We’ve all been there. It’s Monday morning, and you’re waiting, and Yaya doesn’t show up after her day off. You call and you text — and nothing. Or maybe she’ll text back and say that her mother wouldn’t let her come back.
Whatever the scenario, you are suddenly without a yaya. What to do? The first thing is to ask for help from friends and family. I've asked my mom whose residence is nowhere near my office to help me with child care. Yes, she went to my office to look after my son while I worked. I needed the help badly.
Many of us don't like to ask for help because you hate to bother other people, you feel embarrassed, or you don't want to seem weak? Whatever your reason, get over it and don't be afraid to do any of the following, which will NOT magically solve your problem. But these helped me stay sane as I sought a more permanent solution.
1. Ask for help from officemates. Worst case scenario: You have to bring your baby to the office. Ask your teammates ahead of time if they can help out by holding him so you can attend a meeting or go to the bathroom. Some might even offer to take him so you can enjoy a well-deserved coffee break.
2. Get help with all the other household needs. You’re a super-parent, no doubt. But you can’t do everything! Get a cleaning service (click here for a directory), so you don’t have to worry about sweeping or mopping. Take most of your clothes to a laundry shop, so you only have to wash the delicate items yourself. Buy easy-to-cook food or ask your partner to take over cooking duties.
3. Accept help when it’s offered. Your next-door neighbor might offer to take your child for an hour or so. Maybe your brother can come to your office to watch your baby during your meeting. If someone offers to help, and you trust them with your child, say yes.
4. Ask your supervisor for a more flexible schedule. This might be tough if you’re working full-time, or in an environment that involves a lot of customer service, like food establishments or banks. But if your work is primarily done at your desk, then maybe your office would be okay with you working remotely. You can suggest coming to the office once or twice a week, especially if you need to attend meetings, and then do the rest of your work at home.
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5. Be kind to yourself. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Now is not the time to cook up a three-course meal. Just do what needs to be done. Stop apologizing for the messy house. You need to sleep. If it’s not urgent or life-threatening or soul-crushing, it can wait. Your high school Viber chat group can wait.
And, before we forget, and if your partner or husband is in the picture, make sure he helps you. Child care options don't always have to be on you.