I just got out of a very strenuous and abusive relationship… with my kids’ nanny. Imagine!
It was a wonderful relationship but a rather toxic one because although I knew we were never good for each other, I needed and wanted her because the kids loved her and everyone watching from the outside thought we looked and worked out well together. WELL… When all things fell apart… They fell apart.
It started with a request for her to spend a portion December with us before leaving to go spend time with her family, this was kindly declined due to her missing her family oh so dearly. It had been a month since she last saw them so we all understood, but my kids not so much.
It was always a heart-wreck when we separate from her and I have to peel the kids off her lapels and calm them down promising them of better days when it’s just me and them. This is always met with a side-eye. I mean of course they can’t play with the play dough in the lounge when their nanny is not there… Who must clean it?! Of course they can’t make their own cereal when the nanny is not there, who will wipe the spills?! – She allows them to get away with waaay too much!
December went ummm… pretty well considering I was hosting both hubby’s family and mine for Christmas (More his). Then we had our friends over for the New Year. I got into 2016 sane but hungover?? with those 6am knocks on our bedroom door on 1 January. Mom life! We still took these habits right into 2016 didn’t we boys?!
Back to my break-up… I called her (our nanny) on the 6th January and she announced excitedly that she was on her way home, just as excited (although she was late) I asked her “Where? Here?”
She responded with “No. To my children.”
I mean she’s been with us for so long, Mikaili and Morgan are her children too. So I was like, “So what time are you arriving?”
To which she responded, “No, I didn’t go home over December. I was working at another house in Sandton. The family there went to Durban on holiday and I went with them. So I’m only leaving to go see my children now.”
SHE CHEATED ON ME! I was so mortified; I could only murmur an “Ok” before dropping the phone.
I called her 5 minutes later again and asked, so when are you back, to which she responded, “On the 9th”.
I then asked, basically begging, “Cant you come back on the 8th at least? The kids start school next week.”
“No.” She replied without a wink. “I’ll be back on the 9th. Saturday.”
I just sighed with an OK.
My obvious reaction was to think ‘Is she coming back? Is this the end? Or is she just asking my to fill in for her until she gets back?’ – Denial Phase
Anyway, I’m sad to say we broke up with our nanny though. Bitter sweet. We parted with the following Whatsapp words penned by her “Coz you can’t wait for plz find someone to help you” (sic). Date: 11 January 2016. Her return date was meant to be: 6 January 2016.
So this January I went through a challenge a lot of mommies go through around this time of year… I’ve just been lucky enough to not deal with it for the last 3 years.
My helper decided to go AWOL on me… Wait; let me be more specific before I get asked the most consistent question everyone (moms included) has asked me, ‘What did you do?’ Nope, I didn’t do anything besides put my foot down when my amazing nanny come domestic assistant sent me a messaging basically telling me that since I could not wait on her to return, I must find someone else. This is after she admitted to cheating on me! – Anger Phase.
I think because I knew ours was a toxic relationship; I skipped the bargaining phase. I was not going to beg her. It was a long time coming from the time she told me that I must dish up for myself and she’ll dish up for her boss (my husband); and the time she told me she’ll see if she’ll have time to sort out my wardrobe because she’s focused on her boss’ wardrobe (my husband). Oh! And there was that dreaded two months whete we went two about 5 babysitters because she found love in Jozi (we still welcomed her back with open arms… All because of the kids). So I kind’ve thought, “Aaaargh man, we all go through helpers walking all over us and telling us a little nonsense here and there. As long as my kids are well looked after”. And indeed, my boys were always well fed (She was a bomb – *ss cook too) and looked after I tried to not entirely let the attitude get to me. I would just pick up the phone and ask hubby to tell me if I were overreacting by being shocked and then we’d laugh it off over a glass of wine. Young Mom and Wife Life.
So, I survived the first 3 weeks of January without a nanny and no house help. I superwomaned it though! I also got so close to my kids and managed to manage my time better this January. Planning my days from as early as 5am to leaving the office at 5pm, picking the kids up then heading home to start preparing dinner. I was never ready. But I’ve learnt that, you throw a superwoman into the deep end, she’ll rise above. But best believe I was super exhausted! I’ve also learnt that acceptance doesn’t always involve harmony and flowers and joy – there’s hard work and a lingering depression about having to do it all. But the joy of getting into bed and realising that I can actually do it all and wake up the next morning and do it all again… Nothing is more fulfilling. Exhasuting; but fulfilling.
Whilst also in the midst of all the betrayal and holding back fountains of tears to my husband about having to nanny hunt and now integrate a new nanny to our madness, we’ve managed to get through it all and I haven’t killed anyone! YAAAAAY!
At the time of writing this blog, I was in the midst of school runs, my frantic race to find a new amazing, warm, responsible nanny is in full swing. This is all in between work meetings, radio show commitments and creative pitches.
We have contacted the agencies and sent out SOS to our amazing friends and family that have sent us referrals, CVs and the works! What seems to be attractive and making the rounds these days seems to be the ‘Manny’ (male nanny) idea. Maybe that’s the way to go now… It would save me all the female drama. Oh, BTW I’m not promising not to poach your nannies and mannies!