Everyday Things

Be Independent

When I was growing up, I used to wash my own school shoes and iron my own uniforms. I admit that these were my most dreaded chores back then. We didn’t have a maid. My mother had to help out in my dad’s business, take care of us and our aged grandmother, send us to school, cook and manage the house chores.

Being the eldest daughter, I had to help with other household chores like washing the laundries (we didn’t have a washing machine), cleaning the house etc. At times, I was frustrated and I started questioning why I had to do all these tasks and why she deprived me of a carefree childhood.

Come and think of it now, I understand that she did it for my own good. I was trained to be independent since young and that I can take care of myself when I left home for my tertiary education in another state (in Malaysia) when I was 17.

I really do admire my mother for her ability to juggle so many roles. She didn’t have a maid and my grandmother didn’t provide much help to her either. I’m glad that being a working mother now, I’m financially-independent. I can afford to hire a live-in maid, I don’t need to do any more house chores. I don’t need to wash my son’s shoes, uniforms and clothes. I conserve my energy for other important aspects like enrichment, education, bonding etc.

A household is smooth-sailing with a live-in maid. She definitely makes our lives easier. On the flip side, I’m also constantly reminding myself not to be overly reliant on the maid. Recently, I noticed that Little Edison starts taking the maid’s help for granted. When he needs water, he shouts “thirsty!” and the maid will come running with his water bottle. When he has runny nose, he shouts “runny nose!” and the maid again come running with a piece of tissue paper, ready to blow his nose.

I reminded Little Edison that our maid is here to help us, but not to do everything for us. For trivial matters like these, he should always learn to be independent and perform the tasks on his own. I really need to set a request limitation for him. It’s for his own good because the maid will not be around to help him when he is at school.

Perhaps, I should start with getting him to keep his own toys and books after he used them.


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Ahh… I remember washing my white school shoes and socks too. The washing is fine but can’t stand ironing. Ha!

I’m stay-home-mum with live-in family helper since we stay as a big family. She helps with cooking and cleaning; I take care of son. For 1+ year, I also took care of preparing son’s meals. Now, I delegate the cooking too and focus on his homeschooling. It’s indeed important to teach children to treat helper with respect. As far as possible, we do our own tidying up and let the helper focus on “heavier-duty” tasks.