How I wish I could rewind time to 16th December 2004. It was my son’s 7th birthday, and I was in the Domestic Worker Training Centre, Bekasi, Indonesia. On this special day, I had planned to make it big for him but unfortunately it didn’t turn out to be so. It gets difficult over the phone to talk to him. I could not hear his voice. Oh! How I wish I could tell him that I miss him so much. Instead of being happy for him, I ended up crying! I could not eat or follow any lessons in the training center.

My husband and I don’t have a good marriage. My son is separated from me. His father took him away in May 2003 and from then I could not speak to him.

I just wish I was there on his birthday to make it special for him, to give him a tight bear-hug! I was not able to give him a hug until January 2007. Now I can give him all the love. He is only mine. He is my big boy now.

I’m a domestic helper not by choice, but it was a necessity for me as I was a single mother of three children. I dreamt of a better future for my kids, so I sacrificed mine for them.

At first, my children didn’t understand why I chose to be away. Slowly they learnt to stay with their grandparents and accept the truth that their mother had to work hard to make their future better.

All my children have graduated from High School. They are quite independent. I have a grandson from my first daughter.

Laughter, tears and happiness are part of our lives. I know each mother who works as a domestic worker goes through the pain of missing their loved ones. But be strong and you will find a way through!

Interviewed  by Marie Kretz Di Meglio
Edited by Ranita Gupta