Being a parent is one of the most challenging yet fulfilling experiences in life. It requires patience, hard work, and a lot of sacrifices. When you become a parent, you are responsible for taking care of another human being, shaping their life and moulding them into the person they will become. However, what happens when you have to take care of other people's children, leaving your own child behind? This is the reality for many foreign domestic workers who came to Singapore to work as domestic helpers to earn a living.
In search of better jobs and higher income to take care of their family, these helpers come from countries like India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Myanmar. Most of these helpers cannot afford to take care of their children on their own and have to leave their own families behind to work in Singapore and provide for them. The only time that they get to see and interact with their family in person is the precious home leave that they get when they are allowed to take time off to go back to their hometown.
So, what is it like to take care of someone else's children while your own children grow up without you by their side? It is a bittersweet experience that comes with a lot of mixed emotions. On one hand, the helpers are grateful for the opportunity to work and provide for their family. On the other hand, it is definitely hard to be away from their own children for extended periods.
Taking care of someone else's children is not an easy job. It requires a lot of patience, understanding, and love. The helpers have to be there for the children as necessary, and they have to put the children’s needs before their own and make sure they are safe and happy at all times.
At the same time, the helpers are constantly thinking about their own children back home. They wonder what they are doing, if they miss them, and if they are growing up well without them. They miss their first steps, their first words, and their first everything. They miss out on important milestones that they can never get back. Most of the time, the helpers can only rely on video calls to talk to their family. By exchanging photos via social media applications, both sides are also able to witness each other’s milestones from afar.
To cope with the present difficulties, it definitely helps to have a community who brings people together who share common interests or difficulties. It also provides a sense of belonging and fosters social connections and relationships among its members.
At SWIFT Maids, we care for both our valued clients and domestic helpers so that we can respond with compassion and provide the necessary support. On every Sunday at our Far East outlet, we extend an open invitation to all hardworking & dedicated helpers out there to come join us for a gathering. This gathering provides opportunities for helpers to meet other helpers, strengthen existing relationships, and share experiences. It also provides a sense of belonging and community, particularly for helpers who may feel isolated or disconnected.