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We need an Excellent Helper ASAP

  1. #9
    MLBW Guest
    Well...since we make 20-30K/month then I guess getting a nanny for that exact price won't work. And since where we live no one else has kids--and if they have kids, they also can't afford a helper or a nanny (even sharing the price), sharing a nanny won't work. Rent-a-mum is actually quite expensive and hiring a local HK person is about 2-3 times as much a month as hiring a foreign domestic helper--and it is actually rare to find a local helper who speaks English or even Mandarin as usually they come from a displaced-homemaker training program and have a very low level of education. I had a great helper who was local (a bit more spendy than we wanted but I had no choice as I've said before--my health was in bad shape and we needed someone who didn't live with us) but she has a newborn baby and is not available to work now. So, yeah...I really don't think a domestic helper is for us--we'll work something out, though.

  2. #10
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    good luck!

    cost-wise, before we had our first, we REALLY debated getting a helper at all or a part-time, eventually it dawned on us that we would be paying more for an illegal part-time (or even a legal one) than we would for full-time.

    for us, it's worked out really well. we've had the same helper for 4 years (our first helper) and we are going to hire her husband as well in the next few months and bring him here from saudi arabia (where he's been working for years).

  3. #11
    MLBW Guest
    Interesting. By the sound of it, your home has plenty of space to house extra bodies. Ours does not--it's just perfect for the three people in our family and we like it that way--we could move out and get a bigger place if we wanted but it's not necessary and we choose to save the extra money instead and enjoy making creative use of the space we have here. There literally is nowhere for a helper to sleep. Yeah, I just don't want to have a helper living with us...no way, no how. And when we've looked into it before, I always feel like hiring a full-time helper is like adopting an adult family member. Then after reading a lot of the posts here about helpers I feel even more that way. I don't need another child/dependent (not that helpers are children but you do bear a huge responsibility for them) in my home. To me, a helper is like an upgraded babysitter. I want them to be trustworthy and hard-working but I also want them to go home at the end of the day and have their own life several days a week (not just the one day/week that is standard here). So "I want the horse to be good but I don't want the horse to eat grass" so to speak.

  4. #12
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    we were lucky, if you read the post about where to live under 18k you'll see what i mean.

  5. #13
    spockey is offline Registered User
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    Have you tried Caritas?
    In my first year in HK, my colleague organised a helper through them. You need someone who can speak Cantonese to organise it. They are locals (some speak Mandarin) and don't cost as much money.

    It's quite common though for a helper to work in two households - most of my colleagues (LOCAL) with young kids have organised somewhat similar arrangements. I'm sure it an understood practice because the helper is ONLY minding the kids at a different venue NOT cleaning the other home.

    Good Luck!

  6. #14
    MLBW Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    we were lucky, if you read the post about where to live under 18k you'll see what i mean.
    Yep, I read it and I do agree that it is a really superb place.

  7. #15
    MLBW Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by spockey View Post
    Have you tried Caritas?
    In my first year in HK, my colleague organised a helper through them. You need someone who can speak Cantonese to organise it. They are locals (some speak Mandarin) and don't cost as much money.

    It's quite common though for a helper to work in two households - most of my colleagues (LOCAL) with young kids have organised somewhat similar arrangements. I'm sure it an understood practice because the helper is ONLY minding the kids at a different venue NOT cleaning the other home.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks, Spockey, I will contact Caritas. Exactly, that's what I think--I think that most local families have a similar situation (whether it's on the books or not) because the reality is that Chinese families work as a unit--there is really no difference (in practice) between our household (my husband, myself and my son) and my husband's parents' household. And exactly...it's just the venue for caring for the child is different--they aren't doing double the work or anything (cleaning two different houses for example--my parents-in-law have their own helper who does that for them and she is a very long contract worker for them so there is no way they would fire her)--it's just that the grandparents spend time with my son during the week and it doesn't make sense for me to say "No, helper, you need to stay at my residence all day long with my son because that's what the law says" and not let my son go be with his grandparents. And as I am looking for someone who lives outside the house, then it's not an issue of them having two different abodes. Anyway....I will ask with Caritas. Thanks for that suggestion--it was really helpful.

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