Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Our Yaya Misadventures

The thing with being working parents, we need to find a yaya (babysitter)to watch over our son while we're out toiling to make money. It's such a difficult task because we are basically trusting her with our most loved person on earth.

Finding the right yaya is not a task for the fainthearted. Maybe among the tasks involved in home management, it's my most hated thing to do. I could handle people issues at work but somehow, applying what I know in handling people does not hold true for yayas. They're part family and part employee. How do you draw the line?

My son is now 3 years old and he's now on his fourth yaya. The first one that we hired before he was born was really perfect. I cried when she left but her family needed her. Her replacement needed minimal training and was actually ok. But little things started cropping up here at home that really stressed me out--she doesn't get along with the other maids; I was losing stuff in my room etc--but we bore it because she's actually efficient and I could not really pinpoint where my stuff was going.

When the second yaya went on her annual leave last year, we got a temporary replacement but she was really...awful. We just bore it as it was only for a month but there were so many issues: my son's room was barely clean most of the time and his clothes were all in a disarray; she was complaining of the aircon and would turn it down/off in the middle of the night while my son starts sweating; when we go out to eat, she would eat before she would feed my son (minsan sabay pa sila at uunahin pa niya sarili niya). When Basti's yaya returned, we were all so relieved and life went back to normal.

My husband and I left for the US middle last year and when we got back, lo and behold, yaya was pregnant. She tried to mask the symptoms at first with colds and cough but when we had to bring her to the hospital, the truth finally came out. What really got to me was when I confronted her about it (before it was confirmed), she had the gall to deny it. It was only when I told her that the hospital tests confirmed it that she confessed. But she said she only knew it then (yeah sure).

Come January, we were already looking for a supposedly temporary replacement while yaya goes on maternity leave. Not wanting to trust agencies again, we went to our existing maids and the yayas of our relatives to ask if they know someone. The yaya of my husband's nephew referred her daughter who was not only efficient, she really spends time with my son. We were very happy with her and I was already thinking of making her the permanent yaya.

Basti's yaya went on maternity leave start of February and gave birth end of February. We offered the services of my husband's aunt who is an OB and the yaya gave birth at her clinic.

This afternoon, I got a text from yaya which was unclear. Basically, she said that she's asking for another advance because she wants to stay with her baby until the end of the month. My husband refused so I called him up only to learn later on that she already asked for an advance from my hubby before she left for her maternity (who actually pays for her salary). I was shocked when I learned that he gave her 4 months advance. She said that her boyfriend who got her pregnant is not supporting her blah blah blah. Moreover, hubby also paid for the midwife's fee. His response when yaya previously texted him was that she should return first here at home so we can properly talk as her debt is already too much for comfort.

We're already entertaining the thought of terminating her employment and would be "promoting" temporary yaya to permanent yaya. Honestly, she's doing a better job with my son and Basti's teachers are all praises for her (don't get me started when Basti's teacher called me up to tell me that they caught the preggy yaya hitting my son on the head (batukan) at school. She explained that it was only meant as a "lambing" but it took a long time for me to get over it).

I really hope that we'll figure this out soon.

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