This title has the potential for becoming a household nightmare…or not. It all depends on how things are handled and the position you choose to take as an employer. Either way, it does happen and actually can happen to you. So, just in case it does – by the way, it’s happened to me twice! – here are some guidelines:
1. Number One Rule: Be honest – with yourself and your staffer. How do you really feel about the situation? Is it an automatic non-negotiable or has your staffer become such a part of your family that it does not pose an obstacle at all but a happy surprise. Think. Think. Think.
2. After pondering the situation, take a deep breath and sit your yaya down for a heart to heart talk. However, be aware of her present condition. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you will know beyond all else how hormones can be raging and how a bucket of tears is just a blink away. Hence, be considerate. Remember, you’re not the one pregnant.
3. Ask yaya how she feels about the situation and if she has any personal plans regarding her future. Is she married or about to get married? Has her partner agreed to own up to his responsibilities as a father? Does she plan to go back to the province or give birth in Manila? What is her financial situation if any? What are her plans after giving birth for both her and her baby?
4. Once you have heard her “side” – what should remain foremost in your mind is that a child is always a blessing despite the fact that the circumstances it is born into may not be ideal. Having said this, when talking to your yaya, make sure she realizes this as well. If you have ever gone through the birthing process, you will know that your child will feel everything you are feeling even as it grows in your womb. So, as much as possible, try to make this talk with yaya “painless” – for her unborn child will also experience any ill-feeling or negativity you may have towards its mother. You may not have condoned her actions but shouting, berating or judging will not help the situation at this point.
5. At this stage, it would be best to already decide whether or not Yaya’s pregnancy is something that is acceptable in your household.
6. If it is not, consider the following:
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Break the news to yaya as gently as possible.
Give her a little time to plan for the change by not sending her away immediately (this is granting that the circumstances of her pregnancy are not controversial/unreasonable) and allowing her to stay until she has figured out a place to go to or work at.
You may also help her by giving her a “parting gift”, a small amount to tide her over until she finds another job. Some people opt to give cash equivalent to one or two months salary.
The guiding principle should be of compassion. Kindness is always a good way to go especially when another person is in distress.
Click here to read more guidelines on what to do if yaya's pregnant.