It is always a dilemma for working parents, when they have to spend time away from their children, particularly if one of the spouse has to be away (frequent trips out-station, or even short term assignments abroad).. Do you have an in-house maid or part time maid or send the kids to nursery? Some maybe of slight advantage where they could have their un-working sibling or parents to look after their children while they are out, but some are short of options and have to divulge to a maid.
Every time I read a news article or an email on how maids are abusing the kids and babies under their care, I had to cringe with anger at the irresponsible devil in disguise. Today I read in an article about a maid who was just recently hired (6 months ago) whose antics were caught on video by a hidden camera that was installed by her owner. The parent of the 2-year old child and an infant baby was curious about the sudden change in her children’s behavior, as they seemed hungry and constantly crying and seeking attention. It turns out that the maid was making the 2 year old do the cleaning in the house, repeatedly hitting both the children and worst of all, feeding the baby an empty bottle in an effort to stop him from crying and not feeding the other child. In fact, the little toddler is left high and dry as he begs food from the maid who eats in front of them. So what is the maid doing? It seems that her routine is to lie on the couch and watch TV.
From my personal experience, I have heard many, many other tales from my cousins and friends who are disappointed at their maids. Tales of their baby and toddlers left alone while the maid makes a run, tales of their maids who brings their boyfriends in the house, tales of maids who hit the kids, tales of maids who steals, tales of maids who doesn’t understand your orders, maids who keeps making long distance calls, and the list is endless..
Early last year, I almost succumb to the services of a live-in maid. I thought that I needed to have a made for my big move into the new house, and most importantly for the 44 days that my parents would be away while they are on their pilgrimage. Not wanting to pay a bomb, I took the recommendation of a friend who knows of a friend’s ex-maid who is helping her friends from the village to get jobs as maids in Malaysia. The fee was half of the regular maid-agency’s and it sounded like there would not be any fuss. So January 2009, although I was hesitant (I hate the thought of a stranger living with us) I paid the deposit (thinking that I would give maid-ing the benefit of the doubt and give it a try), but come September I was still maidless. There were excuses after excuses that I decided to cancel the whole thing and ask for my money back. It has been 13 months and I have still yet to receive all my money, this time the agent is unreachable… (she might be dead for all I care, may she rot in hell)
After multiple frustrations and disappointments, I am now actually glad that I cancelled. The truth is, I really CAN live without additional help. Never need a maid that never made it. My son is far better off in a playschool (he is learning so much and his confidence level has tremendously increased), and best of all, I am happy that I don’t have a stranger living in my house :)