10 things your house-help should not do

  1. Discipline your children

I was amazed to discover, by direct observation, how many house helps physically beat your children. But before you develop righteous indignation, I was also amazed to hear how rude some of the children were, insulting the house helps, insulting or beating other children, or spoiling other people’s properties. And worst of all, to hear your house helps complain that parents do NOTHING about it when the behavior is reported and so they are forced to do it. Parents STOP absconding from you responsibilities.

2.     Check your children’s homework

Your house help can ensure that your children sit down and do their homework while you are away. But, checking the homework is a parental responsibility. I hear teachers complain that some children never do their homework while others have their homework done by someone else. Why do we spend so much money sending our children to learning institutions then do not do our part to ensure that our children benefit from the same. Academic monitoring is a parental obligation.

3.     Attend your children’s school functions

School functions are an opportunity for the parents to interact with their children’s teachers, friends and environment. Some parents never attend these functions and send house helps instead. Some even send them on the day parents go to collect report cards and to get feedback on their children’s development. Parents do not exacerbate the teachers! If both of you as parents cannot attend a school function, send an aunt, uncle or grandparent instead and inform the teacher beforehand.

4.     Teach your children about God

It is becoming the norm nowadays that parents, especially of young children, consider Sunday mornings as the time to sleep in and recover from a hectic work schedule the week before. This means that your children either do not go to church or are taken by the house help. Children learn about God from parents, both from what you say and what you do. Not from the simple fact that you ship them off to church under someone else’s watch. Let children learn about God from you, their parent, because of what you do.

5.     Run your husband a bath

Unless your husband is an invalid and the wife is away, every man should run their own bath. Some men have been brought up to expect this from their wives and if it is not provided expect the same from house helps. Boundaries in relationships must be established and maintained. Adulthood must also be embraced. So let us allow appropriate interaction between employers and employees. House helps should not be obligated to do this to ensure security of their jobs.

6.     Serve your husband’s plate

In many households, the house help cooks the food. It should then be enough for her to lay the food on the table and set the dinner plates and probably serve the children IF the wife is away. Husbands should then serve their plates. Wives, beware if your house help knows your husband’s favorite meals as well as the amounts and types he likes to be served. She could easily replace you in the home because she appears to know more about how to please your husband.

7.     Choose your husband’s outfit for the day

Yes, the house help washes the clothes and irons them. But, there is something very wrong if your house help decides which clothes your husband should wear or that he consults her on his clothing. Wives ensure that your husband’s clothes are available in his closet and then let him pick his outfit for the day. Do not allow for situations where your husband needs to interact with your house help to find his socks or other garments. Let him search for them in his closet.

8.     Wash your undergarments

Every physically capable man, woman and child over seven years should wash their own undergarments. PERIOD.

9.     Clean the master bedroom

Unless both husband and wife are physically incapacitated, every couple should strive to clean their own master bedroom. This is to ensure that boundaries between the couple and the house help are clearly set from the beginning. Cleaning the master bedroom is a great time to bond as a couple. On the other hand, for the majority of wives who clean the room alone, it is a great opportunity for a weekly workout. Master bedrooms do not need to be cleaned daily.

10.    Plan the family meals

Wives do not be too busy with work, school and other activities that you do not know what is cooked in your homes. It’s no wonder to hear that some men prefer to eat out or you hear that children decide what is cooked in some homes. Meals become chips, rice and milk, and pizzas. Why do you think we are having such an increase in cases of childhood obesity in Kenya? Wives, it is your responsibility to plan weekly menus for your family as well as to train your house helps to cook healthy, appetizing meals.

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