5 Ways to Help Your Housekeeper Overcome Homesickness


The rise of dual-income parents, the ageing population, and long work hours have prompted many households in Singapore to become highly reliant on foreign domestic workers. 

The maids employed by these households are often tasked to care for the children and elderly family members, as well as to manage different household chores, such as cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry. Housekeepers take over a lot of the domestic tasks so that the family’s breadwinners can focus on their jobs. 

Perhaps you belong to one of the many families who have searched for “maid Singapore” online to find a reliable housekeeper from a trusted agency. Now that you finally hired a live-in maid, you should remember to help her settle in and make her as comfortable and as happy as possible. Besides providing her with her own space in your home, you may also want to assist her in overcoming homesickness, especially if it is her first time working in another country. Here are several things you can do to help your housekeeper deal with the challenges of being far from home:

Encourage Her to Display Photos of Her Loved Ones 

Looking at pictures of loved ones can help ease loneliness. As such, you may want to encourage your maid to display photos of her family members, friends, and other people she cares about in her living quarters. If she did not bring any pictures with her, perhaps you can offer to print one or two photos that she can look at or paste on the wall near her bed. 

Give Her Time to Connect with Her Family 

One of the best strategies to help your maid cope with homesickness is to have her talk with her family and loved ones often. Talk to your housekeeper about setting up a dedicated personal time when she can catch up with her family members. Knowing that she has time to communicate with her loved ones will help her focus on her tasks while she’s on the clock. Perhaps, she can spend her time freely during her lunch and dinner breaks, once she’s done with the chores for the day, and during her rest days. 

Agreeing on this schedule together is an effective way to build a good relationship between you and your housekeeper. Knowing that you’re on the same page when it comes to days off and free times will help your maid settle in and get used to her new schedule, and it will also make her less hesitant to call home while she’s staying with you. Remember to give your maid some privacy when she is on the phone, and always respect her “me” time. 

Have Her Write Down Her Goals in a Daily Journal

As you orient your maid about her daily responsibilities and your expectations, you may want to connect with her at a much deeper level as well. After all, she will be taking care of your home and family. Listen to her story and struggles. More importantly, ask her why she decided to work in Singapore and what she hopes to achieve. 

You can also give her a small notebook or journal, and encourage her to write all these things down. Tell her to be as specific as possible so she can easily visualise her goals and what she wants to achieve a few years from now. Let her keep the notebook and urge her to read what she wrote whenever she feels disheartened and misses home. Helping your maid remember why she is working far away will give her the strength and much-needed boost of spirit to overcome homesickness. 

Enable Her to Build Connections with Others

While it may sound like a cliché, everybody indeed needs friends. Your helper will adjust better to her new environment if she has friends with whom to share her joys and burdens. That said, allow her to interact with other people in your neighbourhood. If your maid is religious or spiritual, let her attend religious services on her days off so that she can meet like-minded individuals. You may also want to introduce her to the helpers of your neighbours or friends. Just make sure to exercise good judgment when doing so since some employers are not comfortable with their maids interacting with others. 

Encourage Your Maid to Explore the City

One of the best ways for your maid to overcome homesickness is for her to immerse herself in her new surroundings. Encourage her to go out during her off days to explore the city. Maybe you can give her a list of beautiful places that she can visit for free, such as the Singapore Botanic Garden, Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, and Merlion Park. You may also want to show her where to eat delicious food and delicacies on a budget. Ultimately, the more she becomes familiar with the city and all the remarkable things Singapore has to offer, the more she will feel excited and happy to stay and work here.  

Your maid helps you take care of your family by ensuring that your home is in its best possible state. Try to return the favour by being sympathetic towards her needs, especially when it comes to overcoming homesickness. Consider the strategies above and continue to find ways to help your maid feel at home. Remember that when she is happy and well, she will perform her tasks better and will be more devoted to assisting your family.


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