When we got the fur-babies in Kuwait, we needed someone to come and walk them during the day and Vivien appeared. She was magical with the dogs but we lived in a teeny-tiny apartment and didn’t really need someone to clean everyday. So she cleaned three days a week (dog hair) but did the dishes and made the bed every day. It was only the weekends that we were aware of exactly how much the dogs shed and how lazy and sloth-like we had become in caring for our own home.
In Guatemala, we got our first NANNY. Obviously we needed one as the Ladybug, at two months old, was hardly capable of taking care of herself while we were at school, advanced though she is. The dogs were also no help in that area as neither had learned to cook and making bottles was difficult without opposable thumbs. Andrea came every day at 7am and left promptly at 3:30pm. She would babysit on a weekend on the rare occasion that we
both wanted to go out and I was even brave enough to leave her for an overnight trip once for our farewell weekend.
It was hard to leave the Ladybug everyday but I knew she was safe in Andrea’s capable hands.
Here in Bahrain, you not only have a maid, but a live-in maid/nanny is the thing to do. As far as I know, all houses are built with maid’s quarters- ours is on the third floor alongside the washer/dryer. I wasn’t sure how I felt about having a live-in so the first nanny we hired came over each day, just like Andrea. It was okay at first, though truthfully, she and I never really clicked. She clearly preferred the Sprout (a teeny-tiny thing) to the Ladybug and was happy to sit holding the Sprout, watching the Food Network while the Ladybug, at 18 months old, tried to amuse herself.
We let her go.
And we hired Luz. And Luz wanted to live at our house. So we said okay. Luz is amazing- she takes care of my kids, feeds my dogs, does my laundry and keeps my house clean. I can ask her to cook dinner if I know we’re going to be late and if the Rugby Star and I both have something to do one night or we want to go out, she’s there to babysit. She clearly adores my kids (probably the Sprout a little more than the Ladybug if I’m being honest, but the Ladybug is a little sassier, so…) and they like her. She knows a lot of other nannies in the neighborhood and will take the kids out the park in the afternoons to play and burn off some energy. At night, when we take the girls up for a bath, she sneaks downstairs and cleans up after dinner so that when we’re done getting those pickles in bed, we’re done for the night. It’s pretty awesome.
The title of this post is My Love/Hate Relationship… and you might be asking, “What in God’s name is there to hate?!” And the truth is, there’s only one thing. And that is simply that I want to be doing the things she’s doing with my kids. Sometimes, depending on when I’m getting home, they’ll just be heading out to the park. I want to grab them both and take them back inside with me or go to the park with them. But dinner needs to be made. And they need to socialize. I could ask Luz to make dinner but, unless she’s made it before, it takes much longer to explain everything than if I just do it myself. Also, I won’t lie- it’s nice to be alone in the house sometimes.
But that makes me feel guilty.
If she wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have the choice of dinner or playground- it would clearly be one or the other. But this is the way it’s done in Bahrain. there isn’t really another option, aside from getting another nanny who doesn’t live with us, which would just be bad form at this point. And I like having the option of going out with the Rugby Star whenever I want or popping over for a grown-up play date now and again. Having a live-in nanny takes a lot (A LOT) of the stress out of my life.
Part of me doesn’t mind letting someone else (besides just me and the Rugby Star) help me raise my kids… but clearly the bigger part does.
The Ladybug had her birthday party this weekend. Fun was had by all. Minions were involved.
|Everyone has fun at our house… whether they want to or not!|
|Good try, Sprout!|
|Not even a little Despicable!|