Helper needed, but not always wanted.
Here in the Philippines, helpers and/or nannies are considered needs. It seemed the demand for them had risen higher over time. Before, employers had the luxury of choosing a suitable one for their household. It was the helpers who were wanting to be hired and would work hard to please the moms. But nowadays, it is the helpers who call the shots regarding their salary, their working schedules, and whether they would help with the kids or not. Almost 5 years of being married and running our own household, I have encountered several kinds of helpers and nannies. Young, old, picky eaters (sometimes I think a couple of nannies influenced my daughter to abhor veggies), haughty, gone AWOL, vain, cellphone addicts, family oriented (read not listening to me but to her aunt), and
more have gone through our home.
Recently, we had the misfortune of hiring a mentally disturbed helper. She lasted for almost a week. I learned a few things from this experience:
• Trust my instincts. I knew there’s something wrong with her when we came home and I found her talking to the cloth diaper she was ironing.
• There’s an advantage to living in a compound with other families as the other helpers who were in the maids’ quarters said our helper always talks to herself and laughs out loud alone
• God loves me and my family. We had her get a chest x-ray before we let her mind the children, the result was positive for PTB residuals meaning she has tuberculosis before. And, we used this as a reason to relieve her of the job since we have children. Thank God for this or I wouldn’t know how to let her go because of her mental condition. I was scared she would have become violent upon learning that we wished to let her go, but it’s a relief she was cooperative.
• Always pray even regarding the helper, since God is also in the details of our lives. Ask for wisdom in dealing with the house help.
If I weren’t pregnant (and if living in a polluted city in the country wouldn’t get the house so dirty) , I know I could do without a helper. Or at least a cleaning woman once a week would suffice. Or my daughter could help me with the sweeping? Hehe!