Sunday, 19 September 2010

Terrible Week

The week past was a terible week, nothing like what I would have expected. It started with us making a decision to get a helper from Indonesia to help us with the chores. Currently, I am managing ok with the kids on my own and the hubster also chips in to help occasionally when he's not too exhausted. I am happy and satisfied with the pace I am scrapping, 1 or 2 layouts a week. I am happy with the me-time I get while shopping and's not a lot but enough to keep me cheery! The kids are good and they often help out with hanging the laundry, simple tasks like putting away their toys and carrying their utensils to the sink for me to wash, bringing worn clothes to the pail or washing machine... I make these activities seem like fun for them and now, they are used to putting away stuff.

But when Adah starts primary school next year, we are uncertain of the new academic challenges she may face and I will like to spend more time with her. Also, she will be in the afternoon session and Asher in the morning. So we thought having a helper to relieve the chores will free up more time for me to spend with the kids, or so we thought...

5 days into bringing the helper home, she ran away while I sent the kids to school. As I picked her up just before the Hari Raya public holiday, I did not really start her on any chores except washing and ironing the laundry. We went out during the weekend and she was with us, so it came as a shock when I returned home on Tuesday morning after sending the kids to school to an empty, messy home and the helper gone.

I went to the police to lodge a report. She found my set of spare keys which I had forgotten about myself. There was a missing knife from the kitchen and she took off with unused bottles of toiletries, shower foam and all. Unlike what many would have thought, I did not scold her at all. I had been extremely patient and gentle with her. I am not a patient person by nature but with this helper, I was soft and willing to teach since I knew I was going to be home most times and she could always clear her doubts whenever she needed. I cooked for her since she said she could not cook and I handled all the meals for the family as well. So when she ran off, I could hardly understand what went wrong...There was a lot of frustration as being nice did not mean you get nice treatment or loyalty back from the helper and I felt betrayed in a way (although I dunno if betrayed is the right word to use since we hardly know each other in 5 days!) but the chaos she created for us and the anxiety was causing unnecessary stress.

She was found at the embassy. She claimed her husband had passed away. She did make a phone call home while she was with me but I do not understand advance Bahasa Indonesia. She will be returning home and we will not be getting another helper. It was too scary and we will just find some other way to cope. We do not need such disruption and stress in our lives and the children were not too comfortable with another helper too. They used to adore our ayi in China but just could not communicate with the Indon one.

The hubster and I had joked that we might try for number 3 if our helper was good but it looks like it may not materialise anymore. I have no layouts to share this week because we were thrown off balance. I spent the week cleaning and sanitising the house when I found ants and creepy crawlies where the helper slept. And the children and I tried to re-organise the house back to its original condition. Thank God she was with us for only 5 days!

What would you have done if you were me? Get another helper? If so, what are the criteria you will look out for? What are the options available?

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