Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why a Maid Isn't in the Cards

An appropriate subtitle: Because I was a stubborn ass, penny-pincher in the States, and that isn't going to change just because I'm in Mexico.

I appreciate the thoughtful suggestions, but this one just won't work with me. I actually gave it a long, serious thought the other day, and I found myself getting physically ill.

I'm sure maids are great and they help a lot people get through the day-to-day living in a foreign country not only through their cleaning services but also through the insights they can share into the local culture and language.

A.) Hiring a maid would put me out of a job. While the freelance work trickles in ever so slowly, I'm not bringing much to the table financially. But I can save the house a little money by doing all of the cooking and house maintenance instead of outsourcing it (by the way, I dropped the term cleaning because that is a losing battle. As soon as I stop sweeping one corner and move on, that corner is already getting dirty again. So house maintenance it is.) This goes beyond contribution, too. It is hard to replace the satisfaction of doing a job well, even if it is only unskilled labor.

Consequently, my toys have changed quite a bit. This is my cleaning collection to date. Seems like every weekend I add a new piece. And the Swifter Jet is on its way.

2.) Not only would hiring a maid put me out of a job, but maintaining the house is a large part of my day. Given the chores on my list, we're talking at least two hours of work - usually more.

c.) Have I mentioned yet that I'm cheap? Just for the same reasons I can never bring myself to buy a second coffee pot, I can't justify buying something I already have or paying for a service I can do myself.

IV.) Unlike many other countries, the culture here is too different from American culture. Even more so here than in other parts of Mexico. The people here have been or want to go the States often to do their shopping or to go to Disney Land or live (legally or otherwise). They really are not all that interested in Mexican culture. And other than a few bizarre ingredients, the food isn't that exotic either. I have faith in my ability to pick up on a few of the differences without an instructor.

• And finally, I have alternatives for learning the language skills. I have the Stone. I will be attending a weekly course at the Consulate for Expat Families in Mexico (EFMs). And to top it all off, I'm in the process of signing up for the Distance Learning Program as suggested by a fellow male EFM, or BRO if you'd prefer, from Locke'd Up Abroad. See, I am capable of taking some suggestions.

And if I still can't handle Spanish after all of that, then I'll consider the maid thing again, with a healthy side of Pepto to help me swallow my pride.


  1. Dude, can I hire your maid? I have no problem hiring someone else to do work I could do, but HATE. And isn't it supposed to be cheap there? Whatever floats your sombrero, BRO.

    And what is up with your outlining? A.), 2), c.), IV), bullet...

  2. Is it dusty there like it is here? Things just don't keep dust free very long. Outside, there is a layer of dirt/dust that just doesn't seem to go away.
    I am glad that you are finding a way to accomplish the Spanish goal. Nothing like accomplishing a goal.
    I think that if you don't want someone to clean your house, don't do it. There are a certain number of things that we have control over, and that is one of them. I do have someone cleaning my house, but there are other things that "everyone" else is doing that I just don't want to, so I don't. Control. I must have control.

  3. Come on - U R ruining this for the rest of us aspiring male EFM's. Get a maid already, stop your whining and take a cooking class where they teach you the spanish words for vegetables

  4. seriously, my husband is going to beat you up if he ever meets you. :) He did not know that cleaning was part of the EFM job!

  5. In general, I think I will fit in with most aspects of FSO life (if I ever get off the register). One of my biggest disconnects with the FSO life is picturing myself hiring a cook, garder, and/or cleaner. It doesn't put me at the physically ill level to think about it, but it is just so counter to who I am that I can't picture it comfortably.

    I certainly understand the idea that saving a few hours and feeling odd and uncomfortable about it isn't better than spending a few hours doing the work yourself and feeling good.

  6. I am so glad I didn't inherit the cheap gene... Although I get the working yourself out of a job aspect. If I had nothing else to do, I would clean too.

  7. Without any kids, a maid right now is purely a luxury. Though not a bad one ... :) I can't relate at all - I've always had a maid. But I can appreciate that you want to do it yourself. I'm all for saving money!

    Of course, I do want to come back though and hear what you have to say in about 5 - 8 years when you have that first or second ankle biter, a large house, lots more stuff, all with the same amount of hours and responsibilities during the day.

  8. Both the Mrs and I were initially against the idea of a maid, but when pointed out it's a decent way to effectively contribute to the local economy in a developing nation... well, it changes the perspective.

  9. I linked to this post here http://cyberbones.blogspot.com/2010/09/too-much-of-good-thing.html

    If you want me to pull the link, no problem just let me know.

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