Growing up with a nanny in Singapore

I was brought up by my nanny when I was a wee little baby. She was introduced to my mum by a close friend and plop into her arms I went.

As a few other babies were also in her care, I picked up social skills (you know, jealousy, toy-grabbing and self-defence), and apparently got so good at it that in the end she gave up the other babies and only continued to take care of me. All the way through the middle primary years.

You can tell I said that with a hint of pride.

So as the months and years passed, my nanny – originally envisaged to be a temporary carer – became my grand-godmother (“grand” simply because she was already advanced in age and her daughter had took on the position of godmother in my life).

I was sticky-tape close to the family, perhaps more so than my own in those carefree growing up years.

They never pressurised me through school. I just cruised by somehow. At that time, school was a breeze also, right?

I grew up in sunday school singing kiddy songs about Jesus, colouring worksheets, acting in plays, and learning about the world. Although I disliked waking up early, I was pretty much made to do it. No excuses. I reserved the right to be grumpy and dislikeable the whole morning though.

I don’t know how I would have turned out if I had not come under their care. At that time, my family was a little dysfunctional and my parents were caught up in their own lives. I felt sad every weekend when it was time to go home. I was that attached to my nanny as a little girl.

It’s funny how as a child, the time and love invested by my nanny and godmother could have such a profound impact on me. I remember even as a kid, I could still love with a kind of fierce love. When my nanny was old and her bones grew weak, I can distinctly remember the feeling of helplessness and wanting to do all I can to protect and to help her.

She influenced me in ways I can’t fully express. I saw how she lived her life with two children, without her husband beside her. I saw how she endured difficult moments with family members, and how she persevered. She embodied strength to me, even when I was still too young to understand it.

Even though she’s long gone to a better place, she’s left an enduring legacy in my life.

My godmother now is heavily involved in my kids’ lives. Despite being close to 70, she’s also my friend on facebook, and continues to be my most ardent blog reader (I suspect).

The reason why I’m sharing this story is because some of you may have gone through similar situations. But there was that one kind soul, a family friend perhaps, who brought you out of that dark stubborn world you were in, and into the light. We may have struggled with the issues of feeling unloved or even unwanted, but you ARE deeply loved, by a God who knows you by name.

The other reason why I’m sharing this is because I’m struck by the different ways in which we leave imprints on our children’s lives by the things we do or don’t do, say or don’t say. Whether we are conscious or not, we are influencing and guiding our children by the way we live our lives.

May is the month we celebrate our mums. This mother’s day, I want to honour my godmother, and my nanny. I also want to thank my mum, who’s become the most essential grandparent and care-giver to my kids. (She often jokes that she’s repaying her debt now by taking care of my dynamic duo.)

Without these three special women, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Thank you for living out what this quote can only describe:

“But your role in your family will never end. You will never be replaced. Your influence and the need for your influence never ends. Even after you are gone, your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will still look to you as their parent or grandparent. Family is one of the few permanent roles in life, perhaps the only truly permanent role.”

– Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families



What were your growing up years like? Who had the biggest influence in your life?

Love stories

When was the last time you shared with someone your love story?

I was recently asked that question by World Moms Blog and as I typed out a short paragraph of our love story, I just couldn’t help smiling.

We met in Melbourne one winter. I was studying and working part-time. I was closing up the cafe when he showed up with his friends. I made him a cup of latte and served them some food while they waited for me to close so they could send me home.

Home was a rented apartment in the middle of the city, near chinatown. (Cosy, convenient, but not cheap.)

While we chatted over tea, he seemed very interested in the things that I was doing. From there on, I kinda knew…Before he left, he gave me a teddy bear attached to a single stalk of long-stemmed rose, along with a little note that said “I would like to get to know you more.”

After he left, we continued our conversation online and a few months later, I purchased for myself a one-way ticket back to Singapore.

People often ask me with large teasing eyes whether I had decided to come back for him. Well, if he’s in the room, I would usually deny it. But if he’s not in the room, then I might say it’s partially because.


Anyway, Melbourne will always have a special place in our hearts.

To celebrate the theme of love this month, I would like to invite you to write a little note of your own love story (where you first met, what drew you to each other, what he/she said).

If you have a picture, perfect! If not, it’s the story and the moment and the emotions that count.

Remember this special moment and rejoice over the journey. I hope this exercise brings back fond memories, transports you back to that special place where you first fell in love, and encourages you to grow your relationship even stronger.

Please share…that we may also smile along with you.

<div align="center"><a href="" title="mamawearpapashirt" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="mamawearpapashirt" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

how to share your love story

  • Whether you wrote your story a long time ago or are writing a new post today, simply copy the URL to your post and follow the directions in the linky below.
  • Feel free to grab the “love stories” button above and use it in your post.
  • Do visit at least 2-3 other posts in the linky and leave them a comment. That’s it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...