How to handle a helper?


Hi, I am a first time employer for helper so would like to seek some advices in handling them. I totally understand that they would want freedom and own time. So here goes my story......

I got this fresh Myanmar maid who was transferred from my friend. Previously she has worked for about 9 months in handling her twin babies. Her daily routine is actually wash baby stuff, morning go to her in law place and just help out in washing, looking after baby etc. Night time she will be brought back to my friend's. Weekly she does housework for their house and that's about it. Her clothes will be hand washed. She has no off days and no phone allowed other than weekly 1 hour.

My friend's feedback was actually OK but she was going to send her kids to cc hence decided not to spend extra to hire her. She doesn't clean v clean and sometimes forgetful so have to remind her a few times.

I wanted to hire her because I needed someone to take over taking care of my 18mo while I work. LO still attends cc actually so I wanted her to fetch earlier so that dinner time won't be a rush. However, cutting the story short, this routine lasted for probs 2-3weeks before this disruption of covid19. Lo was kept home due to hospitalisation and we didn't want lo to continue school for a while.

So scenarios....
1) she left the open concept kitchen windows opened and left her slping alone while she naps in her room
2)careless and didn't close my freezer door properly n all my bm stash gone
3)don't know how to arrange her time. Once we came bk from market, she quickly came to sort the groceries n left my child alone.
4)promised for weekly phone usage (I usually don't restrict hours as long as lo rests for the night and finish work) now she is requesting for everyday usage. We brushed off this issue and I even had some serious talk with her saying why break promise like we alr agreed.
5)everyday she cleans house, wash 2 toilets, vacuum, mop, adhoc clean fans, windows, surface and she can finish by 12. Lunch and naps as long as my child. Then wash if we cooks.
6)we wanted to let her settle in for first few days so we let her watch TV. Then we realised she is very addicted to TV dramas and will on TV herself if we goes out. So I told her no, only times when we are watching, she is done w work, she is free to join us. But she gets very distracted and few times my child fell right in front of her because she was watching TV.
7)we don't really bring her out if not necessary because my lo doesn't like to be carried by her. Once she let go of my child's hand at the car loading bay when I told her wherever u go, must make sure hold hands and she is safe.
8)her English cmi. Sometimes she doesn't understand simple instructions so have to think of ways to show her instead.
9) recently we saw her notes that she pasted on the wall saying thst she has no freedom and employer is always unhappy about what she do (male so I reckon saying my hub, but he is actually 70% not at home)

Good thing about her is,
-when we nag, she won't talk back
-still afraid that harm comes to my child (whether be it for show or afraid of responsibility)
-OK with cctv ard the house
-not very picky with food
-will do whatever we ask her to help
-quite honest so far

So now I don't know if I'm treating her not good enough or too nice. She basically doesn't need to handle my baby much when I'm home. Only change diaper, shower.. I think she is not experienced in handling toddler and it doesn't cross her mind some actions are not safe for them? I feel her current situation should be already better than previous and she isn't happy bout it, so confusing?

I'm in between sending her back (because I feel more stressed handling her than doing the physical stuff myself) and keeping myself sane while handling a toddler (and might soon to have a nb) any wise feedback is appreciated!!!
If you are stressed handling her... send her back and get a better helper. The part about leaving the child alone is very dangerous and carelessness can often lead to bigger problems. Also, she wants more freedom but you are not giving her (eg only HP on weekends) and if you both cannot compromise, it can also propagate more negative feelings inside her. For your sanity, get another helper.


New Member
If you see that she is not doing her job properly, and from your post I can tell that you're still doing the tasks that she should be doing or helping with + you don't have peace of mind to entrust your child to her, then you should just send her back.

Maddy C

New Member
I think in general, always better to be 'tighter' (but reasonable) with rules e.g handphone usage and then give-and-take as time progresses and trust is built up. Main thing you pointed out is that she's honest and that's usually quite an important criteria for domestic helpers. In terms of language, takes time to learn - don't know if you can have a google translate app to help translate some instructions into her language at the start? But keep using simple, common phrases in English for her to pick up. You showing her the steps is good - then maybe she can jot down her own notes in her language as well?