Expat

Domestic Bliss

posted by saltybug.com 06/02/2018 0 comments
housework

I stood looking at the enormous pile that was my ironing task and felt that old dusty feeling of resignation start to drown me. It was then that it hit me. I’ve gone soft.

Living as an expat in Asia it is not only an expectation to have domestic support, it is a requirement. Hours are stolen from you just in car travel, and you move from once being Queen of your domain and in control of your life, to feeling a permanent exhaustion and sense of defeatism from the daily grind of your new world.

Now, you can have whatever level of support you want over here. Some have it all – live in cleaners, cooks, yaya’s for the kids, even gardeners and to be fair, if you have coconut palms you do need a coconut guy to sort those people-killing missiles out. Some bubble people lay in bed sleeping off their gin-fuelled lunch from the day before, as the kids are dressed and packed off to school by their yaya’s and driver’s, who are often then having a mid-morning shag before ma’am gets out of bed. Oh dear, am I being unfair and judgy? Perhaps, but do I care? Not today.

I thought I have still kept a semblance of normality in my life. I mean I have never been shy about saying if you have the means, then get help with the housework. Free up your well-earned time to be with your children, take up a hobby. I do the cooking, I do dishes (that’s one reason I don’t bother getting my nails done), I like putting the washing in the machine, what happens to it after that is something I care much less for.

At Christmas, my helper fractured her wrist and has been absent since then. She panicked that I would sack her…that makes me wonder what kind of heartless arseholes are out there treating their helpers like expendable shit. They do exist sadly. Anyway, I assured her she is fine, I just want her to follow doctor’s orders which means four weeks off work.

Great, I get some time to run my own home again, do the cleaning, feel accomplished – I can do it all just like in the good old days!!! I was feeling quietly excited…

I created my schedule like the one I had back home – you know, the recommended way, a bit each day, don’t let it build up. Yeah, well now I have a two-story house I move around in quite differently to my home back in Australia. I also no longer have babies at home who are happy to waddle and crawl around playing while I run around getting shit done. Nope, now I have three school runs a day. So, it is quite safe to say my lovely schedule does not quite work the way it used to…and now the downward slide…when did I become so incapable of managing my life?

I told a friend one Sunday morning that I had kicked the kids and husband out of the house until further notice. I was cleaning. I explained that I am extremely grumpy when cleaning, and in fact for a short to mid-length time after. And if anyone drops one crumb or there is one doggy footprint on my clean floor…I swear I will commit a crime. Honest to goodness you would prefer fighting in a zombie apocalypse somewhat like The Walking Dead, than being anywhere near me while I do the housework. My friend said I was funny…

Last week I was busy cleaning upstairs and I started furiously scrubbing the toilet bowl when the toilet brush snapped in half. With water splashing everywhere, there I was with my germ phobia, squealing as I retrieved the brush head from the toilet. That was perhaps not one of my finest moments.

The next day I decided to treat myself and do my ironing while binging on Madam Secretary, gosh I love that show. As I am ironing away suddenly the knobs on top of my iron fly off, rolling off the board in different directions. Next thing some little screws pop out of somewhere and ping onto the floor, waking Noodles sending him into a tailspin. And there I am, holding a hot iron with the base falling off it and water spilling out while Elizabeth McCord is averting world war three and managing to not kill her kids in frustration, in yet another riveting episode…

It was shortly after this that my helper sent me a text ‘The doctor said I can come back to work. I want to come back tomorrow…’ And I did my happy dance while the family breathed a sigh of relief…

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