I had multiple anxieties before moving to India. Dirt, germs, health care, food, finding a church, friends, and so on and so on. One of my biggest anxieties was about hiring, dealing with, and acclimating to staff. I know that having staff in your home seems like such a luxury. Many times it is just that.....a luxury and a help. At the same time, it is one more new thing to deal with in a whole new world. When we lived in China, we had a woman who came in three days a week for four hours. She did laundry, cleaned bathrooms, and floors. It was a huge help, but we rarely ever saw each other. We requested she was totally hands off with the children as we had just adopted our little one. We wanted to ensure that she bonded 100% with us and not with a nanny or ayi as they say in China. Life in India is a totally different ballgame. Multiple people told me before moving that we would need full-time help when settling in India. Also, every apartment we looked at had "staff quarters" attached. It all seemed so strange.
Fast forward a couple months. We are living in a beautiful hotel waiting for our home to be finished. Again, everyone keeps asking, "Have you interviewed or found staff yet?" No, I hadn't. The idea of hiring someone to work in my home and potentially live in that same home was paralyzing me. (Side note: That is how I deal with things that aren't easy or comfortable. I just avoid, avoid, avoid) Finally, I met a couple women but just didn't feel that "fit" with them. At the same time, I was learning how to navigate shopping and day to day in India. I was learning that we would definitely need help. I started visiting with expat families who had been in Delhi for some time. I was able to see them interact with staff and see "how it is done." Then at the perfect time, I met a wonderful woman who has since become a dear friend. She has a nanny/maid who had a friend and so on. I met the friend and liked her instantly. Bla, bla, etc. She started the same day the movers arrived with 40 plus boxes of our stuff from the US. Seven months later she is still with us. Her name is Tshering. The girls and I adore her. Dan likes her but rarely ever sees her. She is a self-starter and doesn't need the constant overseeing that I had feared. The biggest plus is that we are finding out she is an incredible cook. Wish you could see the huge smile on my face as I typed that :) as I really don't enjoy cooking.
Tshering did not live in the staff quarters for the first few months but has since moved in. I have had to teach the girls some boundaries. They love to "walk her home" every evening. This is hilarious since her room is literally five steps outside our kitchen door. Often they want to stay and hang out at Tshering's house. They are learning that once she leaves they cannot go out and knock on her door anytime. She is too sweet and would let them in anytime. So, it's up to me to make sure that she gets her time off away from them.
So far, my all my anxieties have been unnecessary. Below are some photos of how much the girls really love Tshering.
Rachel doing Tshering's hair.
When Rachel saw this photo she said, "Hey she could be my sister." It's true. They are the perfect pair.
Cooking momos (or dumplings, jiaozi, dim sum depending on where you live). She is so patient with the girls at all times. Maybe I won't end up learning how to cook Indian food, but Rachel will.
Fun times in the park with Tshering.