it's always the kids and the helpers who lose out
- 05-29-2007, 09:44 AM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
- Hong Kong
Aussiegal - I agree with your sentiments, but lets not judge all parents who have their helpers work on Sundays. There are lots of reasons why they might be working then.
When my 2nd daughter was born she had reflux and was lactose intolerent (lactose in breastmilk, believe it or not). She was extremely hard to settle. My first daughter had just started playgroup and was sick a lot. Both girls were up for substantial periods at night and I was getting very little sleep (my helper does not attend to my children at night).
My husband is a pilot and is away a lot. I have no family in HK to help out. When he was away I asked my helper to work (even on weekends), in return for alternative days off. She was happy to help us out during this difficult time and it only lasted for a month or so.
So, you could have seen my helper with one or both of my children for a few weekends. I did the best I could and I think it was quite reasonable in the circumstances.
- 05-29-2007, 10:27 AM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2005
I agree with your position - there's no use having a too-tired mummy for two such little girls. IN these circustances, it would be reasonable to ask for extra help.
However, I think aussiegirl is talking about ongoing patterns of behaviour - where parents constantly hand their offspirng over to others to do the dirty work. I think we all agree it's not in the best interest of the kids.
- 05-29-2007, 10:50 AM #11Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Clearly there are going to be exceptions to my comment about seeing helpers with children on Saturdays (but particularly) Sundays. For the people who are simply including their helper on an outing or have an arrangement whereby they get a different day off my rant was not targeted at you. We all know the type of people I am refering to.
Sumei, i agree that there are a lot of little Emperors and Empresses running around out there. I think it is terrible to see but what better example do they have to follow when their parents aren't present in their lives? Imagine how badly they will treat their helpers and children when they are adults.
Josoo, I too work. I run my own business but I do it from home whilst I have employees working in an office and a shop. One of the reasons I set up my business like this was because I knew that down the track I would become a mother and that I'd want to be there for my children. So, it just takes some forsight and planning. I end up working long hours at night when my child is in bed but I get to hang out a lot with him during the day.
HappyV made a very valid point. We are so incredibly spoilt here. There is no way I could have afforded full time help in Australia, there is no way I could be choosing to have another baby (due anyday I hope ) so quickly after my first if I hadn't known I was coming to Hong Kong, land of cheap help. In so many ways my life is made easier by these women who come from countries so poor that the only thing the governments can think to do (or be bothered doing) is to send their women off overseas as if they were goods for export. None of us are any better than them - we just got luckier in the lotto of life. It wouldn't hurt to treat them with a bit of respect. They are simply employees not slaves.
- 05-29-2007, 10:57 AM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
- Tai Tam
I think the rant is about other kids being nasty to your kid. The assumption that it only happens when maids are minding kids is totally wrong. I've seen tons of kids misbehaving around their parents. Whats really frustrating is that the parents seem to think its cute or that others shouldnt mind, because after all, they're just kids.
I personally make sure that I watch my baby like a hawk in the playroom because the older kids arent old enough to curb their enthusiasm. If a kid picks on mine, I will immediately step in and stop him/her. Its nice if the maid/parent controls the kid. But I always assume that they wont and make sure that I'm there to prevent any bullying that might happen. I'm not nasty to the bully, but I talk in a firm, no-nonsense voice, so that they know I mean business. Some kids ignore you, in which case, I physically remove my baby from the situation.
Also the assumption that the maids are not controlling the kids in their care, because the employers dont treat them well, is totally baseless. You dont know whats going on in their homes. In my experience, a lot of maids take good treatment for granted. If they are basically lazy, treating them better makes no difference. And if they good, the same thing applies. They arent going to work harder because you are nice to them. As for speaking better English than their employers, well, if they're so smart, why are they cleaning toilets in a foreign country?
I have nothing against maids. I'm friends with a lot of them because you do see more maids than moms in playrooms. Lots of them are very involved with the kids. They do discipline them and urge them to say please and thank you and behave themselves. So its not all black and white out there.
As for parents neglecting their kids..... that discusssion is as old as the hills and could go on forever and ever.
- 05-29-2007, 11:06 AM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
I think its a joke when parants have 1 day off during the week and then pass the kids over to the helper during that day. So i agree with aussiegal.
I see this alot where I live, more so with local people. Some people can't even go for family stroll at the weekend without the D/H coming along for support. The parents are strolling ahead whilst the helper is pushing the child along on a bike behind.
I had no helper for the first year with my little one, but we have a live out now and if she works on a saturday during the day (v.rare) we treat it as over time and pay her extra. She NEVER works on a sunday!!!!! She loves working for us, and we really treat her like a family member, she is an equal. She is so good with my LO she loves him so much and is so proud of his new acheivements e.g walking, eating habits. I am a full time mom and really should be taking my LO to the playroom but let my helper take him, because its a break for her from household chores, she enjoys it and its time for her to chat to other helpers in the playroom. I know for sure she wouldn't tolerate any naughty behaviour from him, she often comes back with stories of naughty children hitting and the helpers too scared to tell them off, my helper ends up telling the kids off especially if they hit my boy.
Still I feel very guilty about having a helper, even if she gives him his lunch I feel I should do it. But I am always in the house with him, only go out when he sleeps, always bath him, always put him to bed, always up with him at 6am. But as children are so fickle he seems to love the D/H more than me, he always stands at the kitchen watching, he always follows her about too. Anyone else get this???
- 05-29-2007, 11:08 AM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
- Hong Kong
As I said, I do agree with Aussiegal's sentiments. I just wanted to point out that you can't make assumptions about the parents of children you see with maids on weekends. There are many valid reasons why they are with their helpers on weekends.
- 05-29-2007, 11:11 AM #15Baby Guru
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
- New Territories
I try not to judge too much. I am not the best mother in the world, but not the worst either.
I work full-time - for the $ and also the pleasure. I love my work, got an advanced degree so I could pursue it, and think that it does good in the world. My husband also works full time. We are lucky enough to be able to afford domestic helpers. My husband's mom also worked - had 9 kids and worked like h*ll w/ her husband running a family business.
Their kids did OK, but did not have the "advantages" that middle class kids have today. My husband, as the eldest, and his next sister ended up doing a lot of work that domestic helpers do in many HK families today. In many families at that time, the eldest daughters were "sacrificed" for the younger kids - leaving school early to do chores at home or work to bring in $.
A lot of kids were neglected. My husband said that growing up there were lots of "snot nosed kids" and that was not just an expression. I have also read sociological studies of women in the New territories in the 1930s who had to go out to work in fields or as laborers who had to tie up their kids in the house to keep them from getting hurt or lost.
Where am I going with this? In the best of all possible worlds, all parents would want to be parents and would have adequate incomes, time, and emotional and psychological skills to bring up children who are well loved, healthy, well educated, polite, and gentle.
We don't live in such a world. I wake up early to be w/ my kids, did the "night-time parenting" and try to come home at a reasonable hour to be with them. I am also guilty of liking to go out on a "date" w/ my husband once or twice a month and hoping the kids will be asleep when we get home. ;)
I am not sure how some of the posters think these two topics (lack of respect and legal treatment for helpers & neglectful parents) link up. One does not necessarily flow from the other.
I also wonder why some are so hasty to judge when it is OK for some mothers to work for pay outside the home and when it is not. Frankly, I don't think it's anyone's business but the people involved.
Same thing w/ judging about seeing helpers alone w/ kids on Sundays. We don't know the whole story. I had what I considered legitimate reasons to sometimes need help on Sundays. Some weekends we asked our helper to take of Saturday instead. Other weekends we hired someone to come in and help a bit. I had written the details out, but then realized I was falling into the trap of feeling a need to justify my actions to an audience.
I am not an angel. I sometimes go "tsk tsk" when I see domestic helpers smaller than an 11 year-old boy carrying that boy's back-pack for him. What do I do about it? Tell myself "judge not, lest ye be judged" and also let my helper & kids know that I expect my kids to carry their own back-packs, pick up their own laundry, clear the table, speak respectfully, etc. etc.
Being one of the "older" mothers here (my kids are now 9 and 11 years old) I have seen a lot of kids growing up. Neighbor kids who as pre-schoolers were what I considered rough and rude, now are quiet and fairly polite. A naughty difficult toddler will not inevitably grow up to be a monster.
I try and include and help those kids that I see getting less than (as I see it) optimal attention from their helpers or parents when on the playground, in a play room, or at the pool. I am not afraid to try and tell them "no, no" or "gently now", etc.
Other than that, I work hard to be a good mother, as well as employer, supervisor, and citizen. I sometimes fall short of my ideals, but I try.
Ranting about helpers who are not treated as well as they should be and children who are neglected and/or spoiled is all well and good as a prelude to action. To move this conversation forward, what positive steps can we take to improve situations that have been identified as a problem?
Last edited by loupou; 05-29-2007 at 11:16 AM.
- 05-29-2007, 11:19 AM #16Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
ZEN....don't be so ignorant!!! Some of these girls are well educated and have qualifications as teachers, nurses, accountants etc....So the reason they are cleaning toilets, or however you nicely put it is because they get paid more doing so. I don't think they leave their children and homes for the fun of cleaning the likes of your crap up!!!!
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