Crisis

What can be the most challenging situation in a woman’s life? Rather a working woman’s life? I mean what is the biggest crisis she can get into? How well do you think she copes with the situation at hand?

I recently faced a major crisis. Here’s my take on how I responded to the situation.

Good, Bad, Ugly…I leave it for you to decide.

help

Being a working mother, the most challenging situation in my life is the absence of a helping hand. Someone I can trust, someone I can rely on. Someone who could help me manage the house. And someone who can handle the kids in my absence. That’s exactly where a maid plays a major role in my life.

I never had a full-time help till my second one was born. I did have a girl who used to come in the morning and leave in the evening when I got back home. She used to come to my mother’s place and we used to drop the first born there in the mornings.

Once my second one was born, we (husband and I) were sure that I couldn’t manage without a help. So for the past 5 years, I have had full-time helps (Yes. I have changed at least half a dozen) and life was somewhat smooth. I’m generally highly patient with these girls who come to work under such circumstances for a variety of reasons. And almost of all of them have left me when they got married and are still in touch with me. But the last one that I had has been with me for over one and a half years and those who know her will definitely vouch for my patience and sympathize with me. For some reason known only to her, she would not do a single thing the way I told her to. At first I thought it is because she doesn’t understand me, so I patiently kept showing her ways of doing certain chores. But my patience started giving up after a year of continuous training and repetition. I hate getting into arguments with anybody, and last of all, the maid. But arguments started happening.

You would ask, why I did not get a replacement. The main reason is that it was my need of the hour to have one so I could attend to the kids more carefully. The other reasons are not just that she was really clean in her tasks and trustworthy, but that my husband was not supporting me. His argument was that how could I be sure that the next one who comes will be trustworthy and that I won’t have problems with her. It was a valid question and so I adjusted.

Sometime close to Christmas, she went on a week long vacation. I got the tickets booked and somehow I had an intuition that she was leaving not to come back. I always trust my intuitions as they seldom prove to be wrong.  I told the husband who said she’ll be back.

crisis

We got a call from her on the evening of 7th January saying she had met with some accident and had deep injuries on her hands and could not work. I told her that I’ve been managing for over two weeks and can do that till she got well, but she should be back just to be with the kids till they went off to school and when they get back home in the evening. She agreed to return by 11th Jan. On 10th January early morning, she called me up and said that she’ll be back only if I pay her the entire amount that I paid the agent, which is INR 30K/per year, in addition to her monthly salary which had been increased to 7K, just 5 months ago.

Yes. The domestic help business is the most flourishing business in Delhi NCR and you get a fully trained maid for no less than 8-10 K per month. I have been spending lacs on this maid business for years now. I could have as well saved it and become a Lakhpati if I had a choice.

I was already frustrated having adjusted with all her tantrums and so I considered this as a blessing in disguise. I was more agitated because the husband was on an International trip and I was managing the kids (the picking up and dropping at Mom’s place) all alone, before leaving for my office at 7.30 a.m in this chilled winter season. She was well aware of the situation. So I politely told her to enjoy her extended vacation and not to bother about how I manage my house.

It was tough to make the husband agree to not go for another full-time maid, but a part-time one who’ll come for an hour and do the cleaning up part. But I am glad I could make him agree even if he said we’ll see how it works. I know he is worried because he cares for me, but I wish to inform him that this arrangement is what will make me happy.

It has been really hectic for me and more so for the kids who have to get ready by 7 a.m. for their school which starts only at 9 a.m., since they’ve to be dropped at their grandparent’s place. Even though it’s a bit hectic, I would say, it’s a lot more peaceful for me to not have to meddle with someone on a regular basis. Also, it is after years that we have some privacy in our lives. Moreover, having a full-time domestic help meant the kids taking things for granted. This way they’ll learn to manage themselves better and they will become more responsible and independent. My mother has managed us all alone for 10 years, so this I guess is no big deal. As my manager says, “Just a few more years to go…

And more importantly, for the first time ever the yearly prediction for me is absolutely true. I’ll be richer in 2014 as I save a good amount having accepted to forego the maid. 🙂 Always look for the positive side.

This episode does make me feel that though I panic upon the immediate realization of a crisis, I handle it bravely enough and find logical solutions pretty soon.

So 2014 has started on a hectic note for me. How has it been for you so far? 🙂

*All pics in this post are a result of Google Image Search for the word ‘crisis’

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This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is, “In a crisis : Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis situations. Are you happy with the way you react? 

The author Rekha Dhyani is one of the contributors to the We Post Daily and blogs regularly at Dew Drops. She also shares her lucky clicks at The Crystal Trance

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21 Replies to “Crisis”

  1. live in maids are comfort and pain combined in one.i had one when for about an year and she was so so helpful. But the catch was that she wanted free reign in the house and had not a counter argument. If you tell her not to do anything the way she is doing(which I di only once), she would immediately tell me tat she wanted to quit. But then she was old enough to be my mother. My mother used to laugh at me telling that I treated my maid so much better than how I treated my mother :)….

  2. I just got off the phone with my mum after a good 15 minutes of venting out my “maid”enly woes. Yes, they are in demand today and to a great extent I agree with your husband…what will I do if the next one is worse…? But your reaction was apt for the point it reached with you… and you are right, somewhere we need to learn to adapt, there is always a silver lining if we chose to look for it 🙂

  3. Maids though poor are infamous at tackling their employers. I have lost sympathy for them after having a couple of bad experiences but then one has to hope for the best.A couple of decade and in India there will be no domestic helps left.

  4. totally agree with u… always look for the silver lining and focus on it. Also true that in recent times, this maid servant business had really flourished. I’m still shocked at the rates though.. the nurses in my hospital dont get that much.

  5. Handling kids alone without a maid is a tough task I must say. But I’m glad you’ve taken up the challenge and you’d surely work things out for the better. It’s always a good feeling to have someone who could help out with the kids but when they do not oblige or refuse doing work it becomes quite irritating. Hope 2014 brings loads of good luck to you and your family.

  6. Oh I sure hope you will be richer in 2014 for reasons other than saving up the maid-en expenditures. 😀 I hear you, Rekha, But knowing you, the crisis was as well managed as is expected from you. 🙂
    I do hope this does not delay my sambhar-party invitation? Fingers crossed!

  7. Am sure u can do it – if our moms could, we can as well. I do not think there is a correct ans for it – each has its pro n cons. You just do what works for u

  8. You handled the crisis well and glad that it is working for you! The maid woes are the same for all of us. Their behavior/attitude, their tantrums, their pay structure have reached ridiculous heights. It is because they know that we are dependent on them. Hope you dont have any maid woes in 2014! 🙂

  9. Rekha, it can be very tense for people employing employing domestic helps especially when they are unreliable. I had two nice maids when I was in Pune and who were really helpful. Sometimes back, I read in India Today how it is a huge market where agents charge a lot of money and exploit the market, there are cases where many people have been fleeced. I hope u become rich in 2014 and do pray the same for me. lol! Another blogger friend also wrote on domestic help and have a look, http://pepperedthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/maid-to-order

  10. Coming from someone who had a full time maid to help out with house work and the little one till around 8 months ago when we used to stay in Chennai, I perfectly understand your travails with a live in maid. Either the ones that are trust worthy completely suck at work, the ones good at work completely suck with handling the child, the ones who are good with the child are not trust worthy enough, the myriad variety of problems that abound this whole live in maid situation is crazy.

    Am more than confident that you have taken the right decision to go ahead without a maid at all. Here’s wishing you all the very best in this new innings in your life, am sure you and your daughters will emerge grown up, wise, learned and better friends after this experience 😀

  11. I hear you. Maids are real nightmares at times but then they are a major helping hand too so a necessary evil I would say. I am sure you will manage the crisis well.

  12. You are right about your kids learning to manage themselves better instead of being waited on all the time. I know my kids had become totally dependent on my full day maid. After she left (she’d begun stealing like nobody’s business) my home is safe- if a tad untidy. I’m ok with untidy I’ve found. And the kids pick up after themselves. 😀

  13. What do I say to this. I have been a working person and purposefully did not get myself a cook. A lot of my colleagues felt I would get tired and perhaps looking after home post work would be tedious. But I knew the stress of managing another maid would be worse. Plus food is an important activity unlike cleaning of house. Initially I felt stressed, I was always cranky but slowly I picked up with a lot of help from husband. And now I am kind of doing well. I am not saying I am the master chef around but yes I manage with great pile of peace. And also manage blogging after work.

    But having said that when kids come along, I will have to figure out stuff. And the thought of depending on a maid does scare me..

    Richa

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