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How to keep your helper busy every day ?

  1. #1
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Ap Lei Chau

    How to keep your helper busy every day ?

    We decided to hire a helper when I was 7 months pregnant, my first son being 2.5 yo, thinking some help would be necessary at home with someone we can trust.
    Our helper is really nice, discret, and my son loves her.
    We talked about her planning when she started as I want her mainly to take care of the house chores (cleaning, ironing, dishes) and play with my son some times to times when I just can't, take him/pick him up from preschool, or help me when I have to do some shopping around.
    She will do some grocery shopping and cook sometimes, but not everyday as I like to cook and don't want to give up all my home activities (I'm a stay home mummy).
    Now my second one is borned, and like all newborns she spends her time eating and sleeping.
    It's great to have someone home playing with my son when I'm breastfeeding, or taking him to the playground so I can have a nap, but I know that she is getting bored.
    When the house is cleaned, the clothes ironed, the fridge is full... what else to do ?? It's not like the house was a full mess to clean everyday, my son is capable of playing on his own, and I don't want to spend my time in front of the TV... so, what do you ask your helper to do when she has done all her work ?

    Thanks for any idea !

  2. #2
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point
    I just let my helper do whatever she wants. I see no point in giving her random tasks just to occupy her time. She has access to the internet and she mostly will stay in her room, I have no idea what she does - but she does have at least a couple of hrs every day where she's not busy. Some days (particularly Saturdays), we give her extra time off. I've also told her that she's free to go out whenever she wants during the week if she has a couple of hrs free - but she never does.

    My helper does pretty much all of the house work (minus a little which I still do), a small amount of childcare (mostly just when my daughter is napping, and then she feeds her lunch when she wakes up), probably 70% of the cooking (I still like cooking too), most of the groceries, and a few random errands here and there.

  3. #3
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    here are some ideas to share. some of my friends back home have shared with me.

    when there is nothing to do/ all's done,
    - helpers retreat back to their own room and get to do their own thing. most of them have a tv, dvd player or books or they knit or sleep or write... own thing. usually this happens in the afternoons for 2hours, when everyone is having a nap.

    - for families where the mrs cooks, the helper and mrs exchange recipes. some of my friends dedicate 2 days out of the week to learn how to cook filipina dishes, just to learn more things.

    - during down time, helpers get to bake breads/cakes/treats for breakfasts or tea. and these are either shared during family's time or they get to bring it down to the neighbourhood when they bring the kids down to play. to share with their friends and little ones.

    - some of my friends get their helpers to learn another language like mandarin, only if they are interested. they buy tapes and share flash cards with them and their little ones. so that all learn together.

  4. #4
    geomum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Hong Kong
    My Helper has a LOT of time off on some days, I tell her to go to Central and pick up a few things for me, she washes all of my daughter's toys and cleans the book shelves, empties the kitchen/ fridge and cleans the shelves, tell her to prepare those dishes that require long time, sometimes she plays with my daughter for a while.
    Believe me when your second one get little older you may not have time to do cooking everyday so make her learn how to cook your way.

  5. #5
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    when my helper is finished with her chores and my son doesn't need her assistance, I would want her to:
    -clean out the entire fridge
    -pantry shelves
    -disinfect toys
    -prep dinner so that I can cook it
    -grocery shop at the far away grocery store (a good 2 hrs of her time)
    -clean the balcony
    - and then rest in her room
    My helper always takes a nap when my son does which is a good 2/2.5 hours. I expect her to do nothing then and just close her eyes. We all need a rest throughout the day which makes her a better helper - more alert and watchful of my son who is very active.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    1) clean the toys on a rotating basis
    2) clean out the fridge
    3) clean out the cupboards in the kitchen
    4) thorough clean of the bathroom (take EVERYTHING out and clean all nooks and crannies)
    5) move furniture and clean behind
    6) go through cookbooks and write out recipes to keep a file of what you like for when you are too tired to cook
    7) clean the windows
    8) clean the air conditioners
    9) clean out linen cupboard
    10) sort through baby clothes of what fits and what doesn't, pulling out the ones that will fit soon
    11) run errands for you
    12) prep dinner (cutting, slicing, dicing etc)
    13) do some baking: bread, cakes, cookies, tarts, pies etc
    14) take a class: cooking, cake decorating, language, mani/pedi (she can practice on you!)
    12) grocery shopping for you, for any special item you feel like having

  7. #7
    carey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    This is an interesting thread. My comments are probably going to be a bit out of your topic but if you don't mind, I would like to share it.

    Your helper seem to have quite a bit of free time while you have a new born and a 2.5 year old. On the contrary, My husband and I were actually thinking that we might need two helpers if we have our second born when our first is about 2 years old. We figure that when we have our second new born, in the first couple of months I might be full time breastfeeding (if it works out) Or pumping ( if BF does not work out). It might be too much to left this helper to look after the active 2-year-old, to cook and do chores. We are thinking perhaps we could have another helper then who would come during the day to cook and clean.

    But I don't like the idea of having two helpers, because I know it would be hard for me to work with two. I heard stories about two helpers ganging up, or leaving duties to each other...

    Our thinking about the two helpers was also based on our experience with our first. He was not a good sleeper. Before 6 month old, It used to take close to an hour to put him down for an half an hour nap.

    Well, after reading what you said and if we get an easy baby for our second, perhaps we would just stay with one helper.

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    my kids are exactly 2 years apart. we never even considered 2 helpers, so, it can be done.

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