Uma shares her observations of today's mother's dependence on maids.
I am a proud mother of a bubbly 5 year old. I share the usual concerns all parents have. "Is she eating right?
Is the school right for her? Should she join any more extra-curricular
activities? How much TV viewing is right?" I too live and juggle between two worlds of work and home, between anxious parenting moments to worthwhile work victories. My support systems as I do this include a grandmother and a part-timer. But they remain precisely that - support systems - to support me, and not to take over from me. I guard my parenting rights jealously. As I look around me, socialize when time permits,
with mothers of my daughter's classmates, neighbors, activity class
mothers, office colleagues, I am surprised to see how integral a role
maids now seem to play in parenting.
When we go to eat out, it is a usual sight to see maids in tow, taking
care of babies, while parents enjoy their culinary experience. Older
pesky children bordering on being ill-mannered brats are herded out to
play-areas if available, by the maid. Maids take the children to parks.
Maids and the indispensable driver drop and pick children from various
classes. One of my neighbors proudly told me about a governess she
found for her older 6-year-old. She makes sure she eats right, learns
the right manners and helps her with all her homework. What a perfect
Another friend, who delivered a bonnie baby girl recently, told me she
had got a second live-in maid from Kolkata. This is addition to the
existing one who is a live-in and another part-timer. On my asking her
why she needed another one, she replied as if it was obvious "I have 2
kids now, don't I?"
All this, when she does not intend to work (outside the home). In the
stairways and the parking area of the building where I live, maids or
drivers can be seen overseeing children learning to cycle or skate.
When I set up play-dates for my daughter (No, sadly I don't live in an
area where loads of children simply rush out in the evening to play
downstairs), mothers will discreetly ask if it was okay with me if the
maid sat in one corner while the kids played. After all, this is an
I am left wondering, whatever happened to the willingness of parents to experience the joys (and pains) of parenting?
At the risk of not getting a moment to ourselves, my husband and I take
my daughter and sometimes her friends too on outings minus any maid.
Frustrating at times and tiring, I enjoy teaching my daughter and yes,
watching her do her homework. No, I don't get the maid to clear the
toys. She puts away her things herself. On play-date days, I do the
snacks myself. I make sure I get to pick her at school. The expression
when she rushes out of school, chatting with friends,
hair streaming, excitedly sharing her day is too good to miss. Recently
when we were entertaining at home, I asked one of my husband's friends
who had moved to Mumbai from Delhi "Are you settled in?" He replied
happily "Yes, all settled and maid-ed!"
Sorry. Due to our site's regulations and policies, your message has not been posted. Our moderating team has been notified about your message. If the message is found to be genuine and still did not get posted, you may not post the message again as it will automatically get posted for you within 24hrs time (excluding weekends).
- The Indiaparenting Team