Without a live-in maid, I have begun to dislike cooking. Being not only a health freak but a clean freak, I totally cannot stand a kitchen with oily tops and floor. So after each cooking, there will be a lot of cleaning up to do. To top it all up, I have extremely dry and sensitive skin, which, if in contact with soap, especially detergent and dish-washing liquid, will peel, turn red and feels really 'tight' and itchy. All these 'obstacles' are making cooking seem such a painful chore for me. The thought of even packing food back to eat at home does not seem favourable to me because after eating, there will be bowls, plates and cutlery to wash, table to wipe, floor to wipe (the 3 rascals will surely drop food onto the floor) and table cloths to wash. Sometimes I will wear a pair of rubber gloves but I do not like wearing gloves as I find that I cannot feel what I am washing -- so whether the plate is thoroughly clean or still soapy, I wouldn't know. Above all these reasons, cooking takes up a lot of time -- preparation, cooking and the big washing and cleaning up after each meal. I need to allocate at least 1.5 hours - 2 hours of my time if I cook dinner.. People think that a WFHM has the luxury of time to do her work and to cook up a storm all the time but it is not true. It is still manageable if I have only 1 child. With 3 kids who need supervision in their school work (and the most dreaded final exam is just several weeks away), an online store to run, ads to write, blogs to update, house work to carry out, I have not much time and mood left for cooking. Fortunately my mil is now with us to help out in the cooking but very soon, she will have to leave for Hong Kong again.
Ever since my maid went back to Indon, the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) on my hands is slowly rearing its ugly head again. I first had severe CTS about 2 months post giving birth to Alycia about 9 years ago. After a course of antibiotics to treat the Bronchitis that I was suffering from, the CTS co-incidentally vanished, albeit not 100%. Since then, I have been having numbness and feeling of 'pins and needles' on my hands, especially on my right hand every morning around 3am right through the time I wake up at around 5:30am. I find that the CTS will be aggravated if I use my hands to carry heavy things or use my hands vigorously without resting them. Without a live-in maid, I now have to do more house work and carry heavy stuff too, thus I think I am giving the CTS a wake-up shake. The feeling is not exactly painful but one that is very uncomfortable. If you have gone through a surgery under GA, you will know what I mean. The feeling of CTS is akin to loosing feeling and energy on your hands, peppered with pins and needles. It ain't a nice feeling to have.
After more than a month of being maidless, I am sad to admit that I still prefer having a live-in maid, albeit I do not fancy having a stranger living under the same roof with us and especially sharing our bathroom. If not for the current pathetic maid situation in our country, which is turning from bad to worse, I would have immediately gotten a replacement Indon maid right away. There is only a trickle of Filipino maids to hire now and the agency fee of RM10k (non-refundable) is the main reason why we are not hiring one just yet. I do not mind paying RM12,400 (RM2,400 consists of the Filipino maid's 2 months' salary in advance) for a Filipino maid if there is replacement for a runaway maid or an incompetent maid, with no expiry of guarantee period. If you have read the newspapers a few days ago, you would have read that the Government is now planning to curb the employment of Filipino domestic maids in our country too!
I admire SAHMs and even FTWMs without live-in maids who can still whip up scrumptious dishes, elaborate bento boxes for their kids' and bake a galore of cakes, pastries, snacks and desserts for their kids. Sheoh Yan, Elaine Lee and Chew Lee -- how do you do it? How does everyone else do it without a maid? I need to learn!