When to give up and get a housemaid in the UAE

Published:  22 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: UAE, Money, Jobs
Nowadays, many trailing spouses whose partners are working in the UAE also have jobs themselves, but coping with housework because of guilty feelings about hiring a maid is no fun.

Many trailing spouses from Western countries have feelings of discomfort about hiring a maid to do jobs around the house, mostly because the Western way of keeping rooms tidy and cleaning regularly has been drummed into them by their own mothers. Normal household chores such as hoovering, dusting, washing and ironing are still considered to be women’s work, no matter where in the world they’re needed to be done. Feelings of guilt arise with the thought of hiring help, tying women to the kitchen sink yet again.

The tale of one expat wife, recently arrived in the UAE and determined to cope with the chores as she’d been taught as a child, began with seeing her friends running households complete with live-in maids, nannies, cleaners and even a driver for their cars. Believing she was totally capable of running every aspect of her household, she justified her decision by telling herself hiring a maid was just a waste of money.

Reality dawned when her pet cat knocked a pen under the sofa and, pushing it back to find the pen, she was confronted with grains of rice, fur balls, dust and dead insects. Finally giving up, she contacted a professional cleaning service and booked a home help for three hours twice monthly. The results were amazing – clean sheets, sparkling floors, pristine sinks, vacuumed carpets and not a speck of dust, all at a price well worth paying.

After several months, she upped the service to once a week, pushing the remainder of her guilt feelings out of her mind and admitting she’d been crazy not to have taken the plunge earlier as she’d now realised hiring home help in the Middle East isn’t just for the elite, it’s for everyone.

She’s by far not the only woman who felt her moral code wasn’t conducive to hiring help, and the Middle East isn’t the only place in the world where trailing spouses and working expat women face this dilemma. In Asia and many other expat destinations it’s simply the thing to do, and gives employment to local women who might otherwise not be able to work as well as freedom to the expat women themselves.
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