When Vilena Tan was born, my wife, my mother and I were over the moon. We worked hard for the past 9+ months, preparing everything that came to our attention without failed.
“I think you’ll need more baby bottles.” – Buy.
“I think you’ll need a bigger baby cot as baby grows up fast.” – Buy a super big baby cot.
Our daily conversation routed around my unborn baby. No matter how much we’ve prepared, there seems to be things we’ve not purchase.
About 4 months back, my cousin just gave birth to her baby (good family productivity) and thankfully we’re about to share some tips. She told me the importance of hiring a confinement lady during the first month my baby was born.
I asked around and most of my friends did hired a confinement lady to help out. I called my cousin’s confinement lady and booked her month of Sept – expecting delivery date of my newborn.
Finally the big day arrived. You can read my previous post about how messy and excited I was. The real story came AFTER we brought Vilena home. That’s when the real excitement began.
Before my wife discharged, I called my confinement lady to fix the exact date. On that day, she arrived early (she’s a Malaysian Chinese), and was patiently waiting for our call. She knew we were very short handed and did not bother us at all.
After sending my previous girl back home, I met her and brought her back. She automatically started work, tidying up the house, preparing dinner for the whole family. In fact, I was quite taken aback by her initiative.
After dinner, we went NTUC. It was my first time preparing for my wife’s confinement. I totally had no idea what to buy for her. I’ve heard some house wife’s tales of ginger, soya sauce chicken, etc … But when it came to food selection, I gave up. Luckily Ai Wen, my confinement lady cum life savior came to my rescue. She was very experience and patiently explained the purpose of buying confinement food. I could only say I was impressed!
Back at home, she automatically cooked while all of us were resting. Frankly, I wasn’t used to having someone to cook and cleaning the house for me. I never had a maid in my life and I hated the idea of having someone to do the “dirty” work for me. However, on the other hand, I felt glad she was around, guiding us and helping us with the holes we could not have fill without her help.
Not only she cooked and cleaned, she took care of Vilena well. She taught my wife how to breast feed, pumped and stored the milk, how to clear the poo, changed diapers, etc … She was very patient with us, explaining step by step the correct ways of handling a baby.
Another distinct behavior I really like about Ai Wen was her thriftiness. I myself was very thrifty. I totally against wasting anything, be it food, electricity, money, water … As long as it’s a waste, I tend to be agitated. Can’t everyone just do their part to save the world?
Back to Ai Wen. She was way thriftier than me! Before she came, I was quite worried about the additional cost, especially during the confinement month. Anyone goes through this period will know that somethings are unavoidable. Woman who just gave birth can’t be exposed to any wind, and therefore aircon is a must for a good rest. Baby bottles need to be sterilized frequently. All 3 meals had to be cooked at home, for my wife. All these added up to huge amount of utility bill.
Luckily, Ai Wen herself was thrifty. She never waste any food or water. In fact, at night, she doesn’t even mind without a fan, but of course I insisted of giving her. I’m not that evil hearted 🙂
She did not eat a lot, or spent any of our money. She brought her own toothpaste and shower form. In fact, besides 3 basic meals, she did not spend any other thing. Ok I could count showering once a day in. Her nature was thrifty, and she had the heart of us, which I really like.
At night, we were dead tired even though we did nothing much in the day. Ai Wen was the one handling everything for us. Yet, at night, she still managed to take care of Vilena well. Newborn baby tend to wake up every 2 hours for milk, and she single handedly fed, care and rocked Vilena back to sleep, all throughout the night!
The next morning, she was up the earliest to prepare breakfast for us! Up till a point I felt quite guilty. She always had a smile on her face, and never a time showed us her tired look. She would mop and cleaned the house everyday, washed and hanged the clothes, with frequent trips to NTUC! Impressive lady!
The day she left, I admitted I missed her, not because of her excellence service, but we treated her as part of our family already. Vilena was so lucky to have such a good nanny to take care of her for 1 month and we felt blessed!
Ai Wen came from a humble background and she had 5 kids to take care at home. Her youngest was just 9 years old. She needed this job badly to support her family and this was the reason she was working so hard and doing such excellence job. At the end of service, my wife gave her more than what she asked for, as a token of appreciation.
Now, pardon me, I have to warm the milk for Vilena. See ya!