Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Like Tree5Likes

Helper is 90% good / sleeping issues

  1. #1
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534

    Helper is 90% good / sleeping issues

    This is just a venting post. No major problems here. And I know how lucky I am...

    We have a FT live-out helper who is 90% wonderful. Responsible, smart, fluent English, great and loving to the baby and smiley personality.
    We had a little clash in the very early days, when she just started and I just had a newborn. But we've since resolved those minor issues, and she's a huge help to me day to day.
    But sometimes I still see a bit of that attitude that bothered me in the beginning. 90% of the time she's easy-going, but once in a while she can be stubborn.

    For months Baby was sleeping through the night in her own bed.
    But then she got the flu and alot of teething, and some tough nights, so I ended up bringing her to bed with me.
    After that, it's been hard to get her back on track. She wakes up multiple times now at night, screaming and not stopping till mom picks her up every time.
    I've tried pick up / put down, and hush / pat. But she's a strong-willed 10-month-old and it doesn't work anymore. We can tangle for a long, long time at midnight, 2 am, 5 am. (And my helper is not here to see this at night).

    This morning I decided that we would have to go back to controlled crying for a few days to get Baby back on track.
    I dislike it as much as my helper does, but it does work on my particular child. And it's not sustainable for me and hubby to both be up all night when we both work -- and my husband starts work at 7 am!
    I told her what my plan was.
    I got a bit of humming and eye-rolling and slightly sarcastic "well, I guess you'll do what you want". Then she turned her back to me and ran the water loudly. I told her to please stop and look at me politely when we spoke. (There was only one dish in the sink, so I think she was doing it just to ignore me).
    Then she sort of laughed and said, "There's nothing you can do now that she has the bad habit" and hinted that it was probably my fault for picking her up at night. She was saying stuff like "I don't think it will work" or "That baby can cry for half an hour." (As I do much of the care myself, I know that!)
    I found myself giving her this long justification on why I'd go to the last resort of controlled crying.
    Then I thought, "Hey, I'm the Mom. Why do I feel the need to defend my decisions to my helper? It's my Baby, and I choose how she's to be raised."
    Anyway, the sarcasm has continued, and it's not helping. I'm exhausted from last night, I'm annoyed so much I can't concentrate on work I'm supposed to be doing at home.

    My helper is obedient, so I'm sure she'll do what I say. But does anyone else have this attitude problem?
    Should I address it or just let it go, since she really is very nice 90% of the time.
    Last edited by Gracey; 06-21-2012 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    I think it's a tough one. It just depends on your tolerance level.

    I have very little tolerance for nasty, negative attitudes or any sort of contempt (the biggest sign of contempt is eye-rolling see this chapter of this book.) I don't put up with it from anyone in my house so the attitude issue would be something I would have dealt with very strongly in the beginning just because I absolutely can't stand it.

    It seems you have a high level of tolerance for it and you know your helper so you know what her likely reaction is if you address the issue. I guess you have to weigh the risk of making the situation worse (especially at the stressful time of sleep-training) against having her truly do what you want out of respect as she should as an employee. It's really a tough call.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #3
    kacoak is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mid-levels Central
    Posts
    89
    If she still respects you and follows your instructions, then I'd consider her sarcasm an annoying, but minor issue. Avoid lengthy conversation with her, or explaining why you want her to do this or that. Simply say "I want to try this approach to deal with the current situation". She's being a bit childish by turning her back on you, running the water, etc, so don't get bogged down by it. Be the bigger (wo)man, and as long as your baby is safe, healthy and happy, that's the important thing to focus on.
    TNT and jordana like this.

  4. #4
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534
    Hi guys. Thanks for the great advice.
    I think you're both right. It's a tough time right now. Everyone is sleep-deprived. Sleep training sucks. Mom has alot of work. And they've started drilling upstairs (so we might not be able to do sleep training anyway). The last thing I need is attitude from the helper.
    But -- as she does take good care of the Baby, and my child is safe, healthy and happy -- I'm going to treat this as a minor annoyance. I will be the bigger woman and not pick a fight.
    Later, when I'm better rested and things have calmed down, I will have a talk with her about being more respectful and pleasant with me around the house.
    rani likes this.

  5. #5
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    154
    Gracey, may I ask whether your helper is living out legally? And if she lives out, how do you expect her to carry out your instruction about the controlled crying at night, or was it just a chit chat with her about what you are going to do yourself?

    I would not tolerate any attitude issues myself. Instead, I see any attitude issue as someone having an issue on something. I would go to the bottom and locate the root cause and have it resolved once and for all.
    thanka2 likes this.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by HK2008 View Post
    I would not tolerate any attitude issues myself. Instead, I see any attitude issue as someone having an issue on something. I would go to the bottom and locate the root cause and have it resolved once and for all.
    I really agree. In the same way that some of the things my bosses at my work do or expect me to do make me inwardly roll my eyes I would never have the nerve to disrespect them to their face by turning my back on them, running water or even rolling my eyes at them. They are the boss. They hired me to work for them. It is my job to do what they ask me to do with a good attitude--the best attitude I can muster whether I agree with their style or not.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534
    HK2008 -- Sorry if I was unclear.
    I do not expect my helper to take care of the baby at night. I do that myself. It's hard work, especially as I also work full-time, but it's something I want to do myself.
    What I want is
    a) For the helper to follow my sleeping instructions during the day. If the baby is held and coddled for daytime naps, it makes it harder for her to self-settle at night. It's a matter of habit. The baby doesn't understand that sometimes she's held for sleep, and other times she's expected to settle by herself in her nursery. Sleep training has to be consistent.
    During the day (when the helper works) the stakes are not so high. If a baby skips a nap, it's not a big deal. But when I have sleep problems at 3 am, it's a big deal.
    I think she's less apt to follow my strict sleep instructions because she doesn't have to deal with the consequences of disrupted sleep!
    b) No matter what my instructions, I want her to at least be respectful. None of this hemming, hawing, rolling eyes, challenging me, etc.

    Why she lives out is another matter that's probably too long to go into here.
    In short, we like our privacy, and we respect her privacy as well. We pay her more than the standard rate, and are generous in paying for her rent, food, transport, etc., outside -- to the point that we know that she actually doesn't spend her whole "allowance" and sends much of it home to the Philippines.

    It was a mutual decision that we are both happy with. Even before we signed her contract, we made clear we wanted a live-out, and she made clear she wanted the same.

    She wants her own life and a more reasonable workload than most helpers -- and we want an employee who works set hours instead of being around 24 hours a day. We find that giving someone breathing space makes for a more alert, careful, loving helper to our child.

    Again, it's too long to go into, but I think the law discriminates against helpers.
    Every other worker -- of every other nationality -- has the legal right to choose her own place to live. I wouldn't appreciate having to sleep in my office!
    If the employers cover all costs well, and take full responsibility, why must a helper be relegated to some 6" x 2" "amah room" in the back of the kitchen?
    Last edited by Gracey; 06-25-2012 at 12:16 AM.
    HK2008 likes this.

  8. #8
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    534
    P.S. I must repeat that 90% of the time, she's excellent and pleasant. It's just the sleep training that bothers her.
    I find that it also really bothers an occasional Chinese nanny we use. In fact, the Chinese nanny can't even do it. Once I had to physically remove her from the baby room, and then she screamed at me in the hallway, which of course woke the baby up again. (Needless to say we're never using that one again!)
    I don't even do hard-cord sleep training where the baby wails and wails. Why is this one concept so far for household help to get?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Helper issues. help please
    By rs2000 in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 06-21-2012, 10:18 AM
  2. Travel to Indonesia with Helper - Visa issues
    By elle in forum Everything Else
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-23-2011, 04:28 PM
  3. Educating your helper about environmental friendly issues
    By sorchului in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-09-2009, 08:12 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-23-2009, 10:23 PM
  5. Issues with helper
    By putput in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 12-18-2008, 08:28 PM
Scroll to top