• Jasmine Mendiola

Yaya Diaries

Updated: Apr 11

I was scheduled to write about how to hire a yaya/ househelp and all the stuff I keep in mind in getting to be surrounded by the angels we have at home, having been asked more than five times where we get our helpers, what our tips are in managing them, etc. Except that today, I’m thoroughly heartbroken like it felt like every time a helper leaves us hurt and wounded.

It sounds OA but I really feel like I just broke up with a bad boyfriend — the kind of feeling that leaves you so down and paralyzed. I’m still this ever resilient and decided person when it comes to “breaks up”. As in I’m certain that by tomorrow, I’ll be moving on to finding the next and will hardly even think about this person who left. So I decided to type out this flurry of emotions now in spite of a million things I have to do, add to that the additional gazillion things I have to shuffle around and find ways to accommodate because we’re one man down at home indefinitely. Maybe writing it down will make me feel better about this sooner than tomorrow because I really don’t want to be bogged down by someone who inconsiderately just doesn’t come back, na wala mang lang ni ha ni ho. Nag-alala pa ko when we didn’t hear from her on her whereabouts 6 hours after her supposed time to come back (in spite of her never coming back on time for all of her days off the past seven months she’s been with us).

Aira is young but hardworking. Very teachable and Roux has fun with her. We knew she had a five year plan of going back to school but that she was paying off her Mom’s debt and helping make money to help with her other 10 younger siblings. She did her tasks well, never complaining (at least to us). When I check up or follow up on some of her usual to dos, she’s already done them. And she knew how to handle a tantrum with kindness and still have some sense of command to a 3 year old. She was also maarte and we were fine with that as long as she didn’t use vulgar language around Roux. Except for the glitches in days off, I have nothing to complain. In fact, I hardly do. I love our household helpers like my barkada I’m told it might be so to a fault. When I see something I don’t like, we immediately approach it and find ways or make suggestions to improve and that’s that. They know me to be open like that, able to speak my mind in an authoritative tone. What I make sure of is that I express to them my gratitude for what they do for our family everyday, as often as I can.

I feel so cross with myself because I really dive into being attached to our helpers. I trust them with my children’s upbringing and settle in accepting that some of their traits may rub off on our kids. And I’m grateful for that because I always find a lot to admire and be grateful for for having these people become part of our family. I intentionally extend so much of myself and embrace our househelp like our own so it really really hurts to be left just like that.

We have 3 helpers at home with very defined job descriptions. I have designed a system at home where the workload is equal and adjusted based on their preferences and strengths. All 3 roles are synergistic and complement each other such that when one takes a day off, her tasks are arranged for like clockwork and no one (at least in their right mind) will feel lugi or nalamangan. I also know for a fact that one of them gets sentimental because she’s been here longer than all of them, yet has seen a number of them go.

Situations like this make me think, “am I a horrible person? Why would they do that?” You open your home, share all your food and give them comfort, gifts and plan your family life with them in mind. Ang sakit talaga ah. The evil side of my conscience is starting to enumerate all the things na pwede ko isumbat but it feels so vile! So I’m going to cry without any care for my pride and declare that I am honest to goodness betrayed and hurt (we had a helper before who left with apparently so much angst and said mean things on her way out. She even found our sharing baby clothes to her nieces to be insulting, saying stuff like akala nyo ba pulubi kami? and even took lengths in causing trouble afterwards because she wasn’t in good terms with one of the other helpers. I cried for that one too because I wasn’t expecting so much hate and was so taken aback na minsama pa yung hand-me-downs, I was shookt, no doubt. So now when we dispose stuff, I have a mouthful of disclaimers tuloy!)

Anyway, as in ang hassle nito ah, I swear! We’re not the type to hold back anyone who has other plans but to be left hanging without warning is so bastos I just don’t know if at her young age she knows what that means. I had wished that working with us will hone some work ethic and enable her to succeed in life after she finishes her schooling; I have even dreamt of sending her to school and offering her a different job elsewhere eventually when Roux eventually no longer needs a yaya because all I want is to be surrounded by people who are committed to us like how we are to them. But that no longer matters and that’s just sad.

I really just want to have those yayas who raise their families with us until we’re old. Like an Auntie Tasing or the 33 year employed yayas of our parents’ age. Someone who will also treat us like family and not just some employer whose hand they will bite when they’ve had enough eventually.


Jasmine Mendiola

+63 939 919 7721

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©2019 by Jasmine Mendiola