12th July 2013
At the end of my first week back at work after maternity leave
Lukundo was 3 months and a day old
Thus ends one of the hardest weeks of my life. I am super grateful for my house-help. She who takes care of my most precious gift all day while his mother is away gaining ‘financial stability’.
She gives him his milk. Changes his diaper. Holds him till he sleeps. Rocks him. Plays with him. She had her phone at hand as I called multiple times and every time not hesitating to pick up and tell me what she and baby are up to, how long ago he slept, how he has burped and everything in between. Letting me hear him play over the phone. It was this that kept me sane. And when I was too tired and sleepy on Wednesday night, she helped me by pouring Lukundo’s bath water out. A small gesture, but one that showed tremendous kindness.
When I was home with Lukundo during my leave, all I did was be with him and take care of him; yet somehow she has managed to be with him and still do the other chores. Making porridge for me to take to work. Ironing. Cleaning. These people we call helps, nannies, aunties…they are unsung heroes. We entrust them with our homes and our most precious jewels – our children- leaving them only with instructions and lots of trust and the fervent hope that all goes well. And somehow they do it, with grace and patience.
As I look back at the past few months, and this week in particular, I celebrate my help, Dorothy. Yes she has her dramas, she sings out loud with her headphones on, she likes to watch Big Brother Africa, but who doesn’t have weaknesses? I thank her. I thank her a lot.
I pray that one day when she has her own home and her own child(ren), she will have someone to help her as she has helped- and is helping- me. Together with many women, I’m sure, I celebrate the nannies. The aunties. The helps. The Unsung Heroes Of Our Homes.