3 weeks without!Annual leave

For most of us in South Africa, who have domestic help, December can be a very difficult time, for this is usually when most domestic workers go on their annual leave. Usually for 3 weeks at least

Domestic workers going across the Zimbabwe border on leave risk their possessions and lives to overloaded, un-roadworthy transport and reckless drivers
Domestic workers going across the Zimbabwe border on leave risk their possessions and lives to overloaded, un-roadworthy transport and reckless drivers. They can be gone for weeks.

For some, it is a time to realise how much this employee does for you and how much easier they make your life. For others, it is a time to realise how little one needs their help, or how little the help actually does in a day when you are not at home.

I have been reading different posts on Facebook and the one thing that comes over clearly is that, whether or not you have chosen to have help, whether it is only with the washing and ironing, a housecleaner once or twice a week, a full time domestic or even a full time nanny, South Africans are privileged and, dare I say it, spoiled!

If you are at work all day, you rely on these employees to look after your homes and keep them to the standard you expect. Some families are lucky enough to hire a person with integrity, who looks after your home and children as if they were their own. Others discover that they only thought they were lucky!

I wish this image I got off Google was my house!
I wish this image I got off Google was my house! My house doesn’t look like this even when my help is not on leave

I was fortunate this year in that my three older kids went on summer camp for 3 weeks.  I say this because, since they came home, I simply can’t seem to keep my house as clean as I want it to be. This has caused me to revise my cleaning schedule. The cleaning schedule available on the website is free and is a very basic one which each person adapts to suit their needs.

It doesn't matter if they are little ones or teenagers!
It doesn’t matter if they are little ones or teenagers!

The first week the children were away, I started getting my house in order and notes were made about what I found or didn’t find.

The second week I was unexpectedly on leave as my boss decided to close the office. I started cleaning and discovered that without the older children at home, I could get the entire house done in 2 hours! Once they came home, it took about 4 hours.

They brought home 3 trommels (tin trunks/kists for non South Africans) filled with washing which took me 5 days and 5 loads a day to do and we are still ironing! Also, they insist on wearing clean clothes which I keep on having to wash and it feels like it will never end!

This is a trommel. I had three full with dirty clothes to wash!
This is a trommel. I had three full with dirty clothes to wash! There goes my leave.

The benefit I discovered in doing all your own housework? I have lost 3kg! I also know now how much can be done in a day’s work and what can’t.

I honestly feel that every person who wants to employ a domestic worker should do the job themselves for two days before drawing up a cleaning schedule! This way your expectations are realistic.http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/printables/house-cleaning-check-list/

As much as I didn’t find the housework too onerous, I will be glad to have full time help again. It has become extremely difficult to keep my house clean, put food out for lunch for the children and make supper, while I am at work full time and the 4 kids are at home full time, with very little to occupy themselves and very reluctant to clean up after themselves!

This is, of course, the fault of a privileged upbringing!    In countries where there is no domestic help the children are taught from an early age to clean up after themselves and do chores around the house.     We cannot absolutely blame the children for this is how we were brought up as well!

How do you manage to get your children to keep their rooms and belongings neat and tidy?

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