13 September 2008

Mission impossible: Finding the perfect yaya

I knew I needed a yaya after I gave birth since I had to go back to work. My hubby and I can't afford me being a stay-at-home mommy. And so, the search began!

Yaya E was referred by mom-in-law's masseuse. She had experience caring for a newborn. There's not much to complain about her, but that her voice was loud and might have damaged my baby's delicate hearing. She stayed for about 4 months then went home to the province for the Christmas season and she never returned. Her hubby did not allow her to come back since they've got a 2 year old that needed her attention.

Yaya C stayed for barely a day! She had family matters to attend to.

Yaya L was mild-mannered but she's always taking my baby from my arms. When we went to visit my parents, she even took Elhaym from my papa. I wonder why... She eventually had to go because it was her youngest child's graduation.

Yaya J was unlike Yaya L, a bit boisterous and had many complaints. Once, Elhaym's nails were quite long, and I told Yaya J, I will cut it soon. When I got home from work, I saw one of Elhaym's fingers had a wound on it, and some nails were shorter. Upon closer inspection, it was not just one, but two wounds parallel to each other, very much like it was clipped by a nail cutter. Rix and I confronted her, but she strongly denied the obvious and said it was from the playpen. How could that be? A playpen for a baby is supposed to be safe, right? The next day, we told her not to take care of Elhaym yet and just clean the house and help mom-in-law with household chores instead. She then took her leave on the spot.

The above yaya's were aged around 33-50. Advantage was that they were really experienced with being other kids' yaya's and having to take care of their own children. They would also know how to handle some emergency situations. Disadvantages include their being hard-headed, shunning modern ways of caring for child, they just keep doing what they are familiar with.

After Yaya J, we hired Yaya M, a teenager who claimed to have taken care of her much younger siblings. She played with Elhaym but she had a rough way of doing it, like lifting her up from the floor while holding just her hands. She didn't change Elhaym's wet nappies much even if she sat on the floor in them, and she even let her sleep in them. We didn't actually see these, our helper was informing us. This one had to go!

Now, this present yaya of Elhaym, who is also a teenager, will leave on the 16th. We thought that by hiring younger ones, they could be easily taught. But they are easily distracted by the TV, they lack that loving attitude towards kids, and like to primp themselves. While she was feeding Elhaym, she kept looking elsewhere. When Elhaym won't open her mouth for the next spoonful, I looked inside her mouth to see if there's still food. Guess what I found? Elhaym's earring! Thank God she didn't swallow it yet! Or else it will get stuck in her throat. I scolded the yaya, of course. She wasn't concentrating on feeding Elhaym, if she took another spoonful, she would have swallowed the earring.

And my quest goes on and on...

Guidelines on what to look for in a yaya:
(Thanks to my friend who works for the MomsToday magazine publication)
  • She's a working couple's partner in raising their child, so what they teach should be uniform
  • Should be honest and tell the parents if the child hit his/her head or is sick
  • Should not succumb to gossiping with and about the neighbors lest the child absorbs this
  • Listen to and apply the parents' ways of caring for their child
  • Should be clean in handling the baby, the baby's food and things, and herself as well
  • Should always prioritize the baby
  • But, would help around the house when has free time
  • Should talk softly to the baby
  • Should respect the baby as a person
  • One of Rix's friend's wife said that her new yaya's undergo chest x-ray and she tells them to get a police/NBI clearance
  • She needs to be loving to the child, but it must be established as to who is the mother
Am I being too picky?
I just want the best for my little superstar...
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