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24 May 2017Last updated
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Real Life

Readers tell us about their nannies

Friday’s Storytellers on the men and women that helped raise them

Storytellers
12 May 2017 | 09:00 am
  • Source:Alamy

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Sridevi, not our maid but extended member of our family, came into our family with a classified ad placed by us in Gulf News and selected from those who came in thanks to the sharp eyes of my experienced mother. It’s going to be 15 years this year since she became a pillar of support to my family and career. I don’t called home to either check on her or my kids because we are bound by the trust that she won’t let me down or vice versa. I can go ahead to plan my business trips without worrying if my children are in safe hands or will be taken care of during my absence. A few years ago she lost her husband and I thought she should go back home to India for some time off with her family. I was moved to tears when she told me she was better off staying with us rather getting restricted freedom back home. We have been through thick and thin and she reciprocates us with her undying love for my children. Last year she was away in India for five months due to medical conditions and we as a family decided we will manage it but not keep anyone till she returns. It’s a win-win situation for both of us and I don’t want to think what life will be someday when we decide to part ways.

– Sandhya Shetty

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Nobody can take the place of a mother, all the responsibilities, bringing up her children in the best way possible, being present for them at all times, the care and devotion – only a mother can truly do that. However, there are times when she wants someone to share her responsibilities and take care of her children with her and the best person who can help out is a nanny. A few years back, I moved to my country for three years while my husband was still in Dubai. I had my own apartment there and stayed with my three very young kids who were dependent on me in almost all things. This made things difficult as I was completing my masters and living all alone. A lot of people suggested that I hire a nanny but I knew that would be tough since I had a lot of qualities in mind as to what a nanny should be like – I couldn’t just trust anyone with my kids.

However, I got to know about a lady who had been working for my relatives for the past fifteen years and so I decided to hire her. Over time, she proved to be the most perfect person for the job, even though she wasn’t trained by a nanny training institute. My children grew to love her and she loved them equally, she was also very enthusiastic about anything that she did and turned everything into a fun thing, hence my kids never got bored when with her, whether it was eating or a day out. The one thing I loved the most was that she was very trustworthy and I often asked her to withdraw money from my account if I wasn’t able to. The second thing was that if I wasn’t at home to guide her in something, she would use her common sense and the knowledge she had to solve the problem. Her best quality was that she was extremely punctual and this also taught my children to be punctual. Over time she become a very important part of our family and I can never forget everything she did for us, I was alone and needed help and support and she was always there. Even now when we go back home, she always comes to stay with us and my children love her more than their real aunties.

– Sadia Mohsin

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A few years ago, my parents had hired a nanny as my father had to take a visit out of town and my mother was a school teacher. Parenting is a joint venture of a mother and a father. A nanny is a angel who nurtures good qualities in a child’s mind and helps the parent to make this journey even more magnificent. As we had a male nanny, the journey was different from the others. It was about the little things he took care of. He made sure for us to do homework and always made the house extremely elegant and refreshing to look at. He was never off-call. After living for numerous years with the nanny, it formed a ever-lasting connection between me, my brother and the nanny. I think that each nanny should be celebrated rather than being taken for granted. That is why having a nanny has had an limitless positive experience. I would also like to thank Friday magazine for this wonderful opportunity where we could express our gratitude to these wonderful angels in our lives.

– Ridhima Raghavan

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Nannies can make or break a family. Being in the UAE we are the privileged few where the rules permit us to have a nanny. Being a doctor couple and having day and night shifts in our home country or here, nannies have always been our only lifeline to keep us breathing. Nannies bring values to our kids. A friendly sister, a ready cook and a strict teacher at times. But getting the right nanny is very important too. They do become an irreplaceable and integral part of our lives over a period of time. Treating them the right way as a human being becomes more important giving them their space when required. Over the years I have seen my son grow up with a nanny, I can see that he has not only learnt adaptability but also gained some culinary skills. I do appreciate the rules and recommendations to be followed in owning a nanny in the country. Love and trust always go [further] than suspicion in dealing with a nanny.

– Manjunath Dathyanarayan Achar

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Our nanny, Jayamma, was with our family for 35 years. My mum was working long hours, my nanny took care of my brother and me. For a few years, she took care of my children also. We all call her Amma. She used to narrate incidents in her life and taught us to be strong and face challenges in our life. She taught us to love people unconditionally. I was able to learn an Indian language from her. When I travel back home, she visits us and we all have a great time together.

We always consider her as a part of our family.

– Rekha M Thachil

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My mother was working as a nurse and had to do long shifts. So my dad brought his relative’s daughter to help take care of us. But that turned into a complete handover. She took care of every aspect of my upbringing, especially since I was a baby when she came. As a child I was confused – I knew my mother was supposed to be the most important person for me but I couldn’t relate to her at all. She was either in the hospital or taking rest after her night duties or at church, being an active church member. I grew up with a lot of insecurity. And as a result of this, I cannot think of leaving my children in someone else’s care. I can see them growing into very confident children and I believe this is because they have their mother with them to clear all their doubts, voice all their emotions to and share all their joys and sorrows. Most people don’t understand that a mother’s duties go far beyond providing her children with food, clothing and shelter. No nanny can take the place of a mother.

– Lovely Arun

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Boundaries, Culture, Colour are no decisive factors for unconditional love. We are an Indian family who moved to Nigeria in 2003 with my daughter Ananya who was 1 year old then. I was blessed with another daughter, Varalika, in July 2010 in Nigeria. Immediately after her birth, we employed a Nigerian lady named Blessing as a cook and nanny for our kids. It has been 7 years and she has now become a part of our family. We moved to Dubai in 2016 and she came along with us leaving her husband behind for my kids. My kids are so attached to her that she get’s up at 5 a.m. every morning to send them to school. My kids tell her each day what they want to eat and she feels  great joy and pride to cook and feed them. The love and affection to all humans irrespective of colour, creed or nationality is what they have learnt from her. The discipline, hard work and taste for African food  has come in from her. She often joins us for movies and outings and we rejoice in each other’s joy and share our sorrow. She is much more than family to us.

– Vandana Khurana 

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Storytellers

Storytellers