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PT or FT maid -- How to decide?

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cmdunn1972
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PT or FT maid -- How to decide?

Postby cmdunn1972 » Mon, 02 Jul 2012 6:25 am

After having 2 live in domestic helpers in Thailand, my husband and I are contemplating the pros and cons of having less help during our three-year assignment in Singapore.

In Thailand, our son was 5 years old when we moved, and we had a spacious 4 bedroom house, with fewer modern appliances like clothes dryer and dishwasher. Therefore, having extra help was justified. However, in Singapore we'll have a 1722 sq ft 3 BR condo with all the modern amenities we had in the US. Also, our son is now 7 and in less need of a nanny, so I question how we could possibly keep a FT maid occupied all day.

What are the pros and cons of having a FT maid vs a PT maid in Singapore? With all the modern appliances available in Singapore that you have in the West, how do you keep her busy? How do you know how much help you will need?

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Mon, 02 Jul 2012 8:37 am

Since you have considered all the factors already, my suggestion would be that you go maid-less for first few months and see. That way you will be able to discern if you really need a FT maid or just a PT maid on weekly basis will do.

PT maid is easier to get, just a phone call away. FT maid will take a while before she reaches your doorstep (due to all processing time etc).

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 02 Jul 2012 8:42 am

Clothes dryers are reasonably frequent but I would not say they are a standard equipment (you can always buy one anyway). Electric dish washers are not popular at all and FTM are used instead. For me the question about having a FTM comes to these:
- privacy (I guess you should have no problem here)
- ability to provide a dignifying place for her (not a bomb shelter, not a kitchen floor and not the kid's room etc).
- whether you both work or not

You will find that many of the places in SG, especially more recently developed, have no reasonable place for a maid - but 3BR condo with 1722 sq ft sounds like something older and may have a decent maid's room.
The third point, If you both work then you may also need a FTM to handle in/out/around the school transportation routines as unlikely the school schedules will coincide with your working ones.

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Postby beppi » Mon, 02 Jul 2012 5:37 pm

It's also a financial issue: Having a full-time (FT) maid is cheaper than a part-time helper for more than a day per week, due to the fact that the former are from third world locations and on unfavourable work contracts, and the latter must (by law) be locals.

pupsiecola
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Postby pupsiecola » Wed, 04 Jul 2012 8:08 am

We're having the same dilemma. This is all new to us having lived in the UK all our lives. Our boys are 9 and 7 and because I've always been their primary carer I've worked hard to get them to clear up after themselves etc. (Determined, as much as possible, not to be picking dirty clothes up off the floor after a couple of teenagers). So for example they know to put their clothes in the right way and put them in the washing basket. I don't want this to change.

But they're at school all day and I'm used to running our home and I still had time to meet friends and go to the gym etc. I don't work at the moment but left a budding business in the UK which I hope to set up here so I guess a helper would be good in that respect.

My hubby is very keen to have one because he will be travelling a bit and it means I can have some help and go out in the evenings etc. (We have very good friends here). That's a big plus point and the most compelling reason to have one over a part-timer. In an ideal world I would like a flexible part-timer who works say 4 days and 3 evenings a week, starting at noon. I'm used to getting up with the boys and helping them get breakfast and seeing them off to school and none of us would want that to change much. Also, I quite like my own company and wonder if it'd feel weird to have someone around. But I think it's going to be hard to find someone.

My main struggle is with the helper's accommodation. We have a room in our place (which we move in to this weekend). It's tiny but it does have a window and normal door but it's still off the kitchen and not quite big enough for a single bed. It doesn't sit well with me.

Finally, DH and I enjoy relaxing to a DVD box set some evenings and we both feel really weird about sitting on our butts watching TV whilst someone else is either doing or chores or sitting in their tiny room.

Sorry, I seem to have hijacked your post and haven't helped at all, but I just really wanted to say that I share your confusion!

P

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Postby pupsiecola » Wed, 04 Jul 2012 8:29 am

This has forced me to finally properly look into this and I've been looking at a website on SMS's list of links. I think they may offer what I want - a cleaner twice a week for 4 hours per week and a babysitter. I can have a sitter 3 times a week for 4 hours and still come slightly under my maid budget and I feel that would be enough. Means you can't be as spontaneous but I'm a planner anyway, and it might just be worth it from a privacy point of view... (oh, and we have a dishwasher in our condo - meant to say that before).

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Postby James Lim » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 1:22 pm

Think is possible to do without live-in maid whilst having a single child.

More than one in tow, be difficult to say the least. Physical and mental fatigue of adjusting to new environ + usual stress of raising a family adds up pretty quickly and having a live-in maid eases a lot of that.

Just my own two cents.

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Postby susan123 » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 7:31 am

pupsiecola wrote:This has forced me to finally properly look into this and I've been looking at a website on SMS's list of links. I think they may offer what I want - a cleaner twice a week for 4 hours per week and a babysitter. I can have a sitter 3 times a week for 4 hours and still come slightly under my maid budget and I feel that would be enough. Means you can't be as spontaneous but I'm a planner anyway, and it might just be worth it from a privacy point of view... (oh, and we have a dishwasher in our condo - meant to say that before).


I've had the same thoughts as you have regarding a helper. Your solution sounds great- can you tell me how you arranged this set-up with the part-time help? Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

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Postby JazG » Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:45 pm

To Pupseicola/susan123
I've just been reading the messages here and I'm interested to know how you've got on with your helper set-up - i.e. part-time with so many hours cleaning/babysitting and if you could recommend the agency you are using. Thanks.

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Postby Beeroclock » Fri, 01 Nov 2013 9:47 pm

Also having similar dilemma (especially for privacy and reclaiming of bedroom as we also didn't feel comfortable with the shoebox maid rm). So started exploring the pt maid packages eg 12x per month, as well as ft live out (I mean a legal arrangement with a SC or PR and via an agency). For the ft live out after trying several agencies it seems very tough to arrange, approx 2-3 times the cost of a live in maid and with significant failure risk. So am now pessimistic and preparing to persist with existing live in maid setup. Would be interested to hear advice from anyone having success in high frequency pt maid or ft live out (legal) maid arrangements. Thanks


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