When my son was born, on many levels, I knew my life had changed,forever.Of the biggest and most important changes would be having a stay at home nanny/helper. Both hubby and I are home bodies who love and cherish our “alone” time, and having our space shared with an outsider 24/7 would be something to really make peace with, and fast.
My teletubby will be 15 months in 12 days time and we have been lucky to be “only” on our second nanny. “Only” because I have heard and seen people go through 3 nannies in two weeks, and our previous one only left because she was prone to sicknesses and I had to let her go. She had come into our lives when our son was only 3 days old.Being a little lady in her fifties, who had raised her own 7 kids and around 10 grandkids, we knew she was more than capable to take care of our son. And luckily she stepped up to the challenge. She loved the boy, and the boy loved her in return. She saw him grow from a wrinkly little alien to a feisty grown crawler with 2 very sharp teeth.
Being uneducated, unexposed and from the rural areas with lots of hardships, she at first ecountered a lot of challenges with regard to city living. I always had to teach/show her basic ways of doing things, like how to use the microwave oven, which buttons on the remote control to use in lowering the volume when it was time for the little man’s daytime sleep.And because she could not read in English,we had to device means of how to interpret milk formula numbers/writings to make bottle mixing easy.As much as she wasn’t much of a thinker, she took pride in her Africanness, in the only way she knew how. To affirm herself as a strong woman, she carried things, she lifted and shifted things,because in her culture, that’s what defined her, that’s what made her a real woman….Her strength.
Waking up very early in the morning and diligently doing chores until 8pm daily, was the only thing she knew how to do, and she was good at it, despite my numerous calls for her to take it easy and not overstretch herself. Even in the face of old age and frail health, she would keep on. In the end,I could no longer sit and watch her torture herself with a painful arm or a painful back. I had to ask her to go home and rest, let someone take care of her.Let her many grandkids spoil her, wash her feet.And she was happy I let her go.
Because of her upbringing, she could not let me down and bail out on her duties. She could not stand up for herself and put her sickness first, instead she was waiting for me to tire of her and fire her.In the end she got what she wanted, except I wasn’s nasty/inhumane as she had thought I would be as home owners normally are apparently.We still get along.We talk from time to time because she misses the little terrorist.
Our second nanny with whom we have only been with for a month is superb too.She is young, energetic, lacking in exposure too but she’s a fast learner.I am even thinking of enrolling her at a distance education facility where my mother works.To give her another chance at a much better life.
My son is very picky and doesn’t take well to strangers, but within minutes of being around this woman, he kicked up a fuss and threw himself in the stranger’s arms.All baby daddy and I did was gasp, give stolen glances at each other and smile.We had a winner…..Kids know best.
On the very first night, minutes after showing her how to clean the teflon pan, she had forgotten and had scoured the life out of it.I was angry and confused, disappointed but laughing.But I had to remind myself that it wasn’t done maliciously,but just a lack of knowledge and understanding, and that soon she would learn.Most importantly, my son’s well being came first and I’m not going to have nannies come and go in my house, in my son’s life.I was going to be patient…very patient.
The past weekend, being month end, she went home to be with her family;her mother,brother, two daughters, 3 and 8 years of age, and her late sister’s 2 daughters.On Saturday the little man and I were left alone, as daddy dearest had gone to a funeral and in our African culture that is a whoooole day’s affair…someone save us!!!!!! #screaming#. By the end of the day I was dog tired, I had forgotten to eat lunch, I was cranky and the only thing on my mind was sleep, and lots of it.
From 10h30 when he awoke from his first morning nap to 16h30, when he finally gave in to the afternoon nap he had long resisted at around 13h00, all I had done was walk on my knees (uncomfortably so)entertaining the boy, run from corner to corner getting him out of one sort of danger or another.Pulling him in his toy car and lots of dancing. I was alone with the boy for only a few hours and I was that beat. How our helper manages to keep the house clean as it is, do the washing by hand (she hates the washing machine by the way), do the ironing and keep the boy out of danger and still remain sane herself is a mystery.
When he was younger, small and immobile, all I wanted to be was a stay at home mum, but now that he is not so young, super mobile, deceptive and a terrorist of some sort, I am happy to say, that is one dream I’m excited my genie didn’t grant there and then. If today being a Monday, I had spent one more day with and around that much energy, I would have keeled over and died.
Much respect and love to my son’s nanny, my helper for all the love,care,patience and dedication with which she carries out her duties. I really cannot show my appreciation enough.She is my hero. My superwoman.The same goes to all the stay at home mummies and homemakers around the world….YOU ARE THE TRUTH. YOU ARE THE REAL HEROES OF THIS WORLD.