Cleaning House

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land is a memoir telling the experiences faced by Land as she navigates life as a single, working mom. I decided to read the book before watching the Netflix series.

Pregnancy changes everything as the narrator postpones her dream to attend college in order to raise her daughter Mia. She takes as much maid work as she can at the risk of her own health in order to provide the basic necessities for her daughter. Chapters outline the different houses she cleaned including the personalities she encountered and the lessons learned from each. Through this are the many hardships of getting assistance, a suitable/affordable home, food and child care.

The author’s conversational tone adeptly explains the frustration, degradation and anxiety of a person living in poverty. She shares the difficulties of raising a child between two households. It also shows her extreme diligence and dedication to achieve more for herself. It is a reminder to maintain hope through struggle, to appreciate life, and to treat people with kindness.

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