Hiring a full-time help can be a big bonus as this will provide you much needed extra help as well as allow you some time off. However, before you hire a maid, either part-time or live-in, you need to consider a few things. Do you really need a live in maid? What will be her role? Is your live in maid going to care just for your child or will she double up as a cook and housekeeper. Once you have your mind set, speak to neighbours, friends and colleagues.
An agency may offer you a variety of options:
Untrained maids are those who have never worked before. They may have just arrived from a remote village looking for work. They may not even speak your language. However, for some, untrained maids are a good option if you speak their language as they may be easier to train and mould.
Semi-trained maids may have some experience and may be able to speak the local language. They may also be trained to do certain tasks. They may be carers for babies or may handle only household chores. Rates depend on what tasks are allocated to them.
Trained maids are experienced and know how to handle a host of jobs efficiently. They will cook, look after the baby, wash clothes and handle the kitchen chores.
What should I look out for if I am choosing a live in maid?
• When hiring, look for experience. Consider hiring someone who has children of her own or has looked after children.
• Ask the agency for tele interview
• The agency should provide you with references or details of ex-employers.
How can I prepare for a live in maid?
Your maid will be living in your house, but she will still be an employee. In the first few weeks, you may want to train her and assess her work.
• Look at all aspects of safety and security first.
Teach her about all the safety and security rule in the house first.
• Have a clear job description. Explain to her what is her main priority ? Is she hired specifically to look after your baby? Or will she, like most maids, hired to sweep and mop the floors, wash the dishes, make the beds, iron and generally keep the house tidy?
• Set reasonable work timings that allow some time off for leisure as well. Some people also expect their maids to cook, look after the family pet, look after the baby, tend the garden as well run errands. You must be clear about your expectations, but remember if she has to do too much, she may not be able to provide the quality care you want for your baby. A well-rested FDW is more productive. You should ensure that she has sufficient rest, especially during the night. Rest days should also be catered for, as agreed between yourself and the worker.
• Supervise closely in the first few weeks. Spend some time working together, so that your maid can learn routines and preferences from you, and you can see how she relates to your baby. Ask her to repeat your instructions to you just to make sure she understands them. This is especially important if there are language barriers.
• Train her on good hygiene and safety. She may have grown up in a very different household, or be from a remote village that has no piped water. You need to make sure she does things in the way you wish them to be done, and the time you put into teaching her in the early days will be time well spent.
• Set a timetable. Once everyone has settled into a routine, you may want to consider drawing up a schedule for everyday household activities. This way, everyone in the house knows what to expect every day, and your maid knows exactly what she needs to get done.
• Offer a comfortable place to stay. You may have a separate room for her . In homes where there are space constraints, maids often sleep in the children's room. However, try to give her a place where she feels easy and of course a proper bed.
• Respect your maid. Remember it is important to respect your maid. Avoid using abusive language to show your displeasure. Avoid humiliating her in front of other household members, especially guests, even if she has done something wrong.
They will need time to familiarise themselves with your way of life. Be patient and Be Happy with your Housemaids :)