I have an employee. She’s my … This is where I get stuck. I hate the word maid because of the demeaning connotations in the desert I currently call home. Housekeeper makes it sound like I have ideas above my station – which I’ve been known to have but not in this situation. Nanny is such a specific word especially if you’re a Brit and have heard of Nolan Nannies.
Instead of thinking ‘what’, I think ‘why’. Why did I employ Akua? To help me with my daily chores and when the baby comes. Eureka moment – she’s my helper.
Most ex-pats in Doha have some paid sort of paid help. We used to laugh at my friend, Helen who had ‘staff’ – ironing lady, cleaning girls and gardener, not to forget the car valet she’d have while have a coffee.
Some mums have a live in helper while others have a live out helper. I resisted having any sort of help – save for sending my ironing to the laundry – for various reasons. These involved costs, not wanting someone in my space and Kofi, modern man that he is, did the majority of the household chores as he was working from home.
Once he had paid employment and I got pregnant we acquired a cleaning lady and all the attendant issues of timings, costs and no shows.
It quickly became apparent that we needed a more formal arrangement and hence the minefield of nationality, live in or live out and sponsorship…
Have you become an employer unexpectedly? What have been your experiences?