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    As much as we need her, Yaya has to take a leave now and then. Sometimes she may even have to go for good! What do you do when this happens?

    If Yaya is gone for a while

    “Line up fun things to do while Yaya is away. I find that the kids are easier to take care of when we are out. They aren’t cooped up at home, hence they sleep earlier at night after an active day. Schedule a play date or a trip to the park or even just the supermarket.” — Shelli Tomacruz, teacher; mom to Mantha, 5, and Javier, 1

    “Sometimes I like it when Yaya goes on a day off because I get to bond with my son. I plan ahead. I finalize the exact day of departure and the day (and time) she’s coming back. If Yaya would be gone during the work week, I take a leave from work.” — Judy Malabanan, marketing manager; mom to Manu, 6

    “Have Yaya endorse all her responsibilities to you or whomever will take over. Sometimes we take for granted what they do, and consequently, there are some important tasks that will be left undone. Ask her to make a schedule or a list of tasks she does daily, and then farm out her different tasks among your other helpers. That way, no one gets unduly burdened.” — Rissa Kawpeng, editor; mom to Charlize, 6, and Erin, 4

    “When Yaya leaves for a vacation, my objective is to have a stress-free day. The day before she goes, I write down what I have to do and set alarms on my phone so I won’t have to rush. I prepare for the next day when the kids are in bed so I can focus. Time management is the key to my daily routine.” — Jackie Calalang Ledonio, nurse; mom to Rocky, 9, and Chelsea, 6

    “I always make sure I have one temporary yaya or maid who will take over when one goes on vacation. The trick is to either train your kids to be as independent and low-maintenance as they can be, or to have an extra helper who can pinch-hit as a temporary yaya should the need arise.” — Rica Villegas, mom to Nino and Gaita, 6

    “I almost always allow my yaya to go on days off, provided that she tells me ahead of time —- that’s a month in advance for a vacation, and a week for a few days off. When Yaya goes on a day off, I take over my child’s daily routine. It is during this time that I teach my son a new skill so he can contribute to household chores. I try to make it enjoyable and, at the same time, I remind him that when he is doing this, he is helping both his yaya and me.” — Peaches Tiu, events planner; mom to Farrel, 9

    “This could be the best time to travel and go to places where the kids can have fun. Invite your loved ones (like your mom or siblings) to help you take good care of the kids.” — Melanie Macaraeg, skin specialist; mom to Troy, 6, and Enzo, 3


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