I had three weeks off work and wanted to spend time with the family overseas this Christmas. We booked our tickets and everyone was super excited. It was my first break from work since the beginning of the year so I was really looking forward to a change of environment and routine but it turned out different from what I expected.
One of my daughters had asked if our nanny, Esther was coming and I told her that Esther didn’t have a passport and she would be traveling to her village. While on the plane, my daughter got into one of her sad moods. She got me concerned when she didn’t snap out of it for the entire 14-hr flight, she would eat, sleep and wake up with this mood.
We arrived, got to our hotel room and unpacked, she was all alone in the bathroom sobbing, she refused to tell me what was going on. Later that evening I stumbled on a few notes she had written to Esther and pictures she had drawn depicting how sad she was because Esther wasn’t on the trip. She promised Esther in one of her notes she will save up to buy her a ticket on our next trip.
When I saw these, I had teary eyes. I felt awful. Esther was more of a mum to my daughters than I was. I took my daughter to the hotel lounge and we talked. My ears were full that day and I was taking mental notes. I didn’t realize how much I had grown apart with my kids, I was no longer in touch with them even though we lived under the same roof. I had become so busy with work that Esther would supervise their homework, play and swim with them and even read them a bedtime story.
Because of the traffic to work, I leave home before the girls are up and I’m home after they have slept, we only talk on phone and spend time during the weekend. I didn’t realize that I was almost losing the opportunity to raise my children as Esther had stepped into my shoes so easily. My daughter mentioned that Esther gave her a hug each time she picked her up from school and she asked where I have been all these while.
Mums, please while we are doing all we can to give our kids the best physical provision and good education, let’s not forget to be there for them, the spiritual and emotional support that is often overlooked is what they desperately need for a good footing in life. You don’t want them going to the wrong places looking for love or getting answers from those we don’t respect. May God help us. Amen