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Living in a modern, fast paced environment in Singapore, career-oriented mothers today have to juggle responsibilities between work and at home. There are no ready made solutions, but working mothers should be glad that a new platform, Working Mothers Forum, has been initiated by Frisco, for working mothers to come together. Here, they share and learn from each other’s experiences as well as receive practical advice from the panel of experts.

Good help is hard to find

Ms Lee Moh Wah, an expert panel member tells us that while some mothers like her are fortunate to have family members helping her out in taking care of her children while she is at work, other working mothers have to seek other forms of help.

As such, choosing a domestic helper becomes one of the many issues working mothers have to consider as they try to balance their roles as a mother and an individual in the workplace. When looking for a domestic help, she suggests that it is good to get recommendations from friends who have experience dealing with maid agencies, and who would point you to the more reputable ones who have reliable domestic helpers.

No substitute for you

However, at the end of the day, regardless of who the caregiver may be, one needs to make a conscious effort to spend quality time with her child. And, yes, even if both you and your husband work long hours, this can be done.

What she does personally, and what she would recommend, is to fully utilise any time you can spend with your children. Sending and picking them up from school, reading bedtime stories - these are great times for you to interact and get to know your kids. This also allows them to get to know you better too, thus, establishing a rapport between parent and child.

In addition, when it comes to spending time together as a family over the weekend, engage in activities which they enjoy. Get them involved in decision-making; let them choose what to do for the next weekend. This makes them look forward to spending time together with you (without the maid) during family outings. LWB

How to choose a maid

Adeline Lee, a Marketing and Communications manager at KPMG shares her thoughts as well with us.

What qualities should the domestic
helper possess?

  • Honesty and a good heart are two top qualities a helper should have.
  • In addition, having confidence and a good attitude are important as it would aid in forming a good working relationship with the family.
  • A great bonus is if you can find a helper who is a mother herself, as she would be able to bring her personal experience of raising children.

Does the age of the domestic helper matter?

  • Her physical age does not matter, but her maturity definitely matters.
  • You, as a working mother should look out for a helper who is able to understand the needs of your sometimes-demanding career, and who can be supportive of your family needs while recognising that boundaries should not be crossed.

Is an experienced maid preferred?

  • Yes. Mothers would be more secure knowing that the helper has experience with children and knows what to be mindful about.

How do you trust a domestic helper to take care of your precious baby?

  • For anyone involved in taking care of your baby, it is most important to have open communication with the caregiver. In this way, even if mistakes are made, they are not scared to report back to you and are receptive to feedback.
  • In some cases, mothers have engaged family members’ help as well, so that there are more eyes to keep watch.

How do you know if the helper is really doing what she is supposed to do?

  • There is no way unless you put a live camera at home. But that said, it is not necessarily the best way. It is all about the trust and rapport you develop with your helper.
  • When possible, you or your spouse may just call home to check.

How to maintain a healthy relationship between your helper and yourself?

  • Treat her with respect. She may, after all, also be a working mom, who is working abroad to financially provide for her children.
  • Do encourage her to take time off, read books, watch TV and watch out for her personal needs. They should be seen as a help, not a threat, nor just an employee but someone living under the same roof whom you take care of as well.

Solutions for the 5 mistakes| My magical mummy | Mothers, balance it all | Maid to last | Eternal Flame

 
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