I find happiness in seeing my son happy.

I am 32 years old and I come from India. I grew up in a small city named Amritsar and I graduated from high school. My parents are still living there and I have 2 older siblings, a brother and a sister who are both married and have children. I am married too and I have a beautiful son who is 4 years old now.

I left my country to offer my son better chances for his future. After 3 months of marriage, my husband went to Singapore for work. He left me pregnant at my in-laws but his parents did want to support me financially as my parents had not been able to pay the dowry. But, I still have a good relationship with my husband. I went back to live with my parents. When my son was one year old, I found a job in inventory stock but the salary wasn’t enough for the two of us. 2 years later, it was time to send him to school and  I realized I couldn’t support him with my low salary, so I decided to work abroad as a domestic worker. It was a very hard decision to take, to leave my child but I did it for him.

So, I came to Singapore about 2 years ago. My first employer and my current one both shout at me when I make mistakes. They make me feel stupid. For them, it seems I am nothing more than a robot. Thankfully my current employer gives me my salary on time, proper food and doesn’t ask me to work on my days off. I wish all employers could be respectful, patient, show kindness to their helper and treat her like family…

I am a positive person. I always try to see the best in every situation. I would say I have a kind of “never give up” attitude. However, life as a domestic worker is very tough, especially because of the lack of privacy and time off. You live in front of somebody’s eyes 24 hours a day. It’s a continuous work and the only thing I like is that I have a better salary here as a domestic worker compared to what I can get in my home country. I managed to find my first employer online and I just had to spend money on my ticket and no agency fees to pay. Now, I have about $4000 SGD of savings (about $2960 USD). I support financially my parents and pay for my son’s education, and I am also trying to buy a land.

I am very proud that I have a cute son and that I can build my life without any help from a man. My husband cannot support us financially but as he is also working in Singapore, I can spend time with him during my two days off each month. I also enjoy attending caregiver or English classes.

My dreams:  1) make my son a successful educated person, 2) settle in Canada and 3) open a girl hostel and start a business

Interviewed in May 2018 and edited by Chloe Bothorel.