What Yayas Do When We’re Not Looking

On the numerous times I’ve been to parks and school pick-ups, I’ve seen different kinds of yayas and how they handle our kids.

I don’t watch their every move, of course. But I overhear them most of the time and they display similar behaviors in the absence of a “boss”.

So consider me your extra pair of eyes when you’re at work. I had some mom friends who did the same for me back when we still had a yaya, and it feels good to know that someone has our backs.

Let’s start with the good ones 🙂

The Tutor Yaya

At dismissal, they immediately check the class journal for homeworks and teacher’s notes.

“Ate (addressing me), walang notes si Teacher.”

“Aba, nacheck mo na agad ah.”

“Oo Ate, tinutulungan ko siya (the child) sa assignments.”

I hope you know she does this. Please give her a raise! 🙂

The GMRC Yaya

They teach them good values in addition to what we teach and they’re affected when the kids are lacking on something – attention, discipline, or some loving – they worry.

I hope you give generous bonuses. You are so lucky!

The Grateful Yaya

These are the ones who say many good things about you. How generous you are, how you’ve helped their families, and how understanding you have been. Again, you are very fortunate they praise you in public and keep the details of your private life to themselves.

The Good Vibes Yaya

Those who talk a lot about their lives back home, their loved ones, the kids they miss, what pushed them to work here and so on. Their stories are rich, fascinating, and sometimes heartbreaking but they still have a positive outlook in life. I can’t help but appreciate them.

Back when Ate Fe was still with us

If yours is among these first four, consider yourself blessed. Very blessed!

Because on the other side of the spectrum, are those who need a watchful eye.

So.. in no particular order, here they are:

The Smoker

I don’t know if you already warned them not to smoke or if you really have no idea they smoke, but some do.

Perhaps they’re unaware that secondhand smoke is bad? Or perhaps you smoke beside your child too? Whatever it is, I really pray your kid doesn’t develop asthma or any breathing difficulties. If they suddenly have lung problems, do a quick sniff on yaya’s clothes.

The Threatening Yaya

I’m sure she means well and she just wants your kid to obey. But the way she does it, makes me cringe sometimes.

I’ve heard one say,

“Pag di ka tumigil, tatadyakan kita!”

I really hope she doesn’t mean that.

“Huwag ka magulo, kung hindi lagot ka sakin mamaya!

I wonder what lagot entails. It sounds scary to me.

I wish I can correct them all. But I can’t always stick my nose on other people’s business. I’m not even sure if you also do what they do to your kid. So.

The Foul-Mouthed Yaya

I’d like to fire them for you, but then, I’m just a stranger who happened to be in the same park.

One time, one yaya near us was reprimanding a little boy,

“Punyemas ka talagang bata ka! Pahamak ka sa buhay ko!” 

She wasn’t hitting him but I’m sure she doesn’t talk to your kid like that when you’re around.

I managed to comment and I said,

“Oh my gosh Ate, huwag mo namang minumura yung bata. May pinagdadaanan ka ba?”

“Eh, ang kulet e!”

And they hurriedly left.

The Overly Playful Yaya

These are the ones who flick your little boy’s penis.

Yes. In public.

(Uso ba to? Namimitik ng putoytoy? 😆)

She was obviously just goofing around. I’m not sure what your kid thought about it though. Especially when the people around laughed.

If I were the kid, I’d probably be confused. They playfully flick my penis when I do something wrong? Hmm it might have sent the wrong signals.

Perhaps you should always check with your child. I’m praying he already told you about it.

The Who Cares Yaya

They don’t give a damn. They just don’t.

Your child is covered in snot, he’s drenched in sweat, and she’s just on her phone. I understand she needs a break too. But then.

The Overprotective Yaya

Those who always tell your kid not to run or climb. (uhm, nagpunta pa kayo sa park. 😆)

They just sit on the bench to avoid accidents.

I pity the child watching everyone else have fun.

But again, I couldn’t interfere.

I casually asked the child once why she’s not allowed in the playground and she answered, “Mommy said, it’s dirty.”

In that case…

The Mute Yaya

They are mum.

But are secretly trying to talk to me.

They are not allowed to chat with anyone. They’re scared they’ll get reprimanded when they get caught.

Congratulations you just stopped them from being humans!

I totally understand where you’re coming from though. We want them to keep an eye on our children at all times. But not letting them converse at all is, I think, unkind.

They are often left alone with no adult to talk to after you leave for work and they can’t talk to anyone outdoors too? I won’t be surprised if one day they go nuts.

But there is an exception. When they’re unstoppable and they really talk too much. Which leads me to the last one.

The Whiner slash Gossiper Yaya

Low salary, heavy workload, too many household members to serve, our extra orders, how tiring work is, how we parent, how we not parent, they’re unstoppable.

I’m not sure how to solve this.

I told our yaya before that if she doesn’t want me to share her wrong doings or weaknesses to our neighbors, make sure not to do the same.

I’m not quite sure if it worked.

With all these, I guess it’s best to communicate often with our kasambahays as to how we want them to treat our children. And also to check with our kids regularly on how yaya is to them. It doesn’t hurt to play detective once in a while too.

To this day, we haven’t found a replacement yet. The recent one we had was too much of a fraud so I had to pack her things for her. Our tiny home was neat & tidy during her 3-week-stay (she was really good in housekeeping, I almost thought she was the answer to my prayers!) but I guess I can stand dirt more than being lied to my face everyday.

I guess we still have to keep looking and praying!

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(Related post: The Question You Shouldn’t Forget To Ask When Interviewing A Potential Yaya)