A mother's horror: When your maid’s lover starts visiting home
“You often hear horror stories where babies are drugged to sleep with cough syrup by maids, for sheer convenience. My mind was distraught with fear just by the thought of many such possibilities.” D had a bad experience with her first maid. Find out what happened...
A lot goes through the mind of an Asian woman when she decides to opt for a live-in maid, more so, when she has just had a baby. “Why did I even have a baby if I can’t look after her? Can I really trust my baby with someone I just met 2 days back? Will he eventually start preferring the helper to me?”
The guilt pangs are huge and the insecurity, enormous. Nevertheless, the woman of today has a career to nurture and look after. She knows that if she stays at home to look after the kids, it will impact her future career options.
Similar thoughts wafted through D’s (name withheld on request) mind 10 years ago. Her firstborn was just 6 months old. Young, energetic and raring to go, she wasn’t going to let a baby slow down her work.
Sure, she loved her son but she was positive that a helper would help her achieve the utopian work-life balance. She even opted for a helper from her hometown so there wouldn’t be any cultural or culinary differences.
Finding out about the Maid’s lover
All was hunky dory until one day, D had to stay back home on MC. She was in the middle of her afternoon siesta when her sleep was rudely interrupted by the incessant ringing of the maid’s handphone. Since she was nowhere in sight, D attended the call herself.
‘Hey, what were you up to?” a male voice spoke, more than lovingly, in chaste Tamil. D smelt something fishy. She replied coyly. The act was short-lived though. The man disconnected as soon as he realised he had been duped.
Later that evening, the maid was heavily interrogated by D and her hubby. All hell broke loose and the truth finally emerged. The maid revealed that her ‘friend’ would often come home and ‘spend time’ with her.
Did my maid or maid’s lover try to harm my baby?
Looking back, D shudders to think what all her baby might have ‘seen’ and gone through when her maid’s lover visited her home.
“You often hear horror stories where babies are drugged to sleep with cough syrup by maids, for sheer convenience. My mind was distraught with fear just by the thought of many such possibilities.”
Of course, no time was wasted and the maid was sent back to her hometown. D stayed away from maids for a long time after that, opting for a childcare centre instead. It was only after she had her second child, three years later, did she go back to having a maid again.
Singapore’s been seeing more of such stories
So it turns out that this case of maid’s lover is hardly an isolated one. Some employers are even reluctant to give maids their weekly day off for fear of them finding “new lovers”.
Of course, the general consensus is that our helpers are human beings too and are entitled to a love life. Never inside our homes perhaps, leaving the baby in the lurch.
Our take on this issue
Where monitoring your maid is concerned, we think that the following pointers may be helpful:
- Use of CCTV Cameras : These days, it is not uncommon for employers here to use closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to keep an eye on their maids, especially those left at home with the elderly or young children. They use CCTVs to deter their maids from abusing family members or to ensure that no stranger enters their homes. However, the maid should always be made aware of the existence of such a camera just to ensure that there is no breach of privacy or trust.
- Lay out your rules and regulations at the very start: Be honest with your maid. Tell her frankly at the very onset what works and what does not, in your household. Let her know the repercussions of not following the ground rule
- Maintain good neighbourly relations: Good neighbours look out for you and warn you in case they see something suspicious.
- Watch your baby closely: When you are at home, monitor your baby closely. Is he always sad and cranky or sleepier than normal? These may be signs that something is amiss.
As for D, she finally found the guts to hire another maid 3 years later. Things have been largely peaceful since then. “Touch Wood!”she exclaims. So did she ever view the current maid with an element of doubt or suspicion? “I don’t think so. I think I just decided to forget the past and move on.”
So dear readers, have you ever had a similar experience with your maid? Is your maid’s lover on your list of worries?