Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The new maid is here

My new maid has arrived. And I am stressed.

Ironically it is more difficult than I thought it would be. First of all, although she is suppose to make my life a whole lot easier, I am not used to putting up with a stranger in my house. And this stranger will be taking care of my baby!

She came with only a handbag and one change of clothes. Exhausted from her trip to Malaysia she went to bed right away. I thought, maybe I should not give her too much work so soon or it would overwhelm her. So I started with showing her around the kitchen and that she should make her own meals. She's from a small village in Medan and I was not sure if she could use modern appliances. Thankfully she knows how to use a rice cooker. But when I asked if she has one at home, she said no! She's only used one at someone else's house. And when I saw she did not know how to light a gas stove….. I knew I was in for a long haul.

Now I am overwhelmed. How is this clueless girl going to take care of my baby? Can I trust her to heat his milk (Ayden's on stored breastmilk during the day) and feed him at the right time? Will she be able to tell if he is still hungry? Or in pain? I cried with the thought of leaving poor Ayden at the mercy of this stranger. Both the maid and Ayden will be at my grandmother's house while I am at work.

Why continue to work you say? Why not give it up and stay at home. Yes it had toyed in my mind many times, alas I know I will not be happy fulfilling what I want. It is indeed another reason to argue about, career vs family, but we all know that is one never ending debate, so I shan't go there.

So the training of this new maid will begin in bite sizes. I had already started showing her how to do the laundry, separate the colours, delicates and bulky items. I've showed her how to give Ayden his bath and by watching her do it, I know it is with practiced hands.

I hope this works out without too much problems. She seem to be a keen worker and eager to please. Proactive and does not need to be told twice. I think I am the one who needs adjusting more than her!

Indeed, the dilemas of a working mom.


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Cinnamon said...

I am so sorry to hear that you must leave your little one every day. You will never know what you have missed in his life by being otherwise engaged in others' lives. Little babies do not 'understand' why their tie with sanity has to leave, yet are comforted on safe return.

My advice? No one ever ASKS for advice, but as an older mother of two extremely intelligent but unstable the woman (yes, this little Malaysian girl is a woman because she is making adult decisions in the care of your child), your love and cooperation in taking care of this precious child's every need. In the Japanese tradition, and I suspect in many Asian cultures, babyhood is a golden time. All children are indulged with love, and shown tenderness and care.

Please, consider carefully how much and the quality of time with the little one, so that there will be ample memory in stability in the future when growth spurts are rampant.

Take care of yourself, too, so that you will have enough energy and intellectual creativity to be an encyclopedia of wisdom in answering the questions of a curious little new earth traveler.


The Foy Family said...

I just came across your blog and my heart hurts. I debated about if I should comment or not. But, I will error on the side of expressing my concern rather than fear of being offensive. I would like to just warn you that no one is more important in the life of a child than the child's own mother. If you can be there to raise and care for your tiny helpless baby then you should. I've had to sacrifice a lot to stay home with my children. My husband and I had to move 6 hours away from our families to an area that was less expensive. I know that even though I'm not the best mom in the world, I am my children's mother. I created these children and believe it is my responsibility to care for them. Please understand the importance of your role as mother and that no one is a better replacement. Sharing a few hours a day is not enough to form the bond that your child will need to become a secure adult.

varunner said...

Sorry you had to go back to work so early. I hope that things work out with the caregiver. Going back to work after my firstborn son was one of the hardest things I've ever done. He had a wonderful nanny but it still hurt that he wasn't with me. It does, with time, get easier though.