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There have been times when I had given up on hiring a maid to do the usual, everyday chores. I do have a very valid reason for that. See, I don’t have a problem keeping one; in fact, they are the best things that happened since sliced bread. I am lucky to be in a position to hire one….Then, what is your problem, you might ask? Well, the first problem is hiring a decent enough person for the job, and then comes training her to work to your expectations. By the time you bring her up to speed and things start falling into place, work starts running smoothly like clock-work without too many instructions and not to mention you finally settle into a comfortable zone with each other….she decides to quit on you or disappear without so much so as a hint or god knows some unmanageable problem arises in her family, due to which she has to leave.
I am a person who is very particular when it comes to hiring someone to work for me. I exercise a lot of caution, have a few expectations and, of course, personal hygiene, especially, in case of maids.…that’s a very big factor. I always think long term when it comes to employing someone, by taking in as much History and Geography of the person as possible, to rule out any short term possibilities. Despite all this when the unexpected happens, I have a hard time accepting it and moving on. I mean….why wouldn’t I? I had invested so much of my time and energy into the above mentioned process!!!
And so, the search for the perfect maid starts all over again, following the usual route. If you have to do this once in a year, then it’s manageable, but not every three to four months; Man….it’s exhausting!!! You start wondering if it’d be easier to do all the work yourself, than going through this rigmarole. Because, as you know, dependency leads to expectations and expectation leads to….(you guessed it right)…..disappointments.
I found myself in a similar soup recently. I return home from work, load the washing machine and settle down with a cup of tea expecting my maid to ring the bell any minute. Minutes turn to hours and still no sign of my maid. I frantically ring her up while throwing a glance at my kitchen and my heart sinks...What if? And what do I hear at the other end...that she might not be able to come today and not only that she might not be able to continue.
And that's when I did the unimaginable. I got so frustrated with the maid recruiting process that I decided to go cold turkey. So I set a period of one month or so to try and manage without a maid and see how it goes. At first, it felt so good to do the chores myself, meticulously, the way I liked it; the satisfaction of seeing the stove top, the French doors and taps shine under your expert hands gives you such a high! I would scrub and clean everything till it shined and every speck of dust had me coming at it. The satisfaction you get from seeing all your things from the floor to the ceiling shining brightly….is beyond words. It is like nurturing your home with your own two hands. What pride I felt, as I thought to myself… See, I can do it!!! I don’t need a maid; I can do a better job than one, any old day. Yeah, right. I was just so naïve…
Slowly, fatigue started setting in and the routine of doing the same things over and over started getting to me. I started feeling a little bitter about the sheer number of things I had do on a daily basis. Every meal I cook, guaranteed a sink load to clean. The kids’ project work or art work which used to excite me earlier, now started to bother me because I was the one cleaning up afterwards. And kids have this uncanny habit of starting a mess just right after you have finished all the cleaning. You sit down with your cuppa after a rigorous round of picking up and cleaning and plop!!! a pool of mess, smack in the middle of the living room. That’s when the bitterness of a frustrated woman takes on a full avatar accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.
A woman’s got to have some relief from routine house work, isn’t it? After all, how much can she do? Is it worth all the frustration? Is it worth getting mad at your loved ones who are just being themselves? Is it worth your peace and quiet? I didn’t think so….And my better half is the one who pointed out to me in black and white that people who work for us will come and go as per their requirements and needs. We just need to move on; life will continue. I know, it’s too much to get all philosophical about losing a maid, but believe me, only a woman who has experienced it, can understand…
So, here is my learning from all this experience….I am not going to try to be a superwoman, which, I am not. It’s just not worth it. It’s okay to be a woman who needs some help at times. Don’t lose your sleep over maids or any other form of help you might need. Move on and hire someone else. Take help and as much help as needed…..It’s all we can do to maintain our sanity sometimes. That way our time can be spent more productively doing things we love. That’s where our house-maids come in. Let her in……and if need be, let her go……
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