Looking after a newborn baby as a new migrant could be tough especially for working parents as you have no familiar support systems easily accessible. Child rearing is a different approach compared to what I have seen and experienced with my niece and nephew. In the Philippines, a middle income family can afford to hire a nanny to help with looking after the kids. Down under, a nanny is not affordable. There are family carers and child care centres, though. However, putting our son in child care at a very young age was not an option for us. So, we accepted my mother-in-law's offer, who is living in Sydney, to look after our son. It is an hour and a half plane ride from Geelong. We battled being away from our son and the monthly visit in return for a family member's care. It may not be the ideal set-up but we believe it is better for our son. Don't get me wrong though. Child care centres may still be a good place to start if you research and check them well enough.
The good news is my little angel is finally going back to Geelong in July instead of me heading to Sydney when I get my permanent residency. Times are tough especially with the longer than usual financial slump. We decided that it would not be a smart move to let go a stable and secure job and risk looking for work in Sydney where competition is much higher with a lot of qualified workers getting unemployed to recession. Apart from that, we will be able to strengthen our ties as a young family and truly depend on each other to reach our family goals if we only have each other.
In preparation, I made a list of a few things that we need to do:
• Hire a carpet steam cleaner
• Keep the stack of books in an area that he can’t reach
• Childproof the cupboards, drawers, tables, and power points (outlets)
• Re-arrange the shed to provide space for his bike and art and crafts area
• Look for child care or family carer
• Arrange for his things to be sent back to Geelong
• Do a general cleaning before the carpet cleaning
• Draft a new schedule and routine for him
• Book a flight to pick him up
I am already excited. I have a long list that I want to do with my son and husband. It may be a hit and miss but what matters is we are together sharing the journey ahead. I will definitely post our experiences as we go along.