This has been the hashtag of my life since December 2016: #noyayanoproblem. Surprisingly, a lot of my friends do not employ a nanny/helper as of late. I’m not really sure why, but there’s a shortage of amiable and reliable helpers around. Add to that the list of horror stories involving nannies like stealing, kidnapping and being violent to kids! Now that vacation time is here, I know most helpers will go home to their families, and some might not come back so here’s some lessons and tips that has helped me survive this situation.
First things first, how did my husband and I came to the decision not to hire a helper anymore? Well, there wasn’t really a choice as it was Christmas season then and getting a helper was impossible. Then we had relatives visiting from the US who gave our spirits a boost with their stories of raising kids there without a helper. It was also a good practice for us since we plan to go abroad soon. Travelling with a helper will entail additional expenses so go na, no more yaya!
I think the transition was easier for me because we are living with my in-laws (which deserve another post altogether) and there are other helpers who cook and clean and do the laundry. So in any case, I wasn’t without a helper. I just had no designated person to look after the kids entirely so I can go on and do my own stuff. The kids adjusted differently. They had to go where I was going and they need to pack away their toys, clothes and food. At one point, Z said “let’s get a yaya so she can pack away.” That for me was another reason not to get a yaya anymore. The kids will become too dependent and not learn to do their chores. Now, we have a system and I labeled their boxes so they know where their toys are going. Actually, our room is more organized and cleaner now than when we had a helper. Even Y helps in packing away toys and clothes and now she knows where to get her undies and socks! So that was a lesson for me: involve the kids and they will be willing helpers!
Thank heavens for grandparents, I can have an hour or two to myself. Put yourself on the prioritize list every day! Be it a workout, coffee by yourself or a 30-minute shower. It will do your mind and soul good. I really see the importance of me-time because it works. Just a few minutes for you to catch your breath. Even if you have a yaya, chances are you might spend time doing other things, not things for YOU.
But there will be days that will challenge you. Too many clothes to sort; kids dumped all of their toys on the floor; both kids having tantrums; husband having a tantrum. You know, it’s one of those days. My rule for that:
For example, this blog post has been saved on drafts since the month started. My kids are always asking me to join them in their playtime so I just do chores and blogging when they are sleeping or if I really need to finish something, it’s TV or gadget time. Just remember that there’s always a time for everything. It really pays to have a schedule and routine so that you can plan out your day. I enlist the help of my husband such as asking him to be the one to read the bedtime books to the kids so I can freshen up or finish work I left hanging. Oh diba, hitting two birds with one stone!
Having no helper means I get to be more intentional with the kids. I can inject learning while we’re playing and now Y knows her colors, shapes, letters and counting! They’ve also realized that I’m the only one who can give in to their needs and would always be grateful like saying “Thank you for cleaning my pwet, Mama!” I deem a day to be successful when just before sleeping I’ll ask them if they had a great day and almost always, they say yes. I may be help-less but I’m not helpless.
Got more tips to yaya-less families?! Share them in the comments!