No Yaya, No Problem!

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.

Where are you super yaya?! Photo from:http://clipart-library.com/helper-cliparts.html
Where are you super yaya?! Photo from: http://clipart-library.com/helper-cliparts.html

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!

He is OC!
He is OC!

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:

ccdc882ba7f72f033a0db3c0ecaf62fc
Photo Credits

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!

Teamwork!
Teamwork!

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!

On Our 6th Year Anniversary

Ours is a love story typical of a movie script — friends who met after how many years, got into a car accident and then realized they can’t live without each other. We may have hurt some people to be with each other, but that’s a decision I’m never, ever going to regret. Choosing you has made my life exhilarating.

Photo by: Lianne Bacorro
Photo by: Lianne Bacorro

I don’t want to be sappy this early in the morning but here are 6 lessons I’ve learned over the years that may help other young couples keep the love alive:

  1. Never sleep on a disagreement. It’s best to pour out your feelings rather than keeping them aside. Open communication is key!
  2. Don’t talk about your partner negatively. Especially in front of his parents, hehe.
  3. Our love language is time. So we see to it that we set breakfast dates or a quick beer run, to have couple time!
  4. Always choose love. There was a time that I thought I couldn’t go on with the relationship anymore. But setting aside pride, anger and jealousy, love will always be there.
  5. I really like it when Bry kisses me good night even when I’m asleep. It’s the small things that make the big impact.
  6. Keep the friendship alive and the passion burning.

To my biggest critic and number 1 supporter, happy anniversary! I love you! 

 

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. It’s just bittersweet that it is on this month that I felt Z is really weaning. I’ve talked about weaning before but since the start of this month, Z can sleep through the night without nursing! He can even go on for 13 hours without asking for milk.

Here are some tips I can share that’s helping me and Z in this weaning process:

  • Talking to your child helps a lot. Prior to this month, Z doesn’t nurse that much when we’re out. I think telling him that nursing is done on the bed only helped him associate our bed to his feedings.
  • Follow the “Don’t Refuse; Don’t Offer” mantra. He will want it, when he wants it. And yeah, because he’s associated the bed for milk, he asks for it when we’re lying down. If I feel that he just wants to comfort nurse, I’ll tell him that he’s only got 10 counts to milk. This way, he won’t feel deprived but at the same time, he won’t linger at the breast anymore. And most of the time, I don’t even get to 6.
  • Keeping him busy will take his mind off nursing. I plan some activities for him to do (to jumpstart homeschooling) but with his toys, he can stay occupied for a long time.
  • Offer a variety of healthy snacks he can munch on during the day. Z likes strawberries, grapes, cereals and cookies. I leave his snacks on his table and he grazes on it the whole day. We just make sure to keep it an hour or two before mealtimes so he will still have an appetite.

By weaning gradually, I’m not getting engorged or uncomfortable. It has been a great 3 years of breastfeeding and I’m really proud to have given the best for my son.