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Any other mums surviving HK without a DH? Advice please!

  1. #1
    LJC
    LJC is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2015
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    Any other mums surviving HK without a DH? Advice please!

    Hello everyone
    I've lived in HK for many years and have always loved it. But now the
    things I found so great/quirky about Hong Kong as a singleton and young couple (Crowds, small flats, narrow to no sidewalks, nothing opening until 11am but staying open till midnight, public transport, monsoon season...) are driving me nuts with an active and strong willed toddler who would be happy to live outside if he could!

    I know many people hire a DH. We did try that but had a very bad experience, that in the end caused us more stress than the help we needed. I know many people have great experiences but it's not something we want to go through again.

    So, I'm just looking for advice from other mums and dads here. What do you do to make things more manageable here, aside from hiring a DH?
    Have you moved to an all inclusive apt complex with kids facilities?
    Did you invest in a car/driver?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    revesi is offline Registered User
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    I can relate to much that you have written. I couldnt imagine living anyway other than mid-levels as a couple and when I got pregnant, something went snap in my overnight - I started disliking the crowded areas, the cramped flats etc etc. So we did move away from the city and now our building complex is very baby friendly - we love it here.

    We are thinking of buying a car so we can venture to far off beaches and places like NT over the weekends as the baby grows older.

    If I wasnt a working mother I would not have full time DH ( they can be a hassle and I do not prefer non-family people staying in my house). I had a pt helper for a few months after my baby was born for cleaning and laundry. I was very happy with that arrangement. My baby is still small so I do not understand your toddler issues but moving to a place with lots of facilities that can be used by children has been great for us. Do you have a pt helper?

  3. #3
    Albina is offline Registered User
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    Hi! I totally agree with you. My husband always says that i am so stressed and angry when we go somewhere out in hk island, esp causeway bay...bbrrr. i gave a birth 5 months ago. We didn't hire any helpers as i don't like an idea having someone i don't know in our flat, watching and discussing our private life with other helpers, sharing the toilet etc. So i decided to take care of baby, husband, flat..oh yes and myself by myself;) so my stress goes away with my duties. Now We also changed the location from hk island to tung chung as i can not stand any more small flats, noisy streets and smth else.. here i can have quite fresh air, cute club house, play grounds, bigger flat and lots of space. Feel good and calm..

  4. #4
    Nic
    Nic is offline Registered User
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    I have 3 kids and no helper, although I admit I have a cleaner 4 hours a week now and someone to babysit Saturday evenings so hubby and I can have date night (and maintain some sort of relationship amidst the chaos).

    Many people here think I am crazy but for many of the reasons mentioned above, and that I value my privacy and dont want my kids growing up with FT help we have worked through it and I wouldnt have it any other way now. We tried FT helper which ended in disaster.
    One thing I would add is we moved from Mid-Levels to Braemar Hill and we have a car. To me the car is worth a hundred helpers; easy to get to beach, peak, different playgrounds, cycling in NT and generally to let kids burn off energy and gives everyone a much needed change fo scene.

    And it does get easier, my youngest is off to nursery 5 monrings a week in September and I dont know where the past 7.5 years have gone.... or what I will do by myself every morning!

  5. #5
    TKLMom is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2015
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    Hi Everyone,

    So glad that this post was started and for the replies! I've just moved here to Hong Kong with my one year old son, and I'm wondering how to do things here as it is so different from where we're from. We don't have a car, or a DH, and right now I feel pretty stressed! Do most people hire a DH? If you don't want to - for the reasons many of you stated above - where do you find part-time help and babysitting? What activities are there to do with young children?

    I'm starting to feel a bit stir-crazy in my apartment, but the idea of going out among the crowds really causes me to stress out. Pushing a stroller and trying to open the door at the same time to get through, while having a ton of people wait behind me/try to get in in front of me, trying to find lifts everywhere, etc. are new things I haven't experienced before. I could really use an extra pair of hands, but wondering how other moms with no helper do everything. For right now, I just really try to limit our going out to non-peak hours, so we can afford to move more slowly.

    Also wondering if any working moms don't have a DH? I'm not sure if I'll look for a job, but wondering for moms who work, does hiring a DH become mandatory? The work hours here seem quite long, so wondering if anyone manages being a working mom and taking care of their household by themselves?

  6. #6
    Albina is offline Registered User
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    Hahah, same things happens to me almost everyday in hk island ( in tung chung usually it's not the case), when lots of people behind waiting for you opening the door with a stroller, not giving a sit in the mtr and many other things.... people in hk are so much different from people in Europe and other countries; ))))

  7. #7
    2010-NewDad is offline Registered User
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    We're a family of four (4 year old and 2 year old) - never had a helper/cleaner and thriving. I am lucky in that I can be home before six every day, so around for the dinner/bath/bed each night which is probably the most stressful time with tired children.

    We live at Kowloon station, so crowds are not an issue. Being able to go to the indoor playroom, outdoor playground and outdoor pool are critically important I think - gives the children somewhere to go and run/swim off their excess energy. They also love their scooters and thats a nice activity too.

    If we lived somewhere without these facilities and little accessible outdoor space then lack of helper would be a bigger issue I feel.

    Other than that, pre-school at two years old is good if the child is ready - they get a half day in a new environment, learning social skills and a bit of discipline - plus how to interact with non-parent adults. It gives my wife mornings off now our youngest has just started (earlier this month).

    I think it's all very doable without a helper, especially if the working parent is willing and able to help out around the house and with child care.

    The biggest issue for us is lack of time with just the parents - basically we have to wait until we go back home and leave the children with their grandparents. This is the biggest downside I feel in not having a helper, because back in our home countries we have parents and siblings to share childcare with occasionally. Maybe we'll look into a babysitter when they are a bit older.

    I think fifteen months until pre-school is the hardest time - children have energy, curiosity about the world, want to try new things, impatience, inability to communicate well plus the rages we all know and love. My advice is to enroll in a pre-school and then make the best of these tiring times until then.. even with all the frustrations you'll miss your toddler when they've grown up.

    Re: strollers - idiots who don't give parents/children space enrage me too. I normally ram them to get the point across, and then glare at them when they look surprised or upset. I try to take taxi's when I know the journey is at peak times on MTR.

  8. #8
    TKLMom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the responses Albina and NewDad - it's nice to know that I'm not alone in what I'm experiencing/feeling!

    And I definitely know what you mean in terms of having just the parent time. It's very hard to come by, which is why even without a DH, I'd like to find out more about babysitting/part-time help. But with a young son - he's just 13 months - I find it hard to let someone else take care of him, even though I'd love the break.

    Thanks again for the feedback - I'll definitely be looking into our apartment facilities and pre-nursery programs!

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