9 Tips To Help You Survive Singapore WITHOUT A Full Time Helper

02 February 2016
<p>You <em>can</em> do it!</p>

You can do it!

It is possible to have a family, live far from home, and not employ a full time helper!


Upon arriving in Singapore, one of the first things expat families sort out is how to hire a helper.  It is generally assumed that families will hire domestic help as it is cheap, readily available and the norm. But not all families choose to employ a foreign worker (for all kinds of reasons from the added responsibility to loss of privacy).

If you’re new to Singapore and wondering if you can manage without full time help, or if you are considering losing your current helper and doing without, here are nine tips to help!

  1. Stop telling people you don’t have a helper. People will look at you with a combination of confusion and horror. You’ll get the sense they think you’re: a. a crazy person or;  b. trying to prove something. Or, they’ll hit you with the heavy sell. They’ll point out how amazing your life could be if only you’d come to your senses. Then you’ll end up feeling bad because you know they’re probably right.

  2. Make a couple of friends who also don’t have helpers. This will give you the chance to reason with another crazy person that you are in fact, not insane. Practically speaking, they might have some leads on babysitting, part-time helpers or quick and easy dinner recipes.

  3. Remind yourself that millions of families survive – with grace – without outside help. Think of the single mothers, single fathers, the millions of women who lived hundreds of years ago under much more trying circumstances.

  4. Remind yourself how lucky you are to have a partner and/or a smartphone.

  5. Get your kids to help – with cleaning, with cooking, with whatever is age appropriate.

  6. Live in a small condo. Small area = less to clean.

  7. Get organised. Plan your meals and shopping trips at the beginning of the week. And keep things simple. Remember thousands of families across the globe come home from work and have to make dinner. It’s possible!

  8. Sure you may not have family around but take advantage of all the Singapore has to offer – convenient grocery delivery, relatively cheap part-time cleaners, a large network of expats with older children looking for babysitting jobs. Just because you don’t have a live in helper does not mean help is unavailable.

  9. Revisit the possibility of hiring a helper every now and again. Do the benefits for your family outweigh the negatives for your family?

Ultimately hiring a full time, live-in helper is a personal decision. And each family’s circumstances are unique. Be grateful you have options and remember they are just that – options (which you can change and try and change again).


By: Kathleen Siddell, February 2016

Photo: 123rf.com


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