Maids Are The Backbone of Our Society

When I was growing up, we had a couple of domestic helpers around the house, usually from Philippines or Indonesia.

(For those unfamiliar with Singapore, domestic help is commonplace because it is affordable.)

From my observations, even as a child, I knew that good domestic help was difficult to find. When we did have a good helper, things at home were well taken care of and my parents and grandparents would be freed up to focus on more important things.

When the helper was not so good because of attitude, work ethic or other various issues, it would be stressful for everyone, to say the least.

Yesterday was Foreign Domestic Worker Day and all the helpers were enjoying themselves at the carnival that was specifically organised for them. We were there to attend the Foreign Domestic Worker Awards Ceremony because my Mother-in-law was nominated for Foreign Domestic Worker Employer of the year – and she WON! She’s travelling so my husband went to receive her award on her behalf and had so many interviews with the media.

Maids Photogrid
From left to right – 1st photo: Weihong receiving the award from Minister of State, Sam Tan; 2nd photo: arranging their pose for the camera; 3rd photo: SMILE!; 4th photo: Weihong & Marny getting interviewed by a Straits Times reporter.


(Read the Straits Times article here.)

It is always been amazing to me that my Mother-in-law has managed to keep her helper for 28 years. Marny came to Singapore in 1987 to work to support her son, and she’s been here ever since. 4 years into her job, Marny asked for a $10,000 loan to buy farmland in the Philippines and my Mother-in-law agreed to lend her the money (Read full article here.)

Of course we can all draw parallels to hiring employees to help in business. The good ones help to grow the company. The not so good ones are a drain on the company.

The really great, stable ones, to me, form the backbone of the company.  My stepfather’s secretary was with him for 30 years and that really helped to contribute to the success of his company.

As a Mum (to 2 munchkins under the age of 4 and a 3rd one on the way) and entrepreneur, it is imperative that my support network works. Without reliable domestic help (which we are fortunate to have because my helper is super), I would not be able to do a lot of things that I do today. My husband has a very demanding job too as a lawyer so we rely heavily on our support network (which includes our extended families too. Takes a village, and all that).

Lots of successful businessmen have their wives to stay home and look after the kids and all other home matters. That’s not the situation for me so I have to be highly creative and organised.

Today, I am thankful for my reliable helpers and employees, who, just by being great at their job, are helping me (more than they know) to achieve my dreams, goals, and and the life that I desire for myself and my family.

(Originally posted on on 7 December 2015)