The Other Woman

There’s a magnificent woman in my life, who I lovingly call Aunty Vick. She joined our family in 2007 and while the early days of having a full-time  live-in maid were extremely weird for me, she helped me to get comfortable with my new life and very quickly became an honored and beloved member of our family. Vick went back to the Philippines in 2009 when we went to Australia, but when I told her we were coming back to Singapore, she said “I’m coming.”

However, days before we were due to leave Australia I got a phone call and heard the awesome news that she was finally pregnant. Of all the people I’ve ever met, Vick deserves the chance to be a Mum. She’s gently taught me more about motherhood than anyone, sharing a beautiful yet simple life wisdom with me every day. I will always be grateful that she was with me during this time, and I know that doing it without her was never as much fun!

Tragically, her baby girl, Tracey, died at six weeks old due to an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Devastating. It was very bittersweet for me when she decided to return to us, knowing what she had lost. Vick was very sad when she arrived in December 2011, however in the last 15 months, I’ve watched her heal as much as a grieving mother can.

Vick is an incredible person and everything that is “inside” is pure and simple goodness. She is completely devoted to our family, and the love and care she honors us with is never taken for granted. She care for us as if we were her own and I know I could not do what I am doing right now if I didn’t have Vick at home, backing me up.

The boys adore her and the patience and guidance she offers is magic in action. I haven’t got a tenth of her patience, but as she always says “they’re just growing up, don’t worry about it.” And she’s always right. Every stage they go through (that usually does my head in) is over and then the next stage starts and then it’s over too. She knows about kids growing up because for more than 20 years, she’s been helping to raise other people’s children, and she’s magnificent at it.

Soon she’ll be leaving us again, and that is going to be a very sad day for all of us. But Vick needs to go home and have another baby before her biological clock stops ticking. We’ll miss her but Vick’s future bubba is going to be a very loved and lucky little child.

We’ll never lose touch with Vick and I can see a lot of travel to the Philippines in our future, because she’s part of this family and we never want to be without her in our life. I also can’t wait to see how she lives and where she lives. Not to mention meeting her bubbas, and her boyfriend Jerry (the Shaman), and of course the pigs she’s spent her salary on this last year. Most girls buy frocks, shoes and handbags with their hard earned cash, Vick buys pigs, a cow and who knows what seeds she’s cultivated (on our balcony) to grow on her family farm in the mountains near Barcolod?

Maids in Singapore are a common part of life and one of the reasons it suits us to live here – it just makes more things possible. But we got really lucky with Vick. The funny thing is if she grew up in the West, enjoying all of the privileges that come with that, she’d be a gourmet chef or the best recruitment consultant in the country, or a terrific teacher or she’d be the best at something else. Vick has so many remarkable talents, but her best quality is her love for her work – whatever it is. She works her arse off for us, but she does it because she knows that to love her work is the trick to living a really great life. She definitely inspires me every day, in many ways.

She’s a beauty our Vick, and alongside my three beautiful boys, I am so very grateful to have had the privilege of having Vick in my life for so long. She is my friend and my Pilipino Sister. I’m lucky having her in my life.

Yours, without the bollocks


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