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Helper for my helper?

  1. #1
    twinkle is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2003
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    Mid Levels HK
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    Helper for my helper?

    Hi everyone,

    I have a 15 month old baby and another baby soon to arrive.

    My helper is really good with our baby. She is gentle and caring and talks to her all day, which has really helped her development. The problem is that our helper is really not good at much else. She can't cook, doesn't do the grocery, and although she keeps the house tidy, any heavy duty cleaning doesn't really get done unless I start it on the weekends. She just can't seem to manage too many things at once.

    My worry is that with two babies to care for, she will be able to manage even less around the house.

    I've seen some other families with two kids and two helpers. Is that the norm? I can't really afford or justify that kind of thing.

  2. #2
    scr
    scr is offline Registered User
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    May 2003
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    Kowloon
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    Hi Twinkle

    With a baby, it is very difficult to get anything done in the house. If you are working and the maid has to manage the house and baby alone, then taking care of her and keeping the house tidy is quite a bit isn't it ? That way you know she is keeping an eye on the baby and not leaving her by herself while doing something else. A 15 month old can be quite a handful. She should be able to tackle cooking and grocery when you are at home. If you are not working then your maid should be able to do more. With two babies in the house things are bound to get more difficult. Try to relax and not worry too much about getting things done. let it go and enjoy your babies instead...especially if you are working.

    I'm a full time mom, have a 17 mth old, no helper and find it very hard to get anything done at home. I barely get any sleep or time for myself. It's rush rush hurry hurry all day long.
    But I'm learning to accept it and know that it is short term. Gradually my baby will get more independant, start school and I will have more time for everything or will I ?! I hope so :)

  3. #3
    Lai San is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2003
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    Hong Kong
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    Hi twinkle,

    Managing a toddler plus a newborn will stretch both the mom AND the maid out. But to me, taking good care of my child is most important and cleaning has to be 2nd, if not 3rd or even 4th priority. I placed all my grocery orders with ParknShop on the net to reduce my maid's need to go out.

    When times are difficult, i always remind myself that this is a phase which i and my child will grow out of one day. So hang in there.

    Lai San

  4. #4
    twinkle is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Mid Levels HK
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    Thanks to both for your replies.

    I couldn't agree more that the baby is the first responsibility.

    I work full time. I already take care of most of the things around the house. I do all the shopping and cooking. I do things like washing the floors and cleaning the bathrooms on weekends. The dry cleaning and everything else possible is delivered so she does not have to worry about going out. My maid simply takes care of the baby, does the laundry and keeps the house tidy on a daily basis. Even this she does not do very well.

    On weekends, she will lock herself in her room, and not help with anything.... the baby or the household chores. I manage both on my only time off.

    My worry isn't the things around the house not getting done, although I find that to be an annoyance. It's more that she won't be able to handle the two baby's at the same time.

  5. #5
    Lai San is offline Registered User
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    Hi twinkle,

    It sounds like getting extra help is the way to go. If you don't feel justified hiring a second maid, is it possible to get other help in the form of friends/relatives/neighbours who can spend time with your toddler? Say a neigbour or his/her maid can bring a playmate over to play with your elder one. One adult should be able to handle 2 toddlers if they were given a safe corner in which to play. But this only gives your maid a breather for an hour or so every now and then.

    What about daycare centres? or places like Victoria Nursery where 18 months-old can attend the playgroup by themselves. You may not like the idea (neither do I) but just to let you know that there is such an option out there. But if high frequency of attendance is needed, one may be better off hiring an extra maid moneywise.

    Sorry can be of much help.

    Lai San

  6. #6
    alexday is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2003
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    HK
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    Wink

    Dear twinkle,

    I have a 14 months girl and I will have another in mid-Nov. We plan to hire anothre maid on a part-time basis.

    I sincerely think it is impossible to manage a toddler, a new-born and the house at the same time (while giving yourself some rest too ... since you are already a full-time mum) with one maid.

    It sounds like you have stretched yourself "too much". Think of it this way - it will be temporary. Hire a part-time helper to help out in the house or to take care of your toddle while you take a rest or etc ...

    I know of some locals who can work for 8 - 9 hours a day for HK$4K per month (Mon-Fri). The costs etc are negotiable.

    Alex

  7. #7
    aldougie is offline Registered User
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    I agree that it is hard to manage to keep a house up to pre-child cleanliness but think that your concerns are valid. Children are obviously a priority but would say that mother's all over the world manage to keep house and look after their children without any help whatsoever and that having help is a wonderful luxury that HK allows us to have.

    I would suggest that rather than you waste your valuable time at the weekends cleaning you should ask your helper to clean floors, bathrooms and do the ironing on Saturday which is not a maids day off - rather than retreating to her room. As a working mum your time with your child is really precious and you shouldn't be spending time cleaning floors, bathrooms etc. on the only days you have off. Also what is your husband doing whilst you are doing all the cleaning - maybe he could help out as well.

    My helper knows exactly what I expect her to do on a weekly basis and that way there is no confusion between us.

  8. #8
    scr
    scr is offline Registered User
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    Hi Twinkle,

    Just a thought, have you considered getting a more efficient maid ? Seems like you are doing too much already and your maid should be doing more. Hope your husband is helping out too. With another baby due to arrive soon it's only going to get harder.

    Good luck and take care.

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