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do expats typically have live-in maids?

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Mondia
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do expats typically have live-in maids?

Post by Mondia » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 4:26 am

sorry if i sound clueless. we're coming from the US and not sure how this works. we'll need 3 bedrooms for us. should we take a fourth room for the maid? what about her meals etc.? many thanks.

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Post by boffenl » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 10:42 am

Why are you getting a maid? Just because everyone else has one? There has been a lot of discussion lately on the forum about maid issues. Read up before you make a decision.

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Post by Saint » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 10:51 am

Do you have a maid at the moment?

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Post by Mondia » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:05 am

boffenl wrote:Why are you getting a maid? Just because everyone else has one? There has been a lot of discussion lately on the forum about maid issues. Read up before you make a decision.
we have a 3 year-old and 5 month-old and definitely need one. my question really was whether our maid should live-in or come in every morning and leave in the evening as our nanny does in the US and of course we would want help with housework as well. i am a little uncomfortable with someone living with us.

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Post by boffenl » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:08 am

Sorry I can't be more helpful. I have a Singaporean who comes twice a month to help clean. My 6 year old is in school and my husband works at home, so not an ideal situation to have a live-in, plus we have a really tiny place! Good luck with your search, the pros and cons of which aren't easy to figure out.

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Post by micknlea » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:12 am

It will all depend on the type of place you live in. Most condos/houses here have a maids room, although some are particularly tiny and you may not want to use it as such, but others are lovely.

It is much easier here to get a live in maid than to have one full time that lives out (foreign domestic workers have to live in by law here). If you are used to having a nanny full time during the day it is not that much different to having a live in overnight, most keep to their own space after hours anyway.
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Post by aussiemeg » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 6:53 pm

Hi there

When we came we were uncertain about having a live in maid but once you set out what you want them to do the girls are more than happy to get out of your space and have thier own. Most places in singapore will have a maids room with a dedicated wash area. Some of these spaces are sooooo small but some are quite nice. Not too helpful but yes you would need to have a live in otherwise go down the local help route which works out incredibly expensive and in my experience not as reliable due to reasons of transport weather family committments etc

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 6:59 pm

If you are in a house, then maybe. That way they can also have their own space. In a condo/apartment, given the size of our "maids room/bomb shelter (LOL!!!), then even in our 4 BR apartment, no way.

To us, (Mr P and Ms C) it's more a choice for us to live in a condo/apartment.

Hope this is useful, Ms. C.

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Post by Zeenit » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 7:57 pm

aussiemeg wrote:Hi there

When we came we were uncertain about having a live in maid but once you set out what you want them to do the girls are more than happy to get out of your space and have thier own. Most places in singapore will have a maids room with a dedicated wash area. Some of these spaces are sooooo small but some are quite nice. Not too helpful but yes you would need to have a live in otherwise go down the local help route which works out incredibly expensive and in my experience not as reliable due to reasons of transport weather family committments etc
I wonder how expats would like to live in the "maids space" Nice but small......I would not keep my pets in them and in Eurpore it would be illegal for yoru animals.
Zeenit

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Post by skye » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 9:14 pm

Do expats typically have maids? Expats come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, budgets and lifestyles. There isn't really a typical expat, so you'll have to decide yourself if the convenience and cost (live-in FDWs aka maids are cheaper than local Singaporean part-timers) is a bigger draw than having the privacy of having a live-out local or PR nanny who goes home at the end of the day. Do you have a trained nanny at the moment, or is she more of a home-help/cleaner who also minds the kids? It is possible to get maids here who are qualified teachers because, sadly, the salary they can earn at home is less than being a maid here. Most girls will not have that level of education but with care and some luck you can find someone who can take care of the house and be very good with your kids. Our maid has a "maid's room" at the back of the house with her own bathroom, looking out on the garden and with a terrace outside. Her room is decent (as good as I had growing up in the UK until I left home) but many newer apartments have glorified cupboards without a window and I wouldn't employ a live-in maid if that was all I could provide. Friends with "bomb-shelter" maid's rooms have given the maid a bedroom in the main part of the house but I'm not sure I'd do that - I've been an au pair many years ago and not having your own private space to retreat to can mean you are never really "off duty". Our maid would be really uncomfortable about that too - I have offered our overseas student kids' rooms to her several times when she's had family to visit (she's been with us a long time and we now know various sisters, cousins and aunties), as there's only one bed in her room, and she always turns it down as she prefers her own space. If you do deecide on a live-in, and if you wirk irregular hours or have to stay late it's a godsend, do find an apartment with decent accommodation for her.

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Post by QRM » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 9:40 pm

If I remember correctly, I did the FDW govt exam, you don't even have to provide a room for them, apparently its perfectly acceptable to let them sleep in the hallway on the floor, so long as they have some sort of temporary screen and mat :shock:

Our condo has a windowless room for the FDW, So we blocked off a large portion of the wet kitchen to be her private space, and tried to make the room as comfi as possible, Cable with Filipino Chanel, LCD TV, dvd players and her own skype phone to call home when ever she wants.

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Post by boffenl » Sat, 20 Sep 2008 10:20 am

Most Singaporeans who employ maids have them sleep on the floor next to the kids bed or elderly person's bed--that's why those tri-fold mattresses are so popular! They are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That's why the Maid's Day Off (once a month) has been such an issue--who will look after Baba or baby if the maid is out? It's chilling when I imagine using the maid's room for anything but a storage room--and a small one at that.

If you have the space and understand what you'll be taking on (with lots of research and patience), then it can be an amazing experience both for you and your children--the opportunity to learn about a new culture and help someone better themselves (and their family back home). Good luck! It's not a decision to be made lightly.

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Post by QRM » Sat, 20 Sep 2008 11:02 am

Zeenit wrote:
I wonder how expats would like to live in the "maids space" Nice but small......I would not keep my pets in them and in Eurpore it would be illegal for yoru animals.
Trying to convince the locals is a bit like a Hindu arriving in the Europe and horrified that cows are not allowed to roam freely, and are bred for slaughter.

He will place a post on the local Hindu-expat website saying it would be illegal in his country and the West should be ashamed of themselves. Most Westerners would just shrug their shoulders and carry on munching on their burgers.

While some with short fuses will stand up and say how dare I compare FDW with cows, what I am try to put across is that indifference you, as in Europeans, feel towards eating a nice piece of sirloin and Mr Hindu comment, is exactly how the local feel about the treatment of Maids here and your comments.

As Mr Ghandi once said "You can judge a society by how they treat their weakest members."

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Post by Global Citizen » Sat, 20 Sep 2008 1:00 pm

QRM wrote:

As Mr Ghandi once said "You can judge a society by how they treat their weakest members."
True QRM and let's not forget that Mahatma Gandhi was also an expatriate lawyer in S. Africa where he experienced firsthand the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. He was much distressed by the apartheid policies practised on blacks there as well as the divisive racial discrimaination polices practised by the white minority on all other people of colour.

edit: grammar
Last edited by Global Citizen on Sun, 21 Sep 2008 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Zeenit » Sat, 20 Sep 2008 4:18 pm

QRM wrote:
Zeenit wrote:
I wonder how expats would like to live in the "maids space" Nice but small......I would not keep my pets in them and in Eurpore it would be illegal for yoru animals.
Trying to convince the locals is a bit like a Hindu arriving in the Europe and horrified that cows are not allowed to roam freely, and are bred for slaughter.

He will place a post on the local Hindu-expat website saying it would be illegal in his country and the West should be ashamed of themselves. Most Westerners would just shrug their shoulders and carry on munching on their burgers.

While some with short fuses will stand up and say how dare I compare FDW with cows, what I am try to put across is that indifference you, as in Europeans, feel towards eating a nice piece of sirloin and Mr Hindu comment, is exactly how the local feel about the treatment of Maids here and your comments.

As Mr Ghandi once said "You can judge a society by how they treat their weakest members."

My post was not meant to upset any local people. It was my opinion from one expat to an another expat.
As a guest in SG, its not my place to judge a local person and if that is how my point was seen I apologies to the locals on here.
Zeenit

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