Wednesday 6 March 2019

Book ~ "Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive" (2019) Stephanie Land

From Goodreads ~ While the gap between upper middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work, primarily done by women, fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter's head. In "Maid", she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society.

While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans.

Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the "servant" worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children. 

Stephanie was almost thirty when she met Jamie.  Both thought it would be a quick fling because they had plans ... Jamie was going to go touring and Stephanie was going to go to university to become a writer.  When Stephanie discovered she was pregnant, Jamie wanted her to abort but she decided to keep the baby.  They tried to make a go of it as a couple but it didn't work out.

Stephanie found herself homeless with no money and no family to turn to while raising her baby.  She went through homeless shelters and lived on government benefits and knew she had to make a  better life for her and Mia.  Cleaning houses seemed like the only job available to her so that's what she did, all the while never forgetting her dream.

This is Stephanie's true story.  It shows what it's like trying to live on government benefits, never having enough money or food.  Not being able provide everything you want for your child.  Having to do without so your child doesn't.  Living with the stigma of being on government benefits.

When Stephanie cleaned houses, she gave them names according to what she saw ... the Porn House, the Sad House, the Clown House, etc.  She got to know the people in the house intimately, though she never met many of them.

I thought this was an interesting story.  It showed the love of a mother for her child and her willingness to do what she could, despite getting beat down.  I liked the writing style and the honesty.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

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