The career woman who doubles up as a young mother has had it all in her quest to achieve her dreams. Her greatest challenge originates not from her workplace as expected, but her home. Not her spouse but her house-help or the domestic manager or DM as the politically correct now like to refer to them.
Gone are the days when DMs would be loyal and committed to their duties. Unlike the time we were growing up, most domestic managers these days hold the positions in a household just for the sake of it. Moving from one household to another after short intervals has been the order of the day.
This has affected young working mothers tremendously. Some, to an extent of refusing to go the family way - until they are sure they have options.
During our parents’ reign in the city, these DMs knew their place and commitment was part of them. They would work for households even for as long as 20 years with no complications. Most of them would actually just leave for retirement or to go and start their own families.
Fast forward to our generation, a little misunderstanding goes a long way. They have perfected the art of pretence and malice.
They desert you when you need them most. They can play ‘Angel Gabriella’ the whole weekend only to turn to ‘Jezebel’ on Monday morning, just when you are about to leave for work.
They will either sneak out before you rise, or if they are lenient enough, wait for you to get ready to leave for work then drop the bombshell. How now does an employee pack and leave without a warning?
If my memory serves me right, the domestic manager who brought me up went through heaven and hell with my parents and not a single day did she give up on us.
Life has its ups and downs and it’s only fair to embrace it as it comes. These people have become a source of desperation to the young working mothers because as it is, the society expects the mothers to step in any time for their children and housework.
Unfortunately or fortunately, there is always an opening for them, thus making them proud and arrogant. They know very well their demand is high and supply is low in the city, so they rarely miss an opportunity once they leave you stranded. Some even work for as short as three days just to announce their departure prematurely, giving absurd reasons. One has the guts to wake up one morning and say the house is too big for her to clean, as if it was any smaller when she agreed to start work.
Just where are we going wrong as young mothers? What are we not doing that our mothers did very well? Or is it the domestic workers who have become unmanageable, demanding and proud? If anything, they are paid better these days, have better job conditions like having a day off every week, something that was not there when we were growing up.
We have smaller families and fewer children, unlike the days when they would work for a whole battalion in a household. Things have gone digital, washing machines, microwaves, gas cookers, name them. What then makes these people hold us to ransom when we need them most? What makes them steal, kill and destroy just like the devil? Is it us or them? Over to you.