I’ve had some health problems in the last month, including a two day stay in a hospital, and a three day illness. We found ourselves asking a question we didn’t want to consider-Should we hire another maid?
There were a lot of arguments in favor of that choice. For one, Ravi couldn’t keep taking time off from work because of my illnesses. For another, Rhiannon was having a lot of trouble adjusting to daycare. The financial strain of our cleaner, our babysitter and daycare were starting to look like they weren’t worth the cost. We were constantly low on our food necessities, and I was cheating with crap food (mac n cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, McDonald’s, and so forth) instead of making dinner. I was tired, and struggled to make it through the day. Support might make a big difference on a day to day basis.
The arguments against hiring another FDW were simple.
Firstly, needing support didn’t change the fact that I am not a well-trained manager.
(reference-The movie “Office Space, source of photo)
Secondly, we were remain uncomfortable with the idea of someone who isn’t immediate family living in our home.
We went back and forth over the course of a week.
- I asked friends for recommendations–would knowing the helper (or knowing the family) help us feel more comfortable with the person we would hire? I was not comfortable with my instincts after they had steered me wrong before.
- We looked at our home-we did not feel comfortable with asking a helper to live in the maid’s room. There were practical and moral reasons for this. How could we shift things around to free up a “real” bedroom?
- We talked about what concerns we would have in terms of training and dealing with cultural differences.
In the end, we just kept coming back to the conclusion that we just didn’t want to hire a live-in helper. We decided to give things another month to see if they’d get better. Slowly, they seem to be. Rhiannon is adjusting to daycare, and is no longer crying, which relieves me of a great deal of guilt I felt. Food is still a disaster, and I’m more tired than I’d like to admit. But with luck things will sort themselves out to the point where we don’t have to go that route.
Many of you are long-time readers. You will know exactly how hard it was for us to even consider the possibility of another helper. There’s nothing like having made a big mistake and knowing that you aren’t good at something crucial to make you skittish about trying again.
I’m relieved that we were able to find an alternative this time, but I worry about a situation where it wouldn’t be practical to continue avoiding hiring another FDW–if I do end up needing spinal fusion surgery, for one. My in laws were able to come out for two months, but we can’t ask them to do that again and again and again. Moving isn’t on our radar-we’re happy. The conclusion is that in certain, extreme scenarios–yes, we might hire another FDW. But it would be a last resort.