What?! I am not believing this. I’m writing a Part 5?!?!
The new domestic helper came and was settling ok. Other than the fact communication broke down a lot due to a lack of language proficiency, I thought I caught a glimpse of this girl really trying. I mentioned in an earlier post that she couldn’t cook for her life – and even made my littlest some soup noodles that resembled gooey puke – but that, apparently, became history.
I passed her some cook books, and wa la! Like magic, she suddenly was able to cook a decent meal. Even the kids liked her cooking.
Of course, she’s got huge shoes to fill with the previous helper being way too capable – and stronger physically. She’s all bones and looked a lot paler than the previous. Ok, anyone would look pale standing next to our previous helper if you’ve seen the previous. She did also appear a little too stressed out handling a chaotic household with three kids, plus having to understand a new language and adapting to our lifestyle. I kept having to worry for her because we rushed a lot from place to place and still wanted to eat in more than out (which means meal planning is essential at the start of each day). There’s always two huge baskets of laundry to do, too many clothes to fold and sort, toilets to scrub (my son aims quite poorly and my daughter sometimes jump off before she’s done, and I’m not even going to try toilet training the littlest yet) and plenty of things to carry from groceries to bags to water bottles. She did look like she could crumble under the weight of things, literally.
Because she was like the fourth kid I had to mind, guess who ended doing the bulk of the chores?
During the second week, she began to display signs of a lack of mental resilience. And then I also found out that she constantly felt tired and was also much younger than what the papers said she was (I wonder what her intention was by coming clean). By the third week, she seemed unable to cope, and I often had to nag her about keeping well and staying physically and mentally strong to help out in a household with three kids. She started – on an on and off basis – telling me perhaps I should go look for another helper and hinted that she may be better off caring for one child or an elderly folk. I made a mental note of her hints and started asking for recommendations from friends who hired domestic helpers of another nationality.
Now, she began to really annoy me a few days ago doing the “I-want-to-work-for-you-I’m-not-sure-I-think-you-should-get-someone-better” dance. Maybe she was feeling insecure, maybe she felt she needed more compliments than criticisms, but whatever it was, I did what she suggested: look around for someone of a better fit than her.
Long story short: she found out two days ago of my decision to not keep her after a month was up, and suddenly, she had breathlessness, tiredness and pain in her heart. She claimed she wanted her misery to end and asked me to send her back immediately yesterday. And it wasn’t even a month yet! Needless to say I was furious and demanded that she be counselled by her agent. The agent cajoled her and convinced her to work her keep of a month’s salary and after the phone call ended, she apologised for her immaturity.
Despite solo parenting yesterday with three kids in tow, I was so turned off by her childishness I refused the apology and sent her back to the agency by a taxi yesterday afternoon.
No way am I keeping someone like this in my house. Good riddance anyway.
A good domestic helper in Singapore is really hard to find. I’m not sure if everything will go well with the new new helper, and if we will all be a good fit for each other. All I’m asking for is an extra pair of hardworking and honest hands to help me out while my little children still need to be minded and cared for, a peace of mind when I leave them with her when my work needs to get done and a humble attitude to learn and adapt. Not very complicated, isn’t it?
Until then, I am Mom Maid again. And I’m hoping not to ever write a Part 6 on this space, which has become a series in itself already with a Part 1, 2, 3, 4 and now this. No thanks to all these foreign domestic helper woes, I now too experience breathlessness, tiredness and pain in my heart (for the money we have to part with).
Going to have to train and ready those little troopers, I say. And get ready to play MITKH* v.2!
If you have any maid woes, I would love to commiserate with you. Share them with me in the comments below!
*Maidless in the Kao Household (read about version 1 here)