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I was complaining to a friend during a hi-tea session at her house about my helper who sometimes disrespects me as an employer and how at times I have the strongest urge to give her a big tight slap on her face. Then another friend boldly told me, "You make the kids, then why don't you just take care of them yourself instead of neglecting them and letting a foreigner raise them up". If that came out from the mouth of a housewife, it would not hurt me at all, but coming from someone who works herself and truth be told, treats her Mom like a maid, that is something different.
Now, what she said is definitely a point to ponder but does anyone seriously think that I haven't given the idea a good thought? Of course I have!!!! Yes, it is true that the greatest joy in raising up children is if you raised them up yourself but it is not possible for me as I have a job that I need which helps me to help my husband with our household bills and utilities. For a start, although I reside in Terengganu, one may think that the cost of living here is much lower than that in big cities like Penang, Johore Baru and even Kuala Lumpur. Try living in Kerteh and I can guarantee that you have been misled; it is not cheap here and you will be rest assured. A measly RM100 at the wet market is only enough to get you by for a whole week and that only includes one whole chicken, 2 kilos of tulang rusuk and several types of vegetable and fruit. Belum masuk lagi barang dapur yang lain like soap,detergent, shampoo for the kids and myself etc. So all in all, I always spend around RM 800 to RM 1000 a month to fill my larder and refrigerator. Diapers and milk aside!
I will not lie and have to say that I have needs that reach the top of Mount Everest. Even if I may not work, to tend to the children that is, as a woman, surely I would want clothes, shoes, jewelery, make-up to wear during the outings or trips back home, go here and there and every where...and do you think it is fair for me to ask from my husband to fulfill these unnecessary necessities when he is the only breadwinner? Frankly, I don't have the heart!!!
Second, I can't deny my envy for those mothers who are able to watch their children's every single discovery, to be the first person to hear them uttering their very first words or simply watching them grow but my choice to have a career does not make me a horrible mother. When I reach home, if I do not bring some take outs, I do the cooking at most days and take over from my helper in terms of caring for the children every single day, tucking them in bed, forcing them to brush their teeth. At nights, when I have extra classes, I bring either Qayyum or Iman with me so they get to do their homework under my watchful eyes. Does that seem to be neglecting my children? So, I DO raise them up even though it is not for the whole 24 hours. Heck, I am no supermom who bakes and cooks everything from scratch, clean the house, raise the kids single-handedly and I do not intend to be one because my kids, all three of them, love me just as I am. They understand why I need to work, hence them being taken care of by my helper when I am not around.
Now, what difference does it make when these saintly people send their children to nurseries, nannies, or even using their parents to care for their kids when they are off to work in search of money? Does that consider as caring for the child themselves when other hands do that for them?? Is it any much different than having a live in maid? The difference that I can see is, having a helper enables me to leave my kids at home on those rare date nights I have with my hubby to keep the fire burning in our marriage other than having someone to help me sweep and mop the floors which then gives me a peace of mind when I reach home to my sparkling clean floral scented house...
So, when you say take care of the kids yourself, .make sure you mean you do it rather than the nanny or nursery or even your Mom!
This is nothing but my plain ramblings for today.