Expat children and household help usually go hand-in-hand when you’re living in Indonesia. It’s always been advantageous for us to have help around but as my children are getting older, I’m starting to believe that household staff is actually detrimental to their development. Why? The main reason is because it hinders their independence and creates the mindset that responsibility can be outsourced. Although I am not rushing to let my maid go, there are many changes that I can make to ensure that my children grow up with a sense of accountability and ownership of their duties. The best way to teach them this is by allowing my children to complete their own chores and help out around our home.
Truthfully, it’s not an easy task because children are more concerned with playing rather than cleaning. The following are some monumental steps that families can take towards having a balanced household:
One of the advantages of living in Indonesia is being able to hire a nanny for your children. Expats, however, sometimes imagine nannies to be a cheery “Mary Poppins” lady with tactical child-minding powers and a skillset to cure all childhood issues. The reality of a nanny in Indonesia may be far from this foreign perception. Skills like first aid, child discipline, and childhood play are not always a part of the package. Becoming a nanny in Indonesia requires no specific vocational training or work experience. Continue reading
Ramadan starts tomorrow and there has been a few confused posting on expat forums about general working hours and normal routines of their household staff members during this period (ie. nannies and maids). Questions of what to expect from household staff during the fasting month and if it’s reasonable to offer special time off or shorter working hours to accommodate. I think these are very reasonable questions and topics to be discussed.
What I don’t appreciate are the string of negative responses from certain people. The comments are disrespectful, dehumanizing and mostly, not related to the issue at hand. Continue reading
Last November 2017, we had an extraordinary family vacation in Phuket. This was our first true vacation overseas as expats with kids where no vaccinations or visa runs were required (those are exhausting.) We were miraculously able to enjoy ten days in beautiful Phuket without any illnesses, or too many melt downs or trauma!
The main reason why our vacation was so enjoyable was because of two factors; firstly, we brought our nanny. Secondly, the resorts we stayed in were very family friendly (more details in part 2). Continue reading
I’ve had a very busy social calendar lately. As a mum of three young kids, none of it would have been possible without living in Jakarta; having the support from my household staff, or husband.
I haven’t always been this social. Continue reading
I want to share a common emotional roller coaster ride I’ve been on recently in Jakarta, as an expat mum. My beloved nanny of two years, suddenly quit her job and left immediately, even without saying goodbye to our kids.
She recently had two months off to get married and after returning to work for a couple of weeks, she resigned. (To add to the drama, she’s asked to return again after a few months of quitting!) Continue reading
Jakarta is a different city in June and July. Ramadan is the month long of fasting practiced by Muslim Indonesians during dawn to sunset. This year it will be from May 26th to June 25th of June. This period is also the summer holidays for international schools with the school break lasting for approximately two months. Expats like to take advantage of this time by returning home to their country of origin to enjoy the warmer months or go on a family vacation to popular locations like Bali or Singapore. Continue reading
A while ago I wrote some tips on how to quickly hire a new nanny (or maid) into your home. I wanted to offer further advice on this topic. The below are some areas to be mindful of, once you have chosen a successful candidate. I think that this advice is really only relevant to nannies in Indonesia, and is taken from my own (and friends) experiences while living in Jakarta.
Firstly, even if you have asked thorough questions about their abilities during the interviewing process, and she has met your requirements, conduct further diligence by not making any assumptions whatsoever. When I first moved to Jakarta, I made many assumptions about my new nanny, based on my previous experience with nannies in Singapore. This was a big mistake, so I’m sharing a few with you now. Continue reading
This was my personal Facebook entry tonight, experiencing what it’s like to be a ‘real’ mum and taking a break as an Expat mum…
“Thought that I could enjoy a nice night out with my besties by having a dinner get together. My mum refuses now to baby sit all three at once (after my last night out a month ago 😂) so I took Jojo with me. He was very well behaved at the restaurant, except he pissed his pants (never happened before) while sitting on my lap (nice!). Came home to discover that Miss 2.5 cried for hours, also wet her pants on my mum’s couch (being a clean freak, her world has ended!) and has a very high fever! My Little Baby Wombat also cried all night, refusing a bottle and is still wide awake! But overall, I guess it was a nice night out! Totally worth it?!” Continue reading