I come from India and I’ve been working in Singapore for almost 10 years. I am 29 years old now, single and have no children. But many people would describe me as kid’s best friend! I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters; my dad is a teacher and my mom a farmer. I studied until high school but I had to stop in order to financially support my brothers in their own studies. Besides, my parents also borrowed money and now I had to help to repay it. So sad, my family has always been struggling with debts.
I like my current employers because they give me proper food, they are not nagging, they listen to me and consider my opinion. I had some bad experiences with employers who didn’t give me enough rest time and who asked me to follow rules they didn’t apply when they were with the children! They didn’t enforce these rules so the kids thought I was the “bad guy”. I didn’t dare ask my employers to implement the same rules. Moreover, I had a very poor daily routine then, working long hours. It was also very scary for me when I broke something: my previous boss always scolded me a lot. But it’s better with my new boss because they say that it’s ok, they just ask me to pay more attention in the future.
There are so many positive aspects of being a domestic worker. I come from a remote place and I could not have had so many fulfilling life experiences there. I learned so much here. Taking care of kids has helped me think about my own future. I have learned to cook international recipes. I also learned social behaviors from my boss and it boosted my confidence so much. Moreover, they always encourage me to eat healthy food and stay physically active. Now, I have every Sunday and public holiday off: I haven’t done anything yet but I am planning on joining a volleyball team!
I am proud that I can help my siblings (especially my 3 brothers) for their education through my small earnings but I now want to make money for myself… I would like to settle down with someone who can financially support my family because although I lack in resources, I feel that I have the potential to be a good mom!
Up to now, I have worked for 3 families (including my current one) and if my boss is happy with my work, I am happy too. Treat your helper right and she will work well for your family! That’s a piece of advice I want to give to all employers!
Interviewed by Chloe Bothorel in May 2018
Edited by Rachel Voce