Nannies around the World
Merelyn Baron`s journey
Working as a nanny can take you anywhere and sometimes everywhere. Since I joined the nanny world, I met hundreds of nannies from all around the Globe. Some of them were local, but most of them live and work far far away from their precious home.
Almost three years ago I landed in Moscow just after Christmas. Remember the scene when the Jamaican Bobsled team opened the airport door? It was just like that. Departed from a lovely 13 C degree British winter and arrived at a cruel -25 C degree Russian winter. It is not a big deal here in Moscow. Nannies still spending time outside with the kids and that is where I met Merelyn Baron from the Philippines.
Probably most of you know that you don`t see much snow in the Philippines, so I was very interested to know how she feels about it. And that is how our friendship started. She is a lovely person with big ambitions, so I decided to share her story with you in the form of a short interview.
Hi Merelyn ! Thank you for accepting my invitation!
-Hi, you are welcome! I was happy to accept it.
You have a teenage daughter. How is she?
-She is happy that she got her mother back 🙂
Before I ask you more about the present, please let me ask you more about your past. How long have you been working as a nanny?
-I worked in Kuwait, Hong Kong and Moscow 10 years in total.
It must have been an exciting journey. Can you recall how it all started?
-Started with lots of small decisions. Maybe the full story began way earlier than 2007.
Please share with us what you mean by that!
-You know I had a happy childhood and the world seemed to be beautiful around me, but it all changed when my father died. I was only eight years old. I had two brothers too so my mother needed to take a painful step and work far away from us so she could provide for the family. We moved to my grandmother and life was difficult at the time. We needed to study and work too to support ourselves as much as possible. Maybe this is the period where I learn what it means to sacrifice. And this experience positively affected my decision to work abroad.
So as I see you had to make similar choices then your mother because You had your daughter before you moved abroad. Was she the motivation behind your sacrifice?
-Yes, I wanted to make sure she will have a bright future.
What difficulties did you face to make this happened?
-First of all, I had to deal with the emotional struggle, the possibility that I will not see my daughter for a long time. For a mother, it is a heartbreaking decision.Then came the financial part because to get visas I needed money.
How did you overcome these?
-I was thinking about my dreams that I needed to work hard to change my life for a better and to give proper future to my daughter.I sorted the money issue out with a bank loan.
What happened next?
-I started to work in Kuwait as a nanny. Separated from my husband and returned to the Philippines after two years.
But you did not give up your dreams? Am I right?
-You are right. After I got back, I already started to make new plans. I applied for the visa to Hong Kong, and I started everything all over again. I spent the next five years in Hong Kong where I worked as a nanny.
-I did. I made lots of friends there, enrolled in a University to learn new skills. Sadly because my demanding work schedule I was unable to complete and graduate, but it was a good experience.
Not many choose to study while working. Did you meet any nanny choosing the same path and joining a course or university?
-Not many. I think people do not realize that they will stall in life when they stop learning.
I agree with you. Learning is the key to move forward and up in this business. Did you have any childcare related qualifications before you started to work as a nanny?
-No, but I had lots of experience looking after my cousins and my daughter later. I think still needed to learn many things to become a better nanny.
You managed to secure visas and work in 2 different countries Kuwait and China. Now came the third time when you applied for a Russian working visa. That is a different kind of environment. Have you been looking forward to building a snowman?
-Hahaha, you know I love winter and the weather in Russia. I am happy to spend time outside when it’s snowing. Not all my friends do 😉
Hahaha. Yes, I one of them. Can you tell me about the family you worked for?
-In Moscow, I looked after two kids. A 9yrs old and 2yrs old. My primary duty was to look after the youngest girl. To teach her English. I did the cleaning, cooking, and all household course. I was flexible, working Monday to Sunday. They were good to me. I was a live-in nanny, so I was living with the family. It is a very close working relationship where you almost feel like a family member.
That is nice when they fully accept you and treat you like one of their own. What do you think what the other benefits of working as a nanny are?
-For me, it gives me more experience on how to deal with a foreign child. It gives me a chance to travel to different places and countries. I love experiencing new lifestyles, trying different cuisines. One day these might become very useful.
Yes, this is a fantastic part of being a nanny when you can do all that. You wrote you worked Mon-Sunday. Did you have free time? How did you spend it?
-I am usually writing music and do online business
What genre are you writing? What inspires you?
It’s a love song and Christian song. All written in Filipino music. What inspired me?hmmm someone that close to my heart. Someone who makes me feel special.
What is your next step? What do you like to achieve accomplish? Will focus now on your daughter, music, and business?
-Yes, I will. I plan to start my new album as I already finish my next songs collection. Planning to set a meeting with the recording company who offered me a contract. Getting ready for the TV interview and preparing for the business.
What is your advice to those who are planning to become and work as a nanny abroad?
-Being an overseas worker is not easy. You have to be motivated and determined, ready for everything and anything. Be flexible and adapt to changes. Gain as much knowledge prior as possible. Always keep your goals in mind and focus on them when things are hard. We go abroad to provide for our families, but we should not forget about ourselves too. Don`t send home every penny until you secure your future first because if you are not careful, you will go home empty-handed.
Wise advise, thank you! You mentioned you started to study. Do you agree that learning is key to progress further and succeed in the nanny business?
-Yes, I agree. I study right now. Everyone should look for a way to grow their knowledge about the profession they choose or about the World. To become a good nanny, you have to build up a strong base from experience and expertise. I was happy when you said you would open a nanny academy to help all the nannies out there to help them grow and to succeed. I can`t wait to join 🙂
Thank you for mentioning it. Yes, our goal is to teach nannies all we know so they can have a successful career as a nanny. We would be happy to have you on board.
-Thank you 🙂
What is your plan for the future?
-Right now I am on my way to become restaurant and Hotel manager and one day I would like to open my restaurant. I love cooking, and I love to work with people, and I hope I will be able to give people the perfect experience through my heavenly dishes!
We wish you all the best and certainly hope that one day we can taste your tasty dishes in your restaurant. Thank you for your story, and we hope all your dreams will come true. Thank you Merelyn for your time.
From her story and personal experience, you can see that becoming a nanny take lots of sacrifices and dedication. There are times when you work far from home, from your family and friends. But it is an enriching career. One can travel the World, can learn new languages, meet new people and the best part is that a nanny will shape the lives of many kids who will one day grow up and living an adult life carrying all those values you as a nanny presented to them.
If you have your own story or you know someone who works as a nanny, please feel free to contact us with your story.