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Domestic Helper Concerns (sorry for the long post!)

  1. #17
    GTI
    GTI is offline Registered User
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    I agree that we need to spend more time with the baby for him to understand that we are his parents. It would hurt us to see him cry under our arms.

    Anyways, on the issue of over working the maid. You have to take my word or else this will go to where. She was the one claiming time and again she's getting 3 hours of nap herself, thus not needing to sleep more. I can't accuse her for lying. I ask her if she's over-worked and lacking sleep and she tells me she's not and wants to wake up at 6:30am. Heck, when my wife was at home, she requested for more work!

    Anyways, I guess you're all missing the point. It's not a matter of us as owners forcing work down her throat and lacking her work non-stop. The issue here is an adult who is requesting less sleep, more work than we thought is possible, and finally being able to do them, albeit sprinkled with critical mistakes that could cause our baby harm.

    Its not too big of a deal cause she's been error-free for the past 3 days. She's stepped up her game!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using GeoClicks Mobile

  2. #18
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    That is very reasonable. They are pretty close to the hours our own helper works.
    And, even from your first posting, it was obvious that you are not trying to mis-use her. And you concerns are legitimate. You aren't one of those employers who lose it because a shirt was ironed wrong. She is doing things that home that could risk fire, theft or injury.

    Her request that she go to bed early with the baby is unreasonable. She's not being overworked. And the baby's schedule is up to the parents to decide, not the hired help!

    Good luck with your situation.

  3. #19
    GTI
    GTI is offline Registered User
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    Thanks gracey. I was losing hope on this thread, as I felt like I was being stereo-typed from the beginning.

    But just some food for thought and give some perspective. The average owner of maids in Hong Kong probably have the maid go through more. they simply can't house or afford to employ two maids. We see maids strapping babies while they go out for grocery or wet market shopping. The average maid has to cook for their owners as well, let alone the stewing and slow-cooking/infusion of soup from morning till night. So, I truly do not believe we have in anyway mistreated her.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using GeoClicks Mobile

  4. #20
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    You may not want to refer to yourself as an owner....ratger as an employer.

    That might be part of the misunderstandings you are having.......

    Sent from my GT-I8150 using GeoClicks Mobile

  5. #21
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI View Post
    But just some food for thought and give some perspective. The average owner of maids in Hong Kong probably have the maid go through more. they simply can't house or afford to employ two maids. We see maids strapping babies while they go out for grocery or wet market shopping. The average maid has to cook for their owners as well, let alone the stewing and slow-cooking/infusion of soup from morning till night. So, I truly do not believe we have in anyway mistreated her.
    Just because other people overwork/ treat their maids worse than you do doesn't mean that you treating your maid marginally better makes you a great employer. It definitely sounds to me like your maid is overworked and certainly is not getting enough sleep. We moved our baby OUT of our bedroom at around 3 months into her own room because it was so disruptive to our sleep. We got more rest getting up and going into the other room. Weeks of sleeping in interrupted intervals is miserable, months even worse. Expecting an employee to care of a child around the clock, up at night with baby several times and then and working up all day is too much. 8 hours uninterrupted sleep is not the same as 8 hours of sleep punctuated by waking every couple hours to feed/ comfort a baby.

    I have never asked my maid to care for the baby overnight and I work full time. I know that she wouldn't be rested enough to safely care for the little one while I am away if she isn't getting a proper night's rest, in her own private space.

    Also, you do not OWN your maid. I hope that is just a language issue, but if you truely think you are her owner, that is awful.
    Irishmom and carang like this.

  6. #22
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    No one is trying to stereotype you or your wife, but I think most of us who work and take care of infants and toddlers or are SAHMs have made an assessment based on your post that there just isn't the numbers of hours in the day to do all your helper does AND get 3 hours of sleep, so by default she MUST be tired (irrespective of what she protests) and the fact she makes careless mistakes and drinks loads of coffee seem to support this.

    Forget what your helper tells you. She appears to be trying to keep her job and make you both happy which as I've said all along makes her a keeper, but she may be less than forthcoming to you about her struggles. The fact that she keeps sleeping at 8pm (she's probably crashing and can't stay awake) despite wanting to please you probably tells you more than what her words are doing.

    Think about her day. She gets up at 6.30am with your son and likely stays up for the whole day from thence onwards if she's looking after your son ( then she can't go back to sleep as he's awake, if one or both of you don't get up to care for him). You can't say she is able to start at 9am unless one of you is up with your son then, as she is up with him. Even if you two do get up with him, it's likely you've woken her up by going into her room and taking your son out or he;s woken her up by belting it out when he wakes up hungry and ready to feed.

    Secondly, in the morning she would have to clean his bottles, dress him, tidy up his bed, change his nappy, then get her own breakfast and tidy up after you and your wife's breakfast. Then she's expected to play with him I guess? Or are you happy for her to put him in a pen, on a bouncy chair whilst she gets on with the housework?

    11-12pm rolls around pretty quickly and she'll start to try and settle him down, put him to bed, and then it will be time for her to make her own lunch (yes this does take some time too) then eat it, then wash up then go to sleep if indeed this is what she does. Unless your son sleeps 4+ hours in the middle of the day, then I don't see how she'll be getting 3 hours sleep.

    3pm. She wakes up, depending on whether she's expected to play and interact with your son or put him somewhere where he can entertain himself, then she can get on and do the washing, ironing, tidying up the bathrooms ect.

    7-7.30pm you and your wife get home. She has to have made and/or eaten her dinner by then, so probably would have started by around 6.30pm to do all this.

    If you expect her to interact with your son whilst he's awake then the only time she has to do anything is when he is asleep - so she won't get any sleep during the day.

    She's been up since 6.30am and is knackered if she's had no sleep during the day. So she crashes at 8pm OR LATER as she's had to clean up after you and your wife have dinner (you don't answer the query that 1/2 hour for you two to cook and eat and then the maid to clean up is too tight to be achievable). Then is woken up at 11 to feed your son, and back to bed at 12pm or so. Then up again at 3am- 3.30 or 4am?

    Somewhere along the line she has to clean your car too! Hopefully not everyday!

    Just because Gracey's maid works these hours ( and it wouldn't matter if 100 geobaby moms chime in and say their maids work these hours) it's still too long in my opinion. 6.30am start to 11.30pm finish with being woken up at 3am! Heck EVEN if you let her work 6.30 am to 8pm and didn't wake her up at 11 and 3am it STILL would be along day. The fact that another geobaby mom makes her maid work these long hours doesn't make it right.

    In terms of needing sleep and keeping your jobs, well loads of parents including myself on this forum have done it. It is after all YOUR CHILD. My husband and I take turns doing the night shift, and guess what, when the parents do the graveyard shift, usually the child falls into line regarding sleeping through the night much more quickly, as the parents have a vested interest in training their little one efficiently.
    carang likes this.

  7. #23
    genkimom is offline Registered User
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    GTI,

    I really hope you think carefully about what posters have written. You don't own human beings. You don't expect them to work superhuman hours and be perfect at their job, especially when they are new. Your attitudes have "horrible boss" written all over it, and I deeply want to believe this is mostly because you are new and this is your first time being a parent and your first time being an employer. Since you are all new at this, there is time to change, or at least reconsider, your expectations and attitudes.

    It's terribly sad how some families treat their help; but just because you don't do the worst of the worst, it doesn't translate into being GOOD. If you want to be a GOOD employer, you need to consider the needs of your help more carefully. That will make her an even better employee, which will in turn makes your lives even easier.
    carang likes this.

  8. #24
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI View Post
    I agree that we need to spend more time with the baby for him to understand that we are his parents. It would hurt us to see him cry under our arms.

    Anyways, on the issue of over working the maid. You have to take my word or else this will go to where. She was the one claiming time and again she's getting 3 hours of nap herself, thus not needing to sleep more. I can't accuse her for lying. I ask her if she's over-worked and lacking sleep and she tells me she's not and wants to wake up at 6:30am. Heck, when my wife was at home, she requested for more work!

    Anyways, I guess you're all missing the point. It's not a matter of us as owners forcing work down her throat and lacking her work non-stop. The issue here is an adult who is requesting less sleep, more work than we thought is possible, and finally being able to do them, albeit sprinkled with critical mistakes that could cause our baby harm.

    Its not too big of a deal cause she's been error-free for the past 3 days. She's stepped up her game!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using GeoClicks Mobile
    I still say, put the baby in your room. We co-slept with our baby as full-time working parents for 9 months after she was born. We were a bit tired, yeah, but if you want to be a parent you don't get a "free ride" actually--being tired and learning how to cope at work even though you are is really all part of it.

    I think your helper doesn't want you to think any less of her so she's exaggerating trying to reassure you that she's "not tired" and "can take it". Even though my helper is honestly pretty amazing and rarely makes mistakes she would never admit to being tired or stressed or sick or overworked or anything even though I can see clearly from her face times when she is. She's the type that will just "shake it off" with a smile because she refuses to appear weak in any way. At any rate, you have to level with her and say:

    Look, these are your duties (and be specific). We appreciate that you offer to do more but we have to demand that you focus on these specific duties--it's non-negotiable. You need to go to sleep at a decent hour at night and for that reason we're going to let you off at this time so you'll have down time. From this specific hour on, all child duties are on us. Please wash the dishes and clean up and then it's down time. We expect you'll be sleeping in until this specific time. If you wake up earlier, you are not allowed to work. Please stay in your room and rest. This is non-negotiable.

    One thing that kind of stuck out from what you wrote is that your baby is going to bed at 11 pm. While, I understand the baby is a newborn and their sleep can be erratic. I just want to let you know that it's really not in the best interest of your little one to be keeping him/her up late like that--it actually can cause some health problems in children.

    You'll get through this. The first two years are both critical and fleeting.

    Just read below and feel it would be inappropriate to call someone an "owner of a maid"--that really harkens to slavery. I don't feel at all like I'm the "owner" of another person. No, my helper and I have a business agreement that has grown into a great partnership.

    I don't know, but I don't compare myself as an employer against the 'very worst'--my goal is not to be able to say, "Well at least I didn't do this...." My goal is to be my personal best as an employer. Yes, there is a lot of mistreatment of help in Hong Kong--doesn't justify or really explain anything--probably not good to use this as an example.

    Y'know what, our helper does sometimes wear our baby out to go shopping. But, y'know what? So do we! We pack her around (and she's 18-months-old) in a front carrier every chance we get. We're all a team in our family so we carry the weight just as much as she does. She does cook our meals as well and we do help her. I don't consider this mistreatment of anyone either. But, at the end of the day, we don't have her doing trivial things such as washing cars and we try to make her life as convenient as possible (ordering online and having most of what we eat delivered rather than sending her daily to the market etc.).

    Finding a good helper who is eager to please is kind of a rare gift in HK. You should always treat your help extremely well--it's the best investment you can make.

    I just come back to the fact that it takes time and understanding to work with and train an employee. As the saying goes:

    "Two things to remember in life--don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff."

    She might not work out in the end but if you want to give yourself the gift of having a satisfied employee working for you, it's best to analyze yourself and see how you can go above and beyond the call of duty to make it work. Then, if it doesn't work out you can say you gave it your all.
    carang likes this.
    “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

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