Monday, November 24, 2008

Stranger in a household

I've hired a domestic helper from overseas to help us to take care of our baby. She arrived our home a month before my wife gave birth to our son. Things took time to adjust with a stranger staying with us. We lost some privacy, and our living habits had to change a bit as well. Certainly, there are pros and cons with a live-in helper. She is taking care of a lot of stuff that I don't wanna deal with and had to do before her arrival, like washing and cleaning. The biggest of adjustment that I think is that we need to watching out for her moves closely. It is quite stressful and frustrated some times. Also, we need to make sure we lock our doors and keep an eye of our personal documents and valuables, cos we have heard enough stories about what they can do with our stuffs.

She is not a hardworking person by nature, so her motivation to work, the quality of her works need monitoring. Sometimes, we thought if we treat her better, would she improve? However, I think it is a downward spiral right now: the worse she perform, the worse we treat her, and then she performs even worse. Her contract will due later next year. Decision has not yet finalized about her continuation with us, but I do have sometime on my mind.

Certainly, I don't think we treat her really badly, no abuse or that sort of things, also, we can't really treat her too bad, as she does spend some times alone with our son who has not yet learn to talk. There are enough news about how those domestic helpers abuse kids, we do worry about that, though I think she hasn't done that sort of things to our son. We both know that she doesn't treat our son as good as she can. We know that he is not her son, but she can pretend to treat him better than she does now. Glad that she is not a good actress that we can tell if she is mad or upset. So, there is less mind games that we have to play with her. However, if a baby doesn't like a person, he will not hide, and we know that.

We heard that many folks who hire a domestic helper do buy a safe to lock valuable stuff. I did contemplated that before but gave up that idea. Anyway, lock our stuff and watch out her moves in our room is something we do that everyday. Thank God that my wife is a more detail-oriented person that I am. So far, things are okay, but it is stressful sometimes.

I don't know about other people, I will always to treat her as a stranger in my home, from day one till her last day in my home. I only know that if my guard is down, I will only invite trouble for visit. If we want to get something, it won't be free lunch, everything has a price.

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