• Taking Care of Mom: Coping Without a yaya

    In the Philippines, we often find ourselves being overly dependent on our yayas. Sometimes, however, circumstances lead us to suddenly becoming “yaya-less”.
    by Aila Sim-Yonzon .
  • mom with sonHere are the top 10 things to consider in the eventuality of such a predicament.

    1. Make the call-out now.
    First things first. Try to get a new yaya ASAP! Ask as many people as you can to help in your search. Finding new help may take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks, so it’s best to start the clock as soon as you can.

    2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    While waiting for new yayas to arrive, expect the days to be rough. There will be times when you’ll think you might end up in the loony bin but you’ll survive. To lighten the load, think of people who might be able to help you during this time of need such as lolos and lolas with whom you can leave the children while you work or do errands. One of the great things about Filipino culture is our closely-knit families. We have a tremendous support system. Even if you run your own household, you sometimes still find yourself running to your parents in times of need. The best part is that parents are often happy and willing to help out, especially when their grandchildren are involved.

    3. Prioritize.
    There will be some things that you will be unable to take care of immediately, especially if your yaya was also your all-around househelp, which is a common arrangement. The house might get a bit dusty or the laundry will go unwashed for a couple of days. The most important task is to take care of the kids. Feeding them, making sure they’re clean, that they have fresh pajamas for the night, etc. Of course, the kitchen has to be clean, too, or else you might invite unwanted six-legged visitors. Make a short list of what absolutely needs to be done on a daily basis and worry about the rest once you’ve settled into a good rhythm.

    4. Delegate tasks.
    Remember that there are two of you in this partnership. Even Supermom might have a difficult time coping with this difficult time. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to take charge of certain tasks, especially with several kids to take care of. Maybe Dad can do the grocery this time since Mom still has to cook lunch for the family. Or Dad can bathe Ate while mom cleans up in the kitchen. Dividing tasks between yourself and your partner will make them easier to manage.

    5. Plan your meals.
    It might be wise to cook slightly bigger batches while being short on help. Instead of cooking every mealtime, you can conserve your efforts by reheating leftovers. Or if you find yourself simply too exhausted to cook, have food delivered or treat the family by eating out.

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    Click here for more tips on coping without a yaya.

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