I grew up without a nanny. Here in the Philippines, a family with small kids without a nanny trailing after them is a rare sight. My mom, who is a housewife, was relatively young when she gave birth to me, so she was more than capable of raising me on her own. A couple of months after my first birthday my brother was born, and so my mom had two of us to care for. She continued to do this all on her own, without the help of a nanny.
Since I grew up solely under the care of my mother, I was determined not to leave any of my children with a nanny once I had my own.
It seemed simple enough when I was young and carefree. Then my son happened. At the time, my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) and I were still in college. We had no steady jobs and no home of our own. And so it was decided that we would live with my parents. It was an ideal arrangement since my mom would be home and ready and able to lend a hand, answer any questions, or step in when I’d be too tired to function.
Throughout my pregnancy until my son’s first birthday, my mom and I worked in tandem caring for him every day. As if I couldn’t get any luckier, my husband has always been very hands-on with our child. Yes, he gave him a bath and changed his diapers, fed him and played with him. Name it, my husband’s done it.I eventually graduated and had to start working. This happened a little before my boy’s first birthday. My husband still had a year to go at school. We were shuttling back and forth between my parents and my in-laws, and that got pretty tiring. We ended up hiring a nanny for the days when I was working, and to help out with all the stuff we needed to lug around every time we switched houses. My mom was still the primary caregiver during those days though, as weekdays were spent at our house, and weekends with the other family. This went on for about a year.
A few days after my son turned two, my in-laws moved abroad and my husband moved in with us. By then he was also already working. After a few months, our nanny left and we were back to our original arrangement, with my mom taking care of the little boy while we, the parents, were out of the house.
I can’t say enough how extremely blessed I am to have a mother who is young enough, strong enough and more than willing to take care of my kid in my absence. I never have to worry about him not being okay because he is in the hands of the same woman who raised me.
But alas, all good things must come to an end, and now that I’ve switched to being a work-at-home-mom, I am starting the need to grow on my own as a mother, a wife and a homemaker. We are hoping to find a home of our own soon, something close to my family and close to school. There are times when I fear moving to our own place and not having my support system around, but something in me tells me that it’s time.
My son turned six this year, and I think that is sign enough that it’s time for us to branch out and to try to make it as a family on our own.
I will definitely miss those days when I didn’t need to worry about lunch or dinner. I’ll miss the nights when my little boy asked to sleep in his grandparents’ room and the husband and I got to watch DVDs in peace. I’ll miss having a doctor in the house, and a grandmother who is practically a doctor herself and knows what to do most of the time. But I look forward to making my own house a home, cooking for my family, having friends over, and, most of all, having my own set of rules. I can’t wait.
All we need now is a house to move in to.
In the meantime, while we wait, I think I’ll cherish the time I have left at home. God knows I’ll miss this place too.
Who has given you support as a mother? How do you handle it when that support is no longer there?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Mrs. P Cuyugan of the Philippines.
The photograph used in this post is credited to the author.