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COVID, 2022, and the hunt for a nanny for my baby has taught me a valuable lesson- 'You are stronger than you give yourself credit for'.
‘Nannython’ or ‘Nanny Hunt’? Before writing this piece, I was not sure which title would be a better fit. I still can’t make up my mind. How about I tell you my story and you decide which one is a better option? Here it goes-
They say time flies by when you are having fun. What about the time when you are struggling? Is it slower? Well, let’s see- I spent most of 2022 planning my days. Especially on the days when there was no helping hand around to look after our toddler.
This year was all about ‘the search’ for me. No, I wasn’t looking for the meaning of life or hidden talents that I might or might not have. I was searching for a ‘decent’ nanny for my baby.
It all started at the beginning of the year 2022. Harsh truth – nobody tells you that searching for a good nanny is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You’ll find out on your own, most likely the harsh way. I am sure most new mothers would agree without blinking twice.
As a nuclear family staying away from our native place, we need some help looking after our baby girl. As insidious as COVID was (hopefully, it will stay in the past for good), it made its way to WFH, which was a welcome breeze bringing in some much-needed relief into our hectic lives.
However, a harsh reality is that WFH is far from perfect.
Let’s not get into the nitty-gritty here. Long story short, we were searching for a nanny for our daughter. Then we found not just one, but quite a few! Here’s how it went-
You wake up early to get a head start on your day. Once you start getting ready for work, you get a frantic call from your daughter’s nanny. She says she is traveling to her village (which is 4 hours away to visit her grandmother who is very sick.)
Spoiler alert- next week her grandmother takes her last breath. How many days of leave does she need? Three days. Well, nanny wants it, nanny gets it.
Fast forward a few months later. There are some upcoming festivities, and she wants seven days of leave. We negotiate and bring down the number to four. What does she do? She takes seven days of leave anyways.
I decided that was it and told her not to bother coming back. She didn’t care about complaining.
She was from our native place. So naturally, we were over the moon thinking that the baby would be able to start talking in our mother tongue faster.
Boy, were we wrong. Reason? She took her leaves more than she came to work.
Did she inform the days she didn’t show up? No. She would switch off her phone, and that’s it. We had to thank our lucky stars if she showed up three days in a row.
One fine day, I asked her to show up for work sooner than usual. Not only did she arrive an hour late, but had the audacity to argue with me when I asked her the reason behind it.
We had to let her go after a brief stint (within two months). Interestingly, later on, we find out her IDs were forged. Every ID proof she had was of a different birth date and a different location.
Overall a decent person. The only problem is her toxic man-child spouse. Every time she goes through an unpleasant experience, we do too. Chain reaction, you see!
In the midst of ‘the search’, I had some delightful conversations with a few candidates.
I vividly remember talking to someone who demanded an unrealistic and exorbitant amount. I blurted out, ‘Do you think you are looking after a small baby or a fire-breathing dinosaur?’ (Although, now I realize they are quite similar, in terms of scariness).
Jokes and rants aside, 2022 has taught me a valuable lesson- ‘You are stronger than you give yourself credit for’. I am grateful I survived the year despite a crazy work schedule, COVID infection (Omicron), and worst of all, the days with no nanny.
Image source: a still from the series AAKH/ YouTube
Gangotri is a versatile writer and editor with a Master's degree in Economics. Alongside her literary pursuits, she has also cultivated a love for cooking, experimenting with flavors and techniques in the kitchen. She read more...
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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