Lauren had known her son's current nanny for three and a half years when she decided to include Flora in her considerations for a new home.
Flora's long journey from her own home to Lauren's had meant waking up at 4 am every day to catch two taxis to make her 6.30 am starting time.
The nanny's home travels proving just as taxing.
"I realised we wouldn't be able to continue like this... She was exhausted after having to get up at 4 am to catch two taxis to get to us by 6.30 am so I could get to work on time, and then race home for her to leave before 4 pm to get home before 6 pm," Lauren told Parent24.
The mom of one says the stress of knowing just how much of a toll the journey was taking on the fifty-something Flora was enough for her to make a tough financial decision to buy a bigger home for her family, which for Lauren, included Flora.
'A special part of our family'
"When I told her of my plans, the relief she expressed was immense... Flora is a special part of our family," says Lauren, adding that the bond shared between her toddler son Leo and his nanny was evident from very early on.
"From when he was a crawling baby when he heard her keys, he'd scramble through to the door to get to her."
Since moving in with Lauren and Leo, Flora now has her own cottage and is free to come and go as she pleases, with more time to spend on relaxing.
"Flora has her own quarters and access to the property... She also has a kitchenette so she could prepare her own meals. Sometimes she eats with us, but mostly she takes her dinner in her cottage and watches telly and relaxes."
Getting little Leo to keep to his distance, however, requires special arrangements.
"I have advised her that if she wants quiet time, then she has to close her door; otherwise, my son pops in and out all evening to chat and hang out."
'She doesn't spend a quarter of her salary on transport anymore'
Admitting that the move has meant a heftier monthly budget, Lauren says it's a decision she's yet to regret, and seeing the difference in Flora has proven more than worth it.
"She prides herself on being the fittest and youngest looking amongst her friends now... And I think she has saved some money as she doesn't spend a quarter of her salary on transport anymore."
And while life is certainly not without challenge, Lauren says she wouldn't have it any other way.
"Sometimes, it is a bit overwhelming, but I have great faith that everything works out, and we are all much happier now in these circumstances. Some months are tougher than others, but then I take stock and reflect that Flora has been an immeasurable blessing to our family and our new house and community are a wonderful place to call home."
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