Bi Mswafari: Five ways of ensuring your husband is not lured by your house help
With the increasing cost of living, many Kenyan homes can no longer rely on a single income so both men and women have to work – often out of the home. Thus, house helps have become a necessity for most homes.
From cleaning the house, to managing the home and taking care of children – house helps take on numerous responsibilities in the home.
Yet, at times, this woman who helps make your house a home could be the one who destroys it, marriage counselor Bi Msafwari warns.
Having provided counsel to scores of couples, Bi Msafwari notes that because of the close proximity that these women have to your husband, they could end up executing a coup d’état in your home.
So, how can you ensure you are not ejected from your home?
Setting clear boundaries
From the onset, make sure you have employer-employee relationship. Bi Msafwari warns against excessive familiarity, saying that being too chatty with your house help opens the doors to disrespect.
“Draw clear boundaries between you and her; let her know that you are her boss and she is your employee. Let there be respect between the house help and the two of you. For instance she should leave when you are having a talk with your husband,” Bi Msafwari advises.
Your house help should not be your gossip buddy or confidant, she adds. Do not talk about your marital issues with her, and never have a marital dispute in her presence.
Let your bedroom be sacred
According to Bi Mswafari, a woman should embrace her bedroom since it belongs to only her and her husband.
“Your house help or nanny has no business in your bedroom. Clean the room yourself. Make the bed yourself. Pick your husband’s clothes yourself,” she states sternly.
Limit her contact with your hubby
People form bonds of intimacy when they spend time together, so Bi Msafwari advises wives to limit the contact that house helps have with the man of the house.
“Even if you are tired, do not go to bed and leave your husband in the sitting room with your house help. Many women have lost their men to house helps without noting since they are always ‘busy’ on internet or on their phones. Always leave to bed together.”
Bi Msafwari also advises against sending your house help for errands with your husband: “No, so not send her for shopping with your husband. That shopping will be hers, not yours.”
Set a dress code
In this age of ‘My dress my choice’, setting a dress code for your house help might be frowned upon, but Bi Msafwari strongly advises wives to.
Why? Men are visual creatures, Bi Msafwari states, adding that figure –hugging clothes have been the downfall of many unions.
“A lot of the house helps come with baggy clothes on day one, but wait until Sunday, and you will see the real her! Such women end up tempting your man when they expose their figures.”
Before you raise your voice to protest this ‘opressive’ requirement , keep in mind that bankers, air hostesses and even teachers have certain dress codes. So, let your house help know what is acceptable and what is not in your home.
Keep some duties to yourself
Your house help is there to do exactly that: help. She is not there to do everything, Bi Msafwari asserts.
“If a wife does not know how to cook, prepare food or make the bed, then her husband will go for a wife who knows how to do all that: the house help. Once in a while take time to cook for your husband. Take time to even look at your children’s homework; do not leave everything to the maid,” says Bi Msafwari.
“Cook the best meal for your husband, and serve him. He is the man of the house and he deserves the best. Personally wash your husband’s clothes; it is a shame to see a house help washing them.”
“If the husband sees you smart, he feels good. Fail to do that and see him renting elsewhere for the house help.”
Even as she gives this advice, Bi Msafwari warns against demonising house helps as they are employees – just as all other people are. Having stayed with house helps for many years, she urges women to treat house helps with respect, noting that this is the cornerstone of a good employer-employee relationship.
Written by Elizabeth Kibor
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