Maid Issues


“If you have a domestic helper, you’ll have headache. But if you don’t have a domestic helper, you’ll end up with handache and backache.” That’s how I look at it. Obviously, I rather have headache than backache. So, I choose to live with the teeny-weeny problems of hiring a domestic helper.

As a matter of fact, my biggest headache does not lie with our helper BUT with Daddy V. We often argue about how we should manage our helper. He thinks that I’m too lenient and I think that he’s overly demanding. You get the picture?

We’re currently with our 2nd helper (her name is Pin). She has been with us for 8 months now. I would say that she is a hardworking and honest worker. I would give her a B+ in most categories. The only flaw is her speed; she is not as fast as my first helper – Niti.

We were very lucky to get Niti (our first helper) to work for us for two years. She’s really amazing – efficient, smart and highly alert. She has all the qualities that I look for. But now, we know that we can’t compare the two of them as they’re completely different individuals.

Pin has been struggling to keep up with her workloads but she never give up. It’s the same amount of workloads that Niti used to do actually. To improve her performance, I feel that we should reduce some of her workloads. If we continue to stress her, she may eventually give up. Most importantly, I want her to feel happy working with us and not overly-stressed.

Daddy V has a totally different thinking. He refuses to lighten her workloads and he feels that we should continue to motivate pressure her to work faster. Otherwise, she will potentially become lazy. If she is unable to complete her works, she’ll have to sacrifice her own rest time. “Learn the hard way”, that’s what he always said.

Stress will only create adverse effects because she doesn’t know how to handle it. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t listen to me.

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  • u can imagine my “headache” eh with our helpers and so many different bosses at home. haha its like headache X4 = migraine

    • Emily

      Hi SY,
      Hehe, that’s a good one. My PIL also has their own expectations and management styles too. But again, at their house, they are the masters and I don’t really bother. Thankfully, they are all lenient bosses. If everyone is like my hubby, I will really have migraine.

  • Ha… Your hubby’s being a typical left-brain-dominant male — all about logic, efficiency and performance, less on emotions.

    Every helper has her strengths and weaknesses. Hope you’d find a middle ground solution soon.

    • Emily

      Hi MieVee,
      He thinks that training a helper is just like training an NSman. But he is wrong! In reality, we can’t use the ‘army style’ – be it to our helper or staffs in our office..

  • Godpa Kenneth

    I would like to add a thought on this.

    I have observed the present domestic helper and I would grade her a B+ too.

    Sometimes, I really feel for her but there is only so much I can do for her.

    Sometimes when I am on leave, I would pay attention in a tactful manner on how she behaves and carry our her duties.

    I have to admit that she is a very sincere and kind girl.

    Mosrt of the time, a domestic helper can run into ‘split personality” in front of their empolyers by treating our little ones nicely.

    On her, I can only say – Consistent.

    Nice helper, we’ve got.

    She is very caring towards Little Edison and is very respectful towards her employer.

    We are all working and we know a simple rule.

    “Dont treat others the way when you do not want the same to be treated back on you

    • Emily

      Hi Ken,
      I pity her sometimes. Frankly, I don’t want her to work around the clock everyday. With the current workload, it’s very difficult for her to cope. I wonder how long she can ‘tahan’. I’ve been trying to help her too. I quarrelled with V many times because of her, and I’m also at a lost of what to do. 🙁

  • Radiant

    Hi Emily,

    Same as ur case….My 1st helper was wf us for 2 yrs..she is young pretty,smart, clever,efficient @ work ( her education qualif is = junior colleage std here) boys loves her so much…Current helper is lagging too far behind in many areas…but we can see her hard work,improvement & sincerity towards my boys (3&4 yo)..I m really appreciate these..For us..i hav an agreement wf HB..i m d boss of d helper..she has to follow my rules/ HB has never interfere ..dun make it complicated wf double std..

    • Emily

      Hi Radiant,
      Your 1st helper is very identical to my 1st helper too. In fact, when she just came on-board, I was surprised that she can converse in English so well. She is also from Junior College in her country.

      My 2nd helper has very poor command of English. We really had difficulties communicating with her initially. Luckily, after 8 months, she has improved a lot. My boy likes her too.

      My hubby is the boss of the helper. I tried NOT to interfere in his management but I failed. Reason being – he is just too demanding. She will eventually give up if the situation persists. Everyone will be affected if she decides to leave & we have to start all over to hire another helper.

  • mico

    Understand the complication you faced. For me, i’m in charged of the maid, hubby has any opinion, he will tell me and we come to a common ground then i do the talking. This is to prevent confusion of whose instructions she should follow.

    If the situation continue this way, your maid might give up, you know. talk to your hubby. one thing, usually it’s the woman who manage the maid, how come your hubby so free huh ? haaa.. usually the man don’t want to bother all these household matters, leave it to the woman !

    • Emily

      Hi Mico,
      99.9% of the man will not bother about household matters. Unfortunately, he is the 0.1%! I guess it could be because:
      1. He is really too free…
      2. He is a woman traps in a man’s body… (Kekeke, he will kill me if he reads this!)
      3. He thinks that I’m too lenient or ‘bochap’

      Seriously, I think it’s a combination of (1) and (3). He feels that I’m too lenient. If he doesn’t step in, the helper will go hay-wire one day.

      I will only ask my helper whether my son is eating well & sleeping well. But he will go to the extent of checking what she does everyday (from AM to PM). He gives instructions on how to wash the toilet, how much detergent to use, how to hang the clothes, how to report on food expiry dates etc etc. Can you imagine?

      Maybe I’m a man traps in a woman’s body. I really can’t be bothered with all these. I assume the helper is trained in this area, and I leave it all to her. As long as the house is reasonably clean, laundry is done regularly and my boy is well-taken care-of, I’ll be satisfied.

  • I’m with you, these domestic helpers are very poor things, having to leave their homelands and living in total strangers’ houses and coping with the diet and cultural change etc etc. And you do agree she’s hardworking so there’s no problem with her attitude.

    Perhaps your hubby is a high flyer and cannot accept underperformance. I always believe if my maid is overwhelmed, she can’t give her best for my son and I’d rather not compromise on that area. I try to give her uninterrupted sleep at night that’s why my son has been sleeping with me from birth. Partly also because it’s very tiring and annoying to be woken up repeatedly at night, what’s more for someone else’s baby. Am very paranoid and afraid that my son might be treated roughly haha

    Good luck and God bless!

    • Emily

      Hi Irene,
      My boy sleeps with me too. I also want my helper to have uninterrupted sleep at night, so that she will have energy to take care of him during the day.

      I hope I can work out a better solution for the family soon.

  • I guess we have to put up with some minor issues with maids. Mine is generally ok but give me some problems here and there.
    I was out with my hubby to attend a course today and when I was back, I noticed that the switch to the tv was not swiched off. I asked my hubby if it was him and he said no.
    I asked my maid and she said she watched tv for a while. I am quite surprised as she knows that my son is not allowed to watch tv and she said that he did not watch and was playing.
    But what I am wondering is how often she has done that and how can she take care of my son if her mind is on tv?

    My hubby is the opposite of yours when I shared my concerns. He said the tv’s there, she would switch on. Exasperating isnt it? He added that it’s a little relaxation time for her and she does not watch tv much.

    I’m okay with her watching tv but only when my son’s asleep even if she hasnt done her chores, but it’s a different thing when she’s alone with my son. Watching tv is quite distracting, I shall spend some time contemplating this issue.

    • Emily

      Hi Irene,
      We don’t allow our helper to switch on the TV when she is taking care of our boy too. TV can be distracting. If our helper does that, I think my hubby will either punish her to wash car at 11pm OR threaten to send her back to agent if she repeat the mistake.

      For me, I will talk to her nicely on my reasons for not allowing her to watch TV, and hope that she can understands. If she is mature enough, she should know what to do next.

      My mother, on the other hand, thinks that it’s good to have a BAD GUY at home. Otherwise, it’s difficult to discipline the maid when problem comes. It’s PRO and CON, cannot be too strict or too lenient. We need to learn how to balance them. Not easy, though…