The Pros and Cons of Not Having a Yaya or Househelp

by - November 06, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Not Having a Yaya or Househelp_maid


I haven't been able to spend time writing on this blog as much as I wanted to for the past weeks (or months!), all for one reason: we don't have a yaya or househelp anymore.

Why Yayas or House Helpers Are Common in the Philippines

In the Philippines, it's common practice to hire a stay-in yaya (or nanny) who also doubles as a househelper, as there are rarely daycare centers for very young children here. Most daycare centers only cater pre-school-aged children, so while your baby is still too young for school, they are usually left in the care of a family member. But in the case of small families like us whose grandparents and relatives live in the province, we're left to our own devices here in the city.

In Cebu, there's a new 24-7 daycare center that accepts babies as young as 6 months old: Amuma Childcare Services. It's actually the first that I've heard of in the Philippines, and their services (childcare, feeding, educational playtime, nap times, etc.) are quite really attractive. However, we find their rates honestly expensive in relation to our monthly budget, so it's out of the question for us. It is, of course, a good option for other working parents.

The Decision Not to Have a Yaya—for Now

As a work-at-home mom, I was reliant on our previous yaya to tend to the household chores and entertaining our baby while I worked. But then again, after more than a year of staying with us, she had other plans.

It has been more than a month since she left. And while it was very difficult for us at the beginning, my husband and I have somehow adjusted to our new lifestyle sans yaya. Here are some of the pros and cons of not having a yaya or househelp:

Pros of Not Having a Yaya or Househelp

1. Having your own privacy back

Imagine having a stranger live in your house 24-6 (because they have a day-off, of course!). Now imagine employing that stranger; ergo, it also means you need to act like a formal "boss" 24-6 in order to set boundaries (and also beget respect, because, honestly, you can't imagine just how rude yayas can be when they see you have your guard down).

It was so exhausting having to maintain a facade in front of our yaya back then, being careful with my actions so as not to give her a negative impression on us as employers. Most importantly, we had to be very careful with our valuables (i.e., money, cellphone, wallets, etc.) and not leave them just about anywhere in the house, so as not to tempt our employed housemate. 

Now that we don't have a yaya, we have the freedom to do anything we want—use the comfort room with the door open, leave our loose change wherever, and goof around whenever. It's really a good feeling to have your guard down in your own house!

via GIPHY

2. Bigger savings 

In the Philippines, the standard monthly wage for yayas and househelpers averages between 3,500 to 4,500php. For stay-in yayas, you also need to shoulder their basic toiletries, full meals, snacks, and to some employers, their cellphone load. Not to mention the electricity and water expenses, and mind you, yayas are not the best people to enlist in conserving electricity and water!

Since the time we were without a yaya, our grocery and overall household expenses dramatically decreased, allowing us to save as much as 4,000 to 5,000 a month!

3. Less stress

The thing about yayas is that they're not very consistent and committed to their job. Gave them clear and simple instructions? They forget them about a minute after. Asked them to come home at a certain time after their day off? They arrive the day after, forcing you to leave from work or double the household chores. Told them specifically to be careful with some of your stuff? They break or damage it. 

What's more is that no amount of asking them nicely or giving them a decent lecture about taking responsibility would leave a lasting impression on them to teach a lesson. They commit the same mistakes again and again and again, which honestly stresses me out more than having to calm down a toddler with a tantrum.

Without a yaya to monitor, manage, and give constant instructions to, I find myself happier and less stressed. Of course, baby is also happier to see a happy mommy too!

4. More control over household chores
As mentioned, yayas are not the most reliable persons. That's why when I leave instructions, it's almost always never followed, and you have to acquiesce to just letting them do their thing just so long as the job gets done.

Being a neat-freak parent, there are things I'd like to be done a certain way because (1) it's more efficient, (2) it leaves lesser mess, and (3) it's more practical (i.e., lesser time and electricity/water consumed). 

Now that we don't have a yaya, my husband and I have more control over our household chores, and that also includes controlling the amount of cooking oil, dishwashing liquid, condiments, laundry powder, etc., to use when cooking or cleaning the house—all of which equates to bigger savings and a more efficient household.

5. Cleaner house and healthier baby

Both my husband and I are very particular with cleanliness and keeping things in order—the same with our one-year-old too, who of course follows by example. Honestly, yayas are not the neatest people in the world. They don't clean as they go, and they're not very mindful about hygiene (e.g., washing their hands after using the comfort room, keeping their hair to themselves and away from the food, cleaning their feet when entering a no-slippers room, etc.). 

Without the innate neatness and bodily hygiene, it can sometimes leave our household in a constant state of mess to which I have to repeatedly remind our yaya to please clean up, and worse, sometimes having the risk of our baby catching a cold or cough (or head lice!!!) from our yaya.

Now, we find our home a lot cleaner than we had a yaya. And because we have more control over how we do certain house chores, like sweeping and mopping the floor and cleaning the comfort room, the quality of cleanliness is ten times better than a hired help!

via GIPHY


Cons of Not Having a Yaya or Househelp

1. Less "me" time for mommy and playtime with baby

With a full-time homebased job, a baby to take care of, and a household to maintain, you can just imagine how much time I have left for myself—none! 

I usually wake up early in the morning to have a good headstart with my job while my husband cooks all the food for the day. And when the baby is awake, we do everything together (eat and take a bath) to save time, which also means no "me" time for me.  And while I work, our little girl has to play by herself (hopefully without a tantrum) so that I complete my tasks, which I find quite sad and lonely for her not having a playmate.

via GIPHY

2. Double the work

Being a mother who stays at home and with an 8-hour job means double the work! Imagine having everything in one place: your home, your job, your responsibilities, all without breathing space. 

I am very lucky, however, to have a husband who knows how to cook, clean, do the laundry, and take care of our baby, so we both have an equal share of the household work. And we make it a point to have a few minutes to ourselves at night to recharge.

via GIPHY

3. Overfatigue

With so much to do at home, an active toddler, and a full-time job? Exhaustion to a whole new level.

I'll leave it to that.

4. No support at home

One of the good things of having a yaya, for me as a mom who stays at home, is that I have someone to talk to while my husband is at work. And of course, when our baby has accidents or is sick, I have someone to assist me.

Without a yaya, I only have Kitkit to talk to (who doesn't say much, actually, and when she does, I can't understand her), and I have to wait for 9 to 10 hours for my husband to arrive home and tell him all about our little (mis)adventures at home. It's lonely being at home 24-7 with just our baby to keep me company most of the time, and even with the presence of online friends, it's just not the same with face-to-face interaction (of which I have no time to do so).

So Will We Ever Have a Yaya Again?

For now, we're perfectly fine without a yaya. And with the real estate investments we have, saving a significant amount of money at this time isn't so bad (in fact, it's great!). But sooner or later, we will opt to get a yaya again, especially if we're planning to have baby number 2 in a few years' time.

Do you have a "no yaya, no problem" story to share? I'd love to hear it! Share it in the comments below :-)

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