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Unlearning Perfection


This will be the first of many blogs in a series I will tag UNLEARNING.

There are many ways we approach domestic staffing that may seem normal because we have been conditioned by our environment to normalize it. But when what we call “our way” is colonial, harmful, vengeful and unproductive, then we better not get comfortable and begin to learn better ways of doing things.


Your ideal domestic staff will not be perfect. I find that some employers feel they have made a wrong hiring decision when their domestic staff starts to do some wrong. Absolutely not! We have to understand that our areas of improvement are what makes us human. They keep us dependent on one another for accountability and dependent on God for help and support. That’s what makes us “Perfect.” In fact, it is the self awareness of imperfections in our character that make us teachable and open to receive mercy. Without this, we’ll have a world full of proud and hurt people. So, a domestic staff doing something wrong does not make her less ideal for your home, it only makes her human. Wrong doing doesn’t always have to end in doom. If managed properly, can be the foundation for something lasting. You aren’t perfect too. There are so many ways your domestic staff would wish that you can improve. Only that she may not be in the position to highlight those areas to you, depending on the access you have given her.

How do we unlearn perfection?

By realizing that sometimes, what triggers us when a person has done wrong is not just what they did, but a shortage of moral character in us. For example, if your domestic staff breaks an expensive plate and because you are angry, you say some really hurtful words and give her a slap on the face. On the surface, your action may be justified, but with a little bit more patience you would have acted differently and thought of a more effective way to discipline and express your anger. So, that situation revealed your domestic staff’s shortcoming of a lack of care, but also yours of a lack of patience.

We can apply this to different scenarios, but i’m sure you already get the point.

When you realize that both you and your domestic staff are Works-in-Progress, you can work more harmoniously and part ways more amicably. Offense will come, but when it does, you’ll be quick to recognize what parts in you may need adjustments too. Instead of saying “I need to send this person away” your statement may change to “I need more patience and understanding to work with this person.”

This is why I also teach domestic staff in my training courses “Managing your employer.”

I should also mention that I know this would not apply in all scenarios especially if you are dealing with a harmful person, continuous loss or someone who is unwilling to improve.

I am unlearning the definition and expectation of perfection as it relates to people and I hope you would too.

See you in the next unlearning series.

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