In the old days of the ‘amahs’, they were regarded as part of the family and were well respected by all the family members. They were allowed to function as another ‘parent’ and were given the leeway to discipline the children.
When Singapore began to industrialise from the late 1960s, more Singaporean women took up jobs in factories and offices, sparkling a need for maids in Singapore to look after their homes.
Now the role of the maids in Singapore is changing and most of the time they provide an indispensable home help to wealthy or affordable families or busy working couples, who find it almost impossible to live without the Singapore maids. There are a lot of chores to do that some aspects of their employers’ lives will be affected without Singapore maids. For some, it seems there will be no end to housework if there are no maids in Singapore.
Some Singaporean families have become a pampered lot and they seem to be delegating the care of their children and parents to maids in Singapore. And over the years, maids in Singapore have become an integral part to the smooth running of many Singaporean households. They pick up after the children, fetch them from school, accompany their elderly charges to the hospital and keep homes tidy, among their many roles.
The skills required of a Singapore maid are also higher today. Some are expected to help children with ever-demanding homework and to have the computer skills to assist them; care for the elderly, which have become more complex in terms of nursing skills; and run the home, which involves operating sophisticated appliances and being able to cook according to dietary demands. One way to improve attitudes towards the Singapore maids is to recognise the skills that good domestic workers take care of the household and the standard of food they prepare to bring to the table, and compensate them accordingly
For many couples sandwiched between taking care of young children and elderly parents, having a Singapore maid is a necessity, especially when alternatives are in short supply.
For some, it is possible to do without the maids in Singapore if you adjust your living style and expectations about neatness and work a little harder, like waking up early to make breakfast for the family.
It will be difficult to become an entirely maid-less society. Certainly, Singapore can take steps to having fewer maids, by using technology and outsourcing.
And, of course, maids in Singapore are re relatively more affordable to employ than getting specialised home and eldercare services.