Monday, November 06, 2006

housemaid vs. nanny vs. babysitter vs. daycare

So many ppl here have housemaids raising their children. This is something that I've never agreed w/... not even once. Many ppl call these babysitters nannies, but they're not. They are housekeepers and some of them don't even do that well.

So in looking at this situation, and w/ the pressure I have on me to let these housemaid's take care of my child when that dreaded day comes to go back to work (meaning after I have the baby), I will have a big fight in front of me because I will IN NO WAY allow such a person to watch our child. No WAY. I know several who do this and see nothing wrong w/ it. My husband was raised w/ a so-called "nanny". I know she didn't clean house and her only function was to watch the children, which she even did at the childcare center, but .... was she really qualified, I ask myself. I know that he had no major issues as a child... other than not having his mom around as often as he would have liked... but I think a lot of children of parents who work could say the same. But... my big thing is....

Qualifications. That's what it all boils down to in my mind. Housemaids come here to clean house... but so many ppl have them clean house, fix the meals, watch the children, feed the children, play w/ the children, do the madam's hair, do the madam's nails (all salon work for all of the family including males), do outside labor, wash the cars.... and the list goes on and on and on. So... in looking at this, how can a person like this be able to watch a child and why would a parent allow such?

Many families have multiple housekeepers w/ one being assigned the duty of watching the child - or depending on the day - depends on the housekeeper watching the child. I see this all the time. We'll go out to eat and the family has a housemaid chasing after the kids, walking around w/ the baby in a stroller or you'll see a group of children out running around and a housemaid chasing after them. I always ask.... "where are the parents!??"

Makes me think that society is sorta lazy when it comes to raising children. Not only does the mother give the baby off to her mother immediately but then as soon as the child is old enough, the housemaid takes the baby. Why wouldn't a mother want to bond w/ her child? What mother or father wouldn't want the pleasure of watching their child's face light up when they're playing a game or laughing from something that is so special that at the next moment, that time is gone forever.

But... then I think about daycare. This is probably something I'll have to do. Don't know yet what will happen because who knows what time holds, but daycare is something I'm seriously looking at. Altho, some daycare facilities have housemaid type of ppl watching the children... don't think the good ones do, but I think some might opt for that. Daycares can be good for a child. They'll be able to be around other children to play and to socialize, but my only thing is that I want a place w/ good English speaking individuals that can teach my child and I don't want religion forced down their throats from such an early age. Many places here have big time religion-backed facilities... meaning that they have whole periods dedicated to religion based studies. I wonder... is this for all ages or just preschool and up or what. Personally, I don't want someone else teaching my child religion. I know it must happen in school, for all schools here have religion classes, but I don't want someone sending my child messages about religion that I don't necessarily agree with.

I think a lot of time is spent, in the schools here, brainwashing children. I know I'll prob get a lot of ppl criticizing this line of thinking that I have, but this is just how I feel. I saw it first hand at a daycare that my MIL runs. All the women there are highly religious and some believe things that I don't believe.... so, therefore, how could I feel good about having women like this raise my child? Not that they'd be raising my child, but when your child is spending 6 plus hours w/ someone... something has to sink in. The most significant years for a child are the first 6... basically everything that they'll take on into their adult life is learned during this timeframe, so, to me, this is the most important time and I don't want just any schmoooo out there taking care of my child. I'd rather do it myself and this is what I'm struggling with.

A ton of ppl in this part of the world don't agree w/ a mother being a stay-at-home mom. While this is looked at as a really good thing in the States, it isn't here. Or not by the large majority, including my in-laws. I know I'm going to face heavy criticism when this time comes and have already, matter of fact, but I don't care. How many chances do you have to raise your child? You get one chance and one chance only. Unless I find a qualified school/preschool and such, I don't know that I'd feel confident in allowing just anyone to raise our child. How could anyone feel good about such a thing? How could anyone leave their child w/ just anyone? Altho, many do it.

I have so many things facing me in the months ahead. Obstacles that could turn into nightmares.... but I am firm and have decided to stand strong no matter the odds and no matter what anyone thinks. I don't care if ppl talk behind my back... I don't care if they think badly of me for wanting to raise my child MYSELF, I don't care what they say. You have one chance to get it right... why play w/ that?


Princess Ambiguous said...

The majority of my family support mums to stay at home mums as they realise there is no subtitute for the bonding process between mother and child, as well as the joy parents gain from watching their child grow. However, reality means they have to go to work and when that happens they get the childminder to stay some of the time in their house, and the other in relatives house with the child. That way the child is being looked after by a childminder as well as family, and what the child picks up are likely to be things you agree with and support.

Try not to stress too much, although I know it's easier said than done. Life has a strange way of working things out when you least expect it, in the most amazing ways. Take care of yourself and the baby and the rest will hopefully follow.

p.s. noone has the right to tell you what to do with your baby, if you beleive something is right then go for it, it is your child and therefore you know best.

Olivia at Work said...

I can't get my head around the contradictions of the society you live in.

So, whereas in the presumably god-forsaken west, stay at home moms AND dads are valued, in the religious middle eastern Bahrain, they are not?

It is just not sinking in...!

Anyway, you do what you feel is right. It is not a matter of choice as it is the well being of your very own child that is in the balance here.

Although I understand the "it takes a village" type of mindset, like it used to be in the olden days, this situation you are faced with is quite different. But I must admit I find it comparable to the European middle and upper classes who used to fob their children off on nannies and only accept them to show off for 5 minutes to dinner guests before hiding them all back up in the nursery again...or perhaps I exaggerate.

Tooners, I don't know how wide your choice of DVD borrowing is, but IF you can ever see The Lost Prince, a BBC production directed by Stephen Poliakoff, I highly recommend it. It is about one of the sons of King Edward V and Queen Mary, the one they hid away. Very, very touching and heartwarming too, as well as triumphant and holding your breath and tragic too. I should stop so I don't give away any more...!

Thursday said...

You must do what feels right for you and your child, nobody else.

Sam said...

Well...people in the Gulf can let out a huge sigh since they don't have to fear the ever watchful eye of the government and its child services agents.

Many parents here are too 'busy' to be raising their own children and miss out on the magical moments of watching them grow up, only to be left with the excuse, "I'm out busy working for them."

I'm sure when the time comes you'll do the right thing...

And although a tad late...congratulations to you and your hubby on news of the pregnancy!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Don't stress about it yet, though it is good to look at options for later on.
For the first years it is lovely to stay at home with your child, watching him or her learn new things every day.
But some women have a professional job and need a carer, whether you call her a nanny or housegirl. It's good if she speaks your own language of course.
When raising my kids I sometimes worked and had young relatives watch the littlies in school-hours. The children were brought up to love lots of people. One year we had three teenage girls, two went to high school, I taught three days a week, one girl went to tech school at night so she minded two little boys. Peceli was a minister so he went out a lot. The three girls all helped cook, etc. in the evenings.
Anyway, you've got enough to think about for now. Babysitters - well, that's for later on.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Puppy said...

I agree with the all the above said that its your and Alfanan’s kid, so you will know what is better for the kid and be the ones to decide what to do, with nanny, househelpers, work and stuff. But there are always circumstances that we cannot abstract from.

Some women choose work to sitting with their kids, when they realize that they will be more successful as a business woman rather than mommy. When they just want to socialize, see new ppl. I know there is nothing more important as your own kid, but there are ppl who have their satisfaction from being a good business lady, participating in business meetings rather than being a mom. Maybe they are not grown enough to understand the importance of being with your kid. And how valuable that time, is. It’s a question of priorities, assessment.

Knowing you, you were a successful woman, u have great experience in business world, I am sure you will go for being successful mom, that would be the priority for u, I guess. But again the circumstances, they need to be addressed. So its early to talk about right now, we cant predict what will happen, but we can built an expectation.

As for now, eat more vegetables, go for promenades, and be more on fresh air.

Sorry for commenting late.

All the best


The Moody Minstrel said...

This is also a big issue in Japan. It is now the norm for parents to more or less dump their kids off on their parents, who usually wind up spoiling them rotten. Even when the kids grow up to be teens, their parents quite often assume little or no responsibility for them and just expect their schools to raise them.

"Responsibility" is the key word here. A lot of people simply don't want to have to deal with it (mainly because a lot of them can't). There's also the fact that a lot of parents don't want their kids to get in the way of their own lifestyles, which is one of the main reasons the birth rate has gotten to be so low.

Believe me, as a school teacher, I have to deal with the fallout from that.

I'm glad you don't want to be that way.

tooners said...

princess, what is a childminder? is that like a babysitter? and if so, do they have these in bahrain? never heard of them and are they qualified? i think it's wonderful that your family supports the mother and her wants and desires. there's nothing better than for a mother to spend that time w/ her child. i do believe this strongly. once you give away that time, you can never get it back. but, in saying this, i understand prof. women needing their jobs and wanting to be successful... i do understand, but i'm not in a job like that here, thankfully.

olivia, there prob are some families who value stay-at-home moms... for instance, there's a guy that works w/ my husband and he insists that his wife stay at home w/ his children. he won't allow her to work. he does this because of the children, which i think is admirable, altho some might think otherwise. but a lot of ppl here, the women, go back to work immediately - within 2 mths time. and lots even go to college w/ little babies. i know several at my ofc. doing just that. one of my SILs has lectured me recently because she doesn't agree w/ my desires to stay home, but really, i'm not like her and i'll do what's best for me and the baby. i've not heard of this DVD you're talking about, but i think i'd like it. i'll check w/ my DVD guy.

sam, i agree... many ppl get wrapped up in all the other things of life and miss out on the happiness of raising a child. i think too many ppl push their kids off to so-called nannies/housemaids to do the job, or even their families, which i think is better, but i still would like the pleasure of raising the child myself... so we'll see what happens.

wendy, because of my degree, i don't really have what you'd call "professional" job. i found what i could here... it's not in my field of study nor do i believe i'd ever find a job in my field of study (psychology)... so i can't say that i feel a lot of anxiety about staying or anything. here, most of the nannies are housemaids. i don't think i've ever seen a true nanny, except in the states, but i'm sure they exist. i'm older and have put my time in and feel that i owe it to the baby and myself to do what's right. if i had a job that was extremely important, i'm sure i'd feel torn w/ this... but being an admin. asst. doesn't really do that for me... you know?!

puppy, yes, i agree w/ you. i've been there and done that in the prof. world. i'm ready to take on this new responsibility, no matter what others think. that will be my biggest obstacle because i already know in my heart what is best. like i said, you only get one chance to do it right. thanks for the comment my dear.

moody, lots of ppl dump their children off on the parents here. i've already been told to do the same, which i don't agree w/. me, i have a problem w/ my child calling another woman "momma", which happens. i also think, like you, that the child gets terribly spoiled in another's hands, and i don't believe in it. the world doesn't work like this and you aren't given things on a silver platter. lots of ppl in the states have opted for not having children becuase of their lifestyles, i know many women like this. i once even thought the same way... but now, seeing that my life is changing, i know what i want, how i want to raise the baby, what i think is important... but the biggest thing will be proving to others that what i believe is what's best. this will be the true test.

Princess Ambiguous said...

Childminder is like a babysitter I guess, only full time, I guess like a nanny. I'm not sure what qualifications they have, but I do know that it took quite a while for them to find someone they felt comfortable with. Some agencies will send you anyone, regardless of qualifications and so on, it's almost like trial and error unfortunately!

Generally the women in my family who work and have children have been in their jobs for a long time, and they've managed to strike a balance between family and career.

Anyhow, I can see your mind is full of ideas and thoughts about what is best for you and your child. I rememeber mum saying to me that nothing equals holding your child for the very first time, your priorities suddenly fall into place. Take care

Tina said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy. You have quite an adventure ahead of you(enjoy the pregnancy, too, where the focus is so much! It won't be like that after..LOL!)
I stayed home with my child. I tried going back part time when she was four months old, and by the time she was one year, I quit working altogether.(I slowly took on more hours when she went to kindergarten when she was five) I just missed her too much! I really enjoyed bringing up my daughter and each day was a day of discovery for both of us. We ate lentil soup alot and wore hand-me-down clothes, so there were sacrifices made.
I think for everyone it is different--no way is right or wrong. But the fact you are already questioning having an untrained housekeeper basically bringing up your child, I think you may be looking at ways to stay home with our child. Even if it is for a year or two.

tooners said...

tina, thanks for your comments... and i couldn't agree more. i'm debating and struggling w/in right now about this because i truly feel it best to stay at home w/ the child. i don't want someone that i don't know raising my child. i agree w/ you, i'd rather struggle w/ money and be at home than do anything else. hand me downs are just fine and i have no problem w/ those! :) thanks for stopping by!