Survival guide for parents without a full-time helper in Singapore
Not having a full-time helper in Singapore can be a challenge for parents. Here's your survival guide from a mum who's been there.
This is a true account of a working mom who had to manage everything on the home front without a full-time helper in Singapore for some weeks.
This post containing lessons learnt should be useful to all those who are planning to employ a full-time helper or planning to live without helper.
I have always had a full time helper and consider that it is a boon to moms, especially working moms. I am too dependent on them and almost feel crippled in their absence. It is a shameful fact.
So what happens when the helper had to be repatriated to her hometown due to an unfortunate emergency? How did a family with two kids face this "crisis"?
1. Get out of your comfort zone and get going even without a full-time helper in Singapore.
For the first two days after my helper left, I was like a newbie in my own home! I was in a confused state of mind and my lazy body was not ready to move at all. So first tip is to shed all the slack and start working! Once we are out of the comfort zone set by the daily routine with the helper, it is easier to adapt to the new scenario.
2. Take stock of the situation in a balanced way.
Okay, so the helper is not there, then what next? Are we going to get a new one? Are we going to become a SAHM? Are we planning to send kids to child care / student care / nanny?
Discuss with the partner about realignment of finances, who will share what work and so on.
3. Plan meticulously.
A good plan ensures great success. So to survive without a full-time helper, we will have to put a very detailed plan in place. Create a to-do list for all the day-to-day tasks and assign the duties and responsibilities. For example:
Once this is set, believe me, things will become quite smooth.
Two more helpful tips on the next page!
4. There should not be any issue in doing your own work.
Yes, we had a helper but now we have to handle the work ourselves. Be it toilet cleaning, washing dishes etc. Once we accept this fact, it all becomes quite fun actually.
Frankly speaking, I found my home cleaner after I did the mopping, sweeping myself and actually lost some weight too. That was the perk of all the hard work. Also, hubby remarked that after a long time, he has actually bought groceries and now he knows the cost of one kilogram of tomato.
We also have to make our family members understand this point and seek everyone's co-operation. Kids should also contribute in their small little ways and help parents. Example, my four-year old boy helped me to fold some clothes. We should not tax them too much though and appreciate their bit-size help.
5. Don't get bogged down with all work and no play.
House work is a never-ending saga and we will never feel that we have completed all the work. So take a break, relax and just let your hair down sometimes. Order food from outside, get the services of part-time helpers and indulge in some pampering. It will help to recharge your energies.
We eventually got a new helper. But we were able to manage during the period that we were without a helper. We learnt the importance of doing work ourselves and the meaning of team spirit. We faced the challenges together as a family, and after kids become a bit older, I think we are ready to go helper-free again.