兩年一見


看着電視上,那一副笑吟吟的嘴臉,我在想,該當如何,才能真正幫助那些每天被一班相同嘴臉慢性謀殺的人呢?

二十年來的積極輸出勞工,即是有多少代孩子,每兩年才見一次媽媽?沒母親的家庭,小男孩會變成甚麼樣的大男孩?留下來等不了妻子、找別的女人來拆散家庭的父親,又會將家裡大男孩塑造成甚麼樣嘴臉的成年人?

小M和弟弟來自德國,今年聖誕節會添個小妹妹。暑假前,M媽開始向我打聽請本地鐘點褓母的門路,我難以相信,有人可以在沒有任何支援的情況下,打算不請外傭以一敵三!M媽認為,「請廉價勞工老遠過來,是件根本的錯事。」

好啦大家會說,阿四妳們好命可以留家湊仔,妳不知香港民間疾苦,妳不知我兩公婆朝八晚一,妳儘管風涼。

香港不錯有很多家庭需要支援,不過有廉價外勞的市場需要,是否就能將廉價外勞的供應合理化?輸入廉價外勞,是否就是將社會A的問題, 轉為並深化社會B的問題?這兩個問題,似乎應該分開討論。

如果人口可以貿易,這宗肯定不是公平貿易,所以有人要求為外傭爭取改善薪酬。只是這樣下去,菲傭一世仍是菲傭,即使供了幾個親人讀大學,社會存在根本問題,本土沒出路,大學生還是繼續出國,拋下家庭,做菲傭供親人讀大學。

認識好些澳洲和加拿大朋友,一旦遇上投緣的菲傭或任何菲傭,會出錢出力搭路幫她移民,然後助她改行。逃離菲律賓似乎是唯一出路,只是九千萬人當中,能逃得了幾多個呢?

身為一個母親,我直覺地認為,任何會將家庭長久分開的國策,怎可能是對的?可是為幾千萬人提供本地工作,甚至只是一個能保護人民的警隊,又談何容易。

我看着電視上那副笑吟吟的嘴臉,一直在想,該當如何,才能真正幫助那些每天被一班相同嘴臉慢性謀殺的人?

26 則迴響

Filed under 阿四

26 responses to “兩年一見

  1. yanyanyanyanyan

    講得好, 阿四!!!!

  2. amy

    有時候,我也覺得在菲姐姐面前跟孩子玩,對她好殘忍,只好讓她做完工作後,多出外逛逛或借電腦給她跟親人聯絡。不知道,怎樣才能幫助她。

  3. Cat

    Well said.

    I take care of my 2 girls in Canada by myself. I desperately needed a helper, but we just don’t like to add a stranger to our house. Also, we want our kids to be independent. Kids don’t need someone to do everything for them.

    When I look at my hands and see the signs of taking care of the kids, I always feel sad. But one time I saw the hands of a Filipino helper (also a mom), I don’t complain anymore. There are lots of moms working harder than me and they didn’t even get to see their kids. I feel bad for them and their kids.

  4. eeb

    “M媽認為,「請廉價勞工老遠過來,是件根本的錯事。」 "
    可惜好多人唔係咁諗。

    其實呢個亦係我地唔請外傭既原因,不過一講出黎,就有好多人不滿。當個阿媽黎咗打工,小朋友(通常黎得都係2/30歲,咁個/d小朋友咪幾個月十幾歲)都唔認得媽媽,父親可能/好可能再娶再有小孩,有幾多個後母會對人地既小朋友好? 放假回國,亦只有無奈接受丈夫另外有人,而天主教既佢地會選擇唔離婚,再黎香港工作去供養一個變心的男人、變心的男人的新歡和唔知有幾多會係養到自己既小朋友,何其畸形。

    就算唔講人地既家庭問題,請外傭都會造成自己既家庭問題,就算媽媽要上班,仍然係孩子最親既親人,應該係孩子見得最多既人,把孩子幾乎完全讓別人照顧,當初又是為了甚麼生兒育女?雙職+工時長的父母不只為糊口,更多是為了追求生活質素,雖是無可厚非,但實在值得反思,孩子真正需要的其實是甚麼,一個家庭真正需要的又是甚麼。

    可惜現實的確有很多無奈。

    • amy

      把孩子幾乎完全讓別人照顧,當初又是為了甚麼生兒育女?

      我常常也會這樣想,如果枕邊人也一樣就好。對,可惜現實真有太多無奈。

  5. 凱允媽媽

    很同意啊!
    阿四,你說了我心底的話。

  6. You are right on one hand but is that the only truth there is?

    Of course it is wrong to separate their families but I heard from my maid that the “Chinese"-mainlanders are investing in their home town to create jobs. But those jobs are provided in casino-related biz. Yes, they are opening up casinos in Philippine, these are also locally derived jobs but they raise another issue here, which is gambling.

    But is HK so much better? Didn’t most of our parents sent us out to study abroad and hope that we get diplomas and degrees from overseas universities?

    To be honest, even though i’m a full-time mom, i wouldn’t survived if i haven’t hired my maid. Having her here help keep me sane too, beside tidying things up and clearing chaos out…..when my elder son left for school i still have someone to chat with!

    to my understanding, Life is simply a dilemma.

    btw, can you please help about how to put the very nice picture frame of your onto the photos posted here in your blog?? i searched in support and forum and can’t seem to find the solution….thank you so much!!

  7. siufaizi

    做了一年多full-time mama,老老實實說,我喜歡的只是教小孩。每天買餸煮飯,清潔屋企,做家頭細務,帶上帶落上興趣班實在令人很疲累,也很厭煩。以前工作用的是腦,現在用的是體力,無盡的體力,實在令人吃不消。 也自覺讀了那麽多書,碩士生做埋那些買餸煮飯,清潔屋企的鎖碎事很對不起自己,對不起家人,對不起社會。
    若外面可以多點半工(並不是速食店、清潔亞嬸)可以讓我們這些人可以照顧家人,又可以工作,相信外傭會沒有市場。

    • i agree too that after receiving such education and all we did was to raise our kids at home (not that it’s wrong that we spent our days at home nurturing our kids) but we might have better contribution….

      it’s kinda sad when my parents talk about their friends’ children working in this and that big cooperation or having success at work…while i’m just raising my babies at home…

      i also wish that there are jobs that can let me work while satisfying the family’s needs.

  8. 納奧美

    拆散別人家庭, 促成兩年一見的, 顯然不是各國 (包括香港) 對廉價勞力的需求.
    聞說, 大半個世紀前的菲國, 堪稱亞洲典範; 也許是人為失誤開了個頭 (別忘了, 曾經, 在不多久前的粵語殘片年代, 還是中港台等地向菲律賓這個 “亞洲典範” 大量 “賣豬仔”, 輸出廉價勞工呢 [http://www.fireofliberty.org/trad/article/9516.asp “菲律賓衰落和日韓和我國台灣崛起”]); 也許是“那樣的嘴臉”的官僚, “那樣的嘴臉” 的政府, 令頹局更難逆轉. 無論如何, 若有條件讓家人溫飽, 兒女健康成長, 哪個母親甘願長年與自己的骨肉分離 (貪慕虛榮是有的, 但當屬少數吧)? 給她們提供海外就業的機會 (我們看是 “廉價” 勞工, 但對她們卻是豐裕的薪酬), 也許是滋養彼邦 “物欲主義” 的催化劑, 但又焉知不是很多家庭謀求生計的出路?

    在人生種種無奈中, 在看似難以突破的窘局中, 在不知是禍是福的抉擇中, 也許, 總可以信得過的, 就只有 “愛”?

    讓 (無奈?) 選擇了長年在外工作的母親, 常常有機會向家人表達愛吧! (可能範圍內, 給她私人空間和時間, 寫信, send SMS…) 讓她們常常有機會感受別人對她母親角色的尊重吧! (如果她願意, 聽她談談她的家庭她的子女吧) – 當然, 如果她在你/妳家中是重人自重的話, 實行起來, 應該不難.

    否則……

    ……

  9. 初看你這一篇,我原本想寫的,也與納奧美很類似──前排看曾仲榮的書,才驚覺,五六十年前,如果港人想移民,菲國看似是一個很好的選擇!

    世界本就滿是不如人意,這不是「應不應該如此」的問題,是「現實根本就是這樣」的問題。

    現實是,如果我們都不請菲傭(或印傭,etc.)究竟大家(來港的傭工以及在香港的家庭們)是會較現時開心還是不開心?

    我只能說,我自己其實完全不適合湊仔;如果香港没有菲傭,我應該不會生(前一陣子太太產後在家湊了一段時間,已現抑鬱...所以全職在家湊實在厭力太大──當然,厭力是因人而異──就算財政非問題,全職湊也不是人人可以做得到的)

    我自己能做的,就是盡可能對家中的菲傭好一點吧...

  10. 小孜媽

    阿四:

    他也讚這篇。

  11. Agreed very much with Ah4!

    I’m a full time mom and didn’t employ a helper because I don’t want my child having closer relationship with a stranger rather than with me. I prefer give up some non-necessity needs instead of missing my child’s childhood. I also heard too many sad stories from friend’s helpers. I don’t want to have my happiness and comfort on other people’s hard feeling.

    My husband’s sister got a very good helper. She takes care her child very well and I can feel her love to the child from day to day. But at the same time, I can’t help but think of the helper’s own daughter who was left in Philippines since 1 yr old. The daughther is 13 now and her father, i.e. the helper’s husband died from cancer 20 mths ago. The helper could only stay there for 2 weeks and returned HK then. I think both the helper and her daughter are poor. If she’s my helper, I can’t imagine how can I order her to work at that time.

  12. Also, I’ve one child only and I always feel tired from the daily work. But when I think of my mother, I should not complain anymore. Just like many other mothers at that time, she raised 3 kids up on her own. In 70’s and early 80’s, most families didn’t have any washing machine, water heater, etc. There is no choice of employing a helper (unless those very very rich people) at that time. Nowadays, full time housewife’s daily life is much comfort when compared to that time.

    With my university education, I think I’m still useful to the society as a full time mom. I can teach my kid better and so that she can be raised up to be a responsible person to the society.

    Ah4, sorry to use your space to say some many ‘lo-so’.

    • amy

      we’re definitely too pampered these days. my mom had to take care of three children and sew at the same time to help out the family expenses! i don’t know how she survived. and then i have a friend who is a full-time mom with two helpers to take care of two kids. when we had a gathering the other day, she chatted while her two helpers took care of her children.

      • With my university education, I think I’m still useful to the society as a full time mom. I can teach my kid better and so that she can be raised up to be a responsible person to the society. —> can’t agree more ^^

    • siufaizi

      In our mothers’ old days, they have less to sacrifice than us. Women nowadays spend more than 19 years in education. Such education spends on teaching kids is worthy but spending on cleaning, house chorus… is not! 更精彩的人生都會被柴、米、油、鹽蠶食。

  13. carmenoch

    I agree with you, Mama Ah4.

  14. 阿四:
    你的看法,我很認同.
    但菲律賓這個大國的問題盤根錯節,我們升斗市民,可以怎樣幫它?
    你說完全禁止菲傭嗎?行,可這十多萬人不來香港,又在家鄉尋不到出路的話,最終也只能離鄉別井覓活.

    阿四你可知道,菲律賓在五十年代,是全亞洲(日本除外)最民主富裕之國?當時香港是什麼?是個破城市,充斥來自內地的難民.

    這五十年來,菲國因貪污腐敗一步一步淪落至此,香港幸好秉持廉潔才能脫胎換骨.國家破落,人民才會飄泊.

    所以我話呢,與其擔心如何幫助菲律賓,不如想想怎樣保持香港的良好制度,不致有朝一日步其後塵,更切身

  15. Hi Ah4, one thing that I felt triumphed when my former Indonesian helper told me she wanted to leave for Indonesia and not to continue to work for us on a second contract. The reason she told me was that when she saw me quitting my full-time job and choosing to stay at home and to take my son to school every day myself and when she saw what a difference that has made to my son, she understands why she needs to go back home to take care of her son.

    I congratulated her wise decision!!–although I had missed her terribly. (In fact, she told me she will work in HK for 1 more year–to earn more money–and then go back to help his son look for primary school.) When she worked with me, I have taught her English speaking skills. When she first came to work for me, she spoke spoken English–two years later, she spoke English fluently with an accent assembly mine.

    I taught her baby signs and demonstrated how signing to babies catalyze their language development–and she became, in her heart, a believer of baby signing. I always told her she could use it on her baby in the future.

    I shared the Gospel with her on her last day of work when a group of three-“fok" brother and sisters were invited into our home.

    I believe that we could do a lot to our helpers, if they are teachable, have a sincere heart for learning, and are good-natured. I am sure we, as moms, can bless our helpers in a tremendous way, as much as they bless our household by giving us a helping hand, when we need a break to go for shopping or a facial treatment or an afternoon with some girlfriends.

    I surely hope that my new helper, who is coming to work for us next Monday, will be a teachable, pure-hearted, and sincere one.

    Surely, I think it IS our education that helps us better manage our household. Without a helper for this month of August, although my son and I were late for school two days in a row because of all the housework that I had to do before taking off, I never used “without a helper" as my excuse. I truly believe that WE CAN DO IT without a helper–because I have had a U.S. education with two masters degrees.

  16. To Rockamama,

    you can do it not only because you have two master degree, but also because you still have a very healthy body.

    In our parent’s generation , women usually give births in their 20s, and now most women are having their first kids in their mid-30… which makes a huge difference…

  17. siufaizi

    Rockamama,

    May I know if you are a full time mama but still have a helper? Or you are a working mama but you only look after the boy in the transitional period when the new one is coming?

  18. 說出來大家可能會笑我--我知我不常談及天下大事,但其實我想知的,是國際間,如何可以幫助這類國家?

    我家大事由爹爹管,所以我向爹爹請教。爹爹說,或者革命啦,但革命前,政局必須壞到極點,否則革少少命,革不出甚麼徹底名堂來。

    兩年一見這個現象不是我們製造出來的,但我們(包括其他輸入外傭的國家)卻容許並幫助它越長越大。(當然,我也曾經有份)。我們又會認為,比起本土不存在的出路或例如賭場出路,我們為菲傭提供了一個lesser evil出路。但我執着,不滿意,想不通。

    大家提出在個人層面對菲傭的一些溫暖,我感動,說明人間有愛。米兄問:「如果我們都不請菲傭(或印傭,etc.)究竟大家(來港的傭工以及在香港的家庭們)是會較現時開心還是不開心?」或者我會首先問,菲傭來了賺大錢,到頭來失了兒女賠了丈夫,又是否比前開心?更切身的是,如果我們長久讓孩子見菲傭多過見父母,沒錯今天大家似乎減少了壓力,長遠以後我們損失了的親子關係,如何去追。

    同意eeb:「雙職+工時長的父母不只為糊口,更多是為了追求生活質素,雖是無可厚非,但實在值得反思,孩子真正需要的其實是甚麼,一個家庭真正需要的又是甚麼。」

    她又問了一個我不敢問的問題:「就算媽媽要上班,仍然係孩子最親既親人,應該係孩子見得最多既人,把孩子幾乎完全讓別人照顧,當初又是為了甚麼生兒育女?」
    當然家家有本難念的經,所以,我就不問了。

    有人幫輕吓是必須的--至少對我來說。所以,對年輕家庭缺乏支援的這個香港,我覺得只有畸形二字。我以前說過,沒家傭但有社區的孩子是真正由一條村帶大的,媽媽們互相幫忙輪流睇細路、輪流去廁所。在香港沒有家傭,絕對是孤獨孤軍孤苦無比,因為別人不需要你幫,你也因為無以為報,不願意別人(用家傭)來幫你。

    同意siufaizi,希望「外面可以多點半工可以讓我們這些人可以照顧家人,又可以工作」,而這些本地姨姨,又可以有工開。

    我的納奧美:同意呀,這個人生充滿無奈,這個世界充滿苦難,有趣的是,菲律賓媽媽大多是天主教徒,她們有明天的盼望,妳我也有明天的盼望,無窮盡。

    希望你也有。

    (這本是初稿的埋單想法,臨時抽起了,現在再度見光,我覺得又有D滿意。)

  19. Anon

    看了這樣多留言,更令我困惑了…

    真的,我不明白為甚麼現在的香港家庭要請外勞?我的婆婆也是這樣把七個孩子養大。就像"把孩子幾乎完全讓別人照顧,當初又是為了甚麼生兒育女?" 不只是菲國的,香港的也要想想。繼而衍生出"港童"這一詞,又是一件好事嗎?

    還有,如果單是要應付家務,那請本地鐘點也可。這樣做不單對本地人有益,更沒有令外勞夫離子散,更不用在那個小得相當可憐的地方中,再額外請一個人回來,叫她/他睡在客廳裡。為什麼這樣多留言當中,並沒有提及到呢?請本地人,就沒有"執着,不滿意,想不通"了。

    另,為什麼香港社會沒有足夠的part-time jobs(不是洗碗那一類)去支援媽媽?坦白說,事實上連full-time工作的種類,香港也實在是少的可憐,更遑論是part-time。

    話說回來,就算有好的part-time work,成就都會是很limited。社會上雖然充斥著各種不公,但有種東西卻是相當公平,就是每人每日只有24小時。除非你天資過人,否則你把時間用在什麼身上,結果也通常會隨之反映。

    基本上媽媽要在家庭和工作上struggle,這種不公是長久以來的事。如果自問在體力、年紀和成就中應付不了的話,現在的女人可以有權不生育。所以我很同意,"How about treat it as a package? u need to give in order to take."

    媽媽阿四實在很"客氣/體貼"了,回答了"當然家家有本難念的經,所以,我就不問了"。我比較直接,以上我所寫的兩件事情,想說的是:

    香港人很貪心,得一想二: 想要外勞的便宜,卻又只懂口頭上說"雖然我只知這樣做不好,但我沒有辦法/無奈要請外勞";想要孩子,卻又會說,"更精彩的人生都會被柴、米、油、鹽蠶食。"

    通常一個成年人(尤其是接近三十這個年齡的成年人),如果知道自己不合適或不想要的話,又或者自問沒有能力去承受整個package,大多數人不會選擇行這條路(少數為生計糊口生死存亡的例外)。生仔這回事現在來說不是用來糊口的吧,而且自古以來都存在,上一代人的經驗可作借鑒去評估整個package,沒有什麼借口的。

    這又令我想起,現今香港女生找伴侶的時候,"要靚仔、有錢、夠高、幽默、有時間陪我、XXX…"一樣。這是題外話了,道理卻是一樣。

    媽媽阿四,謝謝版位,實在不吐不快。

  20. 通告: 湊仔生涯 之 柴米油鹽套餐 « 3+2 貓生活

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