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Help! Working mum leaving baby with helper...

  1. #1
    sherwes is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Pokfulam
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    358

    Help! Working mum leaving baby with helper...

    Hi,

    I hope someone will be able to give me some guidance on an issue that is causing me heaps of anxiety.

    I work part time (in the office for 3 days, 1 day from home with Fridays off). At the moment I have got a New Zealand nanny who looks after my 8 month old from 8am to 6pm on the days I work. She has another job to go to in mid August and after that my helper will look after my baby when I am at work.

    I am getting very anxious about leaving my baby with the helper all day for 3 days per week. I am happy with the helper that I have employed (although she hasn't started yet!) but what will she do all day with my baby? The nanny can take him swimming, drive him places or take him in a taxi to Gymboree/Panda Junction. The helper can't swim and can't drive in HK. Also, I would be really worried about letting her take my baby places in a taxi because I am worried that, firstly, she might not be as strict about putting the car seat in correctly as someone from a Western background and, secondly, she might not be as assertive with the driver if he was speeding or did something dangerous. Further, I live at the beginning of Conduit Rd and there are heaps of steps to go anywhere (except along Conduit Rd) so you really do need to take a taxi to playgroups etc.

    Therefore I think my options are:
    1. stay at home with my baby myself - but I love my job and have only just returned to work.
    2. hire another NZ/UK/Aust nanny - at a cost of around HK$7,000 per week part time - gulp.
    3. hire another helper on a live out basis. The other helper could assist my live in helper to take the pram down the 100 or so steps to get to Gymboree/Panda Junction and generally help her to get out and about with the baby.
    4. stop being so anxious and just see how it works out!

    I'd really be interested in how other people deal with this issue. Am I just making a big issue out of nothing??

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2006
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    Hong kong
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    249
    for much less than that amount of money ($7000 per week?!!) you can hire a driver and have him drive the helper and your baby safely anywhere they want to go.

  3. #3
    sherwes is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Pokfulam
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    358
    Thanks AndreaY. Do you know how much drivers cost? Do they charge by he hour or do you need to pay them a monthly salary? Around 7,000 per week was not a misprint!!! Western nannies cost a fortune in HK which is probably why people use their helpers to do the nannying instead....

  4. #4
    Neha is offline Banned
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    Nov 2006
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    Mid Levels, Hong Kong
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    1,337
    why dont u give it try and see how the helper manages, u can take her once or twice and tell her how u want things to be done. Being anxious is normal. But I would say give it a try and see what happens

    Best of luck

  5. #5
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2007
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    Pokfulam
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    358
    Thanks Neha. I do wonder whether I am just being too anxious. Part of the guilt of being a working mum I suppose....

  6. #6
    josoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    128

    Help! Working mum leaving baby with helper

    I am a working mother and have two helpers, a driver, a Chinese nanny and still worry! But the more you worry, the more you are going to stress yourself out.

    Helpers need to be trained and you have to be patient with them. Why don't you take a week off work and train her to take your son to places, fastern the seat belt, feeding, going to Gymboree, etc.

    You have to remember, helpers definitely cheaper, but they come from provinces in The Philippines that are like 8 hours out from Manila. They haven't seen most things and experienced a lot in their lives. So you have to lower your expectations and work around it.

    Hiring a second helper is a great idea, because they can share the household duties, and escort your first helper around. I definitely recommend that!

    Do PM me if you feel you need to chat...

  7. #7
    snagito is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2007
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    hi! i had the same fears as you, but in the end found that our helper was extremely safety conscious and had no hesitation telling the taxi driver to go slow. that said, i did ensure that baby's taxi trips with helper were far and few between. this is what i would do if i were you -- save the swimming for weekends & panda/gymboree class for the day you are off work so that you can take your baby yourself. if the class is twice weekly then could the other day be the one where you work from home so that at least you can keep a general eye on safety for the first few times. also a baby less than a year old does not need the constant stimulation that an older toddler might - watching the helper do the housework, banging pots and pans in the kitchen, all these things are equally interesting to them and as long as the helper is kind and talks and sings often to the baby things should be fine for 3 days a week. I also sorted out the toys carefully so that the helper could use some for more stimulating times (say morning hours) and then wind down toys for before bedtime etc. Babies also love water play - if you have a good seat for the baby in the bath tub, a mid-day bath in this hot and humid weather would be quite fun for helper and baby to do together at home. also, how about a sling for the baby and helper to go out together - that way the escalator will be more manageable and the baby can accompany helper on shopping trips etc - or even come to your office once a week for a coffee break or something if that is feasible (sorry if this sounds impossible it is just a suggestion as you are feeling anxious and sometimes it is very nice to see your baby even for 20 minutes at a nearby starbucks or whatever). My other suggestion would be to find playdates along conduit road/robinson road or wherever helper and baby can go in the sling or with the stroller- you could have another helper and baby come to your place one of the three days that you are out at work - and your helper take the baby out to a playdate on another of the days. This would again avoid the anxiety of the taxi issue. Hope some of this is helpful..

  8. #8
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2008
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    Hong Kong
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    Hi Sherwes,

    I am in the same situation as yourself. I will soon be going back to work and will have my helper look after my baby until I can afford to hire a western nanny. It's a compromise I had to make after enquiring and finding out that a full time nanny is 50,000-60,000 hkd per month. Does any one out there know if this is even correct, I only asked one nanny who was recommended by mother-in law's friend.

    We have a driver and he costs 12,000 per month full time so you could well afford that when you give up your nanny. If you would like to meet up and chat you could PM me and we could muddle our way through this together.

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