Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How and If to "Maid" when one has to.....

In the New Year I may have to get a maid (which I am really, really against doing). I will be the first OPNO to have a baby, and I am a worker not a stay-at-home type. Though I am happy every day that I was given a husband who gives me the choice of both, and doesn't think less of me for either or try to force either role on me.

While I do enjoy extra time off, I get bored of my house. My mind needs something new daily. I feel like I've fallen out of current events, and lost half my intelligence (and strangely, I accomplish alot less around the house with all this spare time, than I did when I was working. I guess when I had a schedule I managed to squeeze in alot more. Now I am always like, well, I have time for that tomorrow....).

Maybe I will change my mind if the baby really needs me? I don't know.

And also, I have debt from before I was a Muslim I really need to pay, and don't feel too comfy asking my husband for anything like that, as it was my sin, ect, I should be the one to clear it up. And while I know my husband will spoil me anything I ask for within reason of what he can afford (and sometimes more than that, as he's worse at banking than I am) that makes me feel like I am 12 years old again, like I have to keep in mind how much that new dress I want costs ect, whereas, if it were my own money, I wouldn't have to care about running out of grocery funds or gas ect, or the fact that I just bought something nice and expensive, and my husband wears the same dishdasha 5 times a week without complaint and his coworkers tease him about his car whose door that won't open from the inside. Yeah, don't want to be that "dalal" girl [dalal means "spoiled", which means a good thing in Arabic but my Western mind can't wrap my head around that yet] who is oblivious to all that.

So. If I go to work, I will have to get a maid. There is no such thing as daycare where we live, and while there are schools for children of speaking age, for babies, nada. Also, there really aren't any partime maids around where we live. I think I am the only woman in the tribe (beyond those who are financially struggling) who doesn't have a maid, and doesn't want one.

Why do I not want one?

Oh so many reasons.

Firstly, not all maids are good. And not all people who have maids (or who associate with those who have maids) are good. I don't want anyone I know to deal with an employee of mine in a way that I think is injust or rude or abusive, yada yada yada.

My family has had maids that stole, hit the children, brought strange men into their houses, ect. This is rare but happens, and my husband would freak Omani style (a reaction I'd not support so we'd be fighting over what happens to a bad maid even if I didn't like the bad maid), ect. The most common thing is, is gossip. Maids talk to other maids, and family news goes through the whole tribe ect., and I am already an oddity without anything of this kind stemming from my house lol.

I also have family that force non-Muslim maids to wear the headscarf, and limit their freedom of movement, and what they can do on their days off. My maid would have all the rights I'd expect anyone working for me or with me to have, but I know people from the tribe would be like "why doesn't she wear a headscarf, blah blah", not understanding the hijab properly themselves or what rights non-Muslims, even employees, have.

All such hassles I don't want in my life.

So I was thinking of what my add for the perfect maid would like exactly. Here's what I came up with.

Omani/English Muslim family looking for a full-time maid, for care of 1 small baby, and occasional cooking and washing of dishes. English language required, and Arabic will be beneficial. Religion is not a requirement, but respect for our Islamic faith is. Mother works during the day and requires fulltime care of infant from Saturday-Wednesday 7 am-6pm, and cooking and clean up after that. Position affords 2 days off in a row, and paid holidays (to be negotiated at interview). Help with cooking and cleanup (dishes), will be required on most working days to feed family of 3 for lunch and dinner. Maid will have a furnished room [and I mean furnished with a bed, a locking wardrobe, a dressing table/nightstand, air conditioner et all and a key for privacy, not an ironing board, sleeping mat, and washing machine] and while she will recieve the standard salary for her position, if the family is satisfied monthly with her work ethic, she will be alloted a bonus, to be paid at her selected holiday. Must be gentle and caring with children, self-motivated, and adhere to house rules when within our home. This means, she is not to bring any guests into the home without recieving approval from her employer first, even on her days off if she chooses to stay at the house during her days off, cannot bring alcohol or drugs into the home, and of course stealing of any kind will not be tolerated. Any case where she is suspect of the previous, she will be paid what salary she is owed, and her employment terminated. She must wear clothing that meets the working requirements of her employer [to be provided by the employer] while residing within the house or leaving the house for work reasons within working hours, but this does not include the headscarf for any non-Muslim candidate applying for the position, or pertain to any of her non-working hours spent outside the residence of her employment.

*Husband requires maid to be of mature age and/ or married, as he has had bad experiences with friend's and family's younger maids hitting on him, but wife says this is not necessary, for if she hears one word from her husband about any prospective maid doing any such thing, employer will a. kick maid's butt, b. give maid what salary is owed, c. send her packing. So do not apply if any male family member could cause you trouble in this regard, any prospective applicants. If you want help getting married, we'll advise you, but we won't support or tolerate any kind or immodesty or immoral behaviour within our family.*

----Really that's about it. I don't really need a maid beyond taking care of baby while I am working, and feeding husband dinner and lunch if I am late, and saving me the leftovers. I won't work weekends so I won't need baby care, and should be able to manage doing my own dishes twice a week and the rest of the house chores like laundry, ironing, and cleaning the floors and bathrooms.

Sigh... not what I want but something I have to think about I guess.

Anybody else have any suggestions of what to add to my maid-requirement list, or have a solution for me other than hiring live-in help??????

14 comments:

desertmonsoon said...

I don't think you have any other choice in this region... but since your child is a helpless newborn I think you should install nanny cams all over the place just to make sure your child is not being abused or neglected.

That way you can monitor your child and the maid from work if you get it set up correctly. Don't ask me how I am not a computer/IT/technology geek but a former coworker did that and it worked out quite well for him and his wife.

Ange said...

for me i just dont like the thought of someone else staying in my home - even another family member.

your privacy goes out the window and you cant 100% be yourself in your own home.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

desertmonsoon: yeah... the choices are next to nothing. I am still hoping to find a solution that suits me more.

About the nanny cam, if we take someone else's maid (that I know already) well it wouldn't be a trouble at all, but otherwise.... sighh.

Ange: Yeah, that is one of the main reasons I don't want 1. And all the attached hassle. And I find wives get lazier when they have maids;). Just a personal observance. The maids rarely help the marriage unless they are part-time help. Maybe I can find another stay at home Mum who wants to earn extra salary babysitting? I wish inshaAllah.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is not the hassle you forsee...perhaps G-d is opening this door that you might help the woman who walks through it?

~Casey

MJ said...

I think your baby will "need" you! Isn't breastfeeding a part of your culture? It is the very best start in life, and you would not have to worry about any of this nonsense. If you want a maid to help out occasionally, go for that. The baby grows so fast, and those years go by faster. Be there for your child, quality time only happens during quantity time. No regrets is a wonderful thing. Your baby will know who his mommy is.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Casey: I would like that, but I have yet to witness that. InshaAllah:)

MJ: Breastfeeding for 2 years, but they do have breast pumps for the milk ect.... I know, joy. But I would stay with the baby for a few months after the birth, but there is no such thing as an "occasional" maid here, but live in ones, unless I move to the Capital. But even if I did have a maid, she'd only be with the baby for my working hours, and even that her father would be home before me, and the weekends. So I would spend time with the baby every morning and evening and all the weekend. And her father would be with her in the afternoon as well. Which is why I don't really need a maid, but I do for those hours her father and I are both at work. And as I said, I have to work to pay off a before-Islam debt, as it has interest attached and is haraam and I want it gone. 1 year of working and it would be gone, so that is really what I need to do. But I don't want a maid. If I oculd find a partime baby-sitter it would be waaaaaaaay better for me.

Anonymous said...

OPNO:

Remember, we find what we seek.

~Casey

♥ααℓiα♥ said...

LoOoOooL OMG If you actually publish that you're gonna get jacked and whoever reads that is gonna be like, "w0oho0 PARTY TIME!!" trust me I've had my fair share of dealing with maids (more than anyone should have to go through)

PLZ don't publish that -- just say "Omani family looking for reliable & responsible maid" and then have interviews and do background checks (such as previous employers, references or ask someone you know in the ROP to find out if she has an arrest or any prior misconduct)

Good luck xoxo

Suslique said...

as salamu aleykum.

of course it is your personal choice but i guess comments are for comments, right?:) so i'll put my 2 pennies into conversation..

i would never be able to leave my baby with stranger. i became even more radical in this after one certain thing happened to me last year.

helpless infant depends on her/his mother more than anyone in the world. and tarbiyya begins from a very early age too. the connection during breastfeeding is vital for both mother and baby. there's a spiritual, almost telepathic connection between them. you know that baby and mother adjust to each others emotions even facial expressions and voice. what i'm saying is, paying off the debt is important, but does it worth it? Allah gave you a husband that is able to support you. it is one of the ways to pay the debt and stay with your baby. he married you a and your debts too (figuratively speaking) again, it's all up to you but i just cant walk past by such a matter. most of my friends who have baby sitters from very early age struggle with their children later in life.

p.s. pumping decreases milk supply

candy olive said...

Tough choice.

I'm also the worker type though always thought I could stay-at-home. Nope. not me.

So i work and grandmother takes care of baby.

But im always torn up about it. I want to raise her, but cant deal with staying home and leaving work.

UmmKhaled said...

I would definetly not work for at least 6 months after the baby...they need you and maids can easily neglect and abuse kids who can't speak up. Also I used to say the same thing...give them a day off and all this but u know they come to work...there are lighter and heavier days. The more time they have off the more they get into trouble. Some come here just to escape. It is more common than you think it is not rare...many get pregnant, let strange men in your home if allowed to be alone for long periods of time. I totally agree on upping the salary if they are good and honest and don't give you trouble. I totally agree with suitable accomodation with AC for sure. But lock on their door is a no no for sure. Just don't go in their room. Lock on their cabinets is also a no no for sure. Not all but some steal. I don't make mine wear her shayla in the house and she is muslim, but it is good in the kitchen this way hair doesn't get near food. My inlaws make them wear it alllll day! I think this is wrong. If she is in a room ironing just herself why? No need for sure. Also a lot of muslim men don't want another woman in their house with out hejab so totally understandable. Nanny cam is a must if you don't have older kids around to be your eyes. I was really nice to a few maids and u know a lot of the time it comes back to you...they take it and run with it. So you have to have strict guidelines or it will definetly ruin your maid. Have rules WHO they are allowed to talk to, just be nice and respectful, but you can't go giving them the same freedoms as yourself to come and go as they please...you will find yourself in a lot of trouble....just be nice and respectful but have those guidelines in place. Believe me if you are too nice...you will regret it and I have seen it many times :)I am really nice to mine, she has nice place with privacy, and I don't make her work 24/7 but she is around if I need her...and she knows what to do so I am not telling her even once a day sometimes to do something because she has already done it...and knows her job...

desertmonsoon said...

if it makes you feel any better, I can say that I have had a couple of very nice maids. And though it does feel weird at first you do get used to it eventually. I would advise not hiring a single woman - but rather someone who is married and older with kids of her own to provide for. They are more reliable and know how to take care of children better.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

1. Pumping will not decrease your supply although you will need to pump regularly

I went back to work immediately after each child - one at 6 weeks and the other after only 4 weeks. It sucked. If there is a way to postpone your debt payments or make smaller payments for a year, then try to do so. It sucks to be dependent on a man - but hell he is your husband. You risk a great deal allowing an unknown watch your child. What about family members? Can anyone come out and stay with you for a while? That route would be safer.

Umm Aaminah said...

A'salaamu alaikum sis. This is really a hard decision. I will give my opinion and then some general advice.

You should stay home with your baby. There is no substitute for your love. This child is an amanah from Allah and unless you must work to provide for your family, there is no other ocmpelling reason. If it's for some out of the house time (I don't blame you!) make sure you get with a friends a few times a week or go shopping alone.

Also, as a first time mama, you just can't yet understand how that little baby is gonna grip your heart. :-) All the things that seem important now are gonna fade away, trust me.

Also, even if the maid is kind, doesn't abuse the baby (and there is NO guarantee!) she might be neglectful due to cultural influences or ignorance. Maybe she feels its better to let the baby lay there and "cry it out" or not change her diaper on time. No one else will love your baby like you, not even her father. It is an amazing feeling, sis, subhanallah, the love a mother has for her child!

I would beg you to reconsider; let the interest accumulate and let your husband pay the minimums for now, if he can. If not, contact them, let them know you are off for a year or more (maternity leave) and see if they can freeze the accounts. Some lenders will.

I'll make dua for you that you come to a good solution that is best for you and your family. You know your situation, not anyone else, but as an experienced mother I felt I had to give my honest opinion.

Wa Allahu alim...