Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.

Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby so.hire.me » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:15 am

Hello beautiful people!

I have an indon maid whos working for me for a year now. She is excellent. She cleans well, her cooking is marvelous, honest and great attitude. She's currently handling the house (cleaning, cooking and laundry) for me, wife and her mom, who is ill. I also have a son aged 4yrs and a daughter age 2, both at daycare from 8am to 6pm weekdays. All of us at home treat her like a family. We dine together too. Recently Ive been blessed with a pair of twins who are now 7mths old. They will wake up at 2am and 5am for milk feeds daily. Me and wifey take turns waking up to feed them, which makes us very lethargic at work. We have no complaints as this is our responsibility. Would it be too much for her if we wake her up during that hour and help us with the feeding? We noticed that she will go to her room at 10am n lights off. Even if theres still chores to do. She wakes up at 6am. Thats 8hrs of solid sleep while me and wifey get no more than 5. We didnt want to sound picky as shes been doing well on major chores. But seeing her getting 8hrs sleep seems like a boss.

Hope you can give us your honest opinion. It will be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

so.hire.me
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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby jedamum » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:23 am

I don't have a maid. So jmo. Would like to just ask,how labour intensive is it to care for your ill mother in law? Depending on her mobility, caring for an immobile elderly can be both physically and emotionally draining. If she is able to handle additional tasks, I would get her up an hour earlier at 5am to help with the second feed and leave her alone at 2am. Then try to work at wean ing the 2am feed for long term benefit.

Jmho.

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby ammonite » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:38 am

Yes I think it is too much. Speaking as a mother of two without maid. She sounds very good already. If she is home alone with the ill MIL and twins during the entire day and still clean and cook well. Caregiving is a physically taxing task. Add in cleaning, washing dishes, ironing, packing, scrubbing toilets... She would have been on her feet for almost the entire day or develop wrist Spondylitis over time. Any more will be too much.

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby Musings » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:41 am

Hi I think it depends on yr parenting philosophy. Like you say, the babies are yr responsibility and my philosophy is my hubby and I will personally take care of the needs of the kids when we are at home after work. This includes bathing, feeding etc from the time they were babies. I don't believe in outsourcing night feeding to the maid because it is through these that we bond with the kids. Night feelings can be alternate between both parents so each parent only has to wake up once.

It also depends on whether it was ever discussed with your maid her work scope will include night feeding when twins came along since she seems to be engaged to do housework and look after elderly. Will you pay her more? If not, as an employee, you will similarly feel it sucks to have workload increased in this way without compensation.

You should probably discuss with her instead of insisting that she has no choice but to take on the additional work. Since she sounds like a very good maid, she clearly has options to change employers if she is not too happy.

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby so.hire.me » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:38 am

Thank you everyone for your kind comments. To answer some questions, my MIL is able to look after herself. She only needs her meal n laundry. Me and wifey spend every single minute of our time with our 4 children when wer home. Bathing, feeding, playing, learning...pretty much everything except for the cooking n cleaning. We are trying to wean off the babies on the 2 am feeds so its more bearable for 1 feeds. I guess I will leave her to her current chores only to have her helping out when its eally needed. Yes I think increasing her salary would make her more than happy to help.

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby happyheart » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:41 am

I would rather let her have a good rest at night so that she has all the energy to take care of your twins and ill MIL during the day. I guess parenting is physically demanding at some point and we will just have to learn to cope with it. I remembered my DS used to wake up every 2hours for feeding ( I was BF), and it was challenging to stay focus at work when I hardly had continuos sleep in the night. But, I enjoyed the bonding and would not trade for a helper to replace me, although I could easily have her warm up the frozen pack. This phrase will pass, hang on! 加油!

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby straffan23 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:54 am

As you have pointed out quite rightly - parents going to work in the day, and then waking up for night feeds are the standard requirements of being parents. However, a maid is different. It is her job. I believe in keeping the maid happy and sane (and yours is already doing a great job!!) - so save her the added responsibility of night feeding - we don't want a caregiver whom might end up grouchy or grumpy all day long, right? It is not just money. The state of mind is also important.

If you really MUST get her help with the night feeding, you should offer her a chance to nap in the afternoon while the twins are napping - this might mean some chores have to be done between longer intervals, but it is give and take.

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby nms1 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:25 pm

Personally I do not believe in out-sourcing night feeds, night changes etc to the maid.

I can understand that you feel it's unfair that you are the "boss" but you are sleeping less than her but that comes with being a parent. Isn't it more important that you treat her fairly and make sure that she is well-rested in order to do her job the next day.

Your twins are 7 months so the night feeds will soon be a thing of the past. If you can successfully wean them of the 2am feed then gradually stretch the 5am to a little later you will almost be sleeping as much as her anyway ;-)

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby Harlequin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:15 pm

Maybe you can take alternate night feeding with your wife, that way each of you will get at least one full night sleep on the alternate night. Or Alternate night with your maid? But if maid feeds, it's easier for her if you can arrange for your maid to share a room with the babies.

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Re: Am I over-working my maid? Or am I being too soft?

Postby fable » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:21 pm

I'm sorry. Your helper works 14 hours a day helping to care for a ailing MIL, 4 kids, cooking and cleaning and you'd like to know if it's ok for you to wake her up in the middle of the night to help feed the babies?! I don't think that's reasonable.

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