Do I get a maid?

My boss has offered to help me in getting a maid/helper. The price sounds pretty affordable too, and it would allow both my wife and I to continue working after the delivery of our first child.

Does anybody have a helper or had one before, and how did it go? Any benefits, pitfalls or experiences would be appreciated in helping us decide whether we should take up the offer.

Thanks, Amos

Some friends of mine had a lady that was Philipino. Nice lady, but some personal issues caused her to call the Philipines a lot, from my frineds phone without telling them. About $500 US later they found out and the lady ended up working for free for about two months to pay it back and at the same time was bad mouthing these people at her local church for making her do it.

Your child’s language skills will obviously be strongly influenced by the nanny. Unless you want your child speaking English with a Filipino accent, I’d recommend a nanny whose native language is a language you want your child to become fluent in (probably Mandarin or English). My uncle unfortunately thought he was getting free English lessons for his child from his Filipino maid. While the child’s English is better than the locals, she’s not fluent, and plus now she has a wierd accent. Other than the language thing, though, the maid is great and is considered part of the family.

Just where would you go about getting a native-English-speaking maid in these parts? That is, with an accent that would be deemed “desirable”? Are the Canadians that hard up for work? :wink:

If you are employing a foreign maid , ensure they are here legally.
Quite a few are not & if you employ an illagal you can be fined quite heavily & theoretically go to jail (though this is V. unlikely in practice).

I have heard a few stories regarding use of telephones (as above) +
theft in some cases but no doubt these are isolated incidents.

Live in maids are clearly cheaper than paying by the hour for a part timer provided you are OK with having someone in your house all the time.

Choosing to have your child brought up by a hired stranger is clearly a personal choice. The British aristocracy have been doing it for hundreds of years & it hasnt done them any harm…or has it ?

When people reflect back on thier lives, few people wish they had spent more time at the office , many wish they had spent more time with thier children.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Actually, from an affordability point of view, it’s probably easier to get a Taiwanese nanny. You’ll always speak English with the kids, so have the nanny teach them Mandarin! But if you really want an English-speaking maid, how about getting a teen from one of the American schools? Or how about someone who is sick of English teaching? Or maybe someone who wants to vary their routine with something different and supplement their teaching income a little?

I might have to take issue with your characterization of the Canadian style of English as “desireable” though. Do you really want your child one day uttering phrases such as:

[i]“Eh, hosehead, once you get there you can have all the free beer and sausages you want.”

"This movie was shot in 3B - three beers - and it looks good, eh? "

"Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours - a COP - had some, and HE PUKED! And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he’ll press charges. "[/i]

That’s back bacon, eh.

[quote=“Neo”][i]“Eh, hosehead, once you get there you can have all the free beer and sausages you want.”

"This movie was shot in 3B - three beers - and it looks good, eh? "

"Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours - a COP - had some, and HE PUKED! And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he’ll press charges. "[/i][/quote]

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Given the difference in what English teachers and maids get paid, I very much doubt that any English teacher would want to work part time as a maid. Besides, it would be illegal.

I’ll do it!

No, but I did know one of my students had a maid who robbed them in the middle of the night and took off back to the Phillipines.

Most of the maids/house keepers/ nannies that I know are great and I wouldn’t dare to paint them all with the same brush, but you still do need to be careful.

Piece of advice: Install surveilance cameras in your house if you intend to leave the nanny with the baby alone.

What sounds like an exaggaration might protect your babies life or - though I hope this won’t ever happen - serve as evidence.
At least in Malaysia there were quite a few incidents of abuse and “accidents” which lead to serious injuries of the babies or childs.
In some cases there were suspicions only but nothing could be proven until the cameras were installed (and then showed the shocking truth).

Of course this were only a few, non related incidents and I am not trying to accuse all foreign maids of such behaviour but better safe than sorry. Personally I would probably only hire a cleaner or helper on a daily basis but not a live-in maid.

Just to address a few points that’ve been brought up.

  • We’ll be moving into a new house any video serv is already a priority if we decided to hire a take up the maid offer.
  • Regarding getting a student, we’ll when I say a price is affordable, it’s only between $NT15 and $NT20K a month.
  • This arrangement would only apply for short term 3 years, our intended stay in Taiwan.

I had a nanny look after my daughter for about three years. It wasn’t what I’d describe as cheap. She was also Taiwanese. This I thought had major advantages. Unless your a complete slack arse like Richard Hartzel (Sorry Richard, but I did read your article in the China Post) then you’ll be able to teach him or her English effortlessly. On the other hand your child will be fluent in Mandarin. That has great advantages at the park, in school, around your spouses family etc.

I must say that comment by Neo about the kiddies speaking with a Fillipina accent was complete prejudical bullshit. I’m not sure your allowed to write that sort of stuff on these forums accents and color are distinguishing features that’s all. Why not come on chanting Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!

I just hired part-time help, legal Filipina married to a Chinese-Filipino man. I hope she works out! She’s been working for a friend of my friends for the last 2.5 years and she won’t be living in but will be here at our place from 8 to 5, 3 days a week.

It’s interesting what the different rates are. Tell someone you’re American (or other foreigner) and they’ll tell you their rates are $350/hour. I really lucked out with the lady who’s going to start on Wed. My husband may be away for a week during the month that I have my baby so she’s also agreed to spend nights with us during that time.

I don’t call her a nanny–I’ll be here all the time anyway–but rather a mother’s helper. I’ve been told by three people that she’s excellent with kids, and she also cooks and does housekeeping. (This must be my reward for going 3.5 years without any help!) She’ll be an extra set of hands for when dear husband is at work and I’m on my own with 3 or 4 kids.

Good points about cameras by Rascal. I think if I was leaving an infant with her I’d be more concerned, but since I’ll have older children with her, and I don’t plan to be away from home much when they’re with her, I don’t think it’s necessary for us.

If you installed cameras, would you be upfront about it and tell her where they were? Or would you keep it from her? I’m not sure how I’d handle it.

One idea that a friend in the states shared was having a webcam at home so that she could peek in while she was at work, not so much to spy on the nanny as to see how things were going. Some daycare centers/preschools do something like this so parents can see what the kids are doing.

Quite a few of my friends have live-in help. Some are just terrific, and others are so-so. The thing about hiring foreign help is that you just don’t know what you’ll get. If you know someone with help they’re happy with, maybe you could ask for their pesonal recommendation. They might have a sister, friend, cousin, other relative in their home country that they’d be willing to vouch for, and then the agency you use can make contact with them. Not sure how that works.

Another thought, I do envy my friends with live-in help who are able to go to a movie or have a date with the spouse on the spur of the moment. These aren’t parents who are out golfing or playing mahjong all day long while the nanny is at home with the kids–these are involved parents, mostly stay-at-home-moms who just happen to make time for themselves on a Friday or Sat night. I think that’s very important too–to stay connected–just something that’s been very difficult for us to do in the last 3 years with schedules and finding someone we trust, and we do see the effects in our relationship.

Hoping all that rambling helped just a tiny little bit… :?

FYI, several foreigners have been convicted of hiring foreign maids illegally. They were fined and the maid deported.

I know that I’m subjecting myself to all kinds of abuse here… but here goes…

I think that mothers should stay at home and watch the babies. There will be plenty of time to work when the kids get older. And I don’t care what anyone says, in my own experience and from observations, mothers have infinitely more patience with infants than do fathers. Fathers have a role, for sure, but I think we (fathers) are better suited to deal with children than with infants.

So many of us are overly concerned (IMO) with our careers and less so with the welfare of our families… yes, a mother who opts to stay home to care for her babies will lose out on some of her career objectives… but what objective does she have for her child?

Nobody (with very few exceptions) can care for your baby the way you can. And I don’t want my child bonding with a nanny that will be here for a mere 3 years, at most, rather than with my wife and I, who, God willing, will be here for our child for many years to come.

I realize that child rearing is difficult, and at times, boring. But it is also fascinating and extremely rewarding. Yes, you do need time away from the baby… that’s what an occassional babysitter is for. We bring these small people into the world… the least we can do for them is to do the best that we can do for them. And IMO, the best is mommy and daddy… not a nanny.

In any event, its a personal choice and a difficult one at best. It may seem that you cannot manage without wife’s income… but I would suggest reconsidering whether this is really true. You may sacrifice a bit… but I think it is worth the sacrifice.

OK. Go ahead and flame me now.

I agree with tigerman, and would like to add that staying home for a few years doesn’t mean losing opportunities for a career down the road. My mom stayed home with us until we were of school age, and then she embarked on a rewarding career that has spanned 25yrs (she had us young). I’m doing the opposite of my dear mother…doing as much as I can first before taking on motherhood.

The most important job in the world is a mother’s job. Ridiculously corny, but true.

"I was thinking that maybe I’d get a maid
Find a place nearby for her to stay.
Just someone to keep my house clean,
Fix my meals and go away.

A maid. A man needs a maid."

Thank you, Neil Young! Just the kind of thing I have in mind myself.

Amos, do you think your wife would allow you to seek a nubile wench to perform those maidly duties?

A Taiwanese friend works in a well established maid hirig service, fully legit and above board.

She said that the only danger in hiring a maid is the agency you go to. Legit angences have to pay a set amount of mone per month…lets call it the “maid tax” to the government. This is built into the salary of the maid that you pay

However some agencies that are dodgy hire run away maids, and pay no maid tax to the government but still charge you the same maid salary, while the maid you are hiring is illegal. The maid usually stays here a couple of years and then leaves.

As a foreigner in Taiwan if you want to hire a maid, there are certain requirements that you must meet to hire a maid

Best you find out the details first before you hire. The Taiwan govt is seeking ways to earn more money and cracking down on illegal maids has turned out to be a windfall for it so they are cracking down hard. The penalties are between 300,000 to 700,000 NT for hiring a maid without meeting the qualifications which are ridiculously strict. We know a few people who are battling the govt in court currently as they were caught hiring maids using their relatives names…etc.

The govt now actively sends reps (who earn commissions) to houses to check if the maids are actually at the home who filed the paperwork. Again, THis is a big money earner for the govt just like the speeding cameras.