Hello moms. One of the most widely-read blog posts here on Mummy Tales is this one: Caroline Kinyanjui: I Have been with my House Girl for 13 Years. Caroline’s story is an interesting read for many reasons, chief among them being that she’s one of the few moms today who have managed to stay with one house girl that long. So we’re all curious to know exactly how Caroline does it. Be sure to read her story in case you’ve never read it.
Now, I recently talked to a mom who has been with her house girl for 9 years –which is still a considerable lengthy time in this day and age if you ask me. So I asked her if she’d be kind enough to share a few tips on what she’s learnt, and the advice she can offer us on the same. This is what this mom, a human resource and career expert said:
1. I have accepted the fact that no one will do things perfectly in the house the way I want them to be done – apart from myself. When I find something hasn’t been done the way I want, I point it out and if I have time I’ll do it myself. When this happens, chances are that next time I’ll find it well done.
2. As long as the basic chores around the home are done and my children are healthy and happy with the house girl, that is an A+ for me.
3. You can never find that perfect house girl. It is simply impossible. If you keep firing one after the other because of any mistake they do, you’ll keep firing them forever.
4. In the same breath, house girls makes mistakes, sometimes very serious and expensive mistakes, but the way you handle the issue matters. I have dealt with such situations in a sober and mature manner, with an understanding that no one is perfect –including myself. Besides, we all make mistakes at work, in our businesses and unfortunately sometimes with our children. So if an item is not well-cleaned, ironed or even broken, or if the food is not well prepared, communicate with her – and if you cannot cope, just release her.
5. Don’t yell at your house girl, or anybody else for that matter. When someone shouts at you, it demoralizes you and makes you feel terrible, so don’t do the same to her. Remember you leave your children with your house girl when you’re away at work or running errands, so yell at her at your own peril.
7. My house girl did not complete school, but is attending “gumbaru” (adult education classes) to at least learn to read, write and speak some English and hopefully establish a business sometime in the near future.
8. Much as many people may find it hard to accept, a house girl’s work should be respected just like any career. I know of house girls who have educated their children up to university level through their work. As a career expert, I believe that any job that gives you satisfaction, an income and dignity is a career like any other. Nowadays, women are enrolling in colleges to learn how to be professional house girls and domestic managers. I know of one live-in house girl who earns Sh50,000 per month. Through the years, she has been able to give her children a good education. So why wouldn’t she be proud of that and work until she retires?
Well, so those are the experiences of this mom. Just like I have, I hope you’ve picked a thing or two that you can apply in your own situation. So how long have you had your house girl for? What have been your experiences? If you’ve had one for at least more than 5 years, what tips would you share with fellow moms?
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The topic of house girls is one that most moms can go on and on and on about. So what’s your experience?
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