Yaya Problems

mary poppins
Mary Poppins (1964), from Disney Screencaps

Joey and I both work so we hired yayas (nannies) to take care of the twins while we're at the office. They would each be in charge of one baby and share in other baby-related chores like washing bottles, baby laundry and some light housework, which I'm told is the normal job description of a yaya. We also gave them a good package: salary way above minimum wage, paid time off and holidays, SSS contributions, healthcare,  and of course free board and lodging. 

So far, we've gone through 7 yayas. Yup 7!

Why? Was it because of me and Joey? I'd like to think Joey and I are reasonable employers. Was it because of the twins? How could they be the reason with their cherubic cheeks and infectious laughs?

Well, one left because she was scared of ghosts even during daytime and couldn't handle being alone with Antonino in the room whenever we were at work (There was a time when we put the twins in separate rooms after Audrey was confined in the hospital for a week). She always thought there was a ghost whenever someone from the house would knock or open the door. Another one complained about the never ending baby laundry so my mom had her all-around helper wash the twins' clothes and sometimes even their bottles, but she still left even with her lighter workload. The rest say they didn't realize that caring for babies under a year old would be so difficult and entail so many rules.

I don't expect a yaya to come in and automatically know how to care for the twins. Every family is different so whenever a new yaya comes in, we train her and give her directions on how we want things done. Sure, I may sound like a broken record reminding them to change the twins' diapers frequently and wash hands after each diaper change and before making a bottle, but we follow the same rules too. And is it too much to ask for a rash-free (not to mention UTI-free) baby? And while I know we cannot prevent some illnesses from happening, we still can do our part to not be germ-mobiles through frequent hand washing. One yaya even complained that the more I reminded her to wash her hands, the more she forgot to do it. Hmmm... I really don't understand that reasoning until now.

Our shortest tenured yaya was with us for 3 weeks. Don't feel bad, we have friends whose yayas barely even lasted a week. I hate it when yayas just quit by not returning after a weekend off because it makes me scared. Scared I wouldn't be able to find a suitable replacement and scared that my career would be over because I wouldn't be able to go back to work again. We're lucky to be staying with my mom who is such a doting grandmother. And when we're given the courtesy of even just a day's notice that our yaya will be leaving, we're able to enlist the help of Joey's mom and sister who also live in the same city. They take care of the twins while Joey and I are at work. Then, Joey and I do other baby-related chores after we put the twins to sleep at night (hello midnight bottle washing!). But I still think it's unfair to expect our moms and my sister-in-law to always be there to pick up the slack whenever our yayas leave.

I know this post may sound like #firstworldproblems but when you're a working mom with twins, you really need a reliable yaya to watch your kids so you can do your job and contribute to your family income. Twins are expensive, you know! Not complaining, just stating a fact. So we treat our yayas extremely well and do whatever we can to keep them but they still end up leaving which really sucks. But if there's one thing I learned from all our yaya problems, it's that we can always find a way to make it work even though it means getting only 3 to 4 hours of sleep on weeknights. You can't exactly "sleep when the baby sleeps" when there's a sink full of bottles to be washed.

We're still looking for yayas and we know it's going to take a while. A lot of our friends are also having a hard time finding and keeping yayas so I know we're not alone in our yaya problems. Eventually the twins will grow a bit older and I cannot wait because this means I can call on Yaya Youtube at least once a day so we can have an hour to do baby related chores before midnight. And then maybe we can get at least 5 hours of sleep even on weeknights. MAYBE.

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