With my return to work coming up quick, I have to look into care for my lil one; I had to look at the options I had and pick what I believe suits us best.
I knew I was not going to have family around, so then I have two options – nanny or nursery. After much consideration, I knew nursery was the better option, and my reasoning and thought process is as follows:
I find it extremely difficult to hand over the care and wellbeing of my child to a single person who is possibly doing it primarily for money. Especially here, where there really isn’t a concept of a trained nanny. Most don’t even have first aid training. In a lot of the western countries, nannies get trained and are very well aware of how to take care of children. Even high school students can undergo courses in baby-sitting. But there is no such process here.
In the nursery set up, I do believe that they would have to have a certain level of education and childcare training.
There aren’t laws governing domestic help. Not that it helps matter any in case something goes wrong. Cuz it’ll be too little too late.
The nurseries in Qatar come under the Ministries, I am not sure which ones, but I do know that the Ministries have set laws on how the nursery space should be kept, fire exits, what each cradle should have and so forth. As such, I believe it is safer.
When it is a wee child, especially one which cannot talk as yet, they require constant care, and ideally I would need the person to be with my child full-time. I understand that as his mom, I am not with him all the hours when we are together, but I think I would feel safer knowing he has someone around.
Foe example: what happens, if heaven forbid the nanny falls seriously ill? What happens to the baby then?
In a nursery set up, usually there are two caregivers for each child. So I can rest assured that my baby is being watched by a responsible person at all times.
We cannot bring nannies from our own home countries. According to Qatar’s immigration laws, you need to bring the nanny from a different nationality. As such, how do we know what kind of background they come from? How can we be 100% sure if what they are telling us is accurate. At least, if they are from Kerala, we can easily go there and do a background check.
This obviously is not a problem in the nursery set up. And in fact, this is a place where I would consider diversity of nationalities and backgrounds a plus.
SPONSORSHIP HASSLES AND MONEY INVOLVED:
Obtaining a sponsorship is another hassle – bank statements, running around the immigration office, the 15K payment etc etc. And hiring someone not under your sponsorship is illegal, and at the same time, extremely dangerous. You will technically have no legal recourse if such a nanny hurts you or runs away.
To hire a proper full time nanny is at least 3k monthly plus initial payments and accommodation payments and tickets home etc.
A good nursery will cost 4k maximum monthly. So in a way, I think it’s more economical in the long run.
KEEPING AN EYE:
Then there are the horror stories. I have also heard a lot about how nannies bring their boyfriends (?) home while the baby is sleeping. And in such a case, if the nanny is under our sponsorship, then we’d be the one punished for it.
Well, may be I can keep an eye on them. But do I really want to install cameras in my own house? It’s my family’s safe place, not celebrity big brother. So no, cameras are not an option.
Obviously, the nursery is a much more open space, with rules and regulations, and CCTV cameras, again, a win!
Looking after little kids is not an easy task at all. Sometimes, they cry, and sometimes they make you want to pull your hair out. There are times when I – his mom – get tired and frustrated with him and the max I will do is roll my eyes but what guarantee do I have that the nanny who is stuck with the baby for 8hours will only do that much?
At the nursery, even if one the caregivers are frazzled, she can hand over to the others. And simply because there are CCTVs and eyes on them, I feel more confident that the children are in safe hands.
If he’s home with a caregiver, his schedule – feeding, naps, play – will depend on the moods of his nanny. At nursery, they are obligated to follow the schedule we give them.
At home, he might get bored easily and it will be up to one person to find ways to amuse him. Even in terms of tools and toys, there are only so much we can individually provide.
At nursery, they have practice amusing lil ones for long hours. And the activities that nurseries have are developed through research, and as such, it is a fact that it will contribute to developing the child.
At home, he s alone. At nursery, he will be surrounded by other children his age and other grown ups. Thus providing social simulation and interactions.
Is that required at the wee age? Probably not but it does have developmental benefits. I believe so because I have noticed kids with siblings tend to talk walk etc sooner than single kids.
At home, he will be within the same atmosphere constantly – same white walls and same curtains and cupboards etc. At nursery it probably would be more colorful and exciting for a child.
I am also someone who immensely values our privacy. My husband and I have our own world and our house is our sanctuary – now for the three of us. Do I really want someone else living here in our space? I’m usually not comfortable even if our parents stay too long, so how would I feel if it’s the house help. Not very thrilled I guess. And if I put her in another accommodation, how do I know she s not up to something she shouldn’t be doing.
Obviously, doesn’t apply in case of a nursery.
As for germs, well, they are all around us and do I want to keep him inside all the time and “protect” him like that? Not really. I think it will help build his immune systems but of course I will have to vigilant to make sure that nothing serious develops. I do hope that the nurseries insist that the children are vaccinated.
And I believe most nurseries or at least the good ones are pretty pedantic about disinfecting the rooms, and toys on a regular basis.
My friends have told me it’s easier to go back to work when they are little. Before it becomes too difficult to move the baby away from you – both for mom and baby.
The bottom line is this: I need to go back to work. For various reasons and I’m not willing to give it up. Then what choices do I have for my bub and how do I know it’s the right one. Well, I probably won’t know for 100% but at least I know I have weighed all options and taken what I believe is the best for my family.
PS – I do know there are some lovely nannies out there who have left their own lil ones in their home country and come out here to take care of other kids and are the most nurturing compassionate people. Sometimes doing a better job at parenting than the parents and I have nothing but respect for such ladies.
And each family has their reasons for what they choose, and as long as it works for them, great.