We are entering into the full blown festivities period, and ushering it in is the Eid Al-Adha, popularly known by Nigerians as the “Big Sallah”. Barka de Sallah to every one who is Muslim and a part of this community. In case, you didn’t know, it is called “Big Sallah” because Muslims celebrate it BIG. There is the killing (sacrifice) of ram/rams and cooking of different dishes. Even in the homes of non-muslims like mine, growing up, we had extended family members who would come to our house because they knew our neighbors never disappointed during this season.
The were several knocks on the door offering us coolers of rice and most importantly meat. (I’m salivating as I type this). Following this celebration later in the year is the Christmas and New year holidays. In all, if you breathe in long enough, you should be able to perceive that the season has changed.
Back to why this post is so important. During this season of festivities, there is the certainty that your maid’s activities will increase. She will have to serve guests, clean the house and environment and maintain it’s cleanliness, there’ll be more laundry, more dishes and pots to be washed, the restroom has to be constantly in perfect shape because guests will want to use them and so on. She most likely will feel overwhelmed with the activities and if not managed well, she could suffer a break-down or burn-out.
Below, I offer useful tips to help your maid stay on her A-game, complete all her tasks and still come out looking like she didn’t break a sweat throughout this season.
- GET ENOUGH REST
While there will be so much to be done and sacrifices and compromises have to made, as much as possible, your maid needs to find ways to rest from all the activity. It could be a 10 minutes break in the bathroom, a cold shower, a stroll around the neighborhood, a 10 minutes nap while sitting or ultimately a good night rest. Ignoring rest and pushing herself beyond limits does not guarantee that she will get more done. If she is exhausted, there is an increased probability that her work will be shabbily done and she might have to re-do it all over again.
- PICK ONE TASK AT A TIME
The sink may be full of dishes and used disposable cups scattered on the floor, the most effective way to get all the chores done is to focus on one task at a time till she is done with it, and then move over to the next one. This brings a sense of accomplishment. It reflects order. Her work is visible to people around and they can see that she is on top of her job. This brings me to the third point.
- TACKLE THE OBVIOUS CHORES FIRST
Your maid will most likely be faced with so many things to do at once and will be at a crossroad on which one to tackle first. My advice is to tackle the obvious ones that will make people comfortable, then later recline to focus on the less visible tasks. For example, if the bathroom is dirty,the kitchen is untidy at the same time and there is laundry to be done, despite the fact that the kitchen may be easier to clean, it pays to focus on cleaning the bathroom first. This would help keep interruptions that may come when she is doing other work out of her way.
- AVOID UNPRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY
She probably wants to impress guests and family members and so may fall victim of running errands that do not add to her bottom-line. If she paints a picture that she is available for every errand, she will be asked to run them, her energy will be depleted and her chores will still be waiting for her undone.
- IT IS OK TO ROLL-OVER TASKS
It is very OK to have left-over tasks. She should not feel compelled to finish all the chores that the day comes with. I hardly think there will be an award for completion. The only clause there is, her activities for the next day must start from the left-over tasks.
- BE A PART OF THE EVENTS
These events are only for a period of time, maximum two days. It will be painful for her if the only thing she remembers when she looks back at the days is all the work she did. Chores are continuous and there will be plenty of days left after the celebrations to do her work. Encourage her to participate, maybe not full time, but part of the time.
- ASK FOR HELP
There will most likely be younger extended family members who will be visiting or sleeping-over during this period. It is OK to ask them if they could be of help with the small things or handle the small side distractions that may interrupt the big tasks. For example, serving new guests, picking the living room, sweeping the frontage of the house e.t.c.
Above all, as employers we have to be very considerate during this period. It is OK to overlook minor errors and oversights, assist when you can and shower genuine praise appreciation when tasks are completed. Ensure she eats and drinks well. You can ask her questions to know where she would need help, because many maids may not have the courage to ask for help. Let your family members and guests know how well she is doing, and encourage them to offer her gifts if they can afford it.
That brings me to the end of these tips. I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments.