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House girl chronicles season 1

Wednesday morning. I have a meeting in Kilimani at 9:00. So I was up earlier considering Nairobi crazy traffic. By 7:00, I was ready to leave the house. Then it hit me that my DM (Nanny/Househelp) sim card had issues and was not going through. So there was no way to communicate home if I left her without proper connection. I know you know how hard it is to spend 8 hours in office without checking on your babies progress.  You simply can’t focus when you have not checked if your baby was fed on time or have diapers changed regularly. These DMs needs constant reminder.

So there is MPESA agent just outside the gate downstairs. I sent her there to buy another sim card and register. I gave clear instructions of not taking more than 10 minutes in the process. If it was not possible to get a new one within that time, she was to come back and I would have left one of my sim cards for the day. The baby was sleeping. So am catching up on some emails. It got to 7:30, 7:45, 8:00 am. One hour and she is not back.  By this time my temper is rising. Am starting to worry about my meeting. I decided to go check on her. I went to the agent and asked her if she had served a girl with a green woolen cap. she told me that she has not even seen her. In fact she was like, I have not served any lady this morning. I hit my head! Jeeeeeez! Where could you have gone?  Remember she doesn’t have a phone. I cannot communicate. Where do I get this girl! I can’t leave my baby alone. Some disappear like that.

On my way back I met  Njoroge the care taker. I asked if by any chance he has contact number of the persons with MPESA agents within the neighbourhood. I thought she could have opted to go to a different agent. Njoroge was kind enough to understand my desperation and started calling the agents that he knew. “Hello, Have you served slim, medium height girl, in a green marving , black sweater and orange skirt this morning?” Njoroge called. No one gave a positive feedback. I thought to myself…AM FINISHED! I thought she had called it quit. I went back to the house to check on my baby. She was already awake. I started feeding her. Its 8: 15 am. I couldn’t settle anymore. Of couse my husband is the first to call to share the demise…” Nilituma Njoki hapa chini kwa MPESA at 7:00 am . Ata saa hii hajarudi”. He is pretty cool. “What did you send her? He asked. “To buy a new sim card coz hers was not going through sijui aliblock?” He reminded of another incident last Saturday. “ Si sato you sent her spinach and she took two hours” On this particular Saturday, I had sent her spinach. She decided to go to the shopping center which is 1.5 km from my house by foot. Mark you she had enough money to use matatu or boda boda.

I hanged up! You are not even helping me! You are just reminding me of more problems. My baby is looking at a crazy mom. Holding her at my waist and going round the house like a mad woman. Regularly, going to my bedroom which overlooks the street to see if I will see her approaching. Its 8:45 AM. There is no way to get to that meeting. I call the operations manager. She is a working mom like me. Very understanding. I didn’t even let her talk….am pouring all my frustrations to her! I sent this house girl at 7:00 AM downstairs….its 8:45 AM. She is not here yet. I do not know where to take the baby. I wont make it to the meeting. She is like, why don’t you write a message on whatsapp (in the office group) and say that you have an emergency at home? I thought it was a good advice. But decided to wait until 9:00 am.

Exactly at 9:03 AM, while overlooking through my bedroom window, I see the girl cat walking. Then am like, what is she thinking. Am soooo mad. I took a glass of cold water to try and cool me down. I hate to quarrel with house girls…the stress might be translated to my baby. So am always very careful. But not today. On Saturday I was quiet. I still cooked the spinach two hours later. Today you make me miss my meeting, I will not hold it. My baby still on my waist, she opens the door innocently, I try to compose my self . I BURST her. “Njoki, please have a sit. I told you, 10 minutes. Its two hours. What took you so long? I told you I have a meeting. Was it intentional?” She started to explain….oooh I went to that shop at the corner, he was trying to register the sim card. The phone network was responding…….BLA BLA BLA BLA…I couldn’t stand the explanation. “So was it successful? Is it working now” I ask…..Noo! Just before I could insult her…I remembered…COMMON SENSE IS NOT COMMON. Two hours to register a sim card and you come back without. I couldn’t stand it. I think she went for a breakfast date. I give her the instruction for the day and leave. I just got into the office. 10:36 AM. What a way to start my morning!!!!! I can,t even concentrate! Feel like going home!!!!!!! I just called Njoroge to request him to keep listening if my baby has been pinched!

Like them or hate them. House girls are necessary evils. You cannot do without them especially if you are working mom.  Some are annoying, rude, messy, can’t handle the baby well. Others are very clean, some are thieves, some are smokers and drunkards…some breastfeed our babies! Imean, they are everything you can think of in a society. No matter the character, as long as they are in your house, you must treat them well. Remember you entrust her with your baby and house.  If you mess up with them, they can mess your life. They can even kill you and your baby…or burn your house…May God give us patience.

How do you deal with your house helps? Has she ever messed your day? How do you discipline them? Share your experiences! Don’t forget to like the facebook page. Thanks.


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