You will be astounded by the kindness of others when you are expecting your first child. They will throw you parties, knit you afghans and you wonder how you came to be so blessed with such good people in your life. Trust me, you pinch yourself more than once. What no one talks about at the baby shower is what I call the ‘fog.’ They don’t mention the fear and confusion that can dot the landscape of those first few months. No one will bring up how absolutely shitty times can be. Now, I’m not speaking of post-partum depression or those who only experience fairy tales and butterflies (really?) but that place in between where most of us end up. When things aren’t bad but they aren’t good either.
I call it ‘the fog’ because this phase is characterized by the struggle to form coherent thoughts and sentences. When you’re in the midst of this haze you can forget about analyzing theoretical frameworks and writing it all down. Now, I rely on critical thinking to complete my degree and this wasn’t exactly the best place to be. Suffice it to say, I was discombobulated. Feeling like you’re slowly losing parts of yourself is never pleasant. I only resurfaced and reclaimed my brain precisely when childcare was sorted, when qualified and beautiful women helped to raise my son at daycare. When these role models loved and kissed him so that I could work. This post is for them and for my early childhood educator who played a vital role in forming the individual I am today.
My former nanny usually only stays with children till they are four years old. This is strategically sound. They don’t remember her too well but are old enough to occupy themselves after nursery school and to hang out with the housekeepers. She stayed with me for two extra years and although they were wonderful, it added to the trauma when she walked away. I still remember pushing desperately at the locked gate, when I kept calling her name. She never turned around and only got further away. Her name is Moe Moe, and she is a strong, brilliant, kind woman. When she attended my second wedding reception in Yangon and I held her hand, I was happy and whole.
So all you politicians, help a sister out and invest in child care. Help women recognize themselves again and contribute to society in a positive manner. To all those North Toronto mothers, treat your Filipino nannies well. Don’t yell at her on the street. She’s a grown-ass woman and trust, it does not reflect well on you. Give her respect, a home, a room with a view and remember that she left her children to help you. That she’s a mother too.