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Help - need to replace my two DHS - am I expecting too much?

  1. #9
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    I am a SAHM and my helper starts her day at @ 6/6:30am and ends around 8:30pm. She naps when my son naps for 2/2.5 hours during the day too and I always make sure my son and I do something just the two of us for an hour or two so she can do the cleaning without us interrupting. My son has his own room, but I or my husband always do night duty. Personally, I would never want my son to be with my DH during the night. My DH has a long day, but I am always aware of when I ask her to do more than normal, when she looks tired and I always make sure she has a break somewhere in the middle of the day to refresh herself. If I am out for the day, I would never expect my DH to clean the house as she knows, my son is her #1 priority NOT the cleaning.

    I am pregnant now and I have asked her to do more than usual, but she understands that I am tired and just need more help. We have a great relationship with our helper. It's one that is professional, but we also consider her a part of the family. My son and I go home for 2 months this summer to the States and I will be sending her back to her home as well while we are away so she can also have a break and re-energize herself. Yes, helpers can dupe you, abuse you and take advantage of your kindess, but in our case, we've always been respectful, honest and have given her the privacy she expects. In return, she has often gone above her duties as a DH which she knows I appreciate.

    My DH gets her SUndays for church and we never bring our DH to birthday parties or other outings like dinners or bbqs. My husband and I can certainly watch our son ourselves.
    Last edited by southside852; 04-13-2010 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #10
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    May I ask people what a typical schedule is for a helper when you have a SAHM and a young child? I think my current helper has been essentially working the same hours as the original poster, although she seems to do it voluntarily as we often encourage her to go to bed earlier and don't ask her to wake up so early to begin her day. We are co-sleeping with our baby and she only cooks dinner (we end up taking care of ourselves for breakfast and lunch), so although she works those hours she does get plenty of rest during the day when chores are done and the baby is napping. But I want to make sure we are in line with the norm, since it's our first helper and we essentially just let her set her own schedule.

  3. #11
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    I don't think there really is a norm for a SAHM, but I would go with what works and feels best for your family. For us, our DH's shedule looks like this:

    6:30am: DH starts day, makes breakfast for our son, but I always feed him and sit with him.
    6:45 - 8:00am: Cleaning - making beds, cleaning son's room
    8:00am - 9:30am: DH is downstairs with the other children/DHs running around and playing
    9:30am: Snack
    10 - 11am: Mommy time, DH vacuums while we are outside
    11am: DH prepare and feeds lunch
    12:30pm - 2:30pm: naptime for everyone. If DH is behind in ironing, she does this then
    Our afternoons are different - our son might have mandarin class for 2 hours and my DH and I rotate bringing him or a playdate (could be mommy/child or DH/child playdates)
    5:30pm: DH prepares dinner, I feed / sit with him
    7-8pm: DH takes son downstairs to play
    8pm: DH cleans up kitchen and then is off for the night once finished with everything, which is no later than 9pm

    Our DH's schedule is typed up and on the fridge as is our son's weekly schedule of classes and scheduled playdates. We've done this since day 1 so there is never any confusion.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #12
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    We get up with both our kids at 7am, make breakfast and feed them and us breakfast. helpers start work at 830am.

    We leave at 9.30ish. During the day they take the kids to their respective activities, walk the dog (usually with the younger baby in tow), go to playdates, shop and carry out housekeeping duties and cook dinner for us. They are able to rest a bit when both kids are napping mid afternoon.

    We both get home around 6pm. Helpers retire at 7pm ish once they've tidied up a bit. We do bed time routine.

    A couple of times a week they will help with bedtime routine if one or other of us is out so their working day is longer.

  5. #13
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    I think your expectations for a clean flat are reasonable, especially if you have 2 babies crawling/learning to walk. I have a 13-month old and my helper understands perfectly that the flat has to be clean and free of dangerous items that an active toddler may play with.

    I would not put up with the passive disobedience that you described (silence, sulking, speaking in Tagalog) when you criticize your helpers' work. It's poor work ethic. It's not acceptable in an office situation and I don't see how it is different in a domestic situation either. I would insist that the helpers speak up if they disagreed with your wishes but not allow the passive disobedience to continue.

    Your approach in treating your helpers as adults and assuming that they will do the right thing is admirable, but it is backfiring on you. Your helpers have taken advantage of you and are ganging up against you. As other mums in this thread have said, you need to set the expectations right from day 1, and remind periodically if the standards slip over time. This is no different from any employment situation. I think that if you don't do this, you will likely face the same problems with the next set of helpers that you hire. No employee is indispensible. If your current helpers think that you are asking for too much, they are free to find other employers who are 'easier'.

    Good luck!

  6. #14
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Wait wait wait a minute. Did I misread that the OP is a SAHM and has TWO helpers to take care of TWO kids? You gotta be kidding me.
    If that is the case, I would say the helpers` insolence might stem from their being a bit contemptual at the arrangement...perhaps.

    In fact, I`m just curious why any SAHM would need a FT helper. I mean, what are you doing all day?

    Sorry, best I bite my cyber tongue, lest I get a cyber slap;)

  7. #15
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    For some reason I have a feeling that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    As for the mold, I would buy some decent dehumidifiers to solve that.

  8. #16
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
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    The OP didn't say her helpers would go up to the kids in the night time. She said they would retire at 10pm. And judged by the state of the house, they are certainly not doing enough. The hours may seem long but it's the efficiency that matters.
    However, it does take a smart manager to get all relationships going. You manage the time, the effort, the expectations, the mood blahblahblah...Then you would also have a reasonable reward system in place to encourage right behaviour.

    Good luck with the next pair!

    And to shenzhennifer, SAHM need to improve their quality of life by having a help; they can go to gyms for one; or to a romantic dinner with the hubby while leaving their precious in a trusting hand at any time; or do some studies to keep their brain active; let alone saving the hassle of taking care of household chores and spending quality time with the kids...The benefit goes on and on as long as you can develop a good relationship with the helper. Isn't it one of the advantages we can take while being in HK?

    And for moms asking helpers to attend to the babies at night? I don't have a problem with them at all. I wouldn't do it myself because I want my kids to see me at night when they need me; however, it's a personal choice which would in no way mark those who don't get up to the kids less caring or irresponsible.

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