08 October 2012

Switching Gears

We are back from a stunning holiday. The kids are back at school and Russ is back at work. This morning I had to take stock of what this last term holds and how I am going to juggle the demands on all of us.

It is an exceptionally busy term. If I look at my calendar for too long I feel a very deep sense of panic and somehow I just have to make it all work.

Without a domestic worker to help with the house and the kids.

I had Milcah working with us for 3.5yrs. Never missed a day or ran out of airtime or came to work late. The epitome of loyal and trustworthy.

Apparently not so much. We parted company (on good terms) mid September. I was gutted, she was ashamed and devastated but such is life and now we move on.

I have realised that I do not need help 3 times a week. It was a luxury for us - more to help her financially.

I have managed for this last 3 weeks on my own but it is not sustainable. I will turn into a mad, scary dragon-like crazy lady if forced to do this daily. Just vacuuming and mopping takes most of the morning!

I have found help. Just 4 hours a week to do heavy stuff.  She speaks no English which some would find a problem but I choose to see the advantages. I simply showed her what I want done - very basic stuff, nothing personal......This morning she managed to vacuum, mop and iron. And that took 4 hours. Eish.

The kids have been well-trained though - last December we were without help for 2 months and they were taught how to do basic chores and we have kept that momentum. The day-to-day stuff like dishes, laundry, poo-patrol, surfaces, beds etc are all taken care of by them with my assistance at

Bickering kids get doled out the worst chores!!

Levi trades tv time for chores - washing windows, sweeping the patio and clearning the car are his favourites. Faith was born helpful so she will do stuff without me even asking (!!!) . This morning she unpacked the dishwasher before school. (again  !!!!)

My pre-teen, bless her, has my genes. Bone frikkin' idle; but learning fast that not pulling her weight is going to hurt somewhere, somehow.

The other major change for the kids is that their afternoons are all toasted now. They ALL have to come to every extramural because there is no-one home to watch over them. This is a bummer but with some careful planning, a bit of iniative and a good attitude we can make it work for us.


Lulu said...

Shew, that sounds like A LOT on your plate. I NEED my maid three days a week. I mean, really, really NEED her. And I only have one child making mess.

Ordinarylife said...

Are you freakin insane? 4 hours a week. I would never survive and I only have one kid. I think Mr OL's ironing takes longer than that.

Ok, just kidding. I could also cope, but I refuse to iron, mop or do toilets. The rest I can handle. I also don't know where my little one came from and am hoping it is not just an age thing. She is very helpful, will put dishes in the kitchen, clean up toys (sometimes) and stuff. Makes life a lot easier.

blackhuff said...

I hear you regarding help around the home. If it was not for my help at home, I would also not have been sane. She's also so great with the kids. I thank the Lord for her.
I like the way you have scolded the kids. This is really a hard way to teach them a lesson but I'm sure that they will never forget this.

Lynette said...

I tried for nearly a year to be without a domestic...but working all day and then cleaning, washing, cooking at night...didn't work so well for me. Now it is back to normal with a full time Zim lady...and I am less stressed.

I was hoping we would somehow magically bump into each other in the garden route...but it wasn't to be.

cat said...

Ai I hear you. But I simply can not do without Lucy as I work full time.

Kirsty said...

Are you insane? A full time, live-in maid is one of the reasons I choose to live in this country.... I did it all myself with 3 babies in the UK and I said never.again ;)
I take my hat off to you... I am a much lesser being

Julia said...

I don't have a maid - I simply cannot afford it. I would LOVE someone to come in at least once a week for deep cleaning - in fact, Lance and I spoke about it today and we are going to get someone in every fortnight to do stuff that we don't have time for - things like washing windows and walls and cleaning the fridge and oven etc.
It does take careful planning but it can be done. We have a roster and even Joel does some stuff like pick up toys, take dirty clothing to laundry, bring dishes to the kitchen etc.
The only thing I refuse to do is iron - in my house it is each man for himself. Joel goes to school with creased clothing - I really DO NOT care.