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What should we expect?

  1. #1
    jodymo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    hong kong

    What should we expect?

    Have just started looking for helpers to take care of our newborn. Because the baby is so young, is it still fair to ask them to do a bit of cleaning and tidying or some cooking?
    Our place is pretty small, 700 feet or less, and I can't imagine those chores taking too long, but most seem reluctant.

    Should I be expecting her to take care of the baby, and do nothing else?

    Also, can anyone give a fair estimate for a decent wage? The two I interviewed are charging 5k

    Please help!

  2. #2
    peainpod is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Mid Levels

    Minimum wage is $3480 (plus a levy of $400 per month to HK govt) but experienced helpers tend to earn more and will ask for more. Like all employment, it depends if you think they are worth what they demand.

    In an ideal world, we would have the helper only looking after the child but this isn't always possible - esp for working parents.

    For us, we just hired our helper but I'm not due until next March. But we already communicated to our helper that once bubs arrives, the priority will always be the baby - esp during the day when we are not there.

    I think what you suggest - cooking, light cleaning/tidying - sounds quite reasonable. In the evenings when you're home and able to take care of bubs yourself, she can probably do those chores then. But it will also depend on how early you can get home from work - and how demanding your baby is. (I have a friend whose newborn frets/cries all the time unless there's someone there paying attn to her - so the helper is mostly engaged with caring for the baby!)

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

    I think you can't expect your helper to do anymore than you would be able to do at home with a newborn all day. I found when our son was newborn I got absolutely nothing done in the house....and had a brief window of 20 mins or so to cook dinner and that was it! But it all depends on the baby. Thankfully we now have a helper, and a baby who sleeps!

    I think it is reasonable to ask your helper to do light housework, depending on how long it takes to do it.

    Looking after a newborn all day is exhasuting work and it wouldn't be particularly fair for the helper to be with the baby all day, and then cleaning all night. She will need some time to herself and some time to rest too.

    As for salary- a lot will depend on what the helper expects and what you can pay. Most will take the minimum, or a bit more, if it means working for a family they like. But it depends on the duties, and I think helpers who work for families where both parents work full time tend to require a higher salary because they have to do housework too.

  4. #4
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong

    Also depends who's doing the night shift, you or your helper. If you're helper is getting a decent night's sleep IMHO she should be able to do both.

  5. #5
    sunniefaith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Park Island, Hong Kong

    Before I get attacked.....I just want to know what are the opinions of mums. I grew up with a helper but my mum only got a helper when we were old enough to articulate. So it was not an issue when a helper abused us or anything like that. Some of you might know that we're in the process of adoption and am wondering what are your views and opinions on installing a spy cam for both the helper and the child. Of course, we will tell the helper that we are going to install the spy cam. This is to allay my concerns and fears if something were to happen to the baby, especially that we are adopting. Seen too many careless helpers around where I live.

  6. #6
    kemerton is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    hong kong

    Hi - my helper did all - cooking/cleaning/taking care of the baby, as we were both working. Having said that, most of the cooking only began when I got home from work - when I'd take over all the baby stuff. In the first four months, the baby was with me in the room, but when I went back to work, it was tough to do the night feeds and also be alert for a busy day. So the helper did the night feeds (ie anything between midnight and six am) and she also slept in the daytime when the baby slept. We also got someone part-time in twice a week to do proper cleaning/ironing.

    Rosebud likes this.

  7. #7
    Query is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hong Kong

    I am in the same situation as Kemerton with a 4 month old baby and is doing exactly what she is doing. As my bub doesn't take long naps during the day and still wakes up in the middle of tthe night for milk, I felt I was asking too much of my helper to do all the housework and cooking as well so we hired a PT to come twice a week to do heavy duty cleaning and ironing. This way, I know that my FT helper will always have time for my bub and not leave her crying in her crib whilst she is attending to the housework.

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    my helper has helped do it all. for the first few months, i was working close to home and exclusively breastfeeding.

    now the baby is 9 months old, she actually has less time than before. newborns tend to sleep a lot, so she was able to get a lot done then. the baby now is very demanding always wanting to play. the helper compromises by putting the baby into her rocker/bumbo on the floor of our largish kitchen so that she can watch what's going on. she puts the laundry in first thing in the morning and then checks it as soon as baby goes down for morning nap. during morning nap, she vacuums/washes the floors and maybe does a bathroom(not everyday/every bathroom). during the baby's afternoon nap, she prepares as much of dinner as she can. then refrigerates it until we come home.

    we also have an older child that i take with me when i work most days, so she doesn't have to take care of him too often anymore.

    for her first contract we paid her the minimum. when we signed her second one, we gave her a 10% raise.

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