Hire With Care
When you hire a maid for your baby, how sure are you that you can trust her to look after your baby, cherish and nurture him?
When a woman is pregnant, one of the first things on her mind is to hire a maid to help with the child. She puts the word out that she is looking for a maid, and as soon as she finds someone seemingly suitable, the person is hired. Often the maids are young girls who have little or no experience with babies, or they may be older women who have had plenty of experience looking after women. Either way, the experience factor doesn't matter so much, because the maid is not bringing up the child - she's just attending to the child's needs, cleaning up the potty, rocking the child to sleep, and so on. What is important however, is the nature of the person you are hiring, and this is what we pay the least attention to. Mothers are just relieved to have found someone at the right time, who is ready to work on your terms, for the salary you are willing to pay them.
You are going to be entrusting your child to this person's care for the better part of the day. Don't you think you should be more careful before hiring a child's maid? Here's what you should look for.
What kind of person is she like? Does she have a bad temper? Is she sulky? Does she seem loving? You don't want someone dour, or someone who is likely to shout needlessly at your child.
This is very important. Get the telephone number of the family your maid worked for earlier, and speak to them. Find out why she left, or why she was asked to leave.
Often, maids come to the big city straight from villages, and it is not unusual to find a maid who has not worked before. In such a case, getting a reference would be impossible. But most of these maids have relatives in the city, with who's help they have arrived. Get the names of these relatives, and find out who they are working for. It is best to ask a friend's maid to arrange for another friend or family member, or someone who they can guarantee will be honest and a good worker.
Take a photograph of hers and keep it with you, so in case of any untoward incident happening, you will have her photograph to show to the police, and she can be traced. Make sure she knows you are taking her photograph and filing her details.
Get down her address, the name of her village, and telephone number, if any, of her family back home.
It is getting increasingly common in western countries to use what is called a 'nanny cam', which is essentially a camera that records the behaviour of the nanny. It makes a lot of sense for you to keep a similar camera in your house, to record your maid with your child. While it is an unfair invasion of privacy, you could use it for a short while just to make sure your maid treats your child fine. Some of the things parents have discovered their nannies were up to when they were supposed to be nurturing the child, have proved shocking. So while you don't need to keep a constant check, it makes sense to check up for a week, every few months, and as trust builds over the years, you could discard the camera.
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