (with three little attention seekers on tow hehe)

Unknown said...

Hi babe..caol here. I think it is still OK to hire a maid. Privacy wise memang susah sikit. So I took a maid yang kerja on weekdays n weekend boleh hantar dia balik hostel. Some agents do have that facility. If I need her on weekends baru tak hantar hostel. House chores, until now kitorang buat together. Reason - she is a helper not a slave that has to do every single chores in the house (have to educate my hubby about this). Plus I am teaching my kids to be responsible too with the house chores. Their toys maid tak kemas. I insist on Adam cleaning that up on his own and I ask my maid to monitor him cleaning up his toys. Bila makan, I also insists every family members to pick up their own plate n put in the sink/wash their own plate. Maknanya maid cuma basuh pinggan mangkuk lauk saja n periuk. Don't worry too much about not being able to discipline your kids with household works. They will be able to adapt and eventually you can be maid-free by the time they are 8 yrs old. :)The above method was implemented by my mom. We used to have maids but until we were all in primary school. Our maid and mom trained my elder siblings to wash their own shoes and iron their own school uniforms. Lepas tu my elder siblings pulak teach the younger ones bila dah start primary. The maids were there just to help where necessary but all five of us were still being given chores around the house to do. As a kid I resent all the chores given to me like "what's the point of having a maid if I still have to do houseworks". Now that I am married, I value the system my mom put in place.We value the extra help we get but at the same time independent enough to get by on our own. Hope this helps. hihi. Sorry if panjang lebar sgt penerangan aku ni ha.. :)

Ayuni Ayatillah said...

Salam perkenalan to u too ctsal :) Thanks for your thoughts too! Caol, tq tq very much for your comment, it is very helpful! :)

Noor said...

I am always back and forth myself with this one. But living here in Saudi it's hard because you can not choose they just give you someone and I have heard horror stories (both ways). I would love to have someone help around the house but I would also like my privacy.

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