Just last week Singapore were astonished with this photograph shown on the internet media. It has been a lot of debates on the forum or media coverage about this. Probably for some of you, there is nothing peculiar about this picture, especially if you come from the society where having helpers around are just part of the daily life. I grew up in the society where since the time I start to walk I will have someone next to myself helping me instead of my own mother. And I was not alone, there are many other just like me especially from the place where i grew up with in Jakarta.
If you happened to travel to Jakarta you will see, it is very common to have maid/servant around. Some even further the service by having additional helper such as baby sitter, driver, gardener, cooker etc etc. It is very common as well to watch a small young boy walking in the front playing with his tablet game while behind him a group of helpers walking following him, it could be the one carry his bag, the one carry his towel just in case he sweats, the one carry his fans just in case he is hot and bla bla bla……
the labor price over there in Jakarta is very cheap, you can pay like $75 perhead per month, and that is all there is nothing additional cost you need to pay to the government. therefore having more than just one in one household is very common.
BUT here … in Singapore! you must fork out quite a substantial sum of money to afford a helper in the house. the salary that can cost out about $300 plus the levy that you need to pay to the government as well with minimum amount about $250 or it could be more. in all you could spend about $600 a month just for one head of helper, without any weekend tips, their lodging and food as well as medication. Believe me … if you are a generous employee you could spend up to $1000 a month.
Off course some will come up with the justification that they need to go out to work, therefore nobody will take care the kids at home or running the household. And sure enough their pay can cover the whole cost for the maid, they even can bring some extra money home on top of that. But some …. their take home paid is not even justify their maid cost … so i don’t see the point of working outside and leave home and kids with someone else.
Allright! i am not going into debate about what is right and wrong. BUT …. but ….!!! personally i prefer NOT HAVING MAID at home at all. There are many reasons behind it which i would like to highlight here. Do not get me wrong! I used to work before and earn money that surely give me some extra to pocket home after paying my maid salary. But it only stand for some months and i decide to send my maid home.
I am used to live outside my home country for sometimes, especially in USA. that part of my life had thought me how to become independent and taking care my own life. Like most part of the western country and culture, having maid is not part of their life style. They are pretty independent and practical when come to daily life. ONLY after they move to the society with this culture, they start to pick up the habit and get complesant of it and some can not live without it …..LOL
There are so many good things about not having maid at home! ECONOMICALLY savvy first of all. that sum of money I can use to invest on other things, such as child education or saving plan. Secondly, I always up on the habit to be in charge of my home affair directly instead of leaving it to someone else. I know exactly in and out what is happening in the house, it is totally under my control. I know some employee are very good just like my neighbors, even they are working , they are totally in charge with their maid and in full control, but some are just CAN NOT BE bothered attitude. They become lazy and leave everything onto someone’s else charge. Even for their regular grocery shopping they can not decide it themselves, they have to depend on their maid to do it ….
The third which is MOST crucial is the value system we introduce to our kids. We can not expect a maid which comes from a different background to actually introduce the value system in life. If we are lucky we get a good one that can actually translate our expectation to our kids, otherwise you will just end up with maid chatting on the handphone or gossiping with friends while the kids are busy playing computer game or watching TV almost all day. I sometimes see with the maid around the kids tend to be pampered, they live with the aid/assistant all the time. I see a girl going for her ballet class, the maid is actually the one who carry her bag, put on her shoe and dress, that girl just stand there like a doll …. and she is the age that should be able to do it herself. That is not the only thing, some kids does not know how to organize their room, their bag or be responsible with their own things … WHY??? cause they always have SOMEone to do it for them ….. all they need to do is SCREAM the name and all will get done.
Sometimes when i think back, I am lucky that i spend half of my life outside my parent house hahahahahaha! that give me the independent attitude and be self in charge. ANd probably that also makes me not feeling comfortable to have stranger in the house doing thing for myself. There are good about it which i mentioned above and bad things too … the bad things are … i can be SUPER TIRED! hahahahahaha
but honestly! i rather do thing myself and i expect my daughter to pick up the same value as well.