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am I being mean?

  1. #49
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    well, that's the rule of the house, and i live w/ my in-laws. i have other helpers in the house who r hired by my mil, &they only eat in the kitchen or their rm. i thought a lot of chinese household still ask their maid to eat in the kitchen? at least, all my friends' helpers do.

  2. #50
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    when the cinfinement lady came, she was very used to eating w/ the fipilino DH. she'd cook something special for them for lunch & they'd open a table in the back of the kitchen & have a little feast. i think they actually prefer to eat in the kitchen cos they want to eat in private. it's like a relaxed lunch time for them. i wouldn't want to eat at my desk in the office if i knew my boss will be walking around.

  3. #51
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    I grew up with Chinese amahs and they all ate in the kitchen. My filipino helper eats in the kitchen too (as do all of my friends' and families' helpers). But if I am not around and the helper has to watch my DD and it's meal time for her, then I ask her to eat in the dining room so she can keep a close eye on my DD. My DD is not allowed in the kitchen either.

    joannek ~ my last confinement lady also preferred to eat in the kitchen with the helper. We asked her to eat with us and she said she preferred to eat in the kitchen.

  4. #52
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    When I had my first child our kitchen was really small (you couldn’t comfortably get two people in there) we had a gate on the kitchen door so that it was possible to be in the kitchen and watch her playing in the living room at the same time.

    With my second child we’d moved and the kitchen was bigger but not big enough to let him play in while we were cooking. I used to sit him in his highchair with the tray full of toys if I needed to be in the kitchen and look after him as well.

    Remember, where there’s a will there’s a way.
    Barb

  5. #53
    sky123 is offline Registered User
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    I totally agree with the rule that a very young child should not be allowed in the kitchen. There are so many what ifs that can happen in the kitchen, which is usually a small area in Hong Kong. Hot water; baby throwing things that land on the open stove; adults tripping on the leg of the high chair; baby touching and pulling anything within reach (which is usually dangerous in the kitchen). One can never be too careful.

    Once I actually found my maid preparing the baby's food/milk (hot) in the kitchen whilst holding the baby (6 months) with one arm. I don't want to think what could have happened.

  6. #54
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    When my kids were very small I would sometimes hold them in my arms while I did things like get water, plates, etc. from the cupboards. Or, if I were doing the dishes, I would let them sit at my feet. I especially put non-breakables in the lower cabinets so if the BBs got into them, all they would do would bang on pots or plastic containers. We kept
    the cleaning stuff up high.

    When we cooked, we blocked the kitchen, or (if alone) put the kids in their "cage" ("play pen). When I say "we" I mean me, my domestic helper, and my husband.

    My helpers eat where the feel like it. My 1st one tended to eat in the kitchen, mostly because it was more peaceful to have breakfast and supper there than at the table where I was feeding 1 baby, or 1 toddler and 1 baby or (the most unpleasant time) 2 toddlers. I sometimes wished *I* could eat in the kitchen and have some peace.

    Since then, the subsequent helpers share their suppers w/ us at the dining table (and lunch if we eat in on Saturday). Breakfast, I don't know where they eat - because we are all out of the house by 8:00 am ;)

    My m-i-l expects the helpers to eat w/ us. She used to also cook lunch and dinner for her family & the workers in the family business .

  7. #55
    capital is offline Banned
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    I gate the kitchen too. I can see how you have to follow the house rules though.

    I do have to say that I find all the posts about helpers absolutley fascinating! It is just such a different way of life than how I grew up, or how I live now. Very interesting! We travel to hong kong frequently, but don't live there. In canada having live in help is extrememly rare. If I did live in Hong kong I know I would never have live in help, I really like my privacy and would not want someone I don't know living in my house, especially in such a small space. For those who have live in help, is this something you just get used too after time?

  8. #56
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    somebodyfamous is offline Registered User
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    my hubby and I were adamant we didn't want live in help but having twins made it unavoidable! Before the children arrived, she lived out and that made it easy to have her clean whilst we were out eg.

    Now, we pay for her to stay out on her day off so have Sunday (and night!) alone. To be honest we're grateful for the help and she fits in well with our temperament (she doesnt talk unless spoken to, she slips away if not needed etc.) She used to work for friends of ours who had two children so she's experienced with babies etc. which is so great!

    we're also grateful to have a proper maids room as some helpers we know of, sleep on the sofa or in a foldout bed in living room! That would really cramp our 'space'!!

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