How to Manage The House when The Domestic Helper is on Leave
Most working couples in Hong Kong employ maids and domestic helpers for their household work. They mostly handle cleaning, washing, taking care of children, preparing food and the like. Mostly, families tend to depend on maids completely.
Giving maids, one day off every week, is also not welcome for families, but they are required to abide by the same owing to government regulations. Families believe that they cannot survive without help even for a single day. Over-dependence on maids and helpers can lead to spoilt children who are unable to do a single thing without help.
Many families, usually working parents, are in need of trained personnel to look after specific household tasks including taking care of elderly and disabled, taking care of children and other household chores.
Many people hire domestic helpers to have more time with family without having to spend on routine household chores. One also does not have to drive back and forth from office to the nursery, if there is a babysitter to take care of the child and pick them up. Moreover, maids keep your house clean regularly.
Maids allow employers to spend more time with their family; hence it is essential that helpers themselves get some time to spend on themselves. Adjusting oneself to their helper’s leaves is a tough task for these employers.
Here are some tips to adjust with household work especially when the helpers are on leave:
Accept that life is messy
Life can be organized and orderly along with one’s cupboard and wardrobe. But with rising responsibilities, it is evident that priorities need to be attended first. If you are the sole worker of the household and no one else to help you out, you need to keep some tolerance level for messiness. It does not matter if the wardrobe is not well set or the kitchen sink is not cleansed after dinner. You might even have to balance your time to wash laundry and accept that some things mess up, off and on.
Stay organized when possible
Although one has to accept imperfectness sometimes, staying organized help in saving time eventually. If you don’t keep things in place or encourage others to live in an organized manner, it would be difficult to find things when required. You will avoid a lot of frustration if you can keep the laundry updated and the clothes in the wardrobe on a regular basis. Folding clothes is a time-consuming chore too so it is essential to compartmentalize the drawers into sections to put clothes systematically after drying.
Keep an extra set of utensils and several washcloths
If you have kids at home and you are without your maid, it is important to have several washcloths and utensils to manage time for kids. Mealtime is messy most of the time, as they are known to topple bowls of rice or even spit food out on the floor. Or, they may suddenly topple the spoon filled with delicacy on to the floor. It is difficult to clean the floor and the cloths simultaneously. Hence keep some washcloths and floor cloths handy. Having multiple sets of utensils also helps so that you do not have to wash the set to feed your tiny tots again and again. Extra milk bottles mean that you are not forced to wash them immediately after use. You can wash all the things at one go when your babies go to bed.
Get the clutter out
Decluttering your house is essential since that means you have less cleaning to do, less things to organize and eventually more space. The clutter also means that you have to clean it, every now and then. Remove the clothes that you have not worn for past 6 months and that goes the same for shoes! Sell the stuff that you do not need anymore. Give the babies stuff to someone once your babies have out-grown.
Think before buying stuff as it becomes painful to declutter if you have many things you have bought for no reason. Focus on cleaning up small areas so that you can complete the same and then do not shirk it at any cost.
Have a time-table which is flexible for adjustments when necessary
It is important to have a time-table especially in homes with kids. A perfect time to rise up in the morning, to have breakfast, a morning stroll, time for study, to school and so on, is required. At times, one might have to skip morning naps or added time required for study, the schedule should be flexible in this regard.
Similarly, for household chores, it is essential that cleaning of floors can be switched for two days rather than daily, washing dishes can be postponed for the night, food preparation can be scheduled for early mornings and so on. Other housework can be done when kids are at school or sleeping. Bonding and learning time should not be skipped with children although household chores can be balanced for every day routine. Ironing, washing toilets and other chores can be done once every week on weekends too, especially if there are family members at home to help out.
Split the roles
One should split the roles and duties of the household among family members so that no one is burdened with too many responsibilities. Fathers can help out with housework, while elderly ladies can help for cooking food. One can juggle personal stuff with kids, and household work too.
Have some “me” time
To maintain sanity, your “me” time is very important. Catch up on your favorite movie or your hobby when your kids are asleep or are studying independently.
That’s added responsibility of maintaining a household without a maid, but it is not so tough if things are planned out and roles assigned to members of the family. Planning within the required time is essential for completing the chores. Consider engaging part-time helpers if you can manage for most of the week, especially to help out with daunting chores at least once to relieve you for the day.