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helper hours?

  1. #49
    ctrbabe1 is offline Registered User
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    Oct 2003
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    I've also wondered what SAHM's do with a helper. I'm a SAHM with two kids, (a 4 year old and a 3 month old) and we don't have a helper. There's not enough work to justify one. I do all the shopping, cleaning and minding of the children (hubby helps when he is home), and I couldn't imagine passing off any of that stuff to a dh because I'd just feel lazy. I guess I should mention, though, that our place is pretty small. Only 518 sq. ft., so it's not like it takes a lot of work to keep it clean anyway. (and to be fair, there are plenty of times when I wish we at least had a part time helper to cook dinner and clean up afterwards, lol. Sometimes I'm just tired of cooking.) (for reference, I'm an expat).

    My hubby's cousin, on the other hand, is also a SAHM with 2 kids. (for reference, she's Chinese). She has 3 helpers! One does the grocery shopping and cooking, and then she has one for each kid. All she does is go shopping and out with her friends. Sometimes when she's too lazy to drive her kids to school (they are both under 2.5 years old), she calls her fathers driver to pick them up and take them. When we are at family dinners, the kids only want to be with the helpers. In my opinion, it's just a sad, sad situation.
    Last edited by ctrbabe1; 07-11-2007 at 07:44 AM.
    All the best,
    Katie

  2. #50
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    from my experience my helper takes twice the time that i need to do sth. so if it takes me 15 mins, it takes her 30min. last night i went out & see what she does, she was eating her dinner leisurely (of course she's entitled to do that) with the other helpers & she helps clean up the dishes & kitchen, which usually finishes by 8.30pm. maybe she washes her own clothes after that, i don't know. then my husband went out & saw her cleaning the floor on the living rm. which i asked her to do only one part every night & ask her not to take more than 15 mins.

    i live with my MIL & FIL & one brother-in-law. so there are 5 adults & 1 small child. my hubby's family grew up with chinese amahs. so even if they have to get a glass of water they call out to the helper (in fact, they have a bell that rings in the kitchen). so one helper do all the cleaning & tidying in the house & attending to their needs (like cutting fruits & serving it on a plate with fork & wet towel). i know, it sounds funny. i am so used to just eating a fruit whole in my hand, and then washing my hands afterwards (i mean, my mom was busy enought minding me & my sis, who would imagine fruits can be served peeled, cut & served on a plate?!). one time my MIL saw my old helper eating an apple whole (i mean, like everyone else, with bit), my MIL made a comment which she put like a joke, "you eat like a barbarian!". my helper told me, i could only smile. =)

  3. #51
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    mind you, i made my in-laws sound horrible, but they are the best in-laws one can get. they do treat me like their daughter & they know when to back off.

  4. #52
    mum of 2 is offline Registered User
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    As a SAHM with a helper, I agree with Carang. I think helpers expand the work to fit the time, not out of laziness or anything, just to protect their jobs.

    I do everything that's child related (we have 2, one more due); so school runs, swim/ballet/tennis/soccer/playgroups, bedtime, meals etc. She babysits when the children are asleep and I go out with my husband (not a frequent occurrence as he travels A LOT).

    She does most of the housework as I hate it. We have a relatively large house, but I do not expect everything to be done every day. I still do a clean once a week or so, as my idea of clean and hers are very different (I also want the children to realise that it is normal to sort out your own house). It never takes me more than a few hours, doing a much more thorough job than her and looking after the children at the same time. That said, she does a great job of the ironing and that is top of my list of jobs that I hate. She also does some of those annoying little chores that are quite a pain with children in tow - like going to the post office.

    I definitely will not be renewing her contract, as there is not enough work to fill a day and the downside from my point of view is having to live with someone in your house. Although I must say, it is handy knowing that there is someone here to take care of the children if I go into labour in the middle of the night, which was a logistical worry in London with no family nearby. As that is never going to happen again, a part-time cleaner should be sufficient once my existing DH's contract expires.

    I have made it clear to her that she does not have to hang around when her work is done, but she says that if she goes out she'll spend too much money and that none of her friends are free other than on Sundays anyway.

  5. #53
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    We initially didn't hire a full time helper when our son was born- we figured with me at home all day we wouldn't need one.....but we were wrong!!!!! I hate housework, and not only do I HATE it I just don't know how to do it (spent the best part of my childhood in HK so have always lived with a helper) and so it just doesn't get done! I hate cooking as well, and also horrendous at it and don't have the patience to learn....so we desperately need a helper and she starts on Sunday, finally and there shall be a lot of rejoicing in our house when she finally starts!

    There will be plenty for her to do- cleaning, cooking, helping to look after our dogs etc. while I will do everything for our son.
    It also means my husband and I will be able to go once in awhile for dinner, meet friends etc.
    And it will mean I can take on some part time work if I feel that's something I want to do in the near future.

  6. #54
    sophwillsmum is offline Registered User
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    I am also a SAHM with two children and a helper. Although not strictly necessary, I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I have someone else to do the things I hate such as the cooking and cleaning. In turn, having someone else to do the day to day work allows me to be an awesome mum.I get to just hang out with my kids and enjoy them while they are young. As I am a bit of a perfectionist around the home, I used to find that back in Australia(with no help) that my days were spent with me constantly cleaning, washing and tidying and my kids watching way too much TV. Now we can get up in the morning and just go and my kids are just thriving because of that. For once they have my time and undivided attention. Hubby is happy too as he comes home to a smiling relaxed wife as opposed to a frazzled cranky one in OZ.

    Our helper has also allowed us to have more freedom as a couple again too. We try to have a 'date' night atleast once a week where I meet him in town after work and go for a nice dinner. It has DEFINITELY been good for our marriage!

    So there you have it, maybe I'm lazy being a SAHM with help, but I genuinely like my helper and treat her with a lot of respect and kindness which is definitely returned to us in kind.

  7. #55
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    I'm a sort of SAHM who happens to run a business back in Australia from home. Even if i didn't have the business to run I would have a helper. I think that if you can afford it and it doesn't bug you too much to have someone around the house then you'd be mad not too. I'd rather spend quality time with my kids than be in the kitchen cooking or cleaning bathrooms. I also think that being a SAHM is actually one of the toughest jobs. Having a helper means you can get a bit of time off for yourself. Just because you are a mum doesn't mean you have to be a martyr and give up on private time for yourself to kick back and relax and do things for yourself. How do you do this without help around the house? If help were really expensive it would be one thing but we are priviliged to be living in a place where it is more than reasonable. I say enjoy it!

  8. #56
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    I would imagine that the reason why DH takles so long to do everything (or at least, according to some people on this website) - is because if they are not sen to be working all the time, they will be acued of being lazy.

    My DH tells me that her other jobs required her to clean the bathrooms every day - which she likes to do with us. She says it's easier for her to ipe down.clean every day than let it get a mess. I see her point, and it's nice to be so clean, but I wouldn't mind if she did it 1-2 times per week.

    joannek - any family that has grown up in UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, is used to having a baby in the back (on their own) - it's just part of having a baby: you can deal with it all yourself - you just have to decide to do it!

    I am still amazed. Perhaps we should start keeping our husband's home after 8/9pm on Sunday, just in case they are exposed to 'bad influences'.........

    You're employing a person, not a robot, and yes - people make mistakes. Again, it seesm to me that there are many women who expect a higher standard of cleanliness in their homes than what is 'necessary', and certainly far more than what they would ever, ever be prepared to do themselves.

    We just have to keep in mind that the most important job a DH has is to look after the kids. My husband and I always say that we want out DH to be happy, rested and relaxed - because then she will do the best work with our child. If the fridge doesn;t get cleaned this week, well - I'd rather have a happy helper and child than a perfect fridge/floor/flat.

    It bugs me when I see women who expect their DH to work harder than they do themselves, and somehow see looking after a toddler all day as 'easy'. SO wrong.

    I work more-or-less full time in HK, but with wierd and ever changing hours. We're on oloday at the moment, and it is always a great reality check to remember just what has to happen to keep the family running: laundry, washing, cooking, cleaning, bathing, playing, shopping, cajoling, disciplining, travelling, not to mention sorting, preparing, planning. It's more work than a lot of you/us seem to realise. Especially wen you've grown up in a situation where you've never had to do any of this for yourself. (and I think this is true of a lot of people who have grown up in middle class families in HK).

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