The pandemic has separated many families, and with lockdowns in place, it has been hard for people to visit. For one woman, the timing of her job unexpectedly kept her out of the country.
57-year-old Li Fengxian (李凤仙) has worked as a confinement nanny for over 16 years. Her skills of post delivery care and care for newborn babies are a blessing to many new parents.
Last year on 17th March, Li went to Singapore to help an expecting mother. The call came as her due date was approaching and she needed to be rushed to confinement. Li intended to return to Malaysia after the confinement period. However, when Malaysia announced a Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18th March, she was left stranded in Singapore.
Li has been staying in Singapore for a year and a half. Although she’s been separated from her family, she hasn’t been lacking in getting jobs. With the help of mothers she’s looked after, word of her services have been passed around. So far, she’s taken care of twelve babies.
Currently, Li is looking after another baby, making it her thirteenth one. As she’s scheduled to stay till March next year, Li can only hope to return to Malaysia when she’s able to. She misses her children dearly, as only one of them is with her in Singapore. The other three are still staying in Malaysia.
“(We) haven’t seen each other for more than a year. We can only use video calls to (contact each other),” Li said. As they think Malaysia’s epidemic situation is serious, Li has been asked to stay in Singapore as it’s safer. She has received both doses of the vaccine, but is still waiting for the pandemic to end.
Thankfully, her employers are all friendly. “It’s very tiring to stay up all night to accompany a wife in confinement, and the work pressure is high. But, meeting a good employer will reduce a lot of pressure,” Li stated. She also shared that meeting other confinement nannies from Malaysia has helped to relieve her homesickness.
So far, Li is happy with her job in Singapore. She mentioned that the families she worked for did not treat her like an outsider. In fact, they considered her as a family member. Some mothers also advised her not to return to Malaysia when the epidemic started. They were the ones who introduced her to other potential employers.
“Some employers will write me a thank you card,” Li said happily. “On my birthday in August, (my employer) bought me a cake, which is very (loving). Although I’m in a foreign country, I feel (loved).” Li also shared that many traditions have changed with the times. As such, to be a better carer, she is constantly adding to her knowledge in order to provide the best care for both mother and child.
It may be hard work being a confinement nanny, but it’s good to know that Li takes her job very seriously. Although it’s unfortunate the pandemic has separated her from her family, Li has not let that get in the way of doing her job well.
We hope Li gets to meet her family soon!
Source: China Press