For all my ranting about hiring a maid a few months ago we ended up just sucking it up and adjusting to a life where most of our time is dedicated to the needs of our daughter (and dog).
It was a shock to my sense of freedom to suddenly have to go to work then cook, clean, and take care of the baby’s needs every single day. Jose and I divide the work and he has it harder I think because he needs to walk Casper in the morning then in the evening no matter how tired he is.
But I thought, I was used to just watching out for myself for 30 years so a year or two of adjustment is probably normal. I do think wistfully of my friends in the Philippines who have nannies (hired for the equivalent of 200 or less US dollars) or my friends in Taiwan who have family to help them. Our Taiwan friends Natalia and Juan even moved back to Colombia because of family support. Becoming a mother made me realize just how important it is.
I mean I still go to Photography Club meetings and Zumba on the weekends and Jose still plays soccer 2 times a week but we hardly do anything just the two of us.
I know, I know, first world problems. But I grew up with nannies because my mom was too busy enjoying life and Jose grew up with a nanny because his parents were busy with their careers. We are not strangers to the idea of paid help.
Thankfully there are times when we can have a break (no matter how short). There are people in the community who babysit. I’ve heard of students who charge 20-30 SAR an hour but I’ve never been successful at hiring them. All students I’ve contacted have told me they were busy. We’ve hired KAUST nannies at 50 SAR an hour but I think the rates must have gone up since the change in service providers. We also hire nannies who are done with their housekeeping work for the day and have free time in the evenings or weekends to earn extra cash. For me these are better people to hire because 1. They are not students (when I was 16 I couldn’t imagine myself being responsible for a 1 year-old) 2. They probably need the extra cash 3. The money goes straight to them instead of an agency. It takes time to find them but eventually you do meet a couple that you like and trust. The lady we hire charges 25 SAR an hour.
So last night we went to see Inferno at the KAUST movie theater. For 5 SAR a ticket, they are CHEAP but don’t expect the movies to come out the same time as the rest of the world. We get them one or two months late. And sometimes when there are undesirable scenes they don’t even bother cutting the scene–they just cover the part (while you listen to the audio) until the questionable scene ends.
But anyway it was nice to spend time alone with Jose, eat some popcorn, sit back and relax. I can honestly say that it lifts our mood and makes us feel a thousand time better for the next few days.
From our life of partying and rock climbing to the once-in-a-blue-moon movie date, life for us has definitely changed.