Babysitter Trials

I decided to try a new sitter from the agency tonight as we weren't totally excited about the other one we had from there or the private lady we had been working with. The big problem is they are so expensive and have 4-hour-minimums. Anyway, Craig & I are signed up for a 10.5k race in a few weeks and we need someone here early that will be here when the kids wake up. The girls I am not worried about, but I am worried that Henry will freak out when we're not there (he has only woken up to grandma or nana, not babysitters--at least in recent memory, I suppose there were a few naps he woke to a known-sitter before). So, I want Henry to be comfortable and thought we'd try one more new one and let him decide who he wants to wake up to.

This is all to say that we are seriously contemplating getting a "helper." Minsue told me I'd want one and I'm not convinced that I actually do "want" one so much as it makes the most sense. A "helper" lives with you and works six days per week usually to send money back home to the Philippines or Indonesia or Malaysia. Often times to make money for their own children who are staying with grandma while mom is here making money. I've been told that the helpers want expat employers because we are known to treat the helper humanely. The whole thing is a bit awkward which is why I've resisted looking too far into it.

I think we've finally decided now that we're going to interview a few ladies and see if there is a fit. We have to take a 3-hour course through the Singapore government to familiarize ourselves with all of the rules associated with having a helper (for example we have to pay for her medical care and take her to the doctor for well-checks every six months; she has to have one day off per week; every one or two (?) years you have to pay to send her to her home country for a length of time; etc., etc.--I don't know all of the details as I haven't taken the course yet!). We'll see how this develops, I guess, after I take the course and start the interview process.

January 2013

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