For many mothers, looking after their own children would be first prize, yet this is not the reality for most mothers, instead they have to enlist the help of a nanny or enroll their little ones into a nursery school. Whatever the choice may be or the circumstances, both options have glaring advantages and disadvantages that may give any mother some serious grey hairs.
I thought I had it all figured out for sure. Like with my three-year-old son Eli. I was truly blessed enough to have Selina join our family when he was just two-months -old. We were clue-less first-time-parents who didn’t really realise how blessed we were to have a great support system. We had my mother nearby and then of course we had Selina, who was simply fantastic in helping us raise our boy till he was 3-years-old.
As life goes, Selina had to leave and so we find ourselves here 15 weeks post my second birth and I have successfully employed and dismissed four nanny-helpers, for reasons ranging from the absurd to the down-right sad.
Aaargh, I dont even know where to begin. Seems that good help is really and truly very hard to find, and it’s now obvious to me that we hit a jackpot with Selina. My children are gold to me and I am not just going to leave them with just anyone. Why is it so difficult to find a new Selina?
I recently chatted to a dear friend of mine about her options for who would look after her baby when she returns to work and I was genuinely shocked to hear her plans to enroll her baby into a nursery school at the tender age of four-months, because she said she has heard too many terrible stories of bad-nannies ill-treating babies. Of course this can be a reality and something I have thought about many times over. (For this reason we installed camera’s all over our home.) The problem for me was just the fact that babies often get so ill at nursery schools before the age of two-years old, so actually this was not a real option for us.
I also found it rather sad that many mothers can’t afford to stay home with their babies for longer than the average three or four months . Yet I was truly astounded by a recent chat to one of my beauty technicians who planned on returning to work after only six weeks simply because she couldn’t afford to do otherwise. Oh my goodness. That for me was so sad! I can’t even bear the thought of returning to work after six-months let alone six-weeks.
Why was I so naive? Many mothers in this day and age can’t afford to stay at home for extended periods of time as finances and family commitments simply wont allow it. Its a far cry from when our mothers were able to stay at home with us during our first years before returning to work, if they returned to work at all.
Yes I know not all mothers stayed at home but I certainly do remember my mom being home for all three of us. We possibly had one of the best childhoods possible because of this. Yet I am in no way saying that working mothers cannot offer their children the best on the contrary as a working mother myself, I know that it is very possible as we work twice as hard to offer our families the best. Sjoe! Woman out there are incredibly strong and I salute them for every single sacrifice, if it means staying at home or returning to work, being a mother is simply not easy and that’s why we certainly do need all the help we can get.
But I digress.
I wish I could stay at home with my babies for an entire year, I wish our government made allowances for this, for all mothers in South Africa, but alas we only really get four months of maternity leave and so we have to figure out who will assist us with our little ones and this is truly the headache at hand.
I for one am not a fan of leaving my daughter at a nursery school when she isn’t able to talk yet. So I have to pull myself towards myself and learn to trust a stranger with my baby. A baby, might I add that has still not taken to a bottle . Sigh! Sigh! Sigh!
I still miss Selina and was completely discouraged by the apparent incompetents displayed by some of the help we enlisted. Are my standards and expectations too high? Am I a difficult employer? Am I not patient enough?
I have asked myself these questions over and over again in the last three-months and I have come to one big conclusion. NO! At the center of it all is the safe-keeping and happiness of my children and for that reason I cannot settle.
I am fortunate enough to be at home for six-months and fortunate enough to afford to enlist a full-time nanny but I am not going to settle for anything other than the best.
It may take me some time to find the right person but we soldier on because for us its about adding to our family not just employing someone for a season.