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What's with the live-in maids?!

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earthfriendly
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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:08 am

x9200 wrote:For some reason you assume in other countries people have less chores so they are less stressed and don't run here and there.


T'is the same in USA too. If both parents are working, they just got to figure how to work out all the kinks associated with running a family. Although situations varies, some may live close to extended families, some live in places / states that offer public school bus system. T'is the same story all around!

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby sendok » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 9:04 am

Actually LiM is not a 'singapore' way of life. Its more these region way of life (Sg,Id,My,Ph,etc)

Mostly because the high number of population and the small number of jobs available

And its not a recent phenomena too. My family have a LiM ever since I can remember (30ish years ago) and its common for every house on the street to have one.

Actually the first thing I noticed when I moved to SG 10 years ago is how bloody expensive a LiM cost. Back home at most is only around $150 permonth. So no wonder lots of people from surrounding countries flock to SG to become maids.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 9:27 am

Oddly enough, LiM's as you call them, find Singapore to be the country of last resort when it comes to which countries are the most suitable to work in as they are paid less here and treated worse here than in almost all the other regional countries. Don't believe me? Ask them. The maids who come here are, for the most part, the ones who were not good enough to get positions in the better countries (for a FDW - Not necessarily a better country in other respects though.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby bro75 » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 9:50 am

There are worse countries for a FDW than Singapore (e.g. all in the middle east). And compared to 10 years ago, the situation for FDW in Sg has improved a little bit. Acts of extreme cruelty and abuse is still there but is rare and is prosecuted by the government. That said, their situation can still be improved by a lot.

LiM's are common across SE Asia and S Asia and some parts of NE Asia. If these are removed by law, then there needs to be a increase in availability of child care centres or a parent will have to stop work. US and Eu families are able to cope with this situation. Probably a mix of government support, family support, and neighbor support (baby sitters).

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Re: RE: Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 9:57 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Oddly enough, LiM's as you call them, find Singapore to be the country of last resort when it comes to which countries are the most suitable to work in as they are paid less here and treated worse here than in almost all the other regional countries. Don't believe me? Ask them. The maids who come here are, for the most part, the ones who were not good enough to get positions in the better countries (for a FDW - Not necessarily a better country in other respects though.


Not so, Singapore has better record of treating maids ...vs ME for example, where quite a lot of maids are locked up for up to 6 months at a time, no contact with family during the contract, and stories of employers abuse and molest abound, and maids held on fraudulent charges/caned... and more horror stories, but a lot still go to ME for the extremely higher pay. Poverty blinds the sufferings.

Next preferred is HK

The only other country that attracts less maids is the northern neighbour, who has resorted to Vietnam maids, since Ph and Id actively discouraged employment seekers going there. Primarily due to abuse.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:02 am

bro75 wrote:There are worse countries for a FDW than Singapore (e.g. all in the middle east). And compared to 10 years ago, the situation for FDW in Sg has improved a little bit. Acts of extreme cruelty and abuse is still there but is rare and is prosecuted by the government.

Physical abuse is probably rare, psychological, I bet very common. Having said that, I always wondered if this is to some extent a chicken-egg situation (or two independent behaviours) - what I can observe in public areas, many if not most of the LiMs behave just below any standard while performing their duties (i.e. taking care of children). To hang on their mobile phones is what they do and care of most.

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Re: RE: Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:08 am

x9200 wrote:Physical abuse is probably rare, psychological, I bet very common.


Some example ??? Please....

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Re: RE: Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:24 am

ecureilx wrote:
x9200 wrote:Physical abuse is probably rare, psychological, I bet very common.


Some example ??? Please....

What example? Of psychological abuse? Cursing and shouting at the maids, depriving from intimacy by providing sleeping place on the kitchen floor only, criticizing their job with aggressive voice and forcing to repeat some unnecessary tasks again and again, other humiliating actions.

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Re: RE: Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby bro75 » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:29 am

x9200 wrote:
ecureilx wrote:
x9200 wrote:Physical abuse is probably rare, psychological, I bet very common.


Some example ??? Please....

What example? Of psychological abuse? Cursing and shouting at the maids, depriving from intimacy by providing sleeping place on the kitchen floor only, criticizing their job with aggressive voice and forcing to repeat some unnecessary tasks again and again, other humiliating actions.


Except for sleeping on the floor, that was my exact same experience in my previous company.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby bgd » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:57 am

Some interesting observations here.

A couple of mine.

Most of the FDWs I know like Sg and are well treated. Most, but not all, work for expat families. The few who aren't so keen are generally missing their own children/families and are unhappy with the whole FDW experience, not just Sg.

In general I see children very well treated by FDWs. Dogs, on the other hand, tend to spend most of their 'walk time' sitting while their FDW gossips with friends or uses her phone. One notable exception is the girl I occassionally see swiming with her dog on ECP.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:13 am

bdg, I live in an HDB estate and not a condo/landed property. The way I see them treated here is considerably different than the way they are treated by the majority of western expats. I make the distinction because the way they are treated by Asian Expats is just as bad, for the most part, as the local population, and probably rightly so, as they all have similar cultural baggage when it comes to "service" staff (which is also why it's hard to find any quantity of locals performing amah/domestic duties today).

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:26 am

I witnessed some situation where the maids should be prosecuted including one when the maid was walking along the Holland Rd typing on her mobile and "taking care" of a 5yo kid who was riding a bicycle. The kid crossed a busy intersection and she even did not notice.
When I lived in one condo within that area walking dogs while sitting in the car park was very common.
"Taking care" of very young children on a playground while sitting, typing and listening to music is a norm in all the condos I lived so far.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 30 Jul 2015 1:14 am

There are many reasons why people hire nanny / maids. It is all very personal subjected to individual family dynamics and temperaments of the people involved. My mom had to care for four kids, help run business, cook 3 meals a day, go to the market daily to get fresh produce for the family. She had a full and busy life and liked her domestic duties just fine. Not all her daughters would want to do the same though. How come? Humans come in different temperaments. And also lifestyle trend changed over time. It just is. Not sure if there is a point in arguing which way of life is better or worse.

Well, this mom hired a nanny as she found childcare too boring. So the person she handed over the child to will find it more interesting? For many, it is a job, a way to put food on the table. So would it surprise anyone that many nannies do get distracted by cellphones and such while on the job? Although one may be lucky to find nannies who love kids and it is a job of their own choosing. And in her case, it worked out.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... nanny.html

It is actually fairly common in parts of New York to have full time nannies, even with a stay-home-mom. This article is writen in 2010. Things may have changed. Recently read about this mom who moves to New York taking her child to the playground. She is the only mom there, the other caregivers are all nannies.

http://www.mommasgonecity.com/2010/06/p ... -observer/

Many nannies in USA are new immigrants as they are the ones who would consider childcare a full time career (vs high school kids looking for part time gig). Depending on the part of the country, you may see hispanics or European au pairs. They are also the underclass "immigrants living on the minimum wage with no sick pay, holidays or health benefits." Maids in SG get healthcare coverage.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... wards.html

These domestic workers have a home to go back to after a day's work. However, in SG, the maids do not have this luxury. It becomes very problematic with no clear divide of duties / boundaries / personal space.

All kinds of dynamics in the employer-maid relationship. It is not always about only one person (in power) oppressing the weaker one. One gonna look at it case by case.

My mom hired a maid to help with dad in wheel chair. After he passed away, maid is still with mom. More to keep her company than anything else since my mom do most of the household chores. She likes it that way. Maid spend a lot of time watching Taiwanese soap opera and would clue me in on the development of the drama whenever I am back in SG. You know some of those soaps can run into 100s of episodes and if you don't watch it from the very beginning, you miss the juicy details and connections :P . Maid is bored working for my mom, an elderly lady. She wanted to go find employment in Hong Kong, more exciting and higher pay. Unfortunately, there was some tiff between HK-Philipines at the time. Which dissuaded her.

Maybe my mom could have given her a raise. Maybe she did? Not sure. However, mom is limited in her finance. It is her kids chipping in to pay for the maid as my siblings do not want her to fall into depression. She is in her 80s. Spend most of her time at home as she is not the social type. Only join the senior activites once a month and not incline to go out with friends. She mostly likes hanging out with her kids and family but my siblings all have to work and try to visit her when they can.

She is the one and only maid my mom hired and had been with her for maybe like 8 years. On the other hand, one of my sister goes thru maids like what, change every two years. These maids do not like to work for my sister and they fired her, lol. One of her maid told me she did not like working as a maid and did not like working for my sister. She was a teacher back in Philippines and she wants to see the world and have fun.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 30 Jul 2015 3:36 am

And also, my sister and her husband have an ever expanding biz that consumes their entire waking moments. Being very career-minded and not having too much of maternal / domestic genes in her means she rather outsource most of those duties. So they tried hiring two (instead of just one) maids. It did not work out. Maids either quarrel and fight with each other or they gang up against my sister. Not just one time, she made several attempts.

Live in situations are just not ideal.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Thu, 30 Jul 2015 7:16 am

earthfriendly wrote:So would it surprise anyone that many nannies do get distracted by cellphones and such while on the job? Although one may be lucky to find nannies who love kids and it is a job of their own choosing. And in her case, it worked out.

There are some ethical universal (apparently not) standards. If you don't want to take a proper care of children you should not agree to do it up front. I am not talking about the entertaining part but providing critical safety care. Regardless you like the job or not you don't endanger health or life of somebody under your care. Is this really so difficult to understand?

Also, it's not about being distracted like incidentally. Is like hanging on the phone most of the time.


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