WEEKLY BLOG: First Month of 2020 & Life Without A Helper

We are just past the first month of the new year. Just so you know, I did make attempts on keeping up with my weekly blog — but they all ended up being half-written posts rotting away in my draft box (oops?). I should be getting rid of them soon, I will get rid of them soon. Anyhoo, let’s dive straight into today’s topic.

Date of writing: 1st January 2020

After a very long while, here I am, back again for another update. We have fast-forward to the first day of a brand new year. It's been two decades since the turn of the millennium. Tomorrow my "new" maid (let's call her 'maid #2') will be returning to the agency and be transferred to her new employer, and as my NEW helper (maid #3) has yet to arrive from Indonesia... I'll be left to look after my kiddo ALONE.

The next two weeks will be incredibly challenging because Victor will be going to the States on a work trip... a period when I have NO HELPER at home and to top things off, Ethan will be starting school in a brand new environment. Seriously, good luck to me.

Chinese New Year is in 3 weeks and my husband will be returning just slightly in time to make it for family reunion dinner, and hopefully have his jet lag adjusted back.


Date of writing: 29th January 2020

So I started the year with a maid (let’s just skip the whole “we can’t call them maids or helpers and should appropriately address them as foreign domestic workers” sort of crap — I respect my helpers and have the utmost love for them because they have been a great help to my life, but it is the truth that they came to Singapore seeking employment as a maid) for 2 days before she transferred to her new employer* - I miss you Ah Tun! - and was left to look after Ethan alone for over a week before my new (3rd) helper arrived. Mind you, in that week of looking after Ethan alone, I was TRULY alone. My husband had left for a work trip in USA and so it was just me, Ethan and my in-law’s.

*Ah Tun was the second helper that I hired but had to transfer her due to language problems 😢 With the help of my maid agent, I managed to find her a new employer whose household speaks Malay. The last I communicated with her (which was 3 days ago), she is nicely settled in and happy with her new employment!

My 3rd helper... *groans* Three days into working at my house, she voiced out that she wanted a transfer. Reasons? I was too fierce. I scold her too much. She didn’t know why she had to be scolded.

I’ll admit. I’m fierce and yes, I did scold her. I know I know, big red flags... shouldn’t scold, should talk, they are human beings too... I tried okay. I really tried. Out of all my helpers, I was the NICEST to her and fine, since she didn’t like being scolded, no matter how freaking irritated I was by her, I didn’t scold. I swallowed my anger down. Even when she...

  • Left my son ALONE in a closed-door room (who does that?!?!?!!!)
  • Fucked up my son’s meal when I told her 3 times within 30 minutes that we are cooking noodles for him today and she doesn’t need to cook porridge (she still cooked porridge for him in the end 🤦🏻‍♀️)
  • Didn’t finish cooking his lunch when my ONLY instructions to her before I left house to pick my son from school was to put the damn meat & vegetables into the porridge at 12pm & she failed to do it BECAUSE.
  • Gave me attitude when she didn’t manage to talk to her husband on the phone for 2 days... I permitted her to bring her handphone from Indonesia but her trainer wouldn’t her bring it. I did let her call home using MY PHONE and I’m paying for her damn IDD calls. I let her try several times but her husband just didn’t pick up. What you want me to do? 🙄 I even asked my father in law to lend me his old phone to let her use, and gave WiFi access to that phone. But then she complained, no SIM card... Haven’t get work permit yet, how to apply for SIM card?!
  • Complained to my husband “I scared, I very scared, I never pack room because I scared mam scold” when she failed to do her daily duty of packing our bedroom and I noticed that and GENTLY reminded (I swear, it was damn gentle and I spoke super nicely) her to go do it. I didn’t even say shit and she went to complain to him. Wtf.
  • Lied to me during the video interview that she knows how to take care of kids because she took care of her own daughter in Indonesia. But in actual fact she has never taken care of her daughter before and the caretaking duty is done by her mother-in-law.

So many other crap that I’ve gotten from her, I’m lazy to list them all down. And this all happened within the 11 days that she worked for me... ELEVEN, just 11.

Right before CNY, before the agency closed for a week for CNY break, I decided to send her back. I didn’t want to risk tolerating her nonsense and be left without help from my agent for over a week. I would rather be exhausted than to lose sleep and go mental over my FDW.

She expressed initial shock but got over it quickly and didn’t show any signs of disappointment/upset. In fact she seemed happy to be back at the agency. So okay, it’s a win-win situation... although technically it’s considered a loss for me because I paid $800 to bring a maid that was useless to me, all the way from Indonesia. Waste of my money 🤬 Someone should do something about this, protect the employers more. There are so many groups and communities that protect the FDW but none for the employers. It is so unfair and the injustice is silently killing me and probably a ton of other employers too.

And here we are at where I am today. Back at the state of having no helper, and it’s been like this for a week now. There is no foresight as to when my next helper will be coming because I haven’t even choose yet. Husband and I decided not to rush the selection process because we don’t want another helper with a half-hearted heart and us having to waste more money on our end.

I’m currently getting help from my father in law and my mom to ferry Ethan to and from school, and that is a big help because it is nearly impossible to control my active son on a public bus and my arms are terribly sore from carrying him to the bus stop, on the bus, to school, and the cycle repeats for the journey home.

Also, with the current outbreak of Wuhan Virus / Novel Coronavirus, I find it safer to just keep him away from mass public transport if possible. The incubation period is way too long and an ill person can infect others while being in the incubation phase without displaying any symptoms – I'm still debating with my husband on this as it says that the source of this statement is unreliable, however I begged to differ as the sources are from well-established news websites. We'll wait and see how this all goes.