We’ve had quite a lot of change in our household since September, with Monkey starting school, Missy starting nursery and me going back to work. Through it all, it has been extremely helpful to have our live-in nanny of almost 4 years around to help me get the kids through the various transitions and especially to help me get everyone ready and out of the house in time to get to our various places of work/play. Now we are about to be faced with another huge change for our family, as our nanny is leaving us at the end of this week. A new lady will be joining our family, but for a while she will take on more of a maid role until I am comfortable to leave the kids with her for any babysitting/nanny duties.
It will certainly be a big transition for us all, me as much as the kids. The kids have known our nanny all their lives and I have had her to assist me around the house my whole life as a mother. That having been said, while it is very normal to have a live-in nanny/maid in the Middle East (such nannies commonly being from third world countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, parts of Africa etc), I have always had mixed emotions about employing one. So, with our nanny’s departure imminent, I have been reflecting on what I love and don’t love about having a live-in nanny/maid as part of our household, here are a few things I came up with:
I love having an extra pair of hands around to help me with the more administrative parts of motherhood (filling baths, ironing clothes, chopping vegetables etc), so I can spend more quality time with the kids; reading stories, playing games, doing crafts etc. But I hate how reliant I have become on having that extra pair of hands around, making me doubt my ability to handle both kids on my own and not having forced me to put in place routines and practices that easily enable me to do so.
I love that there is another person who knows my kids, their routines, and their likes and dislikes as well as I do and can “cover” for me whenever I need to be away from them for whatever reason. But I hate that she is thousands of miles away from her own children, relying on family members to “cover” for her in raising her children every day.
I love that, through her employment here in Dubai, our nanny has been able to build a house for her family, invest money for the future, put her kids through school and provide them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. But I hate that, as a single mother from a third world country, she doesn’t have any choice but to work away to provide such opportunities for her family.
I love that employing a nanny is a relatively affordable and easy childcare option in the UAE. But I hate that, for many working mothers who have to return to work after only 45 days maternity leave, there is no other option but to employ a nanny and hand over care of their babies when they are still so little.
I love having the benefit of an experienced mother around day-to-day as I try to do my best job as a mother. But I hate that this can’t be my own mother or other family members who all live in other countries and time zones.
On a more light hearted note:
I love having someone tidy up after me and my little tornados, but I hate never being able to find where she’s put anything!
I love that she loves singing with and to the kids, but I hate that she sings so much better than me!
I love not having to rely on a baby-sitter my kids don’t know well to watch them when we want to go out, but I hate that the very few times Mr. and I have gone out in the evening, I’ve been practically falling asleep at the dinner table from tiredness!
I love having my underpants come back from the laundry rolled up into neat little sausages and all my grocery bags folded into tight little space saving triangles, but I hate that I’ve never been able to figure out how she does it and I will miss it!
All that being said, what I love most of all is that my kids genuinely love her, but I hate that they will be heartbroken when she leaves and that I have no idea if I will be able to manage that.
Do you have a nanny, what do you love and not love about it? Have you had to deal with a nanny leaving, how did you help the kids through it? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.