She's leaving us... (Our yaya of 10 months)
Our yaya to our 3 year old daughter is leaving us. Writing this down to share our experience.
It all started when our previous yaya had to leave us because her brother died in the province. If we remember it right, the death of her brother left her grandmother with no one to take care of her. Upon learning this, we booked her a flight that week so she can return to her family. We felt bad for her and at the same time, we felt bad for our baby. It was around that time that they were getting along already. Nonetheless, we had to let go and move on.
That week, we also called our agency and asked if they had young candidates we can choose from as our next yaya. We preferred someone young since our baby was growing up fast. We wanted someone who can keep up with our daughter. We were informed that during that time, candidates were around their 30's and 40's. We really wanted someone in her 20's.
Towards the end of the following week, we were told that they had someone who was around 19. Our agency also informed us that she had little experience in dealing with kids but was willing to do the job. At that time, we badly needed help because my mother-in-law was already having a hard time taking care of our baby. That weekend, we interviewed her through phone to check.
She was polite and had straight answers to my questions. Worked in a bake shop, worked for a wealthy family and was part of a big household, and was a maid for all of her kasambahay work experience. Reasons for leaving - low pay, had leftovers for food, and was called back to return home to their province. Upon hearing this, I told myself, these are the usual reasons for maids to leave and I can't blame her for doing so. She was young and she can afford to jump from one household to another, I guess that is life for her - experiencing the world.
Her only experience with kids is with her siblings. She was the eldest in her family. Wasn't able to finish high school and wasn't providing for anyone. She was Roman Catholic as well. Considering what I initially heard and that all her documents and clearances are good, I told my wife that we should get her already.
My belief in hiring was if a candidate passed your minimum requirements and is pleasant, you should hire them right away. The fact is, you will only get to know them more, when you start working with them already. So I convinced my wife and she reluctantly agreed to it. To my wife peace of mind, I just said that if she isn't a good fit with our daughter, then we could just get a replacement from the agency.
We were impressed because it only took her a day or two to get a long with our baby. Our previous yaya took almost 3 months. She also got along well with our other helper because they were both from Davao and were almost the same age. She was affectionate and jolly and it really helped our daughter open up.
She tends to be forgetful and would always get scolded by my wife for it. She and our other help would also get into fights were in they wouldn't mind each other for days. When this happens and we'd notice, my wife would nag me to talk to them already. They'd get along after within a couple of days, thankfully.
No one is perfect and we know that. What kept our household intact was communication. Me and my wife are both working during the day so to compensate for this, we agreed to be clear with what we expected of them. For example, we wrote things down from daily activities to what food to eat to help them with their work and to manage our expectations. To be on top of this, we had cameras installed so we can monitor them every now and then, for all our peace of mind.
Losing help is hard. To keep this from happening, we made sure that there would be no reason for leaving us. Both our helpers are young and lacked experience and we managed to get them at a lower rate then the rate suggested by the agency. Despite this, we promised to give them a raise after 3 months for good work. And if they continued to do well, we will make sure that their salary will be at par with the rate of agencies. We kept our word.
We also made it a point to include them in our grocery. If they had snacks or food they'd like to try, we buy it for them. We also include their basic toiletries in our grocery budget. For day offs, we started the first few months with once a month day off but when we were comfortable with them, they can go out on weekends as long they properly inform us and it fits into our schedule.
Last December, we allowed them to go home to Davao. They went separately, two weeks each. We booked their tickets and answered half of it. We were happy with them and we wanted them spend the holidays we their families as well. Aside from this, we also bring them on family trips. In short, we treated them like family.
The beginning of the end
Our yaya already told us of her plans to return to the province. Her mom wanted her to study again this coming school year. She actually wanted to go home already that Christmas but because my wife and daughter liked her, we convinced her to stay longer. She gave in and extended until this coming May.
We are grateful for her and the time she has spent with us. We saw that she cared for our baby and our small family. We appreciate it. As much as we would want to keep her longer, we can't. We've tried everything to convince her and we even told her that we'd answer her schooling if she wanted to study here in Manila but she politely declined.
At the end of the day, we don't regret what we had with our beloved yaya. We wish her the best. Life goes on and we are not daunted by the fact that we have to start all over again with a new yaya. We hope and pray that our new help would love our daughter and our small family as much, if not more. We'll be rooting for all our help who were sincere in their time with us because they deserve to grow as well.
This is for sad endings and new beginnings, ours and theirs. God bless kasambahays!
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