Sunday, November 22, 2015

Life Without a Household Help

Around 7 years ago, when my daughter was just about to turn 2, God answered my prayer for a responsible, loving and honest nanny. She was from the province, quite naive, from a really poor family and needs to support her younger sisters who, unlike her, are still in school. We liked her immediately and I love the way she takes care of my daughter. She, of course, wasn't perfect, and if I am the nitpicking employer, I'd be able to list down close to 10 mistakes in a day.

We shouldered her computer classes, then sent her to a regular school, then even sent her to the open highschool program of The Department of Education. All in all, during the 7 years she was with us, she was a working student for 5 years.

However, the past couple of years had been stressful for both of us. Her performance deteriorated and I am easily irked by her mediocre work. She always would just stay in her room and we had to knock on her door to take care of my daughter, wash the dishes, etc. In short, I started to detest her work performance. Seems like the fact that she's becoming busy with school work is really affecting the way she does her responsibilities at home. She'd forget to turn off the gas after cooking! She left for church one Sunday morning and when we came home 5 hours later, we found out she left the bathroom light on!

Also, she was always tired and sickly, which I believe is the effect of her sleeping late--- talking on the cellphone for hours till way past midnight. Actually, her responsibilities here in our household isn't really tiring - most days I no longer know what to ask her to do!

So anyway, last October, after weeks of "push-and-pull" and me reprimanding her for not removing the fish bone from the milkfish which caused my daughter to have a fishbone stuck to her throat, and not being able to go to school because of said fishbone, she said she's had it. Ugh! It's as if she was the victim in the situation! Actually, the fishbone incident was just the last straw of the looong list of kapalpakan she's done recently.

You see, if this happened two years or even a year ago, I'd be crazy not having a househelp. I'd maybe talk to her and make her stay, or maybe even offer higher compensation. But I guess this is the best time for her to go, as I was really ready, and willing to say goodbye to her. Even my daughter wasn't so affected (okay, she cried for a good 10 minutes and that's it).

Now, almost two months since the said helper left, we are THRIVING! The house is clean, we have a laundry woman who comes twice a week for laba and plantsa, we have more than enough cooked viands in the ref, my daughter's room is more organized, we never miss meals. Sure, my husband and I wake up an hour earlier to prepare breakfast and their packed lunch, sure I wash the dishes and my husband throws the garbage at night, my husband cooks and I try to sometimes, but we are not only surviving, we are thriving.

Not having a helper isn't the end of the world. Some, (I say some, not all, okay) helpers feel they are indespensable. That the family they work for will stop functioning once they leave - but that is really not the case. That is why, they are called help. They are precious, they are appreciated, they are blessings, but not having them around isn't that bad after all.

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