Help in the home a family affair
Updated: 2013-04-25 13:30
By Ye Jun (China Daily)
After taking care of our newborn baby for two months all by ourselves, my wife and I realized hiring an ayi is compulsory. Over the next year we hired four ayis. The experience has been a great lesson in humanity.
Our nurses lived with us, but we looked after the baby in the evening. That means accepting a stranger into the house to live with us all the time except on holidays.
Our first nurse was experienced and hardworking. She helped a lot with feeding the baby, as we had problems getting him to adjust back and forth between breastfeeding and the bottle when my wife returned to work.
For that, we were ready to overlook a few shortcomings. She was not very good at cooking. She was forgetful because she suffered insomnia. We found her a doctor, and paid for her first round of medication. We didn't utter a word of complaint when she forgot to put the hose of the washing machine in the sink and flooded the wooden floor of the corridor three times.
Gradually, we found she became sulky each time we tried to remind her of something that had not been done. She also took a lot of phone calls, to counsel other ayis.
We could see how those trivial things made her anxious and unhappy. But we didn't know what to do to help.
She spent five months with us, before starting to demand extra days off, although we gave her all the holidays according to the contract. Even though we were sympathetic, we thought it was too much when she became annoyed and threatened to quit.
Our second ayi was almost perfect. She had 10 years of experience. She was happy and open-minded. She kept the baby giggling all the time. Most importantly, she was willing to communicate with us. We got along quite well.
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