In Honour of Mother’s Day

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When I was growing up, no one had ‘nannies’ and just about everyone’s mothers (or so it seemed to me) worked outside of the home. When my own mother’s 6 weeks of maternity leave where exhausted, I went to the next door neighbour’s five days a week. I stayed in her care for the better part of 8 years. And believe it or not, she found me on Facebook a couple of years ago and we now exchange letters. I share updates and pictures of my boys with her and she loves to tell me how much my eldest reminds her of me at that age.

That’s her in the middle and me on the left

That’s her in the middle and me on the left

Despite the prevalence of nannies here in Thailand, I hadn’t given hiring a nanny a lot of thought when I first became pregnant. I was planning to take a year or so off from work to be a SAHM – something that we wouldn’t have been able to even consider from a financial standpoint had we been in the UK. We already had a housekeeper at the time so my thinking was that I would start looking for a FT nanny a couple of months before I went back to work. After all, why did I need a nanny if I wasn’t working?

Knowing I was expecting, friends from work (who were leaving Thailand) approached us about hiring their maid/nanny. I will forever be indebted to them for convincing me that A) I could benefit from having a nanny and B) for convincing the nanny to come live with us.

“Marley” has been with us since before my eldest was born. She was literally there to open the front door the day we brought him home from the hospital.

At the Grand Palace

At the Grand Palace

In hindsight, I don’t know what I would have done without Marley. She was there throughout my journey into motherhood and I’ve learnt so much from her. She’s been like a second mother to both our boys. Being a first-time mom and so far from home, I relied on her a lot in those first few weeks and months. Hell, I still do.

And I knew that going back to work was going to have its difficulties but it was made so much easier knowing that I was leaving my child in the hands of someone he loved and I trusted. And, more importantly, someone who truly loved him in return.

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, I just wanted to pause for a moment and pay due respect to all the amazing women like Marley, many of whom have left their own children, beit with grandparents upcountry or in a foreign land, to come to Bangkok to help us raise ours. Thank you for your patience, your wisdom and your love.

Marley showing Big Bro how to hold Little Brother for the first time

Marley showing Big Bro how to hold Little Brother for the first time

My name is Jodie. I'm a 38 year old Canadian working and living in Bangkok, Thailand. My husband and I are both international teachers - though I'm taking this year off to be a full-time mom.

When we're not busy with other people's kids, we try our hand at raising our own very curious nearly four year old son and his 9 and half month old brother. When it comes to parenting, like most of us, I’m making a lot of it up as I go along .

4 Comments

  1. Patricia Robinson  /  May 10, 2013, 7:37 pm Reply

    Thank you , Jodie I feel so blessed to have had you in my life for your first 8 years of life, you helped fill a void in mine and Harry’s life ( not having children of our own) and we loved you so very much !! Often we would remember funny little things that you said or did, this would bring a smile to both of us, I still have the silver chain and charm that you gave me one Mother’s day 1977, of course your mother bought it, but it was from you.
    You were a loving sweet girl way back then, so I know you are a loving Mom now ! All 3 of your boys are so lucky to have you in their lives ( that includes Neil).
    So, Happy Mother’s Day to you also !!!
    love you lots,
    Pat

  2. Jodie  /  May 14, 2013, 3:38 pm Reply

    Dearest Pat,

    I am so glad that I got this opportunity to, publicly, say “Thank You!”

    Jodie

  3. Nadia  /  June 8, 2013, 6:34 pm Reply

    Jodie, this almost brought tears to my eyes. I would love to meet Marley! Beautiful.

    • Jodie  /  June 8, 2013, 7:59 pm Reply

      Marley is a real gem! I think saying goodbye to her is going to be the hardest part, for all of us, about leaving Thailand.

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