The Best Friend You Hardly Notice
When someone mentions the word: ‘house-helps’ trust me it attracts all forms of negative comments that spread like wild fire, such as: “she knows what I will do once I get into that house”, or “she has done zero work today and has to pack and leave for there are many other willing people that are jobless”, or “I have that extra job when she is through with her tasks she will tend to my garden”, or “this compound should be clean”, or “I told her if she ever touches my kids I will skin her alive”, or “should she try her stupidity, I will beat her up and the next day l call my mother in the village to send for a replacement”, or “she eats way too much and I must measure everything at night since I am not here to make her fat in my house”. All this negativity towards someone you have entrusted with your baby since the age of 6 months, and surely there is nothing good to say about him or her? How you treat her so badly but yet your baby at some point will cry when you are not around but you still expect her to be very nice?
Think about yourself in that house during the second month with that baby. Weren’t you going crazy? Rather, how easy was it for you? How often did the baby cry and you joined her in crying? What chores did you manage to do? Did you tidy up your house the exact way you instruct the house help? Did you go to the market with the baby and cook early so that your husband finds food on the table? Did you work on the dirty laundry and wash utensils in the kitchen? Did you cook your favorite food? Did you wake up at 4:00am or 5:00am to do things before the baby wakes up to preoccupy you? Sometimes a baby cries simply for no reason at all. The hardest part of all this is when the baby commences feeding. Previously, she was just breastfeeding, but as she transitions you have to make fruits for her 3 times a day. Then comes cleaning her in a warm room, not forgetting that majority of Afrikans do not have inbuilt heaters. Therefore, one has to light up a jiko. Let us also consider how long a baby takes to feed, especially the poor feeders who give out those little funny faces. Normally, one would try as much as possible to control the crying baby so as to discourage the neighbors from making the baby the talk of the town.
Sincerely speaking, you should empathize with the kind of pressure your house help would be going through. If you knew how many times she cries like you did because the baby is crying as well and she cannot nurse him as best as you would do, then you would go home early and help her baby sit your baby. Perhaps, create room for her to cook and help with the utensils before you go to sleep. Moreso, you would let her go to bed early and probably make your own breakfast in the morning. What I am simply saying is that you should learn to be grateful when your baby is fine and feeding well. Dirty laundry and untidy house would not kill you if she didn’t attend to them. Just don’t give them unnecessary pressure that might cost you an emotional scar that would last a lifetime. It’s unfortunate in our world today, jobs define people, but not humanity. Remember, the house help is the person you speak to when your job is melting you down. She will readily understand without questioning when her salary delays for two weeks. She is the one who would always go out of her way to use her money on groceries on the assumption that you would eventually refund her, even when in most circumstances you don’t. SHE IS A BEST FRIEND YOU HARDLY SEE.
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Robert Macharia is a mentor, trainer and writer bearing adequate experiences in business development and brand management success.