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amahs/working moms and playdates

  1. #1
    sharonwong is offline Registered User
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    amahs/working moms and playdates

    do amahs make playdates on their own?

    do mothers allow children to play at someone's house without really knowing the parents or amahs? how do mothers feel when they are approached for playdates?

    and how do mothers feel if the children will be supervised by my amah?

    i will be a full-time working mother and it will be difficult for me to mingle with other mothers. therefore i'm counting on my amah to do most of the socializing for the children.

    what is the playdate culture in hk? since this is a world of caregivers i wonder if foreign mothers or local mothers are more protective or inviting in terms of little children playing together especially with amahs

    also would a primary student be able to have time for fun after school?

  2. #2
    Valencia is offline Registered User
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    The domestic helpers in HK work 6 days a week. Sunday and public holidays are their official playdates. On weekdays, they do meet one another on the way to school, market or just waiting outside schools. I passed by a prestigious school in Kowloon Tong the other day and was surprised by the no. of helpers outside that school, about a hundred, maybe more.

    If you want your son to enjoy school life and have free time after school, stay away from local bilingual schools. The other moms will tell you the same. Starting 2007, all local subsidized and public schools will be full day. School starts at 8:30 am and ends at 3:00 pm, plus travelling time before and after. There is little time left for homework and revision, tuition and interests, left alone playing. However, if you do plan to enroll him in a local school, be psychologically prepared.

  3. #3
    aldougie is offline Registered User
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    Sharon - I was working up until the birth of my 2nd child and I can honestly say that both of my children have better social lives than my husband and I thanks to our helper. We live in the mid-levels and from an early age our helper was organising playdates with other helpers she met which continue even now I'm not working. We used to ask for a phone number just so we could call and make contact with the parents of the children they were visiting and there are now about 15 kids in the eldest child's playgroup and my daughter has just been invited to join a helper playgroup as many of the original mums are now on baby no. 2. We have always gone to the birthday parties, had parent social events a couple of times a year and see some parents that we get on particularly well with on a social level.

    You will be surprised by how many mother's do work in HK - there is no interaction that I see between mothers and helpers in terms of playgroups. When my children's playgroups are here I hangaround for about 30 minutes just to say hi, catch up and then I leave them to it as I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable at all - I've always been impressed by the level of supervision that the children get (I wouldn't expect anything less as I completely trust the judgement of my helper).

    How old is your child and where are you living? If you are in mid-levels then I could get my helper to introduce yours to the playgroup that she takes my 9 month old to if they are in that age range, my eldest daughter is 2 and a half so that wouldn't be of any use to you.

    Anyway hope this puts your mind at rest.
    Alison

  4. #4
    Sumei is offline Registered User
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    hi Sharon,

    given that you are a working mum and as you mentioned you are expecting your amah to be largely responsible for socialising your children (on the weekdays at least), I'd strongly recommend a thorough interview process when you are amah hunting - ask all your questions and ascertain from her answers how competent and proactive an amah she maybe, if you expect her to socialise your children, she must have good communication skills herself and you'll be able to tell whether she is genuinely interested and likes children.
    While some working mums like Alison above are very lucky to have such proactive and social amahs, not all of them are like that - I have seen many amahs with their kids at playgroups take a very passive approach, some of them barely able to take care of the children's physical needs let alone socialise them.

    Best of luck!

  5. #5
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    rani is offline Administrator
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    Hi Sharon,

    We live in a huge complex and I've noticed the helpers are very pro-active and organise playdates. When we've invited kids over for the first time I have spoken to the moms directly and introduced myself and D. We're lucky that most parents come down to the playground on weekends so its easy to mingle.

    Rani
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  6. #6
    sharonwong is offline Registered User
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    hi everyone- i feel a sense of relief with your response

    valencia: i agree no local schools. don't think my child will get into local schools anyway since their mother tongue is english. kowloon tong has good schools and nice playgrounds. i'm sure some amahs will make playdates etc...if time allows.

    allison: thank you for your gesture. my son will be 6 1/2 and my daughter will be almost 3 in june next year when we relocate (if we do. it's still up in the air). we will most likely live in pokfulam (we have to be certain as i have applied to kennedy school) and live in belchers, bel-air or baguio villa. i like low rise however think the amenities and playgrouds with these complexes will be better suited for active kids like mine. they are very social and friendly. therefore playdates is a major concern for me. i'm glad to hear that there are amahs out there that are social and will make playdates on their own. i guess that is a way for amahs to have a healthy social lives themselves too. yes i can imagine that mums hanging out with amahs will be sort of weird ...

    sumei: good idea. so many questions to ask amahs during interview. and i guess being trustworthy, honest and competent will not be enough. should be outgoing as well. boy we want it all right?

    rani: i know you live in baguio. we were thinking of the same place as we have several of friends that had lived or living there now. do you know roshni (her daughter sasha) and vicky lenz (kiana and kenon) who now lives in shoushan hill? anyway i'm will be visiting belchers and bel-air as they were also highly recommended. what do you think about them in terms of playground and the convenience of socializing for the kids?? i'm glad to find that parents do mingle on the weekends. that's great!! i'm relieved that i will be able to make some friends myself.
    Last edited by sharonwong; 11-30-2005 at 02:25 AM.

  7. #7
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    sharon,

    i know vicky well as our kids are the same age and roshini I see ocassionally. btw, as your kids will be going to school, playdates will probably be with classmates and I'm sure your six year old will arrange them. my 7 year old niece invites friends over 2-3X week. bel-air is beautiful and the facilities are great. i've seen a few kids around but its not fully occupied yet.belchers is a busy complex.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  8. #8
    sharonwong is offline Registered User
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    hi rani
    great! i had a feeling you would know them.
    if we plan to put the kids into kennedy school i know kids will be in the area where playdates will be convenient and possible. there bounds to be classmates living in the complex where i choose to live i'm sure. if he goes to gsis the children are more spread out making it more difficult and less time of their hands if they want to travel.
    which schools are your children attending?

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