The Nanny Chronicles

One Mums’ Nanny Chronicles

First it was Antonia.

We found out things about her like sleeping on the bed and waking up at the door the next morning. Her sleeping positions suggested that she was constantly in a fight with some beast (it has to be a beast) or maybe she was practicing some unusual moves because they were both scary and annoying.

Her beauty routine included using shoe polish to line her eyes and paint her brows, one would think she was one of the participants at Calabar festival. This part was funny but raised an eyebrow, for someone who should cater to a 5-year old.

In Nigeria, we are probably used to the other half of the Nanny chronicles: wicked-lazy-maltreating-bitchy wives, errrm, mothers. But I come from the other side, Hello! The story is different, mothers are going through a lot.

Antonia would refuse to go to church, or go close to anywhere they prayed. If she was an atheist I would understand but she was not. In less than 2 months Antonia asked that she would like to leave because grandma prays too much and she was not allowed to visit her dead twin brother at night! Ewo!!! Please forgive my Igbo manners. So all that taekwondo fighting with the beast was just to visit a dead twin brother? We always found her at the door anyways, what’s not to believe. We thanked her for a peaceful stay and gave her transport fare to go back. In situations like this, you say thank you!

And then came Blessing, with a curse of laziness and squared shoulders because she was an “aunty”!

Blessing was number 2.

Growing up, the mentality we had as properly brought up young girls was that as a young mother if you had a nanny it meant either that the mum was being lazy or rich (suggesting that you are married to a rich man). A Nanny was luxury, like buying a washing machine in the house, what happened to your hands! You see, times have changed, and things have changed as well. I mean my 4- year old niece would operate any phone, just show her your password and you are at risk of losing pictures, songs et al. Life has regenerated.

[Tweet “Back in the day a Nanny was luxury, like buying a washing machine in the house”]

In the 1990’s, we probably had more housewives and less career women than now. What we have now, are career women who juggle as wives, mothers and bosses. These women are stronger breeds if you ask me. These women are the ones who have had no choice than to have a Nanny for support, for extra care, while they also work to support family.

Even with the Nanny, the mum still wakes up at 4am every day! And yeah, Blessing is cruising in her rusty jeep that is sleep. So I wonder again, what the job description of a Nanny is. She does not do anything in the house! OK not a problem, cater to the 5-year old that is your major KPI, still no. Every morning you see them having conversations that you would marvel and ask yourself: Who is the child? The 5-year old would tell us about the swear words her nanny had bathed her with before her mum returned. Ha! If allowed and at this pace, this young child would learn all the wrong things.

What some mothers go through come in disguise as Blessings with PhD in sleep and meaningless conversations that endanger children.

Comfort was number 3.

I would have said this was it. Hard working, obedient and respectful but damn! She was being followed. She had stakeholders who were fighting for main shares in her meagre sum. Sad!  Comfort wasn’t the problem, in her case she had greedy relatives, who wanted her to work and earn them money and who also wanted her to evade work on weekends. A brother here and a sister there; it sure wasn’t comforting.

Some mothers get nannies from their villages, which is usually borne out of a decision to help train a village relative, in which case the mother in question here is the Queen. But if you are one of those mothers who go through agents to get random nannies that you do not know from anywhere, the Nanny in this case is the Queen because you are careful not to offend her for the safety of your child.

After a 2-month break on nannies, Patience came and the youngest of all. I am patiently watching her.

She is a week old.

IMG-20151207-WA012Chioma Sylvie Mgbaramuko is a Brand Manager at one of Nigeria’s leading FMCGs, she’s a Writer, Thinker and God-lover!
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @thechiomasylvie
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