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second baby, second helper?

  1. #9
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    Welshdad

    I am about to have my second baby in Sept. And am already looking into hiring a second helper. We live in a 1500 sq ft apartment with an active 4 year old. Both my husband and I work.

    Without family in HK, I've worked out that it can be difficult with just one helper. As it is, our one helper doesn't seem to cope with the size of the apartment and our child (who doesn't take classes apart from the ones we take him to on the weekends). Our helper does not do the marketing either currently.

    I can't imagine leaving my 10 week old baby ... maternity leave sucks in HK... with ONE helper who has to manage the household and my 4 year old. A helper is NOT a mother who can manage. They are merely babysitters so, the level of care (from our observations) just isn't the same as when a mother cares for their own child.

    We are looking into moving into a house to accommodate our growing needs. We don't own though and we don't want to spend more money so for us it means moving further into the boonies. It's fine coz we have a car.

    So, I'd say a resounding "Yes!" No family + Two full time working parents (who both work outside the home) = Not having a choice. It's tiring to be a stay at home mum with two kids. Why would someone who isn't the parent be able to manage? The level of care is just not going to be the same. Imagine how tired that helper is going to be!

  2. #10
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    just to be clear... i'm not condemning nor judging those that choose to have a second helper (we now have one, ourselves)... i'm merely pointing out that it isn't a necessity.

    yes, life can be much easier with two sets of hands. no, you cannot expect the same care as if it was the mother taking care of the children (but that does NOT mean that the children are neglected in any way, shape or form).

    believe me, i can definitely see the merits of having two helpers BUT if it means going further into debt in order to do so, i think you are crazy.

    for the past 2.5 years we've had the space for a second helper. that wasn't the issue. money was. i wasn't going to go further into debt to be able to have one. i wasn't going to move house simply because i wanted another helper.

    guess it comes down to a choice between need and want....did i need another helper? no... would another helper have been nice? yes.

  3. #11
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    welshdad, i really don't think it is a good idea to have your "old" helper move out and your "new" helper move in....knowing that she has a boyfriend outside complicates things, i.e. when things are good between her and bfriend, great, but if things turn sore, then what are you going to do? also, i wouldn't want to have a complete stranger at my home for so long too without supervision, you just don't know her! is there really no way to accomodate 2? bunkbed? have a pull out bed in the night? it is nice to have two helpers that know each other and if one is recommended by the other it does actually help, since they "know" each other and can communicate.

    necessity is really up to your family - i was originally going back to work after this summer, but since i'm having baby #2 in june, and the gap is 22mths, i've decided to stay home for one more year, and then work part time / from home so that I have more time with the kids....for me, i have the option for hiring #2 helper, but for our family my staying home is priority - can we afford it? well, it's really all relative....we have a mortgage to pay, and we'd like to get a bigger place, but that will probably now take a little longer than we had originally planned....good luck with what you decide! having 1 good helper is already a blessing! :)

  4. #12
    slamdunk is offline Registered User
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    carang, don't think welshdad means they will go into debt by taking a second helper on, nor that they need a bigger place just to accommodate them (which would be crazy as you say).

    think they just intend to buy a larger home for their growing family and as a necessity, both need to continue working full time so they can secure the mortgage required and meet the monthly mortgage payments.

  5. #13
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    if that's the case, then all the power to them! that was not my understanding from reading the post... my mistake. sorry

  6. #14
    Suv
    Suv is offline Registered User
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    I would not let the helper dictate who lives in or out even though you like her a lot. Explain to her that you are very uncomfortable with her living out. Better to be upfront with your feelings than feel upset after the baby is here. You are already being really nice to consider hiring a relative who does not have experience looking after children in HK.

    I have a relative as a second helper too (mother-daughter) and we are quite happy. I have heard of stories where it is not clear cut as to who is the senior and who is not- age, some family dynamics, experience in hk vs experience with you, who is more efficient, whom you/wife get along with- all matter and thats where troubles could begin.

  7. #15
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    We have two kids and one helper which works fine for us. We can't justify the expense of two and have no space for a second one either. I have no problem with people having 2 helpers but we don't feel the need for it for us. It took me 2 years to get used to having a helper living with us (not something we have in my home country), I can't imagine having 2!

  8. #16
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    We have two helpers as we both work, have a dog and have two children close in age with separate activities. My helpers have time to keep the house clean (not a priority but lovely nonetheless), cook, take the kids wherever they need to be and most importantly for me, the energy to play with them. Of course it is not necessary, but 2 helpers provides a much higher degree of flexiblity (and rest) for everyone. Some of my friends with two kids / one helper and manage well, but it's certainly not plain sailing.

    Ours are related - second sister arrived with child no. 2. It's been a positive experience for us, they are very close, there are no flights over who does what and I do not need to address or mediate between them about anything.

    Yes live out is illegal, but thousands take their chances. Among those I know, it's probably 40%. Bunks are an option to consider, they work well for us and the upper bunk can act as storage if not used regularly. Even if one lives out, there may be times when you need both to stay over (if you and your wife both travel).

    Could you agree with your current helper that initially the new helper will live out, you and your wife can then decide if you are comfortable enough with her being the one to live in?

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