Helper- to help or not?

July 2013

I feel relieved. Really. After 7 months of being with the first helper, Emily and 2 weeks with the second helper, Michelle, I am maid-less for the first time. The feeling is liberating. At least for the next 4 days before the 3rd helper arrives.

Having a helper is like having an extra pair of hands at home. It is useful when the kids poop or when they vomit.  At the same time, you have to deal with living with a stranger in your house-having manage her habits and behaviour.

The first day when we brought Emily back home, I could not sleep that night. I tossed and turned in bed. My heart could not rest. All I could think of was that there was a stranger at home. It was a weird and uncomfortable feeling. Over the weeks and months, we got used to her presence and appreciated having the help- doing the dishes, ironing the many work clothes. Emily was competent but she also had her moods. Towards the end of our second month, she wanted out, claiming that she could not manage handling two kids. I did not ask her to stay as I did not like her inconsistent temperament- I could never tell if she was in a good mood or not. She also had weekly headaches/migraines. The first few weeks when she was with us, she actually requested to take afternoon naps. Family members who did not need to face her most of the time would think that she was a good helper. However, to the people interacted with her 90% the time, they will know other wise. At the end of her 7th month, she left.

Her replacement was Michelle, a 26 year old lady. When I interviewed her over the phone, she sounded polite. It was a relatively positive impression. She agreed on my no-handphone terms and I naively thought it was because she was very simple village-type of girl. I checked with her and her resume, she was able to cook, clean and wash. To my horror, she fell way below my expectations. She could not cook at all. Her cleaning was terrible- like she used the same one cloth to clean everything. Her ironing was equally bad. The shirts that she ironed often have lines and creases. In fact, when we picked her up from the agency, her fake Louis Vuitton bag should be a dead give-away. Her actions indicated that she knew nothing about household chores. I actually saw her washing the toilet bowl with the brush while there were toilet paper in it!

After training her for first two days, I cried to E. She was sloth slow- like incredibly slow in doing any sort of household chore. Despite the lack of speed, the work was slip-shod and I would have to do it for her. For example, after cleaning Ryan’s vomit, I could still see vomit on the floor that she did not see! E and I just thought we should give her more time, perhaps to get used to Singapore and our level of hygiene. She is the opposite of Emily who eats 5kg of rice every 2 weeks. Michelle eats real little, even lesser than me because she claimed that she is on diet. (Like seriously! What for? Is she trying to be my diet buddy?) Last Friday, I found out that she told multiple lies- she had a handphone, a prepaid card(for calling, texting and surfing the net), took photos of Baby Gillian and there were also pictures of herself in her ex – employer’s home. We warned her and she apologised and promised to be honest to us. Last night, E found out that she has been secretly using my Nexus to surf the internet. I was so upset that I could not speak. In fact, I threw up the Chocolate Exotic cake that I had for dessert. (Yes, when I literally vomit when I feel upset/disgusted. Ryan takes after me.) I went to check her Facebook and realised that she complained to her friends in Filipino about me being a Nazi on cleanliness and that I kept asking her to eat so she could have strength to work! I used Google translate to find all these out. And yes, she has photos of her acting sexy and cute on Facebook as well. In fact, I would not be surprised if she is reading my blog at this point at the agent’s house. While she is clueless about housework, she is one tech-savvy person! This morning, when I checked her belongings, I found that she has hidden money in the pocket of her jeans. (And I also found a used and unused pregnancy test kit!) So other lying, being slow, lazy and unhygienic, she is a thief! Wow wow!

It was a sleepless night again. How could I leave my 2 young kids with Michelle? I cannot trust her at all. She is really incompetent. And she is a thief! In the end, E and I had to make the decision of letting her go. If she capable of such actions in 2 weeks, who knows what she would be capable of in 2 months? She might sell my branded bags away! So good luck to the next person who gets her as a helper! It is like playing Russian Roulette. On hindsight, I would have asked Emily to stay. At least, her work standard quite ok. Michelle is my nightmare come true. Despite all these, there is light/rainbow for every bad situation. Mine was in the form of weight loss. In the 2 weeks that she was with us, I lost 1.5kg. Just 2 weeks ago, I was 55kg! I am now 53.5kg(Actually I weigh 53.5kg in the morning and 54kg in the evening.)

Getting a competent and honest helper is akin to striking lottery. For the third helper, we are offering better terms- higher pay, more off days and also allow the usage of the handphone at night. E says if we pay peanuts, we will get monkey helpers. So hopefully, with better conditions, the next helper will be a true helper for the family. These 4 days, it will be a challenge for especially me. It will be a period when I embark on a SAHM without helper. There will be loads of things to do- washing, cleaning, cooking, entertaining Ryan, breastfeeding Baby Gillian. Steep learning curve but we will survive. Maybe I might lose more weight from these 4 days! Free weight loss boot camp!

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P.S: I actually think the universe is trying test me or something. After my battle cry of wanting to be super mom, the air conditioning in the master bedroom and the kids’ room broke down. Now, we are all camping in the living room as it is the only place where the air conditioning works. Ryan is the only one who seems to enjoy the camping thing. Hmmm… I need to pray now. (And if you care, please keep my family on prayer as well.) God, please do not bring us to more tests and please send us a good(honest, competent and preferably caring) helper. Amen.

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2 thoughts on “Helper- to help or not?

  1. joyce says:

    Oh gosh! I totally feel you on helper… I thought I was bad to change 3 maids in a year. In any case, before the 3rd one came, I prayed real hard that she would be a good pair of help to me. Thank God for His provision. Although she is not all without faults, she does help me to handle Jon & Matt when I need to step away. Will pray for you that you will be get a pair of good help ….. and hope your air con gets repaired soon.

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