Anjum Hassan and her husband, Kavish Hassan have worked as a teacher and mechanical engineer respectively in Sharjah and lived in the UAE for 17 years.
The Indian couple had their first child, Afnan Hassan, in 2006 and Anjum decided to join work just 45 days after her maternity leave.
But one question haunted both the parents – who would take care of the children?
“The only option was to hire help because we could not leave toddlers on their own,” she said.
Luckily, the couple found a set of babysitters who would take care of the two children when Kavish and Anjum were out working.
“As my children became older and developed into toddlers, my worries increased. They started walking and climbing, I was apprehensive and worried at work,” the 42-year-old said.
Child-proofing the house
Firstly, the couple chose to live in building that was not too high and child-proofed the house.
“My husband and I netted the windows and balcony in the house so we could leave our children and have peace of mind.”
Anjum also locked all the windows and balcony with a key and hid the keys she said.
“The children were too young to unlock the windows,” she said.
Once the children grew up and became more independent, she made sure to instruct them about safety.
“Once they grew up I made sure to instruct them to not go into the balcony or look over the window if I or my husband were not around. I made sure to tell them about the severity of the issue and the consequences,” the biology teacher said.
Anjum described the struggle working parents who have young children go through.
“I had to find people I trust with my children and also take precautions myself that would help me work in peace, knowing my children are safe,” she said.
It was a tedious and expensive task to install nets on the windows for the couple but they deemed it necessary.
“In retrospect, fencing the windows were not very expensive as compared to the safety. We paid some Dh400 to the landlord. We stayed for over 13 years in the same building where my kids grew up,” she said.
Anjum explained that the precautions that they had taken were also the reason why they chose ot stay in the same house for a long time.
“Initially Dh500 was a big amount. But with time, we learnt to cut down on some expenses for our children’s safety,” she said.