My MIL absolutely hates my maid

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.

My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby clioclio » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:59 am

My MIL is very difficult to please. Nobody does anything well except her. From housework to bringing up the kids to cooking...she is always critical towards me (although not so direct) and my maid.

My Indonesian maid has been with us for slightly more than 1.5years. So far, she is not too bad--i can't say she is perfect or fantastic but she can bond with my 3 kids (age 4, 3 and 9 months). Her housekeeping is acceptable for me but still needs occasional reminders/chiding. Whenever i get upset with her, i always think to myself--1. Her 'crime' is not fatal (e.g. stealing, boyfriends outside etc), 2. No other maids are willing to look after 3 young kiddos + housework + wash car + cooking and 3. Willing to do all these for $350 with no off day (she belongs to the old system before those maid agencies decided to raise the salary of Indo maids)

anyway, my MIL detests my maid. she thinks that my maid does a terrible job of maintaining my house. However, i feel that my MIL is asking for the impossible (e.g. She wants the whole kitchen to be wiped down after cooking every meal, dishes cleaned before serving the meal)--this is what she does in her home --she has open backyard kitchen no need to worry about greasy cupboards etc) --i need to serve the hungry kids where got time to clean the pots and woks and wipe the whole kitchen before meals? Usually I let my maid clean up the kitchen after the kids have eaten.

When we try to tell her that her expectations are simply unrealistic in a busy household with 3 young kids, she gets defensive and angrythat we are siding the maid and not her. It is very frustrating.

This month, we went to HK with 2 of our kids for holiday. As an 'incentive', we asked the maid if she wants to go. We'd pay for her expenses there (e.g. HK disneyland tickets, trnasport, meals) but she'll have to fork out her own airfare. She accepted and we all had a great holiday with her helping looking after the kids and her having her first holiday abroad. MIL hit the roof when she found out. She is angry that the maid was 'allowed' a holiday. Sigh!

Then my hubby's company had tickets to Universal Studios and we brought the kids plus maid along. We could very well ask my MIL to go, but she does not like to go to theme parks. Nevertheless, she lamented that the maid gets to go to universal studios and not her.

I just think that my MIL is very conscious about maintaining her status in relation to the maid and I don't understand why she must control how we treat our maid. Whenever we show her kindness or treat her (as a work incentive---which employee does not get motivated with periodic incentives?) she gets upset. --as a Hari Raya gift, i treated my maid to Snip ave's $28 hair rebonding.--my maid has v curly hair and wanted to rebond her hair v much but it's super ex in SG. Since there was this offer, ithought that it was a good and cheap way to motivate my maid. NOT CHEAP enough, according my my MIL who scolded me for spoiling my maid. :siao:

Initially i got upset and told my hubby why don't we just change the maid for peace of mind. But my hubby said no, coz nobody (no maid) will ever be good enough for his mum!

Do you have in-laws/parents who just can't get along with your maid?

clioclio
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:21 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby Flowermonaster » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:51 am

There must be a result why your MIL don't like your maid & the reason is definitely not the maid but something else.
More than 10years ago, my eldest sister needed our mum to help her take care of her first born. My mum was very unwilling as she detest taking care of BB. My sis offered to get a maid to help my mum so that my mum can take care of the BB. My mum got no choice but to agree. The first maid was young, fair & nice looking. My mum detest her a lot. Kept on complaining to my sis how stupid she was, how slow, how not hygiene, etc.... She even warned that the maid being so young & pretty might try to seduce my BIL! She said she heard from other pple, indonesia maid will do that! I nearly want to faint when I heard that but as I was still young, I dared not say anything. My mum is the mistress of her house.
My sis got along fine with her maid but has to change her because of my mum's constant complaints. She felt so stressed. The next maid was not from Indonesia but I don't remember where. She was more broader built, meatier & very dark & older. Definitely not the type who can seduce the male employer with her look.
This time, my mum waited a week to starts her complaint as she don't want my sis to think th she didn't try hard enough to get along with the maid. The 2nd maid was actually not very good, she was dirty, lazy & kept on pretending she don't understand what my mum's want her to do. My mum was mad & start saying this maid is worst than the 1st one, why my sis chose such a maid, she don't like stranger in her house, etc... My sis also think that this maid is no good. she missed her first maid & regretted changing her. To cut the story short, my sis realized that the actual reason lies in my mum not willing to take care of her BB not because of the maid. No matter how good the maid is my mum will still find fault.

Flowermonaster
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1479
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:54 pm
Total Likes: 5


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby clioclio » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:54 am

You are absolutely right. My current maid is my maid no. 3. Maid no. 2 was simply incompetent, sent her away after 3 months. Maid no. 1 was not bad too, initiative and all that. But her first week with us, she didn't know what was expected of her (which was understandable right?) she had some misunderstanding with my MIL ...when we tried to mediate, my MIL was so furious. I will never forget that day when we arrived at her house (a few days after her 'misunderstanding'with maid) and she angrily made hubby and I sit down and she launched into a huge 'You all want maid don't want your mother' tirade ---that time i was only 3 yrs into marriage never seen my MIL so angry before i was going to cry at her shouting. Even though i satisfied with my maid i kept asking my hubby to change the maid for the sake of peace. My hubby pacified his mum but we did not change our maid. after the incident, MIL 'tolerated' maid with occasional criticism. afdter our maid left (she missed home too much), and then we changed to maid no. 2 and no. 3, she criticises and complain about the maid and laments that maid no. 1was still so much better etc etc. She even say maybe can contact maid no. 1 and ask her to come back and work for us>.. Can you imagine? :siao:

clioclio
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:21 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby clioclio » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:15 am

One saving pt is that my MIL loves my children very much. However, she can be irrational when it coems to the kids sometimes. For e.g. my children sometimes have bruises or scratches which are part and parcel of the rough and tumble of playing games. When I ask my kids when theywere younger, they can sprout nonsense like, "Pa pa beat me lor" and when asked a 2nd tiem within a minute they can change to "Auntie (maid) beat me". So once, my MIL saw some brusies on my kids legs. She almost fainted wwhen my gal said "Auntie beat me". She complained to us and said with conviction that our maid abused ourkids. When we investigated, my gal said 'Grandma beat me". Our whoever suits their fancy. MIL remains unconvinced when we tried to explain to her .


Perhaps the underlying reason is that she does not approve of the way I bring up my kids. we have differing viewpoints whcih is fine with me. Can always agree to disagree right? But my MIL is angry because we do not take up her advice all the time. I think she is using the maid to vent out her frustrations/anger towards me ...sometimes i wonder if my maid leaves, will she start scolding me directly?

The last i heard, she told my SIL that my maid is so lousy that my kitchen is so dirty my MIL refuses to cook in my kitchen anymore (she used to cook for us occasionally). I am upset because while my kitchen may not be gleaming but it is certainly not filthy. She did not tell me directly but she complained to everyone but my hubby and me. If she doesn't want to cook at my plce, it is really fine iwth me. but no need to slam my house .

Once a week i will bring my kids to my MIL's plce to play etc. I offered to take the kids to her plce (bundling 3 kids in taxi) for her convenience then she complained that the maid idles in her house end up she isthe maid and my maid is the queen. So we asked her how about shge comes to our house, I can assign my maid a list of chores to do, so no excuse for the maid? So she came up but within a few weeks she complained that my kitchen dirty lah etc etc don't want to cook at my place anymore ( anyway we always told her let's eat out for dinner on days she looks after my kids so that my FIL can join us after work) ... So you see every decision is to go along with her wishes right? Then to my chargin we found out from FIL that my MIL complained bitterly to him that we "ban her" from coming to our house. :stompfeet:

clioclio
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:21 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby Chu Liu Xiang » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:21 am

Hi clioclio

My comments:-

The maid's salary of $350 with no day off currently is a bit low especially for a maid who has been working 1.5 yrs for you now. Current new maid starting salary is $400 - $450. It'll be a problem when your maid learns of her lower salary as compared to the new maids in the neighbourhood.

Normally, when an employer goes on holidays there're a few options she/he can choose for the maid

a) get the maid to tag along and pays everything for her
b) pay her and ask her to go on vacation leave (not the re-contractual home leave) for the period the employer goes on his/her vacation
c) leave her at home to take care of the house if she doesn't acccepts the above options. However, there's a risk here that things may go haywire when the employer is not around. Cannot leave the maid at your in-law, siblings or relative place otherwise she'll definitely be ask to work and that will be against MOM's rule. Well, can't expect your maid to sit in their house and do nothing also, right?

Be watchful of your maid's actions which you treated as not serious like stealing, having outside boyfriends etc. One day these actions may become serious.

Lastly, if you're satisfied that your maid is discharging her duties to your satisfaction and if your maid is not employed to look after your MIL then don't take the elderly words seriously. Just accept what she says and please her by saying you'll take action but don't reprimand the maid infront of her since your maid has done nothing wrong. Don't even talk to your maid regarding your MIL's comments unless you want her to improve on certain things.

Remember, the paymaster is you (and/or your hubby) NOT your MIL (or anybody else). Hint this to her. Ask her if she has a maid and you (or anybody else) keep telling her that her maid is doing a lousy job what would she do? If her response is to change the maid then tell her that changing the maid too many times is a reflection of her poor maid management in addition to having to spend more money and time to train the new maid. Tell her how her neighbores/friends would view her if she changes the maid too many times. Tell her also MOM will ban her from employing maids if she changes too many times in a year and she'll have to go back for re-education course.

Sometimes explaining, reasoning and arguing just won't work on ancient mind.

Quarrel if you must. Make your stand if you're doing the right things!

FYI, those are some hard tactics I used on my elderly during my early days of employing maids. I'm the paymaster and since I'm also busy working I don't really have the time to bother about some silly domestic issues as long as I'm satisfied with my maid's performance.

:imcool:

Chu Liu Xiang
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:33 pm
Total Likes: 0



Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby clioclio » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:59 pm

Wow, i think i wd never dare to quarrel with my MIL ... i can never fathom her. :shock: even more so if it is over the maid. but u are right, everytime she criticise something about the maid, i will nod my head and say i will tell the maid... but the most frustrating thing is,many times she complain to the whole wide world except to us, we only hear about it when either 1. my SIL tells us, or 2. my FIL tells us because he bueh tahan the complaints that MIL nags and nags about. *LOL*

When we decided to go to HK for holiday, we were mulling over the options--i have a 9month old baby who stayed at my MIL's during our hk trip. But FIL told us please don't send the maid to their house coz MIL hate maid so much.. :scared: We wanted to put gher up in those hostel (but all those reject maids are put up there by maid agencies scared she pick up all those tricks) . We also considered putting her at home with list of chores--but recently her good friend (another maid staying on another floor within the same block) got sent home coz she became pregnant after hankypanky with Blanga workers in the vicinity! We freaked out didn dare to put her alone in our house while we are overseas! In the end invited her to go hk with us she agreed to pay the airfare while we foot her expenses there.

But anyway, just want to clarify--i meant that 'Serious' errors are things like stealing, boyfriends etc. I already reminded her now and then if she does any of that, she'd goback home straightaway.

She knows that her pay is low compared to the newer maids. She goes to church with our family every week and gets to talk to other maids. I asked her why she don't want to work for other families (with lesser or no kids) or transfer to other families with more pay--she said "never mind, she is happy here she don't mind being busy every day)---Hubby and I are thinking of raising her pay to $400 beginning next year.

Maybe i am being kiam siap, but sometimes i get irritated that i gotta raise her salary even though she slack off sometimes (e.g. She does not put the folded clothes back to the respective cupboards promptly--end up my hubby has no socks to wear to work gotta get it ourselves from her room where she iron clothes? Or even though there is a schedule, she can don't wash my toilet until I bueh tahan gotta wash it myself. She procrastinates end up one big stack of clothes waiting to be folded in the end i have to help her. and she supposed to wake up at 6am (she has alarm clock) to prepare b'fast for my hubby (he has to leave for wk at 7am) but many times she woke up at 6.30-6.45, dilly dally in the bathroom in the end no b'fast for my hubby.

Let me ask --do you think we are TOO TOLERANT of her? (maybe that's why my MIL is angrY) Many a times i feel resentful why I have maid still gotta wash toilet do laundry! But then, it could be also the fact tt it is a busy household with 3 kids below 4. So some lapses are reasonable? but i also wonder--if i keep covering for her, she'd just take it for granted or get lazy ?

Is it very silly to engage a part time maid to come once a week to wash toilets, iron clothes and clean up generally? -- i am still not sure whether her inability to finish her chores stems from being so busy with kids and all or just being slow. I am a SAHM so the maid's not a one man show at home with kids.

clioclio
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:21 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby Hiaweh » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:12 pm

Why don't you let her handle the household chores and you handle the kids? I can understand that it's difficult at times to even handle the kids alone, so get her to help when you need her but her main job scope is still housework. At least it is clear what her priorities are and you don't have to cover her work and she has no excuse not to do them.

Hiaweh
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:51 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby clioclio » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:42 pm

Hiaweh wrote:Why don't you let her handle the household chores and you handle the kids? I can understand that it's difficult at times to even handle the kids alone, so get her to help when you need her but her main job scope is still housework. At least it is clear what her priorities are and you don't have to cover her work and she has no excuse not to do them.



yes that is the understanding.. but really gotta micromanage her (Arrgh!) Like for e.g. Sir & Ma'am's clothes pile up in her room not returned to cupboards. Why? Coz Baby sleep in ma'am's room so when baby is napping (twice a day) cannot put the clothes back. :lightrod: I tell her-- please THINK. When baby wakes up can you quickly put the clothes back!? We have a schedule of chores to be done -- but coz of the kids sometimes last min change...then the chore (e.g. wash toilet) doesn get done. Must remind her (sometimes 2-3 times) then she will do.
Now end up, i will always tell her what to do like, go and change the bed sheets, put them in washing machine then you go and wash toilet etc. Micro manage. :(

the only thing that is keeping me from saying sayonara to her is --she is able to engage the kids when i am deadtired --she can play 'play dough' with my older 2 kids better than I do! andshe isgood with my baby too. And with a maid around, at least i get to do stuff with my kids which would be impossible if i was maid-less! So with the 'could be better' household chores, i try to close one eye lah.

Sometimes i think i do housework better than her-- before i had a maid (and 3 kids of course) i did housework as a form of destress from work. :lol: :lol: Maybe i should do housework and she look after kids! :yikes: but i love bonding with my kids too!

clioclio
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:21 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby Chu Liu Xiang » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:54 am

clioclio wrote:Wow, i think i wd never dare to quarrel with my MIL ... i can never fathom her. :shock: even more so if it is over the maid. but u are right, everytime she criticise something about the maid, i will nod my head and say i will tell the maid... but the most frustrating thing is,many times she complain to the whole wide world except to us, we only hear about it when either 1. my SIL tells us, or 2. my FIL tells us because he bueh tahan the complaints that MIL nags and nags about. *LOL*

When we decided to go to HK for holiday, we were mulling over the options--i have a 9month old baby who stayed at my MIL's during our hk trip. But FIL told us please don't send the maid to their house coz MIL hate maid so much.. :scared: We wanted to put gher up in those hostel (but all those reject maids are put up there by maid agencies scared she pick up all those tricks) . We also considered putting her at home with list of chores--but recently her good friend (another maid staying on another floor within the same block) got sent home coz she became pregnant after hankypanky with Blanga workers in the vicinity! We freaked out didn dare to put her alone in our house while we are overseas! In the end invited her to go hk with us she agreed to pay the airfare while we foot her expenses there.

But anyway, just want to clarify--i meant that 'Serious' errors are things like stealing, boyfriends etc. I already reminded her now and then if she does any of that, she'd goback home straightaway.

She knows that her pay is low compared to the newer maids. She goes to church with our family every week and gets to talk to other maids. I asked her why she don't want to work for other families (with lesser or no kids) or transfer to other families with more pay--she said "never mind, she is happy here she don't mind being busy every day)---Hubby and I are thinking of raising her pay to $400 beginning next year.

Maybe i am being kiam siap, but sometimes i get irritated that i gotta raise her salary even though she slack off sometimes (e.g. She does not put the folded clothes back to the respective cupboards promptly--end up my hubby has no socks to wear to work gotta get it ourselves from her room where she iron clothes? Or even though there is a schedule, she can don't wash my toilet until I bueh tahan gotta wash it myself. She procrastinates end up one big stack of clothes waiting to be folded in the end i have to help her. and she supposed to wake up at 6am (she has alarm clock) to prepare b'fast for my hubby (he has to leave for wk at 7am) but many times she woke up at 6.30-6.45, dilly dally in the bathroom in the end no b'fast for my hubby.

Let me ask --do you think we are TOO TOLERANT of her? (maybe that's why my MIL is angrY) Many a times i feel resentful why I have maid still gotta wash toilet do laundry! But then, it could be also the fact tt it is a busy household with 3 kids below 4. So some lapses are reasonable? but i also wonder--if i keep covering for her, she'd just take it for granted or get lazy ?

Is it very silly to engage a part time maid to come once a week to wash toilets, iron clothes and clean up generally? -- i am still not sure whether her inability to finish her chores stems from being so busy with kids and all or just being slow. I am a SAHM so the maid's not a one man show at home with kids.


As I mentioned just be watchful of your maid's behavior. There're cases of maids who stole once, got pardoned by employer and then steal again with bigger loot. As for having outside boyfriends the concerns are pregnancy, bringing them to your house in your absent, bad influence etc Regarding her work performance sit down with your hubby and the maid and find out whether she's being overloaded. Tell her of your intention if you want to continue her stay and ask her too. Tell her of salary adjustment but not the amount and ask her how she intends to improve on her performance for the coming new contract. I suggest you give quarterly performance feedback to her for the new contract. Make sure this is being done together with your hubby. Normally, a female tends to listen to a male more than a female. You can also ask your hubby to supervise her more in this case. Do it for a few months and see the outcome.

For your MIL ask your hubby to tell her not to complain too much by hinting her who's the paymaster. Also, like I mentioned, ask your hubby to tell your MIL of the consequences in changing maids too often.

Chu Liu Xiang
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:33 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My MIL absolutely hates my maid

Postby ammonite » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:48 am

It seems to me that your MIL is a perfectionist when it comes to cleanliness. She will not be satisfied with any maid/anyone because no one can keep the house to that level of cleanliness with three kids around, unless you have two very good maids or a real gem of a maid. My mum is just like this, and she was not happy with ANY of her maids (about 8 over twenty something years). In the end she just tries to go out as much as she can so that she does not need to look at the maid or see the dirt. It stresses her out and makes her feel extremely unhappy. She feels the desire to clean up after the maid, and at the same time, resentful that she has to clean up after the maid.

I don't have a maid myself, but in all honesty, your maid sounds quite hopeless when it comes to housework. People like my mum and your MIL will feel very stressed in her presence. A good maid is not easy to come by, but I have seen a couple that I was quite impressed by. However their pay do reflect their abilities ($500 onwards) and the employers do give lots of incentives (own room, own TV and radio). Even though their duties include children, the employers do bring in a lot of support in the form of relatives staying nearby and personal aesthetic teachers to spend time with the children. It is not just the maid with the children all the time.

I guess you have to decide what is more important to you. A maid good at looking after kids, or a maid good at housework. If you leave the kids to the maid, the housework will definitely fall aside. In the meantime, just have the maid stay out of your MIL's way. Both will be happier this way. Anyway children grow up very fast, this is just a temporary stage. :)

ammonite
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2407
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:13 am
Total Likes: 64


Next

Return to Domestic Help