Nannies, Househelps, DMs



After writing about House Helps/ Domestic Manager (DM) on our Facebook Group I have got a couple of question from mums, I will try to answer what I can, from my experience, if I have not experienced it, then I will give my thought on how I would react if I was in the situation.

What is your take on asking a DM to pay for what she breaks/spoils in the house? Well my DM has broken a couple of things, plate, cup, and sink cup holder, on her watch my son has broken the TV stand glass thingy. I have broken stuff too, lots of stuff and because I never did it intentionally, I know stuff does break (my son broke all the other sink cup holders on my watch). So no, I never ask her to pay for what she breaks. Now I have to trust that she will be careful when handling stuff in the house, she informs me when she breaks something and says sorry, and because this doesn’t happen every day or every week, I know it is an accident.

Food: the age old question, is there our food and her food, my answer is no. Short story, I remember when my help came, she would not eat meat, so she would try and make sure that the sukuma would stretch, the beans and ndengu would push her through, I had never noticed it, till one day I was home and she served beans instead of chicken. So on asking her she told me that she was not sure she was supposed to eat meat or it is for my husband only. Well, I realised that I should have informed her that we don’t do special foods in the house.

Holiday, days off, leave days? Any public holiday means that she doesn’t come to work also, she is entitled to it. To be honest, I love the ease that comes with having a DM, and my son loves her. So when it comes to days off and public holidays, I tend to wonder how I will manage without her. She deserves them, give them to her. If she doesn’t want to go off on a public holiday (esp live in DMs), then you can appreciate her money wise, she put in a day that she deserved to be off, reward her. Same goes for leave days, try scheduling them over the school holidays so she is able to spend time with her children and or family.

Sitting in the living room with the rest of the family, say after dinner? To be honest, I have no idea about this, because I have always had a live out help, however I think age has a role to play when it comes to TV time and sitting at the living room. I know for sure if my current help were a live in, she would prefer to hang out in her room and not with the rest of us. The younger one I had before her however, would comfortably sit with us and even change channels. Set your boundaries early with this, when she comes, let her know the ground rules. Do not try to change and come up with new rules after months of letting some habits go.

You are home every day at 5:30 pm. What happens if you are not home? When my help came, we talked and decided that she would be leavening at 5:30/6pm, there are times when I want her to do stuff late, I will come from the market and want her to arrange the veggies and fruits before she leaves, but work will always be there. So I can either choose to dwell on the small stuff and push her to the edge. She is human, she understands, there are times I will be late, 5, 10 minutes she know one can be held up, traffic and all, they are human they understand and so when she is late, I understand.

This one here gave me goose bumps, what happens if you find your son hurt, like fell and hurt his knee etc.? Well my son has fallen on my watch, my son had bumped the table on my watch, he has jumped off the chair and bumped his head on my watch, so I know how mischievous the little man can be, and it makes my pelvic bone twitch. In that case, I just remind her to be more watchful. My son hurt himself with the grater once, so we had to move them to a different drawer where he could not reach. And then came up with the lock the kitchen door rule when you are not in the kitchen because he uses his chair to access stuff in the kitchen. To be honest, she has been amazing with making sure my son is safe, however she knows, if anything happens to my child, she should call me immediately.

Happy parenting


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