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House Helps in Kenya: Why I Allow my House Girl to Nurse her Hangover in my House


Moms, I have a friend who has no issue with her house girl returning to her home ‘kinda drunk’ on Sundays from her day off. She is also okay with the same girl nursing her hangover on Monday mornings and starting her work a bit late. This is her story.

My friend has two children: a 10-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. She is a career mom with quite a demanding job, so she needs the stability of a house girl at home. My friend has been with this house girl for four years now. Before that, she had long stopped counting the house girl turnover when they reached 20. She had had her fair share of house girl drama.

So, her current house girl is very good. She does her work quite well. She doesn’t need to be supervised, doesn’t need to keep being reminded to do stuff. Doesn’t need to keep being instructed on her chores. She is clean, very thorough and cooks delicious meals. She manages her time well. She understands my friend’s children. She understands the needs of the household. She also understands my friend -her employer. She basically has all the qualities you’d be looking for in a house girl. She simply gets it. She’s not perfect of course, but she’s close to it.

And that’s why my friend lets her house girl get away with that ‘thing of coming home tipsy’ after her day off and sleeping it off on Monday mornings. The girl loves her tipple, no doubt. And she made that clear from day one, right when she was being interviewed for the job. She told my friend that it was very important that she takes alcohol on her day off because it makes her happy. She nevertheless assured my friend that she would never have trouble with her work.

Now, my friend was very shocked to hear this. She had never encountered such upfront honesty before. But for all the troubles she’d gone through with house girls, she thought of giving the girl a try.

Well, it’s now four years later and for all the peace of mind she’s had in her home with this house girl, she says it has been worth it. It is something she has been willing to accommodate.

So, when the girl returns on Sunday evening from her day off, tipsy, she usually goes straight to her room and doesn’t come out till the following day after the children have gone to school and the parents have gone to work.

My friend and her house girl have this arrangement where my friend prepares breakfast on Monday mornings because, well, the girl is nursing a hangover and needs to sleep in a little longer.

But once she wakes up, she does her work perfectly all week long, with such dedication and commitment. And that’s why my friend has for the last four years learned to accommodate the alcohol bits from her house girl. By the way, neither my friend nor her husband partake alcohol.

And that’s my friends’ story. Do you have a comment to share about it? How about you? What compromises might you have had to make with your house girl for the sake of peace of mind, as long as she does her work well? Share in the comments section down below.

You may also like to see Martha’s story below.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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