And then there is a segment of parents who keep children home with their grandparents, and they become the brains behind raising the child. But as the average age of grandparents these days are 55-60, it becomes impossible for them to manage an infant or a toddler all by themselves. And here, the hired domestic help comes to the rescue! Even if the child were to be placed in after school programs, there is still a pressing need for a well-trained help.
The dependency on domestic help begins before the child is born. Way before, the maid is trained for cooking food, boiling water, washing nappies. The child is born and then the journey begins. From feeding bottled milk, changing nappies, putting babies to nap to carrying diaper bags in malls, the urban parent is now dependent upon 'Hired domestic help'. Children grow up in the company of maids. And just as we outsource several aspects of our life, we outsource raising our children to the domestic help community.
Good and experienced domestic help is expensive and honesty is a value eagerly seeked, keeping crime rate in mind. The language our children learn is different; there are many constant challenge an urban parent faces to instill the right values in their children. To remind them over and over again - the definition of family.
Coming to think of it, the definition of family has changed. Hired help, is not hired anymore. They are a part of your family as your parents or sisters. The tragedy is when a working mother comes home and hears her child call the nanny- ma or mumma and gulps it down or otherwise, but can she do anything to change the scenario?
There are several agencies where you can find decent, educated and reasonable help. Considering the domestic help market, finding good replacements are not easy. As parents are willing to shell out a bomb for getting the best maids, the maids too have realized their importance and are cashing this opportunity. And hence, giving a right environment for raising children is becoming more and more difficult.
It eventually boils down to our community coming together again. We need to stop living in isolation. Provide support to each other when needed. Acknowledge each other's importance to reduce dependency on uncertain and expensive factors like 'hired domestic help'.