Yaya

I promised to write about our yaya long before but never got the chance. Finally got the chance to do this. So yaya came from my province, Ormoc City. We had several unsuccessful attempts in finding a yaya and it was December already and we were getting stressed out already because by February I’d be coming back to work. I was hoping by January I would already have a yaya so that I could get to know her and if it don’t work out I’d still have time to find replacement. My parents sells wood for cooking in our village and it just happened that our yaya now went to buy for us the day my mom was planning to interview a yaya that her friend recommended. Jen, name of our yaya, was with her neice and nephew when she went to our house. My mom upon seeing kids suddenly became all emotional and began talking to a complete stranger how she remembers me and wish that she could spend time with her first grandchild. And they began talking until my mom mentioned that we are still looking for a yaya and we thought she was kidding when she replied that she’d love to work with us. Turns out Jen then have been unemployed for almost 2 years and have had a hard time finding a new job. She previously worked in Manila and had to go back to our province. After that my mom asked me to talk to her and maybe have an interview over the phone. She seem nice. My mom said she is nice though I really don’t trust her judge of character. She just thinks everyone is nice. I have been texting Jen for days and finally decided to give it a go. As much as I don’t want to admit this but I stalked her facebook. She had several pictures with her family and it is really a plus for me especially because she seem very loving to them. What really convinced me to say yes was her pictures with her nieces and nephews. They seem to love her and looks to be very happy to be with her. So I followed my instinct and finally hired her. 2nd week of January she started to work for us. We of course shoulder her transportation expenses and that includes her meal allowance. We also paid for her medical check up just to make sure that she has no contagious illnesses that could be passed to Euan. We were glad that she didn’t find this insulting.

First week and I find her to be ok. Since I’m still not working I was the one taking care of Euan while she cleans the house and do most of my chores. The thing that I do find a problem with her was she talks a lot! Being an introvert this is really exhausting for me. I really love my peace and space but with our one room apartment it’s impossible to have that with having someone else in our house. Currently our yaya sleeps in our sala area. We explained to her that we will be moving to our house in Cavite as soon as it is completed and by then she can have her own room. For now moving is not an option because I love our apartment no matter how far it is from our work. We became close with our landlady and she just adores Euan like her own grandson. This will put us at ease whenever we leave for work knowing that our landlady is there to check for Euan. She was very understanding about this. We also agreed on the following:

1. Salary 3,500

2. 13th Month

3. SSS and Philhealth contribution

4. 3x a day meal + Snacks

5. Day off Saturday afternoon to Sunday

6. Free basic toiletries

7. Free annual check up

A lot says that we are very generous on our compensation and then the day off. We leave Euan with her for about 5-8 hours only. She does nothing but look after him and feed him. And when we are home her other task is all baby related like washing Euan’s cloth diaper, clothes and bottles. She gets up at 7am and at 7pm she’s already done with her duty she can do whatever she wants. We let her watch tv and use her phone as long as Euan is sleeping. We are never really strict. We are however very strict on hygiene. We specifically told her to never forget to sanitize whenever she has to handle Euan. E and I are the kind of people who hates confronting someone so the first time we have to tell her this was when we found her touching her feet then after that she goes to hold Euan. Telling her not to do that was like giving ourselves a stab. That’s just one example. Setting rules and boundaries was the hardest for me and E. Insulting or hurting someone is the last thing that we wanted to do but for this to work we have to. She is from the province and she grew up with old ways and most of the time she would do most of them with Euan. This is the kind of things that really annoys me when one has to be superstitious and whenever you have to disagree the would make you feel that you are a horrible person. Jen is like that. I have to explain to her that, most especially myself that I don’t believe on those kind of things that I would rather trust my pediatrician and then she had to reply well in the province our babies are healthy without this and that. The problem I have with Jen is she thinks she knows better than I am because she already have experience with her nieces and nephews while this is really my first time to take care of a baby, my very own baby. Because of that whenever I tell her something about how to handle Euan she gets insulted, well that’s what I at least think because she never makes eye contact every time I have to set rules about traditions, superstitious beliefs and psuedo medicines. So whenever I have to tell her something I just text her just so I won’t have to see her taking what I am saying as negative. Also the thing that I really don’t like about her is she mimics whatever fun thing it is that Euan and I do. She sings the songs I sing for him. She holds him the way I would hold him. One time I snapped at her during that time when we were talking about how was her day with Euan while I was at work then she reported how Euan slept better when she puts him on her chest and that she also fell asleep in the process. That was the first time in my life that I have to tell someone that I don’t like it what she has done. She saw me one time putting Euan in my chest and he was sleeping. I do that because I feel so close and intimate to him. Then the next day she also did it. I cried after telling her not to do that again that she has to be careful not to over step. Maybe I am wrong that I feel this way about her being intimate with my baby but I can’t help it but feel very possessive. I like that she loves my son but I just hope she knows how to set limits. She was ok though. She apologized and said she wouldn’t do it anymore. I also do my best now to not be jealous at how much time she gets to spend with Euan and that they are close now. Every day going to work is the hardest thing for me to do. I wish I could be the one to take care of my son.

We love that she has a place to go on her day off. We love that we can have the apartment for ourselves on weekends. It’s hard though that we have to do house chores when we should be just relaxing on our day off but this is our way of making up for the time we are away from Euan. So far it’s been almost 4 months with her and I think she is ok apart from the many times she takes selfie a day, kiss a*$, and her subtle arrogant attitude. As long as she takes very good care of Euan I don’t mind those annoying things about her. Maybe in time I’ll grow to understand them and even learn to finally say whatever there is I don’t like without having to cry after or feel horrible because it is indeed my right to say whatever I feel is right for my baby. For now I’m still adjusting to a life shared with someone who I don’t have any in common. Not easy giving up my space but that’s how life goes, you have to make big sacrifices for the ones you love.

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