By: Diana Nyandika

 “I took the translucent dress and had her give me the other indecent outfits which I pointed out. I took them all, safely kept them under lock and key, and told her that I would give them back to her on the day she would be leaving my house for good.”

In case you missed it, the above is an excerpt from an article I wrote previously about correcting a nanny. Check it out here. I had assumed that she had taken the correction positively by the mere fact that I did not see her dress inappropriately again since the day I made the correction matters her dressing. On this day, I had also mentioned to her about making sure she was well covered when entering and leaving the bathroom for her shower. She preferred showering during the day which I had no problem about. The only concern was how she left her back exposed whenever she wrapped herself up with her long light ‘leso’ (a light piece of fabric commonly used by African women while doing casual duties or errands just inside the house).

You see, as a married woman with a husband who works from home, you may think I may be somewhat petty. Well, you may be right. I am that extra when it comes to things pertaining to my husband’s vision. I will call it a wife’s sixth sense. It’s not like it was my husband’s business per se. In any case, working from home actually made him more fixed to the screen that at times he would not even notice someone leave and enter the house. His attention was mostly captured by the workload on his desktop and of course by my ‘naughty’ self when an opportunity would present itself. Or when I simply just created that opportunity. Any wife that truly loves their husband will not be easy or casual with whatever kind of dress code in their home. More especially when the female gender is to live with the married persons under the same roof. Even the Bible talks about not giving the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:27 ‘and do not give the devil a foothold.’

One thing I noticed is how she gave a frown whenever I gave her that new rule before and after her showering. She was nail by mouth for sometime before speaking up and saying that she did not intend to disrespect me. I made her see my point all in all. Like a small child, I explained to her. I was as elaborate as I could be. I made her understand that even if she was accustomed to doing it that way wherever she came from, things would have to change at that very minute. She would go inside the bathroom fully covered and out in like manner. ‘Our house, our rules.’ I reminded her again.

She was like any other employee and hence she needed to abide by our rules or simply quit if the standard bar was too high for her. Time went by fast. Days became weeks and weeks turned to a few months before I noticed something peculiar. During the day, while I was nursing our little one or busy in the kitchen, she would exit and climb up to the open rooftop of our apartment with our two older children. I love it when children play more as opposed to too much watching of Television. I believe creativity and play go hand in hand. Hence, more often, I allowed my nanny to go outside and just play with our children as I got my hands busy fixing two or three things in the house. This also ensured a quiet space was achieved whenever hubby (Jay) would get those official calls or attended online meetings.

For about three consecutive days, I had noticed her exit and come back to the house in a different outfit from what she had left the house with. I did not wait for a fourth and fifth time. On the third day, I inquired where she was from and why she was in a different outfit. After 10 minutes of silence, she gave me her response. Apparently, she had found a safe haven to take her showers. At the caretaker’s house located on the rooftop. She admitted that since the day I corrected her, she had stopped showering in my house. This meant that she had actually showered a number of times at the caretaker’s home and not three. Probably the other times I was not keen enough.

I was furious and my face showed it. I tried to think of what she told the caretaker was the reason behind her suddenly showering at his place. What would he and the other people really think of us? I even tried to recall the conversation we had about how she would enter and leave our bathroom. I asked her if she still walked to the bathroom covered but with her back revealing and if the caretaker allowed her to do so. Have in mind the caretaker’s bathroom is outside his home. Let us just say that was more like a public bathroom. Anyone hanging clothes on the rooftop would easily notice someone entering and leaving that bathroom. Our caretaker is our good friend. If advising her to add a piece of cloth so that her back would not show whenever she entered and left the bathroom would prompt her to do that, then something was not adding up completely.

I went straight to the point and let her know that what she did was utterly stupid and that would be the last day she would shower at the caretaker. I threatened to talk to the caretaker the following day. I would have actually done so. Unfortunately or fortunately, that very night she gave us a few hours notice that she would leave us for good the following day by 6 am in the morning. Now, this was a shocker. How now? These random notifications of a nanny’s departure can be stressful. If you are the type to leave them with your young one and go to work, quickly you must think of a reasonable option to have someone to stand in their place or simply get forced to ask for an urgent off which of course can be a big inconvenience more so if you have an employer who is not that understanding.

We (hubby and I) are the type to seek to know the reason why our nanny would opt to leave before their actual departure. We feel this information will help us be better in the choice of our future nannies. We sat her down. Talked to her as a friend. We became more of the listener. The question was direct. ‘What is your reason for leaving?’ We had already added something to the salary we had initially agreed. Why would she randomly decide to make that decision? We sought those answers from her. What she gave us really appalled us. ”My Dress, My choice’, I want the freedom to dress the way I want.’ That was her feedback. My husband and I found ourselves burst into short laughter immediately. This response was too funny to be true. We spoke to her and told her to simply open her eyes. We insisted that wherever she was going, she should not expect that policy to work unless she was going to her own home. We asked her to think thoroughly about the decision she was about to make. We would take any decision even if she decided to change her mind. Our doors would be wide open. After all, our children had grown fond of her. Besides the few hiccups, she was of good service for those three months she had been with us.

The following morning, she got her packed bags and was ready to leave. She asked for the indecent clothes I had previously confiscated from her. I gave them back to her. We wished her well as she stepped out of our house. She fired herself. There was nothing we would do about it. Her rules would definitely not be in accordance with our principles. We let her go and prayed for a calm spirit which the Lord did give us. She was clearly not meant to stay.

Stay tuned as I share with you how God gave us a better replacement in a week’s time. Everything happens for a reason and a season. She was there for a purpose without a doubt, but time had come for her to bid us goodbye. Our next nanny came to awake our spiritual life. With all our previous nannies, we have made it a point that they leave being on good terms with us. Most have actually come back to pay a friendly visit. We strongly believe that all ties we make should be beneficial for both parties. In short, a symbiotic relationship.



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