House Help or Resident Evil?!

Gone are the days when a woman was simply described as homemaker, her JD requiring her only to take care of the man a.k.a the breadwinner of the family and his numerous offsprings! Cooking and cleaning, washing and ironing, school runs and child{ren} welfare were all part of the package. With time, however, the dynamics of the home witnessed changes. For some reasons {either the woman got tired of being just a homemaker, craving more meaning and purpose out of life or the harsh economic realities of our times advised an extra pair of bread-winning hands}, the woman left the home and joined the work force and then employed the cooks, the housekeepers, the washermen, the childminders, the drivers, the nannies to take over her job responsibilities at the homefront. Life hasnt been same ever since!

I am a wife, a mother, a career woman, a banker, working in a fast-paced pressure-ridden cutthroat environment! I would love to stay home and play Catch with my son, watch Cbeebies with my daughter but i know i also want to give them the very best money can buy! And so, i choose to pursue money and pray that i still have the strength to share a little bit of my time with the children when i get home exhausted! School run and the care of the children, i leave in the hands of my driver and the househelp and in the hands of GOD!

The househelps and nannies, however, have become the bane of a career woman's very existence. The need for them is unavoidable unless one has family members who are willing to help out at the homefront. Growing up, our mothers had day jobs that took them out of the house but they never missed picking us up from school or coming home for lunch and they generally had working hours that have them leaving for home by 4:00pm at the most! Today, if the woman of the house makes it home by 7:00pm, her workplace must be five minutes away from the house! Since it would appear that the modern day career woman needs them more than they do her, these helps have taken to conducting themselves in whatever manner they deem fit. These people we are trusting {and paying handsomely too} to watch over our children while we are away are perpetrating all kinds of evil against the little ones they are supposed to be protecting in the first place:
  • Sharon got kidnapped, for ransom, from school by a trusted help whom had be catered for by her family even before Sharon was born. Who does that? How does one pay back some much good with such unadulterated evil?
  • Daisy* {from my earlier post} was rented out on a daily basis as a working tool, to those ever-begging women on the streets of Lagos while the nanny sits at home to enjoy the spoils of her mother's toils.
  • Glory's children {not her real name} were banned from drinking water by Her Royal Lowness, the househelp, because too much water causes them to wet their clothes and beddings and thereby creates more work for her! This one still shocks me....the kids could only drink water when their mother gets home from work and even then, they do so in hiding!
  • Ella, just recently, lost her life not as a result of pure negligence on the part of the help. She was drowned, her head held down in a bucket of water until she seized breathing, because the help couldnt get time off work over the christmas holidays! HOW EVIL????
The stories are unending, with each new one becoming even more atrocious than the last. Children are sexually molested by their minders; drug abuse reigns supreme...afterall, if the kids wouldn't give them time to watch AfricaMagic, a dose or two of Chlorpheniramine would do the trick. The heart-aches most women has been subjected to, are innumerable. A few days ago, i tweeted that i was on the verge of cursing my nanny, reason being that she left my house weeks ago and im yet to even speak with her {she is not taking my calls}. Now, i know anger was not the proper reaction to that act. I am more thankful to God for whatever calamity He must have prevented from befalling my children in her hands! If God does not watch a city....

At this point, im all for solutions to this issue of childminders, nannies and helps. Mind you, a good number of these people are actually Godsent. Our problems lie with the ones that are sent by anything but God. Must women have to choose between career and the family? Should offices subscribe to the practice of having 'mini' creches within the work premises? Will CCTV mounted at strategic places within the home allay the fears of parents with regards to ill treatment of their wards in the hands of the helps? When does a perfectly good help resort to evil doing and what {who} informs that decision? Are there signs to watch out for?

The evil that men do lives after them. In the cases of these ones, i am of the opinion that their evil should live with them and haunt them until the end of their unnatural lives. Today's children are supposed to be tomorrow's leaders. If their psyche gets distorted this early in life, what hope do we have for the future?


HoneyDame said...

Oh lord! I wonder how and when we wil be able to find an equilibrium between this battle of to be or not to be!.

Hazel said...

Its a nightmare, my sister. We were raised good, even if the attention smothered/hindered sometimes but at least, our parents were there!