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Being a mom is exhausting and life just doesn’t stop. This is the hardest job I have ever had. Heaven and hell at the same time. Frequent interruptions, lack of control over the agenda, constantly switching tasks, too much to do, emotional outbursts, no holidays and all when while sleep deprived. Your energy level reaches new lows and your memory seems non-existent. Of course, all moms get tired. Despite being mere human beings, we learn to overcome sleep deprivation, manage to juggle multiple responsibilities, and coordinate all the aspects that affect our family’s life on a day-to-day basis.
As a working mom, there are moments in which you are pulled in so many different directions that it’s impossible to feel you have it all together. Like millions of moms, I’m trying my best to keep it all together as I still love being able to show to my kid that women can have careers; that they don’t need to choose between their families and their jobs.
While balancing my family with my career, I also realised that the people around me don’t seem to know what it means to me leaving my kid at day care early for an early morning meeting or staying up late. They are nice people who try to understand but I don’t suppose they ever will. I’m pretty sure they didn’t understand why I would leave at 6 on the dot to go to my kid’s day care.
It’s true that workplace needs to have understanding colleagues and bosses as parents are going home to pull a second shift, not to relax and watch a movie. Parents are going home because the people who need them the most are waiting for them. Parents are going home because home is their biggest responsibility which oddly in our culture sees them spending more time with colleagues than their own kids.
But what about the situations where you are the boss. Yeah, if you can think that you are exhausted and can leave early or can take leave to be with kids or can plan a holiday to relax then other moms to whom you are the boss have right to take off and leave early.
Put yourself in her shoes. Understand that she needs to heal or grieve, and give her the time and space to do so. She may be feeling helpless, hopeless, guilty, panicked, lost, stressed or confused. These emotions can take up a lot of physical and mental energy. Offer a listening ear. Show her that you are genuinely concerned about what she’s going through, and see how you can help – financially or otherwise. She may also be missing her loved ones back home, so if you sense that she feels unsettled, have a chat with her – assure her that you care about her and that she’s part of the family. Remind her that her sacrifices are worth it, and let her speak to her immediate family regularly so she feels connected to them.
Also keep in mind, she is not your bounded labour. Do not presume that your helper is your “property” and “object” that you can use any way you want to. They are human beings too, they have feelings like you and me. Think if you got exhausted and tired with a full day at your job, this is also a job for her not a duty. After a long day with lots of physical work she also gets tired so it’s ok if she is coming late some day or taking off or asking for a tea to ease her pain. Ask her for tea or snacks if you and your family are enjoying, there is no harm to speak in good manner and offer tea/coffee to her. Doing this you are setting example for your kids that you need to respect everyone even if it’s your helper or nanny. Do not over dependent on your domestic helper, there are many things you and your family should do on your own.
Same task, different people may do it differently. Do not get offended when your helper carries out the task differently from yours. Do not ever abuse her/him verbally or physically. You can explain and discuss anything calmly. If there is anything you like her to improve, try to give feedback to her and do not sound that you are scolding. Also give positive feedbacks and appreciations for the good work.
Many of us would wish to be treated like royalty at our places of work, but how many of us treat our helpers like royalty? We always feel bad if our boss is behaving rudely with us and how would we like it if our boss slapped or scold every time we made a mistake? In same way house helpers like drivers, gardener, watchman, house helper and nanny won’t feel good if you treat them just like washing machine or refrigerators as if they are your property or slaves.
Allow them to enjoy their annual vacations or attend their private matters. Give them off if they are not feeling well. Remember no one can work 24/7 and to release the pressure sometimes it’s necessary for them to take off and relax as you are not aware of their family situation. Think about their kids who are waiting for them alone at home instead of an air conditioned day care. House help no matter what occupation or appearance should be treated well, since we are all humans living on the same Earth, we should respect each other. Helpers who are treated well, works well.
They are human being and need to be respected. Though their status in life is lower than their employers, yet they deserve to have equal rights and should not be abuse. They have their own family to feed too, that's why they are working hard as much as they can. What they do is a job, similar to what we do to our employers at work. They deserve as much respect as the person next to us.
Let them go for holidays during the festive season and give some pocket money on top of their salary so that they can also enjoy their festival with family. Remember they also have kids, parents and family who all are waiting for them for the celebration and every person is special. Being a mother or father, they are working for their family and deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Understand their pain and treat them the way that you would want your employer to treat you.