Nowadays, finding a helper is really hard. Second, trusting them to take care of your baby is not an easy task. In my experience, I had a hard time looking for a replacement when our helper decided to not to work for us anymore. I felt bad about it and took it personally as I always do. I asked myself what I did wrong that made her decide to stop serving us anymore. We had beautiful plans together, sending her brothers to school first and enrolling her next. After a month, it dawned to me that whatever I did, I know I did best so I wished that the next family she will serve will treat here as a family member too.
At first, my in-laws were helping me cope up. We hired a labadera and plantsadora for Inigo’s clothes and mine. It was such a great help in my part since those household chores took so much time off me.
Then I moved back to Manila alone. It was supposed to be just a vacation and I needed to look for new tenants for our condo. I ended up loving the city life and not wanting to go back to the province again. Luckily, my partner supported my decision but just worried on how I can do all things alone. It was hard for the first two weeks. When you do all the chores from taking care of your toddler, cooking your food, cleaning the house, ironing and laundry. Good thing it only took 2 weeks to get me accustomed to my new life in the city with a toddler without any help.
But I realized that there are ways to make our yaya-less life easier.
BUY AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE
This my favorite and my best-est friend in the whole house. It makes my life so easy! Imagine, just sorting out the laundry, putting it inside, adding soap, putting fabric conditioner in the designated place and pressing the appropriate button are all I need to do! After waiting for the laundry cycle to be completed, which will take 45-60 minutes, I have that whole time to attend to other needs. Another factor is, I can do laundry while he’s awake too! Invest in a good washing machine and I promise you, it’s worth it!
DON’T STRESS YOURSELF
We women think that we should be superheroes, that we should be able to juggle all things at the same time. I thought that it’s with a proper time management and discipline, all things can be perfectly arranged in our home… BUT NO, NO! Living with a toddler, takes too much of our time and energy that sometimes the dishes pile up in the sink, the drawers are not neatly organized and a lot of other things are not done during the day. DON’T stress my dear! A day full of unfinished tasks doesn’t equate how good of a mother you are. What really matters are the memories that you make with your children. That really makes an impact on how they grow up.
DON’T BE SHY TO ASK FOR FAVORS
As a strong independent woman I used to be, asking for help/favors meaning I was not strong enough to provide for myself. When I moved back to Manila, I tried my best to not need anyone until came such time that I rode a taxi going back home and Inigo fell asleep while in the car. I had too much things with me, I had to put Inigo to his stroller so I can bring all the things I bought up to my unit. So, when I arrived in the lobby, the guard opened the door and I asked him if he could unload my things from the trunk and if he can unfold the stroller for Inigo. It was such a hard thing to do since my stroller my tri-fold but I thank him for his patience and he successfully opened it and I placed Inigo inside his stroller. I asked him too to come up with me, which he did nonchalantly. We arrived in our unit and gave him a beverage as a way of my thank you.
See, that day I realized that it’s okay to ask help from time to time. It’s not really for you, but in this very example, it’s for the comfort of my son. We, as mothers, prioritize our child’s comfort the most. So mommies out there, do not hesitate to ask help! Some are just happy to help us! It’s not easy being an all-around mother! (I really do wonder how our older generations did it!)
COOK PER BATCH
This applies to you and your baby’s food. When the little one is asleep, I normally cook food, segregate it, label it and just reheat it when the time comes! It really helps to stuck up some pasta sauces and chicken broth soup for our babies. On our viand list, adobo is always a good idea.
When we are in a budget, it really takes a lot of the budget if we opt for always ordering food BUT, once in a while is okay. When you feel that your day is so stressful and exhausting, it’s so nice to think that we can call anytime of the day to order our favorite food! Imagine good food that YOU DID not cook! Such a mood booster right? Go dial your favorite restaurant and ask for a delivery.
When I discovered it, there was no turning back! Their concierge fee of Php99 is nothing compared to the stress of going to the supermarket and negotiating to your toddler that they only need one Kinder egg! Based on my experience, using this app made my budgeting easier since I do not see things that I don’t need! Plus beating the traffic is always an eargasm, right?
PAY BILLS ONLINE
I am not techy but I am tamad. I rarely go out and I was like this ever since. I enjoy the comfort of my home. I have a Globe Broadband and I just pay online. They have no hidden charges, it takes only 5 minutes of my time and guess what? No more falling in line!
This is so convenient especially when you need something from a family or you need something delivered to a friend/family member. We never need to brave storms just to get or send some important things like documents, homemade food, toys and a lot more. It saves us time and the convenience of having everything in control with the palm of your hands.
ASK FOR STAY OUT HELPER
I am always a friendly woman. I talk to all the types of people. My favorite people to talk to in our condominium are the guards and the maids, you want to know why? They know everything and they know a lot of people who can be of use to us! I asked around for a stay out helper and it did finally come to me! They charge 350 per day, I call them once a week just for general cleaning. It saves so much effort and I can thoroughly enjoy the day with my son without thinking if the house looks a mess!
TALK TO YOUR BABY and TRY TO INCLUDE HIM WITH CHORES
I am often at awe how babies can respond at an early age. Right now, Inigo is 22 months old and can understand a lot. Whenever I need to do something, I tell him that I need to do it and he can go and play at his play area. While I do my laundry, I see my little one peeking if Mama is still there. While I do fold the new dried laundry, he goes and tries to fold it, though he often does not help me, I enjoy the smiles whenever he thinks he is helping. Whenever I cook breakfast, I tell him that he needs to wait at his highchair while watching Youtube. He often glances at me, I tell him that I am still cooking and he’s there waiting patiently. Talking to your toddler makes him understand what is happening and also beneficial for his language development.
SCREEN TIME IS OKAY
I often feel guilty every time I see someone post about the effects of screen time to the babies. They say a lot of negative things, but honestly? What can I do? There are times that my routine fails, my time is inefficiently managed and my battery is empty. YouTube is the easiest and most effective way to make the kid quiet or happy. I really do feel the guilt but I make sure that I limit it. I make sure that we still have a balanced routine. I still try not to be dependent on it. We still play, color, paint, read a book, build lego, slide, talk, tickle, and go outdoors and bond. Don’t feel bad momma, I believe it’s just a phase. If giving an hour of YouTube to your little one buys you sleep when you really feel you’re having fever, then go ahead. If giving them YouTube will help you finish cooking your meals and assuring you that accidents won’t happen since he is too preoccupied, then go ahead. If giving them 30 minutes of YouTube makes you not snap on them because of the mess or tantrums they did, then go ahead. What’s important here is, I believe, we mommies wouldn’t like our babies to be screen dependent, who does right? BUT sometimes, we just can’t handle everything at once right? Do not feel bad mommy, a day is not a valid measurement of how great of a mother we are.
We often forget what is important, which is YOU, MOMMY.
We often forget that we also need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. These tips will help you to go by while your angel AKA Yaya is not yet found. Again, don’t hesitate to ask help and accept that parenting is not always a perfect day! Take it day by day and just enjoy the roller coaster ride that comes with raising toddlers!