milestones & musings

We’re going Downton

Guess what, y’all? We’ve finally caved and hired ourselves a live-in domestic helper. SHOCKING, I know.

All this while, we’ve never been hot on the idea of having a stranger live in the house with us and besides, we were convinced that we wanted to do everything for the kids on our own so we managed to somehow survive the past 5 years and 3 kids without a maid. The laundry wasn’t always done on time and the house wasn’t as spotless as I would have liked…okay, who am I kidding? Most days, it felt like we were living in a war zone where little kids were doing the fighting with a formidable arsenal of toys.

Over the past 7 months, with a new baby at home and more projects at work, the time has finally come for us to reconsider that decision.

Initially, we got a part-time cleaner to come in once a week for a couple of months, but it wasn’t quite enough so after a lot of thought, it made more sense to get someone in full time. Also, it might be a direct result of too much Downton Abbey.

So last Thursday, we picked up our domestic helper and so far, it’s been working out really well. I still want to do the baby stuff like the feeding and bathing as much as possible but it’s nice to be able to outsource the cooking and chores to someone else. Seriously, my house hasn’t been this clean since like ever and it’s nice to have an extra pair of hands to help out with stuff here and there so we don’t have to work till 2am every night.

Obviously, we’ve all had to make some adjustments (the helper included) and it’ll probably take some time to get used to one another but the important thing is that she seems to like the kids, and they like her back. They were a little shy at first , like when they wanted an apple and I was busy feeding Finn, I overheard them whispering to each other “you go and ask aunty”, “no, you go”, “okay, scissors paper stone…” and finally Tru went up to her and asked “Aunty, can you cut an apple for us pleaseeeee?”

Now they realize that with another adult in the house, they don’t need to wait for me to finish feeding Finn to attend to them so they’ve warmed up to her nicely.

Hopefully this arrangement works out. I do so enjoy being the Dowager Countess of Grantham around here.

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  • Reply Amy @ The Q Family April 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I’m surprised you have done without help for this long. That’s one thing I truly miss living in Asia. When we went back to Thailand to visit my family, it was so nice to have my laundry magically done everyday. :)

    • Reply Daphne April 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      LOL so true about the magic laundry – all washed and pressed and folded everyday! And the cooking too. My mom is teaching her how to cook so hopefully in a couple of months, all I have to do is place my order in the morning and have meals appear on the table. I could totally get used to this!

  • Reply Elizabeth April 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    It’s amazing you’ve managed to keep same without help for so long! Outsourcing is good! We never regretted our decision to hire a helper after the second kid can along because if money is needed to buy us more time with our kids and more sane moments in a day, we’re glad to spend that money!
    Elizabeth´s last post ..Little Miss B strikes again

    • Reply Daphne April 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      On some level, we liked doing it all ourselves – there’s a lot of solidarity and the kids know that they have to pitch in to help. But it was getting quite impossible to manage the past couple of months so we’ve finally taken the plunge. Thankful that the helper is working out though!

  • Reply Madeline Heng April 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Wah I’m shocked! This is a surprise but I suppose with 3 kids and working from home, it’s a necessity :)
    Madeline Heng´s last post ..Pregnancy Log: Twenty Questions

    • Reply Daphne April 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Hahaha desperate times and all that. Plus if this works out, there might be a possibility of *ahem* #4. A fairly slim possibility but still…heh.

      • Reply Madeline Heng April 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm

        With 4 other people in the house, I can imagine even getting 1 minute alone is difficult. But I’m sure miracles happen ;P
        Madeline Heng´s last post ..Pregnancy Log: Twenty Questions

        • Reply Daphne April 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm

          LOL good point there…we’ll have to figure something out when the time comes

  • Reply aili April 8, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    With help around the house, you have more quality time with the kids!

    • Reply Daphne April 8, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      That’s true! We get to spend more time reading to the kids and playing crazy games instead of folding laundry. #Win

  • Reply Julie April 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    We too struggled with whether we want a live in domestic help. We did when the second baby came along! i guess we just couldnt manage our own anymore when there are 2 dogs and 2 kids in the house! love it when everything is so spotless now and the laundry get all done!! and best of all, i can cook and not wash up!

    • Reply Daphne April 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      Oh yes! They’re really a great help to have. I should totally have done this earlier haha

  • Reply Rachel April 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I share the same feeling as you, hope for more assistance with the housechores but at the same time don’t feel comfy having a stranger in my house. I do welcome friends over for parties or gathering but having a stranger staying permanently in the house is not what I would want. Housechores is not a problem when there is no kids, but now I have to take care of a kid coming to two years of age running around the house and do the housechores, it is a tiring & endless…haha…Daphne, how do you manage your time with so many things on hand & doing housechores?

    • Reply Daphne April 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Actually I have quite a high tolerance for mess so I’m not the best person to ask. Back when we didn’t have a helper at home, my sofa could accumulate a whole week’s worth of laundry and if I needed to sit on it, I’ll just create a space in the centre heh. I did have a weekly cleaner who helped with the major cleaning.

      • Reply Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 11:22 pm

        Hmm…perhaps it is time for me to consider weekly domestic helper. :)

      • Reply Rachel April 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm

        Hmm…perhaps it is time for me to consider weekly domestic helper. :)

  • Reply Elaine April 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Wow, you crossed over to the other side. I can’t imagine having a live in helper at the moment but ask me 2 children later (if I ever have that many, that is). Hope it continues to work out well for you.
    Elaine´s last post ..We’re going to the beach beach beach

  • Reply Susan April 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    A very timely post. I’ve got 3 kids also (4,2 and 1) and am seriously considering hiring a full time helper.

    But like you am so unsure about having someone (a stranger) in the house. (I’m going to have to start wearing pants!! Our home is constantly messy and I dream about the day wen I can leave the house messy and come back home to it all magically cleaned… Oh it’s such a big decision

    Look forward to hearing another update on how it’s working for you


  • Reply Jaime April 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    my third is coming in mid june….when i had #2 , i did make a trip to the maid agencies during my ML and i ended with naught coz it was more difficult that buying my first home…so we drop the idea and had survived for 4 yrs..but in between my mum was ard more for the baby till the baby was old enuf for CC..but my mum strictly “serve” the baby during my working hours n maybe prepare dinner..nothng else …
    me n hubby still need to do housechore and fortnightly the helper comes to do cleaning
    and i can relate to you on the coachful of laundry which is waiting to be folded..its really a huge mountain..esp with 4 sets of CC uniform daily for 2 kid..

    with#3 coming, i am still not running to the maid agency yet…its the same arrangementn when i go back to work ie mum comes over to take over baby duty when i am at work…but with mum ard..prob part time helper can come more often n do more work…

    i shall see how badly it becomes wiht #3 arrival before i decide to make another trip to the maid agencies

    • Reply Anonymous April 21, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Good luck Jaime. The first 6 months with the third baby were great for me. But once the third one starts moving and becoming more demanding, it gets trickier.

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