Finding the Perfect Nanny Who Will Love and Shadow Your Child

Richard E. Poulin III avatar

by Richard E. Poulin III |

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The taxi came to a halt in front of our house on Sunday morning. The windows were tinted, but I knew who was inside. Out she came, a thin Asian woman holding a sack of rice and a black trash bag full of clothes. This wasn’t how I’d imagined the perfect nanny arriving. I didn’t realize it until later, but that’s exactly who she was.

The need for a nanny

My wife and I work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. Then it’s off to a part-time job for a few hours before returning home. Sometimes we try to stagger our part-time jobs so that one of us can return home sooner, but this isn’t always feasible. During the hours we dedicate to work, our daughter, Rylae-Ann, needs a nanny.

If you can manage to have a parent stay home and dedicate the time to caring for your child, then you are very fortunate because there’s no better person. However, it’s still important to consider having a support network so that you can give 100%.

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Neither of us can give up our jobs. We both start work early in the morning, so we need an extra hand to help prepare breakfast and get our daughter dressed for school. Her school day begins about 45 minutes after we leave, so we need that person to also chauffeur her to school.

Once at school, Rylae needs support. The nanny will need to shadow the teacher by assisting with classroom activities, helping Rylae move to different rooms, and helping her in the bathroom. At the end of the day, the nanny needs to put back on the chauffeur hat to make sure Rylae gets home safely.

At home, the nanny acts as a caregiver until one of us returns. This includes administering medications and performing other vital services unique to a child with aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency.

This is a huge responsibility to take on, but it’s a reality for many parents who must work. If a parent isn’t able to dedicate their entire day to caring for their child, then we have to find someone who can step in and be the loving soul that acts as an extension of our family.

nanny | AADC News | Richard and Judy relax in the kitchen after work.

After finishing work this week, Richard and Judy finally relax. (Courtesy of Richard E. Poulin III)

8 nannies in 8 months

We left Singapore because of the costs associated with raising a child with many needs. That also meant saying goodbye to Rylae’s first nanny, who was exceptional. We were blessed to have her during our time in Singapore. Here in Thailand, the search for a nanny hasn’t been so effortless.

My wife and I did a normal search by creating a detailed description of the job that we posted online, shared on social media, and sent to nanny agencies. We went through a selection process that included conducting a background check, contacting references, and providing specific information about what’s required. We even shared pictures and videos so they were well aware of the job description and our daughter’s symptoms.

Although we were providing a premium salary well above the going rate, hiring a nanny in Thailand was still cheaper than in Singapore. We hoped the salary in combination with the benefits would help us find the perfect person. Yet over the last eight months, we have gone through eight nannies. The first seven left the job for various reasons, but each time, we had to scramble to find a new nanny and then redo the training.

nanny | AADC News | Rylae-Ann follows her classmates down the hall at school while holding hands with her nanny.

Rylae-Ann is supported by her new nanny, Ms. Thea, while at school. (Courtesy of Richard E. Poulin III)

Finding a loving nanny

Our new nanny, Ms. Thea, is from Cambodia and has two grown and independent children. She has experience working in various countries and with people of different nationalities, including both older and younger families. Still, nothing alerted me that she would be completely different from the seven nannies who came before her. None of her experience hinted that she would have the patience, determination, and love necessary for caring for a child with an ultra-rare neurotransmitter disorder.

On the phone, we told Ms. Thea that we could observe her with Rylae on a Sunday. If she did well, then we could move to a probationary period. However, Ms. Thea had a lot more confidence than we initially did. She left her rented room and brought everything she owned to meet us, having nowhere else to go. We didn’t even have a room set up, but after watching her work, we knew she was the one. I immediately began working to make our home more comfortable.

Dare I risk jinxing it by saying that fate has once again worked in our favor? The moral of this adventure is to take the time to find the right person and be prepared for fate to take its time. Did we have to go through the trials of the first seven nannies to find the perfect eighth? I’m not sure, but so far everything is working perfectly.

Don’t give up on finding the perfect nanny. They provide a service that will support your child and make your life easier to manage. But be open to whom that special person may be. Love is unexpected and may show up at your doorstep with a sack of rice and a bag of clothes.

Note: AADC News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of AADC News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency.