Tag Archive | Nannies

Holidays with the kids, all THREE of them, and the Captain….(child No.4)

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*** PHOTO ABOVE HAS ZERO TO DO WITH THIS POST BUT JUST SHOWS HOW SHITTTTTT THINGS ARE IN THE UK (you need to zoom in to read it) …. WHOEVER WROTE THIS IS MY HERO. I HATE THE UK…. NOW. HONG KONG rocks my world!

BACK TO TRAVELLING WITH A SHITLOADA KIDS THAT I ACCIDENTALLY CONCEIVED WHILE LEGITIMATELY SLEEPING WITH THEIR FATHER….

What could go wrong really?  Yes, yes, I know I’ve harped on about this subject many a time but seriously…. my lists of what to pack are pages and pages long.

1. Kids.

2. Husband.

3. Xanax/Valium.

4. Staff.

5. More Xanax in case you run out of your emergency Xanax (or staff suddenly quit).

I mean, there are soo many of us that I reckon we could handle a kid each. Surely!???  Or so we thought….

Look, I know I moan about this all the time (“ooooh she’s sooo lucky she travels everywhere….” ) Whatever.

Do me a favour…. I may as well have grown up in a barn with all the “travelling” I did as a kid…  so really…. any trips on a plane (not made out of paper) are a plus. But, travelling with kids is fucking hard work.  They are relentless.  I didn’t grown up with a silver spoon in my mouth but I did get accepted (English Literature every time!) at all the top schools in London.  My parents were fighting for every penny to send me to school (they had 3 kids so maybe I was finally a favourite)…. I will never ever thank them enough for doing the best they could.

HARD WORK when they are just 3 years old (twins) and, our newly one year old, who’s even more of a pain in the arse than the other two put together.  If ANYONE dares to email me and tell me that I am talking out of my arse then (a) You have staff, or (b) you are on drugs or (c) Both. Don’t judge.  I HATE people who judge.  We are all the same in some teeeeeeny tiny way.  None of you are better or worse than I. Soo…. the story….

You need to see our packing to appreciate my moan.  I say “our”  but to be fair, The Captain does zero but point at belts, linen shirts and flip flops while stuff gets packed FOR him. NIIIIICE.  I need to get back on a proper salary asap so I gain some power in the home.

Anyhow…. the kids need anything from a Cot bed, bed rails (hotels don’t have these), swim pants, food, clothes, creams, bla bla blaaaaaaa.  Yes, I LOVE them before you even judge me with some shit on how people can’t have kids etc (been there, done that…. turns out I could after trying a few years but I’m still certain IVF changed my karma in some way).

Ok, “No.3″ (The Captains pet name for her…) she’s cute but boy does this kid looooove to cry on a plane… next to an obviously hung-over 35-year-old man…. who already hates you when he see’s you approach his seat and covers his eyes with his cheap, yellow, airline pillow.  They give you that weak smile that says “Be gentle…. I was out shagging a prostitute last night in Wan Chai, and now, YOU have shown up, with your one year old screaming kid, who clearly hates me “. Errr… because children (like animals) sense evil?

So, the amount of work that is involved in packing for 3 very different kids is hell.  And heaven forbid that any of their items share a case and actually touch….well you’re screwed.  And when they misbehave, I’m almost slitghy tempted to mess with their minds and send them home (thats how ill i have become since those precious angels came into my quiet, tidy, hassle-free , hung-over-without-consequence life).

The amount of times I now hear, “Mummy…. he’s breathing on me. Mummy, she’s touching my finger. Mummy, the potato is touching the chicken. Mummy, no bread. Mummy I want bread with no butter.  Mummy, I want bread!! Mummy, Daddy looked at me funny. Mummy, my ice cream is cold. Mummy, the balloon is broken. Mummy, I don’t want that hair clip. Mummy, I want to wear this top with cars on it.  Mummy, I hate the top with cars. Mummy mummy mummy!!!! Mummy, I don’t like you…”.

That last statement is actually the worst one to utter to ANY Mum (doing the BEST she can) and which makes me snap and has potential for tears… mine of course.  Ungrateful little sods.  No wonder my Mum wanted to kill me sometimes.  I was a little bastard!! I got expelled from school for being such a  typical teenager, I’m amazed my Mother didn’t kill me there and then. Thank fuck for Dads eh!? (Witnesses are essential kids…. keep ’em close…especially when they are sperm donors).

My now 3-year-old twins, Itchy & Scratchy, are becoming more and more annoying and think they have a chance of being defiant in my company.  They messed with the wrong woman.  I’m not being an arsehole when I say this, but, what happened to the days of discipline?

Why am I being judged (openly actually), for doing what is harder than being a lax parent?  I won’t let them step out of line, spit on anyone, let guests leave without saying goodbye (or hello) at the door, and yes, they have a bed time (an actual time one goes to sleep).  Fucking shoot me for being anal.

I have had people say “ooohhh…. they go to bed at 7pm?”.  Like, I’m punishing them for going to sleep.  For those routine Mums who do the same shit I do, day in & out, its harder to be strict, have the routine, get them to go to bed at a set time… the whole process is hard work.

Yes, you have help. Let them, all stand up and judge. BUT, you are the Mum. If you are not working and at home, you’re there regardless.  Its harwork having grown women in your space while you try to be you.  Yes, we have “HELP”. Sooo overly lucky.  Treat people with respect and get on with your shit.  But, you will moan to your husbands. Why? Because, this is your daily office.  You have to manage people and if your staff are causing any strife, things are worse, not easier.

Its a job (for that cheeky fucking bitch who emailed me weeks ago telling me that I was nothing but a “HK Mum who drove her crazy”.)  My “job” as a Mum (yes, even with “Help”) is work and if you do the whole routine thing that I do, its not easy.  Just because some of us work, and some don’t, its a struggle either way.  Us Mums who stay at home, and everyone loves to judge us because apparently, in HK, we do nothing.  The fact is. We do.  Don’t act like you work and therefore what we do is pretty much… hair… nails…. leave the kids with “Help”….. this pisses me off.  I didn’t grown up with nannies and despite having help because I HAD to with twins…. I’m sooo sooooo grateful for the time off.  It makes me a better Mum.

I remember mine…. she was tired, stressed, wanted to physically strangle me, loved me… but needed space.  Whoever heads off to work in the morning still gets a lunch break….. has the weekends off, doesn’t wake at night.  Our “job“as Mother never ever ends.  EVER.  Why?  Because, we’re Mums.  Once you are “in”, you never, ever leave.  We can’t.

We were working women (some of us, and those who weren’t, I’m not judging either), but I’m fed up of meeting people and having to justify who I “was” before I had kids and became a HK housewife.  I’m proud of what I do.  Three kids, a husband (child Number 4 clearly, 2 amazing Helpers).  This, EVEN with help (because I’ve got used to it….) I never had it full time until the kids were 9 months)….. Life is not shit here.  Settling in is tough at the start but it gets easier.

For those of you who just arrived…. enjoy yourselves!!  We have great weather, good friends are there to be made, and life is too toooo short to waste moaning on the new move and what you think you are missing back home.  Be brave new expats (I’ve had many an email recently)…. if I can settle in (and yes, it took me a while..)…. anyone can.

Anyhow…. back to the kids (I tend to digress)…. so… when those little punks (the twins)  arrived, they took a look around and thought:

“Damn this shit looks good to us…. we’re staying! Mazeltov suckers!  Plus that knackered, weeping, very very very fat woman, seems very happy to see us, so, we’ll give her a chance”.  Little did they know that I am STRICT and very pissed off with what they did to my previous washboard stomach (which now resembles a Sharpei dogs face/body).

See photo below of super cute dog….this is actually what a Mum of twins stomach looks like (or should unless someones had a little tweak of surgery) after having the little angelic, sods.  Actually…my face now looks like this dogs arsehole.  RUINED!!!

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So…back to travels…its amazing as you get older, how little sympathy you have for your fellow travellers.  I used to be terrified of getting onto a plane, kids all following like my little ducklings, and people sneering at me, hoping I move onto another seat.  People were soooo fucking rude (before my munchkins even did anything, I felt bad & actually apologised to people before I even sat down?!?! WTF!!!?).

NOW??  Now… I rock up with my little punks, smear them in shit (yours, mine, who cares?!), offer them some vodka (30 mls max legally), and tell them to cause hell while popping acid (I don’t actually have an Oz or ml figure for this because I suspect this is very illegal…. which is why…. I write everything this in JEST people… I AM JOKING).

Maybe, just maybe, they will annoy everyone soooo much that we get bumped up to First Class (heaven baby). ALLL those people sat on the plane with faces screwed up like they just sucked a lemon (or swallowed sperm), were kids once, so they can all fuck off with their judgemental looks.

I’m fed up of feeling bad for having to not only deal with the shit of travelling with kids (look they’re not actually THAT bad… but I AM fed up with the “looks”).

I am now determined to make everyone’s life hell who even looks in my direction before anything kicks off, as these are the arseholes I really dislike in every day life.  Judgemental, annoying, “don’t like kids“, wankers…. Thats why they stick all the families with kids together…. so we can all suffer as one. Joy. I actually REALLY want someone to moan/groan/say something/anything…. just so I can now turn around and say;

FUCK OFF YOU ARSEHOLE.  YOUR FACE LOOKS LIKE A TANGERINE & DONT MESS WITH ME.  IVE NOT SLEPT IN FUCKING DAYS WHICH ACTUALLY MAKES ME MORE SCARY THAN ANYONE BEING HELD IN GUANTANAMO BAY. TRY IT ARSEHOLE.  JUST FUCKING TRY ME.  I WAS A NORMAL PERSON UNTIL THESE CHEEKY MOTHER FUCKERS (WHO I ADORE) ARRIVED.  YOU EVEN LOOK AT THEM IN THE WRONG WAY AGAIN (I GET A LOT OF RACISM PERSONALLY), I WILL FIND YOU & END YOU, your family and their family. Enough. FUCK OFF.”

I love the older passengers who clearly don’t ever see their grandkids enough as they LOVE to be around my brood.  They’re the ones I ask to watch the kids while I piss off to First class and harass the staff for free champagne.  If I can sleep for a couple of hours too… bonus!

Our last flight to Thailand (yeh… I know… I hate the place) involved us being split into two groups.

The Captain took, what he thought was the “easier child” (my “alleged favourite daughter”) to sit with him.  Turns out, even with Piriton, she didn’t sleep a wink. Atta girl! We have done the whole “reverse thing”… give it to them before in case they go crazy, but nope…. this kid…. she’s going to work for the FBI….or Al Qaeda…. Oy vey … l (it’s a Jewish thing as I’m now a Jew…read previous posts for conversion tips and Chicken soup recipe).

Anyhow….as the flight progressed, I decided, I needed to have a glass of wine to ease the pain.  I AM NOT A CRAZY DRINKER despite my previous alcoholic posts (ok… a little bit.  Who are you?! Mother friggin Teresa?!) …. BUT JESUS MARY & JOSEPH….. I needed a friggin drink after 2 hours of constant screaming.  Even the guy sat next to me, holding his Blue Book “AA” Bible (I borrowed it for half the flight), ordered a double whisky.  What can I say???  You need to sometimes take the shit off!!!

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The kids were fine, I was happy, The Captain was a few rows behind and therefore totally unaware of my childish decision to deal with things “my way”….OK…like an alcoholic. I’m not ever going to judge anyone at any level for alcohol consumption….but I do know that IF you ever have to hide what you drank, you are, to me (and probably only me, and anyone in my AA Group) an alcoholic.  Bothered?! Me?? Not really.  Once you have travelled in my flip-flops….then you try judge.  I know who I am.  As we landed, and I happily sang songs to the kids, The Captains ears twitched (my happy persona was a HUGE give-away) and he then said…. “Errrr… have you been drinking on this flight?”

My response?  As I was the one sat in a row of three with two toddlers, ready to break me mentally in anyway they could, PLUS a one year old half asleep in her bassinet (I was meant to wake her when there was turbulence…. I took my chances & hoped she didn’t bounce around the cabin too much…plus…. you’re pretty much fucked when shit like that happens to be fair)… I told him the truth “Nope. Not a single drop”.

FUCK IT!!! Travelling with kids is hardcore.  I want stickers that say “Mum of 3… Survived…Now wheres the frigging bar!!” and a HUGE bottle of KRUG for all my hard work.  They are my kids…. so I can say this….but… they drive me fucking mad sometimes…. and therefore, make me feel like a shit Mum….and Im not!!!! Im brilliant…. I reckon….

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But…. alas…aren’t they precious …?  The kids I mean…. not the bottles of Krug (which lets face it, are probably more grateful for my time and slurpy kisses).

Nannies… do you get one, or not?

Nannies… do you get one, or not?  Now to me, this seems to be the dumbest question on earth.  I mean, if you can afford one, why the hell not?!?!?   Yes, I know there are lots of Mums out there who want to do everything themselves, but really, who the fuck is going to thank you for all your efforts?  When the kids are teenagers and your running around like a mad woman, trying to be Superhuman (and working too, to pay the mortgage), just think…”Why the fuck am I doing this?!”

I saw my Mum do this for years with all of us kids.  She still does it now, with one man-child still at home and my Dad to constantly look after. Off she goes to work early every morning (5am), comes home (6.30pm), cooks, cleans, irons (yes, apparently people still do this at home when they don’t have a cleaner. I personally like putting clothes under the mattress until they just flatten out for wear) and all she does now is complain about everything she did for us.  Her exact words are; “You bloody kids ruined my life”. Well, that and my Dad pisses her off daily, just by breathing.  It’s hilarious as people in Hong Kong will ask me why my Parents don’t visit me together, and I’m like “err…. they want a holiday!?”  I hate those weirdos who grew up in a loving, happy, normal household where their parents do shit together, even now. It makes my arse twitch.  I just didn’t grow up in that sort of environment. Which… in hindsight, is probably why my kids will grow up in one of those annoyingly happy, sing-a-long households I never had. Everything in our house, BTW, is a song.  EVERYTHING!!  If you have toddlers who love Little Einsteins (yes, mine watch telly from time to time – shoot me), Handy Manny, Dora The Explorer, Baby Einstein and now, that annoying program “Wiggle & Learn”…. you sing to everything, and dance constantly.

Sorry, I digressed …. so recently I’ve been chatting to all and sundry about whether having a Nanny, or any form of “Help” in the house is essential.  Now, I realise in Hong Kong, every other person with young kids, does have a Domestic Helper working for them either full, or part-time.  I personally would have killed myself slowly with a blunt object or by overdose of white wine/vodka/nail polish remover, if I didn’t have someone relieving me of my duties from time to time.  I mean, I’m still human for fucks sake!?  I need time out to go and chill.  And if I spend my time, relaxing in a bar, who is anyone to judge? He who throws the first stone and all that shit.  So, its fair to say that I have had a mixed bag of experiences I will share with you so that you can make up your own minds.  What I can say is that I hate those judgemental types, especially those who are back home in the UK (normally my frenemies), who say things like “What do you need a Nanny for?  Why can’t you do stuff yourself?” or “G-d I’d HATE to have someone in my house all the time.  I like to do things myself anyway”.  I’m like, “Yeh, you’re just jealous luv”.

Right, where do I begin?  When The Captain and I discovered we were expecting Twins, our reaction was complete and utter joy.  We were soooo happy to be expecting two babies after not being able to have any for 2 years, we were giddy with it all.  Lots of our friends on the other hand, who had kids, snickered quietly to themselves as they knew we were in for the biggest shock of our lives.  Bastards.  They could have warned us not to buy white furniture eh?!  Especially as every piece of furniture eventually got covered with bed sheets once the monkeys arrived due to their Reflux and non-stop vomiting. 

Anyhow, this dumb joy did eventually turn into worry when on the same day we discovered Itchy & Scratchy were coming, The Captain was also made redundant from his banking job, as were sooo many others all over the World.  What did we do when the shit hit the fan? Well, being two completely irresponsible juveniles, trapped in adults bodies, we decided to go travelling (there was still only the two of us after all).  I gleefully packed in my swell-paid, yet shitty job, which I fucking hated…. (bull-shit sales with a bunch of arseholes. Yes, I’m slagging those cows I used to work with off, simply because they were sooo unkind while I went through IVF).  

The Captain and I sold our nice sports car (the new owner almost drove off with the Captain hanging onto the roof, crying & wailing, “MY CAR. MY BEAUTIFUL CAR!!” and bought a Mini Convertible to do a 3 month trip across Italy and Spain.  Yes, people.  Me, lugging around 2 babies inside my ever-expanding tummy, and The Captain, drove and ate our way across Europe.  * NB. European tales to follow in a different post in the future.

It was sooo liberating to just say, “let’s go travelling!” (our families were mortified) and I managed to wipe the smug look off my soon to be ex-employers faces when I said I was resigning. I used to work for ladies who resembled those on the Kings Road and Sloane Square (SW1 London).  You may not know the types (for those who don’t come from London) but these ladies are usually called “Sloaney Ponys”.  You can see them poncing up and down Chelsea with their blonde hair tied up in a pony tail with a big black hairband across their heads, Chanel Handbag tucked under their arm, Penny loafers on their perfectly manicured feet and Blazer on (usually with a Family Crest stitched on the front).  A silk handkerchief is also usually seen expertly placed around their necks (helpful when you feeling like strangling one of these snobs). Anyhow, my boss, a Sloaney Poney, was like, “oh, *rah (*English posh slang) but The Captains lost his job and you’re pregnant dahling. Surely you need to work, yah?”  Yeh, right.  These are the same people who introduced standing up until you made all your sales calls for the day … then you could sit down.   Who gives a crap if you’re pregnant or not?   I was soooo happy to leave and unsurprisingly, they lost all their original staff (7 resignations in a matter of weeks), due to their horrible work ethic. Anyhow… apologies, I’m digressing again.

So…. The Captain and I first organised a Night Nurse before we left the UK, so that she would be on hand from the minute the kids arrived out of Hospital.  The Captains lovely Dad, gave us a night nurse for a month as a baby present (sod everything else anyone ever offers to buy you.  This is THE ONLY gift you ever need in the UK).  So, after a few meetings and calls, we picked someone we thought was hugely experienced and knew what she was doing.  Alarm bells should have told me otherwise when she kept calling to catch up with me prior to the birth.  I just thought, “Oh isn’t she nice from checking up on me”.

As it turns out, we hired the biggest Nutbag in NW London.  This crazy woman turned up, the day I arrived home from the hospital, with 3 day old Twins, and started showing my Mum and the Captain how to wash bottles, sterilise everything etc.  At first we all thought she was ok, but then my Mum (whose had 4 kids) walked out saying ” this womans crazy”.  

I went to bed which apparently also pissed the Night Nurse off as she wanted to show me everything.  I know how to make up bottles and wash you silly woman!!!   You’re here between 10pm – 7am to feed the kids while I recover from my C-Section.  BUT, alas.  It was never to be this simple. This CRAZY Nutbag, not only filled in a book every night in great detail (yes, write down what the kids drank/did) but then insisted on speaking to you for approximately 45 minutes every morning as you came downstairs bleary eyed to deal with a whole new day of everything.  This woman got sooo angry at us, that she made me cry 4 days in after one of the babies had become unswaddled when she arrived and she yelled at me, “NO DARLING, YOU DID IT WRONG!!!  The baby could have died!”    What a bitch.  

Now, if we hadn’t been sooo desperate to sleep, we would have booted that stupid crazy cow out of the house right away, but we needed her.  Plus, I was soo hormonal and didn’t know my arse from my elbow, let alone realise this woman was a bully.   She was, however, very good with the kids (we had cameras at home too).  After a week of non-stop craziness, the Captain (who was still out of work), and I would argue about who would go down in the morning to deal with her (we had her 3 nights a week for the first month).  Neither of us could face hearing her annoying screeching voice, and her description of “poo” every morning.  

I recall one morning, begging The Captain to go down and deal with her & the nightly handover.  He begged me to go, I begged him more.  I couldn’t deal with the “shock” of it all right away.  You know, seeing the kids and starting another WHOLE day of puking, being covered in shit and sick. And the lack of sleep.  Wow, that alone can kill you.  Plus, this Nutbag, complained that no one offered her a cup of tea in the morning.  I mean, she also slept… it’s not like she was awake all night (not unless I slipped the kids some sugar just to wind her up).  She used to state, “Some of my ‘Mummies’ (thats what she called me but I swear it’s because she couldn’t remember my name), will make me Tea and sit for a chat in the morning”.  I’m like, errr… Fuck off out my house now.  Which crazy Mum, whose barely slept for a week, will then want to sit with this stupid, crazy cow first thing in the morning after a broken nights sleep to chat shit?!

Suffice it to say, I emailed my Twins club the following week and was given the name of an amazing lady. She in turn, arrived at our home one evening, took over and told us to sleep.  She even threw in extra hours free of charge, when she knew we were exhausted.  This amazing Angel of a woman, who could have taken us for a lot more money, told us to contact her friend who trained Maternity Nurses so that we could get some proper help.  This was THE best advice we ever received.  

We swiftly got rid of Nutbag (who funnily enough never had any new clients call us for a reference) and we ended up with an abundance of help 6 nights a week, giving these “Trainee Maternity Nurses” experience with Twins.  When I say Trainee, I don’t mean 16-year-old young girls.  These are all grown church going women, with kids and grandkids, looking to earn some real money later down the line.  They didn’t want any money but just their travel costs (£10 at the time but I hear this has now increased). One even knelt down in the middle of our lounge and said a prayer for us when she left in the morning (I admit I had to cover my mouth in order to hide my giggles). This was , however, the same woman who also said The Captain looked like “Barak Obama”, and he really actually doesn’t (as in, he may as well be Ginger, he looks THAT different). I loved these women and the lady who set this whole thing up is still training nurses now.  She is an actual Midwife and would come to our house with some trainees to show how to properly change nappies, staying hygienic when dealing with babies, how to breast feed a stubborn baby, deal with Reflux and how to bathe a new-born etc.  We were their guinea pigs but in return we got pretty much free, lovely staff.  We had help for nearly 5 months, using 4 different lovely ladies (one of which became our part-time nanny in the UK, until we left to move here).

So, ask me again…. do I think a Nanny is necessary?  OF COURSE FUCKING OF COURSE.  Don’t do everything yourself and try to be a Martyr.  No one is going to love you more or less.  Take Help when you can get it (from family or friends, or paid if you can afford it) and rest when you need to.  We all do from time to time.   Also, if you can’t afford the help, don’t keep judging those who can.  Thats also not fair.

I’ll be signing off for a few weeks now ladies as I’m hitting the UK for some serious party time.  I’ll touch base soon….if I make it back in one piece!

ps.  I’ll write more about my travels with The Captain in another post some time in the future when I get a moment.

pps. I’ve been reading up about the recent Casey Anthony Trial and am sooooo shocked at the verdict.  Of course no one knows what happened, but the fact this woman didn’t report her child of 2 years, missing for 30 odd days is weird in itself.  Any thoughts on this?  Drop me a line. * photo above taken as we left Bora Bora in 2007.