Sunday, December 5, 2010

On Employing a House Help

I always brag about being a hands on Mom (self proclaimed).  Indeed, it's true.... yeah! I've always been a working Mom but this doesn't stop me from monitoring the progress of the kids in and out of school and home.  Of course, I do not consider myself a "wonder woman" to be able to handle all things at the same time.  

That is why, I always employ a house helper ever since.  For one, my full time job will not allow me to do all the household chores, but at least, I can supervise most of them.  To be able to do this effectively, we need to have a trusted, credible and reliable helpers whom we can entrust things at home when we are away.  Having them around, would at least help us ease the burden of thinking about truck loads of clutters that need to be cleared.  Not to mention the countless worries of whether the foods will be prepared on time for the family's dinner.  With a trusted and properly trained helper around, we can at least be sure that everything around the house is still going through smoothly even in our absence.  But through my years of experience employing a house helper, I've been through a lot.  From the good and worst scenarios you could ever imagine.  I guess, I am not always lucky all the time.  I am, on several occasions, able to employ someone who gave me mega head aches and premature wrinkles (lol). 

But through the years, I've learned from my experiences and these taught me to become more careful, if not a lot wiser. :)

I'm sure that a lot of busy "moms" like me would like to get cleared of the pros and cons of having a house maid and the tips to prevent if not totally avoid some problems....

 Here are some that I gathered and compiled from my past experiences...

From Google Images
1.)  If you do not have a full time job and you have someone else staying with you in the house like your parent or distant relative, it would be better if you just employ a part time house maid.  Schedule them to come at least twice a week to do the laundry and general cleaning of the house.  The daily tasks can be scheduled and divided among the family members.  This will still allow you to attend to your part time jobs or small business or any "rakets" that you may have.  

2.)  If moms work full time, then a "stay in" helper is a must.  This is so because tons of household chores will be left undone since we do not have enough time and energy to accomplish them after work.
      Google Images

3.)If you are having a single detached house and your budget can accommodate, it would be good to have a Surveillance camera installed inside the house.  There are now a lot of basic and simple system offered in the market for a reasonable price.

4.)  If you have a land line installed in the house, make sure that it is pin locked for long distance and international calls, otherwise just opt for an option to have it only available for local calls, same as what I did.

5.)  Make a thorough briefing with your maid on what was expected of her when it comes to the daily tasks to be done, as well as the protocols that have to be observed in the house.  As much as possible, discouraged them from accepting visitors.  This is for security purposes.

6.)  Make sure that you brief every member of the family to be extra cautious with their personal belongings. If possible, invest on a good and reliable safe deposit box.  There are cheap ones in the market.

7.)  As much as possible, avoid getting from Employment Agencies unless it's really necessary and urgent.  Not only these agencies charged expensive fees but most of the time they are unreliable and unwilling to be responsible for any untoward incidents arising as a result of getting the maids from them. Opt for referrals from relatives, friends and neighbors.  Choose the ones from far provinces.  Even you shoulder the transportation fees, at least you can ensure that they will stay with you for a minimum of one to two years.

8.)  If the helpers you employed were proven to be trusted and reliable, don't hesitate to give them rewards either in the form of gifts or bonuses on special occasions like Christmas or birthdays.  Not only they will appreciate you for this but this will inspire them to work harder and live up to your trust.
 9.)  Allow them to have regular days off.  This will help them get energized and forget their boredom.  If you're having family trips once in a while, tag them along.  This will give them a "sense of belonging" and also enjoy some time away from the usual routine in the house.

10.) Make them feel that you care for them and not treating them just an ordinary person servicing you.  This will make them develop a sense of commitment and "love" for each member of the family.  This will make them show a genuine concern for the welfare of the family which they now regard, as they are, a part.

11.)  If you think that you are satisfied with their performance and made you really stress and worry free with their presence, consider giving salary increases or additional benefits like contributing for them for SSS or Phil Health.  This will also help them in times of needs especially during emergencies or unforeseen health problems.  

12.)  Brief your kids to be respectful of them and consider their needs as a person.  This will boost your helper's self regard and self respect.
 13.)  Allow them to participate in family activities like exchange gifts on Christmas.  In short, treat them like a family.

14.)  If you sense that there is a behavioral problem in your house maids, avoid pampering them  as giving them a chance to abuse.  Do not always give in to their request for cash advances. If they ask permission to visit their hometown, avoid giving a big cash advance and if possible, just make sure that they do not owe you much in case they didn't come back.  

Remember, house helpers are the ones always left in the house so there is a need to have a credible and trusted maids.  You can make them one through proper training and supervision.  Humanitarian considerations are always up to you as an employer but this requires careful study and analysis of their behavior and performance.  We should always be balance and maintain an open line communication with them.  Problems or incidents can always be avoided by being cautious and not being carefree.  House helpers can be an asset and at the same time can be a disgrace, depending on how you deal with them.  It is best to keep them with you for longer time especially if you really intend to be forever working Mom.... To be able to do so, strike a balance by being cautious on security aspect and be sensitive of their feelings and needs as individuals. 

To have a good one is a blessing to the family....


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