How a nanny can help you bond with your expat kids

I’ve written before about how nannies can help. I’ve never felt it as much as here in Chile.

We arrived in Santiago a month ago after a nightmare journey and I collapsed upon arrival in our temporary apartment. We’d talked about getting a temporary nanny to help out, but I’d complained to my husband that I didn’t want anyone showing up as soon as we arrived. I wanted time to settle in and I didn’t fancy showing a newbie the ropes after an 18 hour trek. My husband, argued that a nanny would really help from day one and he was right.

Damn it.

Cecilia has been an incredible help from the very start.

Time to play

As the days have gone by my lifestyle has changed. I don’t have to worry about keeping the house in order, so I’m more relaxed with the kids. How about covering yourselves (and the kitchen units) in paint? Sure, sounds fun. How about a quick trip to the park before bed time? Why not?

We have more time to play together. More time for cuddles. More time for new adventures.

Time for me

Just as importantly, I have more ‘me time’ too. I no longer need to plan weeks in advance for a baby sitter if I need to go to the doctor, if I need to sort admin, if I just fancy getting my nails done or if I just need some kid free time. And I look forward to seeing my children when I return, rather than dreading the mess, tears or screams when I open the door.

Not yet white jeans time

Of course Cecilia is still a human being. It’s impossible to clean, tidy and look after my terrible two all at the same time. So while the kids are not yet in nurseries, my days are still very busy with trips to the park, to the swimming pool, playing with Lego. But I don’t have to be in two places at once. I can enjoy the moment more. It’s not time to dig out my white jeans just yet, though.


The nanny hunt

A lot of people are worried about taking a nanny on. And rightly so. Our kids are our most precious resource and it’s only right to invest in the right person for the job. Not all nannies are Super Cecilias. Sometimes hiring a nanny can seem like more work than it’s worth. Friends I’ve met here in Chile have decided against hiring a nanny after one too many nightmares.

Finding a good nanny is no easy task. Every country has its rules, and local knowledge really helps. There are some fantastic agencies in the UK, but we were very, very disappointed with the agency we tried here in Chile. Our hunt goes on, and from now on we’ll be relying on personal recommendations only.

Search goes on

We really appreciate our live out nanny Cecilia’s help, but we’re still on the look out for a live in nanny. My kids are like vampires – not too bad in the day time, but hell come dusk.

We’ve lucked out with Cecilia. Let’s hope things stay this way when we switch to a live in nanny. Wishing you the best of luck if you’re on the hunt too.


  1. February 8, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    If you are enjoying it now wait to have a weekly date with your hubby when the live in nanny comes. You’ll love it! Love your blog!

    • February 10, 2018 / 1:56 pm

      Ha, thanks! Yes, we’ve been going out a lot more. We used to go out lots in Belgium but one of us would always ‘babysit’ so it would be girly sushi nights for me, pizza night with the boys for the hubby. Now we actually get to eat out together now and again.

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