Last Saturday, I was drawn to an article by Tony Mochama titled ‘How can a caregiver do this to a baby.’ I was concerned that Mochama had touched on my turf – babies and house helps – a deviation from his usual brief.
For those who never got a chance to read it, the piece was about a house girl who was apparently HIV positive and she appeared to have inflicted injuries on the baby exposing her to the virus.
The parents managed to have the girl arrested but unfortunately the case was thrown out because the evidence was not strong enough. That was quite unfortunate.
Anyway, the incident is a real wake up call to us working mothers. After I read the article, I realised I have the same time bomb in my house (the Drama Queen) that I had written about last week. I fired her that same Saturday.
As I write this, I am negotiating for an emergency leave and in the meantime, I have a mature relative who volunteered to watch over the children. But from that article, I drew a lot of useful lessons especially for working mums.
On one occasion, that employer (Judith) came back at lunch time and found the girl (Ruth) with a man who apparently had his pants unzipped and Ruth looked ruffled. Clearly something fishy had been going on.
I have also busted my just fired Drama Queen in such suspect situations and I have chosen to look away. I should have fired her the first time I busted her. But the lesson here is that when you catch her in such situations, she should go, that same day, desperate as you may be for a helper.
Speaking of desperation, I think sometimes we career mums get too desperate and end up leaving our children with house girls from hell. Being a working mother, I understand that sometimes we may be in a situation where our employers are so bad, they would rather fire you when you come up with house girl excuses.
But given the risk we expose our children to, if we ever face a situation where we have to leave the minors with a monster or we face a sack, the latter option is better. My policy now is that I would rather be fired, than leave my children with a person I do not trust.
Follow your instincts:
Many a times when we employ house girls, if something is amiss our motherly instincts always signal us, but we choose to ignore it. Whenever my Drama Queen engaged in her shenanigans, even when she did not report herself, whenever I would come home, I would just smell some mischief.
So what’s the moral of my long sermon today? Fellow career mums, let’s not be too desperate and in the process leave our children with monsters.
For that story by Tony Mochama go to www.evewoman.co.ke
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