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Good tips for managing a DH

  1. #1
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
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    Good tips for managing a DH

    To those who are really getting along with and truly enjoying the presence of their helper, could you please share some good tips on how you manage them, in terms of
    1. house chores;
    2. child minding;
    3. cooking;
    4. grocery shopping;
    5. renumeration, bonus/other incentives
    or anything else you can think of has contributed to a good relationship between you and the helper.

    What in particular do you like most about your helper?

    I've just hired one and would like to know some to-dos and not-to-dos...

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    well, i hired mine when i was very heavily pregnant. at the time, i told her that her main jobs were the cooking and the cleaning but over time, this has evolved to include childcare.

    i have always treated her the way i would want to be treated. i keep in mind that she is an adult, and actually about 6 years older than i am, so that it became unnecessary to introduce "curfews" etc. i just told her that the flat was small (we've moved since) and that so long as she didn't disturb us coming in and she was ready to work the next day, it was her day off to do as she wished.

    for the cooking....
    i thought it would be easier for her if i went through my cookbooks and highlighted things i thought looked interesting. she could then select what she wanted to cook/what we had ingredients for and manage a menu on her own. it is still a collaberation, but she does most of it. i took her shopping with me for a few months, so that she could see what i bought and what i looked for. back then, we lived in db and she did most of the day-to-day shops while i did the "big" ones. now, we live in sai kung and i do all of hte shopping, but she texts me the shopping list of what she needs. it seem to work for us.

    childminding...
    when i had my first, i didn't want anyone to touch him... including hubby... so it was hard to let her take over some of it. now, i have two and a business that i run, so i don't have as much time as i would like taking care of the kids.
    i am very thankful that my kids have someone who loves them and cares for them as if they were her own. i am not jealous as i have excellent relationships with my kids. when i'm around, they want me and only me. there is no doubt in their minds who their mother is. my helper has watched how i discipline the kids and does a variation on the same theme. i use a naughty step, she uses a naughty corner etc.

    household chores...
    she knows what needs to be done. she has made her own schedule and she is the one that decides when things get done. there are times, when something extra comes up and i mention it to her...ie... i think it's time to clean the air-con filters...etc. she manages her time very well, most of the time.

    pay...
    she started on minimum. we gave bonuses when we thought she deserved them or when there was extra work.
    second contract i increased her salary 10%. we continued to give bonuses.
    about to sign 3rd contract. not sure what we will do, as we are in the process of hiring her husband to work for us, too.

    other than that, you have to remember that no one is perfect and everyone has their own strong points.

    good luck!

  3. #3
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I agree with all Cara's points above. We have one full time and one part time, no curfews and call each other by our first names.

    Some things that have worked well:

    Remembering my challenging days as a nanny and various cleaning jobs..

    We have a whiteboard on the wall in the kitchen which is invaluable, one side for shopping (divided into what we need to get from the shops in town and what they need to get) and the other for important messages (more to aid my bad memory!).

    We eat what we are given (one is a wonderful cook) having given her recipe books and parameters as to what we like. She shops for all the ingredients, plus basics - we get extras e.g. baby's organic food. If the other ends up cooking, we lower our expectations as she tries really hard.

    They clean much more thoroughly than I would and set their own schedule there. I remind on things like cleaning the car (when they have time) or taking clothes to the dry cleaner.

    They generally manage dog walking, baby going to activities, minding her at home, cleaning and cooking between themselves.

    As we recently moved, we got them the Philippino channel in their bedroom which was MUCH appreciated and didn't actually cost that much more than our usual cable package.

    We made it really clear that the order of importance was

    Baby
    Dog
    Cooking
    Cleaning

    With regard to childcare, I've been very specific re. safety, discipline, playing, teaching etc. and they make sure to follow my lead, or they ask my preference.

  4. #4
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
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    Wow! Carang and LeahH, you both seem very happy with your helpers and have had everything worked out pretty well. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for a good relationship with my one:)
    I have another question: you both seemed very kind, friendly and understanding to your helpers, yet it encouraged the helpers to do a better job. Am I right? The other day when my hubby talked to one of his local collegues about buying a small TV for our helper, he said 'remember they are here to work for you, not to be spoiled/entertained'. Will we truly be taken advanged of by being nice to our helpers? or it will lead to a much more desirable and healthy relationship just like the same way we would like to be treated in our work place? I'm very new to this helper domain so any good advice will be appreciated.

  5. #5
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I believe that good working conditions encourage productivity and happiness in any industry (they certainly do for me at work!).

    You will get vastly different views on this, but I don't subscribe to the 'spoiling' theory. I want a well rested, happy person with some work life balance looking after my most precious possession, my baby. Being far away from your own family and children is an unhappy situation in the first place, but economically necessary for them. Anything I can do to make it more bearable is fine with me.

    That said, it no doubt also has a lot to do with the individual helper also, you get grasping 'take an inch' people in every walk of life and you may get a helper like that also. The key may be for you to spend a lot of time selecting someone that feels right for your family and set expectations from the outset.

  6. #6
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Yes Leah is right about setting expectations from the outset. However you should be mindful that not everyone is perfect and so there will be days when your expectations will not be met. Well, what do you do? We're all human! As long as nobody's hurt I wouldn't worry too much!

    I'm pretty generous with my helper and we have a pretty good working relationship - she has a TV, a mini-fridge...However, the only thing I am not expecting anything in return is that she do her job well. Some of my friends expect their helpers to work with their heart - if that happens great, if not, as long as the job is done to my expectations, that is fine with me.

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