I left my 17-year-banking career to rest and focus on my pregnancy. My daughter’s yaya or nanny had resigned to take care of her ailing father. Since then, we’ve had our fair share of searching, hiring, training, and then being left behind by a string of nannies.
It’s true, the struggle is real. Our longest-serving nanny lasted for three years. The shortest? Three hours. No joke. We found out she was a smoker. So after a much thought and fervent prayer, we decided not to get one anymore, although there had been some offers. We had to deal with the situation ourselves. I just had to step up.
Has it been easy? No. Has it been fun? Yes and no. Was it worth it? DEFINITELY. I have learned so much from being a hands-on mom to our three children (a pre-teen, a preschooler, and a toddler) without the help of a yaya. I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve gotten to know my kids deeper, and I have learned to manage time. Not having a yaya does have its advantages and here are the top 5 based on my own experience:
1. Time Management & Multi-tasking
With so many things to do at the start of the day until bedtime, learning to manage time and to multi-task at the same time is a skill. The two go hand in hand. Knowing and doing things on time will lessen the struggle of being a mom, a tutor, a playmate, a storyteller, a disciplinarian, a cheerleader, a nurse, and a referee to name a few.
2. More Quality Time
When you manage your time well enough, you’ll have more quality time to spend with your kids. If there’s a yaya around, you tend to let her do things with them because hey, that’s what they’re paid to do, right? Eating with your kids, bathing them, watching TV with them (shows which we approve of) and answering their questions about them (interaction), or just doing jigsaw puzzles with them are just some things they will remember well into adulthood. I’m blessed to have a husband who spends time with the kids as well. Taking our girls on dates, playing rough with our little boy, or reading them stories, makes him a present parent too.
Since there is no yaya to clean up after them, our kids have learned to be responsible and independent. Even our toddler knows that he needs to put away his toys after playing and to tidy up after eating. My two girls have learned to look after their little brother. They also learned to be patient and to wait for their turn as I tend to the other sibling – things that I wouldn’t have been able to impart as much if we had a nanny.
4. Practical Savings
Salary, social security, PAGIBIG, bonuses, and cash incentives are all due a nanny especially when she does a good job. But really, it is quite costly. Imagine saving the money and investing it somewhere else like a college fund or insurance for the kids? They will benefit from it financially when the time comes.
5. Emotional Security
Honestly, when you don’t have a yaya, you’re saving yourself and your kids from heartbreak. When you let a stranger into your house, try to get to know her, build trust, treat her as a friend then eventually as part of the family, include her in the head count for everything the family does, your family is investing in her emotionally. Then, BAM! She leaves for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes without even saying goodbye. It truly is heartbreaking especially for the kids.
Not having a yaya has its pros and cons. Maybe in the future we will look again for one… or maybe not. What do you think?
By: Abbi Cabigao-Paras