Life without a maid

I miss my FDW.

Adorable but exhausting

I don’t miss her because of her amazing cleaning skills (although they were amazing), but the other myriad ways she supported me. If I had a doctor’s appointment, or some other errand that would go a million times easier without kids she watched them. She was better at convincing Rhi to take a shower than I am. She was more patient that I am, or did a better job at faking it.

Me? I drag the kids and their devices with me. I get cranky when Rhi gives me shit over her shower or getting her hair brushed or some other non-negotiable. I am not as patient.

If I needed to get work done and meet a deadline, she’d run interference for me.

On my own I do a lot of late night work because during the day I’m often swamped, especially this past summer when they were around all the time. Now that they’re back at school, I’ll start to get more work done when they’re not around, but it’s just not the same. Ravi is very involved, and it’s rare for both of us to be on a tight deadline at the same time so we trade off.

If I was too tired/sick she’d make dinner. We have ordered in or gone out more than I’d like to admit.

If we wanted a date night, we’d just ask her to work later one evening in exchange for extra hours off another day. Here I have five or so babysitters that I can text to see if they’re available. But two of my sitters just went back to college. And if there isn’t a sitter available, we don’t go out. Again, not a hardship, but something that now requires additional steps.

Am I fine without a maid? Of course I am. And while I get frustrated, I make it work.

Did I live without a maid in Singapore for four years? I did. But the escape hatch was always available to me. In the US there is no such option. Almost no one has that sort of help, and well I’m comfortable financially you have to be exponentially richer to have that sort of help in the way a Singaporean does.

I don’t think about her every day, nor do I sit around bemoaning the lack of her presence. But I do miss that extra support.

Singaporeans, if you have an FDW, I hope you appreciate all they do for you. No it doesn’t always work out, and it comes with many problematic (even toxic and abusive) elements, but you have support most of the world can only dream of.

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