Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Helpers That Be

I just finished reading The Nanny Diaries by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin. It was funny and touching. I wanted to write about it because the ending made me cry. And not because any of the characters died or something, but, because it made me realize yet again how precious and complex a parent-child relationship is. Not to mention the extra help (nannnies, maids, yaya's, drivers) and the ensuing relationships we have to engage in just so we can juggle our life, work and career.

The novel is about the life of a young, graduating student who worked as a nanny to a rich family. The child's parents were never around and it starkly portrayed the lonely young child cared for by someone who is of no relation to him and is actually paid to do so. At the end, the nanny was fired by the bitchy mother without even letting the nanny say goodbye to the child she cared for.

I have a five year old daughter and I've been lucky in that my mother is always around to take care of her whenever my husband and I are at work. I have always been apprehensive of acquiring the services of a yaya because no matter how kind and good she may be, she won't take care of my child the way a loving, personal relation would. I feel it just won't be the same.

But some do get lucky in having kind, loyal helpers. They really are a treasure, even if they are being paid, the way they endear themselves to the family through the great service they do is invaluable.

Just imagine having to do the laundry and the washing and the cooking and the cleaning...Whoa, it will really make you appreciate the quiet, sometimes funny helpers that we have at home.

These days, though, people are more careful in letting people into their homes. There are horrifying yet very true stories of robbers and criminals posing as helpers.

So to each his own. It can't be denied that these people are needed for the smooth functioning of households and the care of young children especially for working parents. But there are also risks which we should always weigh.

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