30 Dec - Going to kixiao
I'm really going to blow soon. Need pots of ice to cool down. Tried to be nice to M, tried to be her ex-employer to tolerate (believe she wants this kind of good employer) and not point out her mistakes. Let her assumed she's good and then kick her out unprepared. The day that I could no longer stand M looked near. If M insists on holding her 'lighter', I really had to make her leave. The day M leaves will be the day I'm going to complain to MOM, feedback what kind of FDW I was given by that agency in Katong..... actually I feel like complaining now. MOM has to know my life has been made bitter by MOM, FDW and agency.
Magnify any good points that M has didn't work. M everyday has something to make me frustrated. Don't understand why she need to hold a 'lighter' and always ready to set fire on me. I just shouted at M for not doing things the way I've shown her, I really hate to remind her .... I'm not her mother, why I must 无私 包容 forgive, accept and love her? So frustrated! M cried, not loudly but she sniffed her nose real hard.... ok, she win.
Since morning, after hearing the news that I'm getting her a 'babysitter' (M has to go to my relative's house after school), M has been breathing loudly. If M really thought she was a great helper or her ex-employer was nice, I think I need to remind her a good helper won't be fired by her employer. As an employer, some just kept quiet, afraid that by scolding or raising our voice, our children will become the target of FDWs' venting. For the sake of my girl, I've also breathed hard to release steam, of coz not as loud as M.
I have not been showing good face lately so that makes me even more frighten to leave M and my girl at home. Yes, M can still do things to hurt my girl or me when she's out with my girl but I don't have a better choice. Do I have to resign and stay home? Why Spore govt can't give me a full day special needs childcare centre near by house? Why there's only one student care centre suitable for my girl in Spore and located so far?
Was chatting with neigbour, told her my agony to employ a FDW, seem hired purposely to give me mental and financial stress. As FDWs' employer, we know MOM/PAP government hasn't been fair to us.
30 Dec - Awakening
My 3 ex-filipino maids may have their issues but they don't make my girl scream or cry everyday. My girl was still obedient and the 3 ex-filipino maids displayed able to handle my girl.
First time hired Indonesian FDW. M is the most expensive of all, most unstable FDW and appeared like big baby - need a babysitter for her. M is too young. M is not married, didn't take care of children or siblings so when I asked her to put on diaper for my girl, she spolit a few diapers by taping wrongly. Even after one month of training, M can still wear a diaper for my girl that is more to one side, means the other part of my girl's buttock can be seen or diaper too loose. Sometimes, she pulled the diaper so hard, the tape portion got torn, another diaper wasted.
Realised I have to find other plans before school reopens next week. CCTV is not going to be helpful because M needs lots of reminders and supervision. I can't stay online and watch her very moves. I can't view online and remind her the floor is wet by her or my girl. I can't remind her she didn't clean my girl properly.... no choice, I had to find and pay a pair of eyes to supervise M. My in laws stayed the nearest to me, within walking distance but they were unwilling to let my helper and girl visit their house for about 4 hours a day. My girl just needed a place to have her nap and when awake, watch TV or go to the playground. In laws wanted a quiet life, don't want any disturbance, said disturbance bad for their poor health. At last, found a relative to help but she stayed at the other end of Spore. The travelling time to her place takes 1 hour (one way).
This is the best option available so this morning I told M, said "you'll be taking MRT to school and after school, take mrt to my relative's house. Take note you're not working in 2 houses. You need people to remind you so I had no choice but to put you in a relative's house. Make sure you keep your eyes open, don't let my girl destroy people's things. Once returned home, you just need to shower my girl then prepare things for the next day school. If we're cooking dinner at home then washing is required. If not, the only chores I could think of is to keep dry clothes from the bamboo and fold". Told M, nobody is at home, there's nobody to generate housework or cleaning work that would keep her busy during weekdays.
I have to explain very clearly M is not working in 2 houses. FDWs liked to compare and complain things that are not true. What they told others misled people to think it is serious, as if they have overworked or abused. Some working women had to place their children in another person house but the FDWs refused to do anything. The house owner had to cook and do all the cleaning. FDW doesn't lift a finger, not even wash the kids or her own bowl!! Felt she's a guest, refused to do any houswork, except mind the kids. If the kids are napping, she used that free time to chat on mobile. If you ask her to do some work, some will give you black face or pretend to hear you but leave the chores unattended, focus on her mobile is more important.
Example if your mother had to cook for the grandchildren, do housework and SERVE the FDW, would you be happy? Is this a filial act? It means mother is bullied by FDW! Why such thing is happening? Some FDWs quoted agency or MOM's message, FDWs not suppose to work in 2 houses or moonlight! Some employers had to pay FDWs extra money to shut their mouth.
29 Dec - Making full use of her 'privilege'
My FDW is not the type that will be trapped at home. She can go to school, market or mall to buy meal for us. Whenever M is out, she'll stretch the time, make full use of the time out to see things/shop. The distance from my house to the market, to and fro is about 20mins but M often spend about 1 hour. Initially will claim long queue to buy food or can't find the stall. Now she just reply me "haven't 1 hour". "Who told you to spend 1 hour, I didn't give you such info". M continues to enjoy her 1 hour (50-59mins to M is classified as reasonable) disappearance no matter what black face I gave. Thus, I felt reluntant to ask M pack food home. Guess M found out I'm just a paper tiger.
I'll give M money to buy food when outside. I don't buy food and force her to eat. Told M she can eat anything she likes but the cost must not be more than my food. There are times M spent more, reminded her to check the price before ordering and don't come running to me for extra cash. Claimed I can deduct the extra money spent. Would you deduct and give FDW a chance to complain to others you're/I'm extremely bad?
Yesterday, we had dinner at food court. Waited a long time for M to get her food. When she was back, she was holding a bowl of longan dessert and a plate of horfun. I merely spent $3.30 for dinner, didn't buy any drink or dessert! Felt angry so I said I was taking my 'can't sit still' girl outside for a walk, she had 5 mins to finish her food! Next time, I must not give her big note! M assumed she can spend the money that I passed to her, even though I said the spending must not cost more than mine! M can choose to turn off her senses .... as usual. She saw me buy food from which stall (very near to our seat), the price and picture is displayed.
25 Dec - Communication and understanding my instruction
Yesterday reminded M to pack things because we're going out. She has a printed standard checklist. This morning, saw her busy packing her clothes and toiletries. When I swinged back to her shared room, she's still very busy with her personal stuff. Asked her whether she has packed everything, 'yes' was her reply.
The 3rd time, I decided to find out what's keep her.
Me: have you prepared my girl's socks
M: No, don't know what colour sock.
Me: I have already shown you what my girl is wearing, how come you don't know? Just see what colour she's wearing and find a pair of socks to match.
Me: have you prepared my girl's long-sleeve?
Me: have you prepared enough diapers?
Me: Why are you so busy with your clothes?
M: mam said prepare 1 extra set of clothes
Me: when did I say that?
Me: no, I didn't. You asked me whether to prepare 1 extra set of clothes, as per checklist it was for my girl. Of course I replied yes, how would I know it is meant for yourself? Why do you need extra clothing when we're not going swimming?
24 Dec - Christmas Eve
Quite a number of offices offered half day work on this day. My office is a full day office but some dept heads allowed their staff half day off.
Felt it is ok to stay in office. At least, I don't need to stay home train my FDW. Believe M won't like to see me at home.
Somebody says how to manage and train a FDW.
Example: If the sink is dirty, do not ask maid if she has washed it. You know the answer already. If she says no, she is embarassed or afraid she'll get scolded for telling the truth. She has reason to lie. To avoid embarassing or picking on her and getting yourself all worked up, just simply tell her to wash the sink. If she says feebly that she has done it, tell her to do it again because it is still dirty. Show FDW how to clean and what is the meaning of 'clean' in your house. Let your FDW know that you have eyes to see, shabby work is not encouraged.
Tried and tested. Doesn't work on my Indonesian-big baby-FDW.
23 Dec - My cooking method
I have told my helpers to use my methods to cook, manage my girl and the house. Not sure is it deliberately, my ex-maid J knew my preferred ways yet taught M the wrong ways.
Example, I don't want lots of oil to fry nuggets, just need to oil frying pan with a bit of cooking oil. I don't deep fry nuggets. Deep frying is only for chicken wings, dumplings and meat balls.... this method will make my living room and kitchen really oily. It takes too much time to clean. M's main duty is to care for my girl, not spend time hiding in the kitchen, bury herself with housework and ended up with no time to play or bond with my girl.
Another example, I par-boil brocolli, don't like soft and over-cooked (yellowish) ones.
Showed M at least 3 times what is the fastest way to take the brocolli or any fried food out to prevent overcook/burnt but she still takes one by one out from the pot.
Why FDWs so stubborn and hard to train?
My mum said as long as my girl is looked fed, doesn't look abused, just leave the maid to do whatever she likes. Close both eyes!!
No no, it is my house, my child, not FDW's! How can I, a mother, the legal house owner pretend didn't see? No way I'm letting a stranger manage my house and child according to her preferences.
I paid domestic helper a salary to help me, not to give me unnecessary stress, headaches or to take away my role as a loving mother and house owner.
21 Dec - My herbal soup was ruined by maid
When I typed this, I have given my FDW one month of training.
Today's dinner, I prepared 泡参 herbal soup. As it was too hot, I decided to let it sit in a basin of water to cool down. Reminded M, showed her where I put my soup, told her to be careful, don't touch... she responded "umm".
After I've checked something, less than 5mins, I was shocked to discover she has ruined my soup! M threw her curry container into my soup. So angry, wasted about 2 bowls of 泡参 soup.
Is it because she couldn't drink (contains pork) that's why she didn't take my words to heart? Just when I was telling myself to be nicer to her, forget what she did the past weeks, forget how unhappy I was, she didn't perform according to my half of my standard, be patient with her ... she made another mistake to make me angry!
Yes, I screamed at her. M apologised this time but she ruin my soup! Sorry no cure lah!
For the sake of my girl, I really need to tolerate and try my best to live with a domestic maid. Will I become emotionless one fine day?
Still training M ... tough job! My job in the office is much more pleasant.
Training a maid is similar to raising a kid, no joke, seems like I've got myself another daughter. I hope I can survive the ordeal. Nowadays, maids are not good and less willing to be trained like the olden days, to be a good helper. You can't trust agency words or what a maid tried to present during interviews. Getting a reasonably good maid requires a bit of luck.
MOM's unfair policies
Cost to hire a FDW
Hired FDW for special needs child
Maid with no mobile phone on working days
Mandatory off days
Finding suitable transfer FDW
Employing M, my Indonesian FDW
MOM's rest day guideline for Employers - brief
Training an experience filipino FDW
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
My views, related to articles/news
Why set up a Blog?
Domestic maid's off day