Diary Adventures of LagosMums: DALM | Quality Time when Nanny-Less
If you live in Lagos, the Christmas period comes with it the annual journey of most domestics going to their hometowns to spend time with their families. Nannies travelling home cause the most palpitations. This is usually because they are going away during this very busy period and secondly you are hoping that they will return when they say they will or that they will return at all.
So most mums over the Christmas period are dealing with various levels of nanny-lessness. If you happen to be someone who hosts a lot then you are in for an even more demanding time hosting while also taking care of the children on holiday and the house. Depending on the age of your children and the level of support from your husband, there will be lots more cooking, washing dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house etc probably while still going to work.
When my toddler announced that he never wanted the aunties (aka nannies) to come back my first thought was that there was some problem I hadn’t been aware of . It turns out he didn’t want them to come back because he remarked that he liked the fact that I was giving him a shower, I was cooking for him and that I played with him more!
From the moment he said this it got me thinking about this mummy child relationship from his point of view. To him the nannies were the reason I wasn’t doing so many things with him. He would prefer to spend more time with me than he does when they are around. This spending more time for him included spending time with me in the kitchen during meal preparations, time spent grooming through bathing, picking out clothes and dressing him up. Time spent playing because I wasn’t calling for the nanny to come and entertain him while I spent sometime alone. There was more time spent talking and playing with him with his toys on the floor in the middle of his mess.
So rather than complaining about not having a nanny, i instead enjoyed the time I was spending with the children. Allowing ourselves to see things from a childs’ perspective makes you rethink the situation. I decided to invest in ensuring that I get a pass mark as the children measure the amount of quality time I spend with them whether or not the nannies are around.
The time spent with them also allowed me to instill values and independence. For example they actually emptied their leftovers after eating into the trash and drop their plates in the sink. Instead of calling out for water they got up and went to the water dispenser themselves. When the nannies are around, whose job it is to cater for the children, children barely do anything for themselves. They even got to help with the cooking and while I was washing dishes they got to tidy up and sweep the floors.
I am in no way suggesting there is no need for assistance through domestic hires, what I have rather concluded is that we shouldn’t loose touch with our children and forget to spend quality time with them nor ignore to teach them to take care of themselves. We should remember nannies will leave our homes one day no matter how good they are, lets be sure we like what our children have morphed into.
So when the nannies comes back, on time or later than they had promised, make a conscious effort to spend more time with your children.