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it's always the kids and the helpers who lose out

  1. #25
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    well, i haven't had enough time reading thru all thes threads, but i think we're all trying to say that we don't understand why some parent would leave their children to be raised & cared for by a helper. i am a stay home mom. i see helpers at playgroups all the time. some are nice to the kids, some are not. some you can tell genuinely care & some don't give a sh*t.

    what i don't understand is, some of my friends (mind you, VERy well-off) hire 2 helpers for 1 child. the mom works hard & play hard. only spend 1 hr a day seeing her child. that one hour is meal time, usually, when the DH feeds her child. that's how my friend was brought up. with chinese amah. she never spent much time with her dad or her mom. maybe everyday only at dinner time, sometimes she only saw her parents on weekends. a lot of my friends were brought up that way. maybe that's how they think parenting is about. cos that's the only way they've seen it done.

    my other friend married into a wealthy family. she didn't have to work but she chose to. she tried to be a stay home mom for 3 mths. she said she was being "unproductive", cos she spends her days sleeping in, nights going out to party, getting facials & massages, slimming treatments, and "running up & down her house seeing what's up with her kids". then she chose to go back to work. she said she tries not to discipline her children so much, cos the only time she sees them is between 7 & 9pm, and she doesn't want to spend those "quality time" screaming at them or correcting their behavior. so her kids behave like "little monsters" (her own words). she was brought up by a single mom who had to work, so she had a chinese amah.

    then there is the gazillionaire's wife: she told me "don't worry, when your daughter is 2, she'll be close to you, cos you buy her toys & pretty clothes" thank God after hearing this, i decided i don't want my child to like me because i buy her toys. i want her to like me & love me cos i love her.

    then there's the party mom: i was chatting with her at a birthday party last weekend carrying my 30lb daughter, and she said " let your helper carry your daughter, she's so heavy!!

    all these women are the ones that we're pointing the gun at. not those who would have spent more time with the kids if they had a choice.

  2. #26
    Zen
    Zen is offline Registered User
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    I stand by what I say. I don't need to repeat myself or clarify anything. If you're gunning for 'bad parents' and are determined to have a bleeding heart for the maids, so be it.
    I've met/chatted with scores of maids. Not all of them are widows whose kids would starve to death if they didnt work. A lot of them are here because they'd like the extra money, to have a better life. Nothing wrong with that. But most folks here seem to think that its ok for maids to leave their kids back home and go out to work, but if their employer does the same, it makes her a bad mother.

  3. #27
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    Excuse me, Zen, but there is a HUGE difference between a woman leaving her children in the care of one adult who is there all the time, and a parent in HK who simply can't be bothered to put in the hard work when it counts.
    Mothers working is not the issue here - its mothers (and to be fair, fathers) who can't be bothered with their kids when they are home - i.e. the original post about sleeping in on Sundays.
    I notice that you don't try to justify your comments about the intelligence of DHs - possibly your smarts are not up to it?

  4. #28
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    hey, let's not try to attack each other here. we're just trying to vent cos we can't bear seeing kids around us whose parents won't bother taking care of them & teaching them morals & ways of life & leave that all to helpers.

    we all have different opinions because of our own experience, be it on being a parent, raising a child or on the DHs. true, some DHs are so darn stupid but some are smart. my previous helper, who had a bachelor degree, was very smart, told me that she came here because she wanted to get away from her husband cos he was having an affair. she left her 3 kids to the care of her mom & MIL. later when she finished her contract, i let her go early so she could go home to spend xmas & new year with her kids (she told me her little boy had TB 6 mths after she started working for me, i lend her money & let her go home for 1 mth & came back to work for me; she told me 1 daughter was sexually assaulted, the other fell from a tree, broke her neck & was intensive care), i also gave her a big bonus so she can use that for her kids medical & schooling when we finished our contract. she chose to give that money to the filpino man she met in hk, and never went home for xmas depsite her new employer also asked her to go home for xmas & come back in feb. this smart girl never went home & was terminated by her new employer before she started working cos she disappeared. is that smart or stupid?

  5. #29
    capital is offline Banned
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    hire 2 helpers for 1 child. the mom works hard & play hard. only spend 1 hr a day seeing her child. that one hour is meal time, usually, when the DH feeds her child. that's how my friend was brought up
    Your stories are so sad! I just can't believe there are parents like this! I can see why if this is the way you parent why you would let your child be a little monster out of guilt, unfortunately that is not fixing the real problem.


    However, working full time and taking over dd's care after a long day at work can be tiring. Imagine doing this on a daily basis and then spending the weekends taking them out (maybe out of guilt for being away during the weekdays)?

    I do this on a daily basis, but I also do my own wash, my own cooking and laundry and all shopping that needs to be done, and have to take the children out to daycare every morning and back again after work, and until just recently still BF the little one at night. No I don't live in Hong kong, so yes I do have the advantage of a big house and car, but we have no family living remotely near us, so it pretty much falls all on me. And I am not unique in any way.

  6. #30
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumei View Post
    Loupou,
    Despite what you may think, there are alot of women who have pursued higher education (I myself have a first and 2nd degree), worked hard at a career (was VP at a top investment bank) and yet have decided to give it up to be full time hands on parents, we didn't do it becos we didn't enjoy our work or the financial benefits that come with it, we make that big step becos we believe our children's future is just as if not more impt than our personal career development. While life is not as rosy and perfect as it should be, we work hard to try and make it that for our children, throwing up our hands and saying "such is life!" to some of us just doesn't cut it.!
    Sumei,

    I don't think there was anything in my post that indicated that I thought women who chose to give up their work to stay at home w/ their kids lacked advanced degrees or success in their for-pay careers.

    What I was trying to say was that I love my outside the home work & think it gives a benefit to the larger community and that working to keep from starving was not the only reason a caring and loving mother (which I consider myself to be) would continue to work outside the home for pay after she became a mother.

    re: discussing the past. Our social situation in the year 2007 arose from conditions in the past. Parents that I encounter now were born in the 1960s and 1970s when the economic conditions were harder. Many people grew up w/ parents who thought "If I can put food on the table, buy them new clothes, and send them to school, I'm a good parent".

    We parent from what we experienced as children ourselves. I think one parenting book I read referred to this a "the ghosts in the nursery". Many people in HK today did not have the kind of loving and involved parenting that we on this forum consider ideal. So, how can they know better? I am not trying to excuse them completely, but try and see where they are coming from.

    I am not as perfect parent as I could be. It is because of ignorance (I lack perfect knowledge); because of negligence (sometimes I forget to do things); and through my own deliberate fault (sometimes I just want to read the newspaper on a Saturday morning and let the kids watch a video instead of playing Mastermind or Chess or something).

    Since I am aware (too aware?) of my own short-comings and what causes them, I try to have compassion for other parents who may not be in such a fortunate position as myself. I then try to use that compassionate knowledge to think how I can alter the situation.

    It's like when I teach Sunday school. So many of the other SS teachers want silence, discipline, etc. because they think "school" and what they know of school involves straight lines of kids sitting at desks quietly and listening as a teacher drones on. I try and use more interactive ways, get the kids to sit w/ me in a circle, share their ideas and opinions, etc. These are things that I was lucky enough to experience in my schooling in No. Am. in the 1970s. It would be wrong of me to think harshly of my co-teachers, they do not know anything different. Instead, I try and lead by example and gentle suggestion and hope that something rubs off.

    I am also not suggesting that we "throw up our hands and say such is life". Instead, I was trying to say that:

    1) There are problems w/ people treating domestic helpers unfairly

    2) There are problems w/ children being neglected and/or spoiled by parents

    3) These two problems may sometimes be related and sometimes not.

    4) Rather than eying other parents and children and casting harsh mental judgment on them and venting in our online forum, it would be productive to take this conversation forward and consider what we could do as individuals or as members of a community to try and rectify the problems.

    Possible solutions???? (I'm just brainstorming here... I hope that other forum posters will add to the list or discuss them)

    ?) Figure out how to speak to mothers and fathers that we think may be in danger of neglecting their kids and help them improve on their parenting. This is very hard to do in a loving way and one must always look for teachable moments.

    - I remember one time when my eldest was in kindie & another mom was giving me a lift after dropping off the kids and we were discussing discipline and she mentioned she hit her kid w/ a ruler. I let that sink in for a while and said that I thought it was too harsh and talked about what I did to discipline my kid in a non-violent way. I don't know if that helped or not.

    When some women I know are pregnant or parents have new babies, I always encourage them to breastfeed and/or do the night-time parenting themselves, because that way closeness develops between them and the children.

    Chat and share our experiences w/ other mums about how we care for our kids and how rewarding it can be to spend lots of good time w/ them.

    When we see children in the playground or other places who are not behaving nicely, get involved and try and get them to behave better (like one would to a niece or nephew). I found that by playing w/ these "neglected" kids along w/ my own, I could help to teach them more acceptable behavior and also model loving kindness and involved parenting. So maybe, when these kids grow up, they might think "I want to be a mother or father like Mrs. X".?

    ?) Express disapproval when anyone mentions working their domestic helper too hard, underpaying them, etc. etc. Make this sort of behavior socially unacceptable?

    ?) Give time or money to organizations that work to help domestic helpers w/ unfair or abusive employers?

    ?) Find out what NGOs work on parenting issues and try and help?

    ?) Find out if the PTA or other parent group at your kid's school or local school have parenting workshops?

    ?) Try and organize "good parenting" talks or workshops in our housing
    estates or apartment buildings or neighborhoods?

    ?) Discuss w/ other members on this forum what we can do to make a difference.

  7. #31
    Zen
    Zen is offline Registered User
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    I have to eat my words regarding the IQ of DHs. I am now sure that they are a lot smarter many of the posters here (they know who they are :)

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