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helper - general questions

  1. #1
    mumsy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hong Kong

    helper - general questions

    We're finally going to hire our first ever helper and I have a few questions. I'm a SAHM and have a 4yr old and a 5mth baby.

    1. Do you give them a 1 hour break for lunch?
    2. Do they get any other breaks during the day?
    3. Does she eat at the same table as you?
    4. We will provide food/drink but do you let her choose/buy what she likes to eat? (in case she does not want to eat our type of meals). Or just stock up the cupboards ourselves and she can help herself?

  2. #2
    tash. is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong

    1. no, generally she eats whenever she want, coz she will need to help out whenever i need her.

    2. breaks = when kids are in bed.

    3. no

    4. she basically eats what we eat or my helper love instant noodle, so we had a box at home for her. sometimes she loves bread for lunch.

  3. #3
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Hong Kong

    (1) Yes.
    (2) No.
    (3) No. Unless we are at a restaurant together which is really really rare as we like our private time.
    (4) She eats whatever we eat. If she's not happy with what we're having, she'd have leftovers in the fridge, instant noodles or bread. If we're out all day, we ask her to make her own meals with whatever is in the fridge. We buy her instant coffee (which she likes).

    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  4. #4
    plumtree is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hong Kong

    1. yes, because it coincides with naptime
    2. not formal breaks but she gets to go to the supermarket to get stuff or take baby out for playdates. I know she enjoys those times because she meets her helper friends then
    3. At home, no because we like our privacy.
    4. She eats whatever we eat or makes her own. On days when we're out, if there isn't already food that she likes, we give her an allowance to go to the supermarket to get what likes.

  5. #5
    mcdill is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    1. She gets a break to make her own lunch/dinner and eat it

    2. A short break in the morning for breakfast, and if there is time, a short one in the afternoon for tea. Sometimes if we have lunch at a shopping mall restaurant on the weekends, we let her go for a walk around the mall while the baby is asleep in the stroller.

    3. She has the option to, but prefers to eat by herself

    4. She prefers to make her own food because she is trying to watch her diet for health reasons, so we give her food allowance. But she can use our rice, oil, salt, etc to cook her food.

  6. #6
    dimsum mum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Pokfulam Hong Kong

    1. Yes. She works hard and deserves to relax as well.
    2. Yes, she gets a breakfast break as well and during the day she will stop and make a cup of tea or snack if she wishes.
    3. No, she has her own table and often eats at Potluck dinner with friends.
    4. We have different food tastes, so she has a food allowance. She is welcome to use any condiments or anything in the fridge, as long as if we are getting to the end of the bottle, etc, she writes it down on the grocery list.

  7. #7
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    1. she eats after my son eats then naps when he naps (2 hours)
    2. I am sure she does when we are out and expect to break when we are out and i have told if her chores are done, she drink tea long as it doesn't conflict with her chores i am fine with it.
    3. no, she prefers not to eat with us so we got her table and chair for in the kitchen.
    4. she eats whatever we eat and always encourage to get whatever she wants at the market too. some families give a food allowance and others give a meat/poulty allowance if the family is vegetarian or has other special dietary needs.

  8. #8
    zyxwv is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    hong kong

    We hired our first ever DH when my son was 6 months (nearly 11 months ago), so I completely understand your feeling uncertain about how to set things up initially. Don't worry! As you and she develop a rhythm it will all sort itself out. We set some very basic ground rules around my son being priority #1, the number of days we will ask her to cook (never Fri-Sun) and general cleaning things we would like done, but left the precise timing of everything open and allowed her to sort out what makes sense to do when. As to 1-4:

    1 & 2: No but we are very relaxed about taking breaks and working only when there is work to do. My son has a long nap (very rarely less than 2 hours, today will be 3) and she has a break and eats then. I take him to all of his classes/playgroups so on many days part of that time will also be a break for her. Our DH sets the cleaning schedule, so on the days she irons or vacuums (also when we are out), she won't have as much of a break. Other times when we are home and she doesn't have specific work to do and I haven't asked her to watch my son while I do something else, she may sit in her room and read while I play with him in the living room. He will inevitably wander to the kitchen/her room at some point and play with her for a few minutes and then come back to where I am etc.

    3: No - she is welcome to but we never eat meals at the same time. I usually grab leftovers for lunch and eat at the computer. We have dinner after she is off duty (usually 8-10pm after my husband comes home from work).

    4: She does all of the meal planning/cooking and most shopping and is welcome to anything in the house but we also give her $600 food allowance so she has flexibility. On nights she doesn't cook (Fri-Sun), she will often get takeaway if she is watching our son while we go out or otherwise eats out with her family/friends. We always do my son's bedtime routine so if she will watch him after we go out, she will usually run out for takeaway while we do his bath and put him to bed.

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