Help! I Have No Help!
If you had been lucky (?) enough to meet me last week, you would’ve not been surprised at the topic of my post today! Indeed as I sit at a desk strewn with kiddie books and look up at the bed littered with bundles of clothes to be ironed and sorted, I can assure you that I am now in certified made-for-maid land!
A few years or even a few months ago, if you had told me that this would be my state, I would have shaken my head in disbelief and maybe even laughed at you. Yes, I needed help with the cooking and basic cleaning perhaps, but to have a maid just to iron, sort, dust, pick up toys and take Kidlet to playdates and other sundry appointments? What an indulgence! And so I had indeed carried on for a few years, managing house and baby with minimal help. But soon, tempted by a few extra hours every day I hired someone to help me out for a few hours every day – to iron, dust and play with Kidlet etc. And ah! It was bliss. I think the added time of rest actually made me feel happier – and not to mention free to do other things like writing, reading, exercising etc. while Kidlet was away at school.
However, the charmed life did not last long! The lady in question has left now and I am back to square one. And this time I am not letting my maid less existence become a habit. However, it is at times like these that one sees a brighter and possibly humorous side to life as well! For your express pleasure, I list below the possibilities that you may face if you like me are suddenly faced with a maid less life:
You can lounge around in your husband’s lungi
Or shorts, ganji, negligee..whatever..take your pick! Once you realize that there is no one else at home however quietly going about their work, your guard comes down and you tend to relax. A little in the beginning, much more later – so better not to settle into this phase permanently. The fear of the help gossiping about your tardy appearance and hygiene may have well been the impetus that kept you suitably presentable in polite society. However a short break from such social mores is very welcome indeed (as I can vouch for – having just polished off some pasta straight from the serving bowl, sitting cross legged on the sofa!).
Children can be trained to help
Now this is one surprising thing to me. Even though Kidlet was always (as far as I recall) asked to clean up after herself at meal times and play time, I was astonished at how much she was slipping up once the help left. I realized that only when I was around did this actually happen. Kidlet may have been bossing over her didi or the didi must have just taken the less painful route of cleaning up herself rather than ensuring that the little monster did it. Whatever be the case – Kidlet is now back under iron control. Or so I would like to believe.
Your social life gets a jump start
Cough! Cough! If you have never spoken to the flashy senorita mom or grumpy granola mom at the bus stop, now is the time that you will uninhibitedly do so. You will shamelessly accost any personage who looks like she has some access to domestic help. You have a back (sob) story prepared pat. You know exactly which buttons to hit. You are an instant pitiable sensation. Along with empathy and advice you might just score phone numbers of some maids!
Get a move on it
My maid left right at the beginning of monsoon season and my third trimester. If she had still been around I would’ve possibly been spending all my spare time napping and shopping online (Yes, I am honest like that!). Instead, because of her sudden departure, I find myself doing lots of physical labour – trudging up and down to Kidlet’s various commitments, ensuring a bare minimum of sanity in the household order and also preparing for the new arrival. I’m guessing it’s a blessing in disguise that I can thank for keeping the edema away (so far!).
Anyways.. now if you’d excuse me – there’s someone at the door. Potential maid candidate? Fingers crossed!
Nidhi Dorairaj Bruce is a Freelance writer from Mumbai who also manages a parenting website : thechildrensdaily.net . With no formal education in Parenting, she has been getting on-the-job training ever since her daughter, affectionately referred to as ‘the kidlet’, arrived on the scene 5 years ago. You can connect with Nidhi @typewritermom , nidhibruce.com