Nanny of Arabia
After her partner of 13 years passed away and her children had left home, high-achiever Jan stumbled across the Australian Nanny Agency advertisement for a nanny position and knew it was the job for her. Having a personality that strives on challenges, a passion for serving others and a genuine, nurturing character, Jan is the perfect candidate to love and care for the children of her Saudi Arabian family.
This is her story...
My name is Nanny Jan and I am a nanny for a royal family in Saudi Arabia.
I get asked every day why I would want to travel to the other side of the world to work as a nanny in a country that is considered high risk, especially at my age, but my job is highly rewarding and I feel as safe in Saudi Arabia as I have working anywhere else in the world.
You need to have a unique skill set and distinctive personal ideals to be able to leave your family and fly into the unknown. To really understand how I can do, and why I love, my job, we need to go back to the beginning…..
From my youngest memory I wanted to be a Nanny. As a child, I suffered extreme anxiety and what we now identify as Oppositional Defiance disorder, always dreaming big and achieving my goals. I never wanted to be rich, I was always happy to serve, and this desire to serve led me into some of the most beautiful homes in the world. I have experienced all sorts of occupations in my 48 years, from a cleaner in luxury homes to a production assistant on American TV shows, always using my ability to anticipate issues and develop strategies to rectify then before they became problems. It’s really quite simple; I was born to serve others and thrive on hard work.
My desire for adventure lead me to Saudi Arabia. I remember the day I saw the job while scrolling through Facebook (of all places), how intrigued I was and how the job description just resonated with me. My children had all left home and the loss of my partner of 13 years had left a hole in my heart and trepidation for what lay in store for me. My anxiety made me doubt that it was a legitimate opportunity and irrational fear made me second guess myself, but the desire for adventure outweighed my fear. I took the plunge and applied.
And here I am! In what I call the greatest country in the world, much to the shock of others. The reputation of this wonderful country, it’s culture and inhabitants does it no justice and I feel that it is all perception and assumption. In my experience, the people of Saudi Arabia are the most kind, respectful, polite people I have had the pleasure of working and living with. Living here would not be for everyone, I can see that, however life is normal, unassuming and family orientated, much like Australia, America or other less cultural based countries.
Yes, there are rules, however they are a part of this countries traditions, beliefs and culture so I embrace them and have never felt repressed. The country is beautiful and I feel safer here than in many Australian locations I have visited.
Saudi Arabia hosts the most different culture on earth in comparison to Australia, however it is deeply humbling and awe-inspiring that they have not bent to modern pressure to change their ancient cultural beliefs. They honestly believe this is the most honourable way to live and it works for them.
So why does a person leave their family to go and raise someone else's children in another country? Well I had done my job as a mother and raised my children into wonderful humans that can contribute to the world so I truly embraced the opportunity to put this experience and well-developed instinct to good use by assisting another family. Also, I believe it goes back to personality. Some are born to serve and others are born to lead and I have spent my life serving and have developed a skill set that is unique. I love the challenge of this type of personal service, being able to roll with the constant changes and anticipate human desire and think laterally to problem solve developing issues. A Nanny’s super power is invisibility; discreet management and service behind the scenes, which is highly regarded and appreciated in Saudi.
Would I recommend this type of job in this environment? Yes! If you are not afraid of hard work, can think on your feet and are a person who prides themselves on an eye for detail. You need to be adaptable to your family’s specific needs, unobtrusive and respectful of different cultural beliefs but if you have genuine love for the children in your care and consideration for your family, you will be welcomed warmly.
Given the opportunity, I would embark on another adventure like this again. Every day is very normal to the next once the dust that kicks up upon initial arrival settles; wake, eat, sleep repeat, family time, play time, learning time. All with the underlying magic of knowing you are doing something wonderful for the families you work with as well as for yourself.
Let your desire for adventure outweigh your fear and experience the adventure of being a Nanny of Saudi Arabia, or another foreign country, with The Australian Nanny Agency. The Agency takes care of you through the entire selection and interview process and work as your advocate at all times. There is nothing to fear and believe me, its exhilarating!
I look forward to sharing more of my adventure with you.