These mums share how they prep their helpers to take care of their precious ones.
“We give our helper a timetable to follow. This way, she knows what to do when we’re not home and it takes away the guesswork. For example, at 7 a.m., she and Baby go to the park for a walk. They return at 8 a.m. for a shower and milk feed. At 9:30 a.m., Baby takes a nap, and she mops and tidies the house. She knows that major chores like cleaning of toilets and windows can wait till the weekend when we’re not at work.” –Winnie Chong, self-employed
“You’ll need time to train your helper and for both of you to understand each other. Employ one a few months before returning to work. This also acts like a probation period.” – Janice Wong, sales coordinator
“We were initially very nervous about leaving Baby with our helper. So we installed video cameras at home that allow us to see the goings-on, as well as for them to hear us calling over the cameras. We’re very honest with our helper — she knows exactly where they’re placed. Once our bond was established and she built a caring relationship with our child, we gradually cut down on the monitoring.” – Michelle Ong, regional workforce manager
“I told my helper that my kids come first. I even went as far as asking her a hypothetical question: If my house got rained in, the laundry got wet and the kids were obviously in trouble, what would she do? It’s good to present what-if scenarios and ask for her answers. We can’t presume our helpers would think and do the same as us.” – Marnie M. Noor, lawyer
“I make it a point to let our helper have sufficient rest and sleep because she’s already tired from taking care of the kids during the day. So, I’m the one to wake up and attend to the baby if she cries in the middle of the night.” – Belinda Teo, education officer
Eddy Lam, managing director of 121 Personnel Services recommends being reasonable about work expectations and communicating the helper’s role and responsibilities clearly, if childcare and safety are priorities. “If a compromise cannot be made, it may be best that the family and the helper part ways amicably,” he says.
Text adapted from Young Parents / Additional reporting by Christopher Ong Ujine, October 2018
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