Why the title, you ask, dear readers?
Weekend is also called a maid day, in my household. No, it’s not like we’re celebrating maids, it’s more to do house chores that I wish a maid would do it instead of me.
Not that I’m looking down at this profession. I actually give a lot of credits to maids. I grew up having maid working for my parents. Yes, stick your tongue at me, I was one of the kids out there that did not make my own bed or did the dishes or clean my room. My maid did all of those. And on top of it, my parents have never been rich and my mom never works in the office her entire life. But we had maid. In several occasions, we had two. Having a maid (or two) in our home enabled my mother to enjoy what she likes the best and ensure her daughters and husband are still living in clean house and having clean underwear and fresh, warm, healthy food served in each meal time. Having a maid enable her to concentrate watching her daughters grow up.
I think that’s the advantage, back in Indonesia, of living in a poor country. Poverty actually gives an opportunity for middle-class people to become an employer and live a mess-free house. Of course same advantage can not be applied here in the great ol’ USA when you have to go thru loopholes, provide so many and perform the FBI-level of background checks to have someone mop and dust. And add the free tax payer money government giveaways programs as the frosting on top of your cupcakes – it’s so hard to employ someone poor since they can just receive the fish and not the fishing rod. No hand-outs means people actually are more willing to work to support their own life.
And the fishing rod is what my mother provided them. They are usually girls or young woman (my mom prefer not to hire older woman – they usually did not last long, always use husband and kids as an excuse to visit their village quite frequently – and guess who is footing for the transportation expenses). My mom not only teach them how to cook, but she teaches her how to sew clothes, bake cakes and do gardening. Bed and shampoo and soap are free courtesy of my mother and we welcome them to watch TV with us and whatever we eat is what the maid would eat. Extra money for holidays and if they work really well, it would be gold earrings once a year for them (“all girls need a jewelry” my mom said). When they stop being a maid, they have so many skills. They can bake or sew to support themselves or their own family when they get married.
Of course the chores are not comparable here and there. It’s always manual work back then – clothes are manually washed, hung and ironed. We live in tropical country and no AC, so all windows and doors are usually opened, thus, sweeping and mopping need to be performed in daily basis. No such things as dishwasher, nor TV dinners or drive-thru grocery shopping and Roomba did not even exist in our wildest dreams. No Costco so all have to be bought in daily basis – hence the daily trip to the stores (now you will think it’s so hip and French, believe me, Asian countries are doing it too) by foot or by bike.
There’s actually not much to do in my house that require a professional cleaning lady to clean my house in regular basis. I just prefer not cleaning, simple as that (although I must admit, vacuuming give me a weird relief feeling when I’m stressed out). My house is small I’d sometimes worry it’d give a panic attack for claustrophobic. Cant stand being in an elevator, you say? Well I might have to scratch your name off the dinner guest list. Ha! But aside from actually having few rooms and furniture to clean, I just don’t feel like cleaning, and if I have time to do so, I prefer getting my beauty sleep caught up.
So the Maid Day usually starts sometimes on noon-ish, on Saturday. Right after I wake up. It usually start with me trying to compose a grocery list and send my husband on his way to the stores. Sorting the laundry by the colors (dark, lights, whites, jeans and handwash). Then there’s the bathrooms cleaning and if we’re lucky, vacuuming (although recently vacuuming becomes a Monday event). Have you seen my vacuum cleaner? If you have, you’d understand why I don’t like hauling that thing up and down the stairs. My handsome husband usually does the outdoor stuff – cutting the grass. There is not enough money in the world to make me go outside and cut the grass when the sun is still up. My son will have his own territory: his room that always manages to mess itself up and he has clean dishes to put away. This whole ritual usually get so many distractions (including nap time) that they got done only by Sunday night. So little house, with all the appliances, so many hours just to finish them.
So I may need to exercise anyway and cleaning does burn energy. Or I may need to compromise with my control freak-ish tendency so my husband and kid can keep their sanity. So what if there are legos or socks or towels on the floors (I can freak out over this). After 5 days of working and studying hard, weekend is something we look forward to, two days to relax and enjoy and not getting stressed to do the cleaning. And that’s perhaps, my friends, why I need a maid. So I can actually relax with my family during the weekends. Or dare I say, WE need a maid?