Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Help


I've seen the movie but not read the book. Here in Bogota 99% of the people posted here have maids. It's amazingly affordable and very convenient. They do everything for you – clean, pay bills, cook, walk pets, grocery shop and do errands.
I've resisted getting a maid up to this point. I did it all at home, why not here? But I've found that I just can't keep-up. Everything takes twice as long as it did at home. Need to run to the kids school? 35 min. one way. Grocery shop? 3 hrs. Pay a bill? 1 hr./bill It starts to become ridiculous. I spend all my time running around in circles. I need help. I've also really struggled with the relationship of a maid. She is an employee in my home, yet how can I not be friends with someone who is around the house when I am?
Problem is, I've seen the movie and I've watched people around me for 9 months to see how they handle maids. I've heard everything from distrust, hiding in a bedroom while the maid is cleaning, child attachment difficulties (because the child is with the maid more than the mom), and frustration to love, appreciation, and thankfulness. I know what I don't want to be but how exactly do I be the employer/human being I do want to be?
After a bit of waiting and listening to people talk about maids that were available I made a decision. I met my maid yesterday and today is her first day. So far so good. She knows as much English as I do Spanish. We spent an hour hashing through the different things I wanted done. I think we were both pleased with the communication at the end of it all. Now she is cleaning and I want to keep jumping up and changing the laundry, shake-out a rug and wash some dishes. I know I need to relax, sit-back and let her do her job. I like her – a lot. She radiates joy. When she came in the dog ran to greet her which brought a sparkle to her eyes. I will be leaving shortly which will be good for each of us. Time will bring rhythm and hopefully a friendship as well!

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