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Everyday, we are faced with decisions of whether or not to hire a maid or whether or not we even need them in the first place. But love them or hate them, maids may have become a necessity for every home. It is becoming increasingly evident that whether now or in the future, especially if you are thinking of being productive, there will come a time when you have to hire a maid.
I many times try to avoid the argument that says it is because our generation have become lazy or overly ambitious, or that we as women have neglected caring for the home to pursue other things, that is why we settle for maids, because I may not agree with that thought pattern. Even ancient history bears witness to the fact that the concept of maids/maidens didn’t start today.
Women were given maids when they got married to escort them to their homes and assist them.They weren’t even given just one, but sometimes, two or more. Most of these women were housewives, yet they had maids. I see getting help as a necessary part of life whether on the home front, at work or in business. That is why CEOs have personal assistants; because besides not being able to do everything by yourself, you limit your potential to be fruitful, make progress or move forward without delegating some tasks.
Having said that, It will also be fair to mention that not every phase of one’s life may require having a maid. Wisdom is knowing when the time is appropriate. But after you have decided hiring is necessary, you are most likely going to be faced with two options; To get a live-in maid or get a live-out maid.
For those who may not be familiar with the term, a live-in maid means a maid who will be living in your house. As would be expected, along with the maid’s accommodation, the employer will be responsible for feeding, medicals, security and sometimes, other personal needs like clothing and education and so on. If an employer is considering proximity, having someone readily available, someone who they can monitor and someone who can bond with their kids or travel with, a live-in maid would be their best option.
The major advantage of having a live-in maid is you are sure of constant availability, even though there should be working time frames agreed upon in your contract.  But the risk of your maid not showing up on the morning you may need her the most is low. For training, they are also easier to train as they as constantly aware of what their employers expect from them.
Hiring a live-in maid is common in this part of the world, and even though they have their advantages, employers need to be adequately prepared to take on such a responsibility. There is the financial responsibility; have you counted the cost of having an adult coming to leave with you; increase in the amount of food cooked, school fees (if you are going to send her to school), medical services if she falls ill, clothes, salary which must not be delayed?. Have you made provision for where she will be sleeping, having her bath and a private place where she can change her clothes? These are just some out of the many things to consider.
There are also environmental factors such as relationship with the neighbors and other domestic staff in your home and so on.  I have also written on how to prepare the kids for the new maid which is very important. One word that characterizes having a live-in maid is PREDICTABILITY.
A live-out maid as you may have rightly guessed is someone who has been hired to come in from her home to do housekeeping and all it entails. This person either comes in everyday or every other day depending on the agreement. Families have started considering this option because for them, it lowers the risk of having a maid with the wrong intention living with them and getting familiar with everything that goes on in their homes. The advantage of having a live-out maid is affordability. This option is cheaper because you have no obligation whatsoever to feed, provide medicals and educate. They are also easier to hire and readily available.
However some cons to consider are
Security: you don’t know where your maid is coming from or returning to. You are also not sure who she is pointing to your home or what she brings into your home everyday. It is almost impossible to search her every time she comes in.
Health is also something to consider.While a live-in maid can be monitored in her feeding and who she interacts with, it is not the same with a live-out maid; sexual relationships, the environment where she lives and so on.
Ease of Theft: If a live-out maid decides to steal, it will be easy to conceal it and hard to recover on your part because she has the opportunity to take it out.
To be proud of whatever choice you decide to go with eventually, consider which kind of maid will fit into the housekeeping gap you have presently. For instance, if you run a business and maybe work from home or you are a stay-at-home-mom, you may not need a live-in since you have the opportunity of staying at home with your kids. All you may need is someone who comes to clean and keep the kids company during the day, while you work.
For working/career women, you may consider a live-in since you need someone who can also be available to assist when you come back home tired. It is not advisable to hire just because every other person is going with the option. For someone, maybe you do not need to do away with the idea of having a maid entirely, you may just need to change your maid type.
Hope this guides you in your decision making. Please drop a comment to let me know what you think.
Your Maid Whisperer.
Picture credit: The Economist

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