One morning last week, the mom of Raviv’s classmate called me up. She asked whether I had a lakad in the afternoon. She was inviting me and Raviv to join her and a couple of other moms with their children to go to Alabang so the kids could go to Pixie Forest at Festival Mall. Raviv wanted to go because his current bestfriend was going. However, Randy and I had a chiropractor appointment that afternoon. So I had to beg off.
The following morning, that mom came up to me and reported anothe helper horror story. She said that while they were at Pixie Forest, the two nannies of her children asked to be excused to buy bottled water. Of course pumayag siya, and then they rode the Ferris Wheel. After the Ferris Wheel ride, the two nannies haven’t returned back yet. They waited. And waited. And waited. And waited and waited and waited, to no avail.
Gravity—tumakas ‘yung two helpers!!!
The two were from Mindanao, and Raviv’s classmate’s mom spent much for the travel expenses of the two. Worse, hindi man lang sila nakabawi sa gastos—the helpers have been with the family for just barely two weeks!
I felt sorry for Raviv’s classmate’s mom. While she was narrating her horror story, I could see the shock, disappointment, confusion, and bottled anger in her. And I understand every emotion, alam n’yo naman ang buena manong salubong ng New Year sa akin.
While some people probably think that my and the other “privileged” moms/wives’s helper problems are so “first world” and that ranting about them just makes us look spoiled, hear us out first. We are upset not just because our manicures are going to be ruined because we have to wash the dishes on our own. We are upset mainly because:
- Most of us are working moms. When a yaya/helper makes a commitment that she is going to take charge of our children/household for a certain period of time, we also made commitments at work. Like we promised our boss/staff that we will do this or that. Or even spearhead something. So when our helper/yaya leaves without proper notice, there will be domino effect. Suddenly, we can no longer go to work. Or we go to work and our minds cannot function properly, or we arrive late and rush back home. And then ‘yung galit na hindi namin naibuhos sa maid na nag-disappearing act, ibubuhos sa amin ng boss/client namin because we were underperforming.
- As Filipinos, we treat the help as family, or at least a friend. I’ve never been able to treat any of our helpers with indifference. When they make parinig or drop hints about the plight of their children or parents, we feel for them and even do something. When Randy and I bring them to a tourist destination, we make sure they have fun, too. Even if that means we have to bring two nannies for Raviv. And even so, Randy and I also take turns in taking care of Raviv (despite the 2 nannies) so the two of them can have fun on their own. And they eat what we eat, and stay in a hotel where we stay. So imagine how hurt we are when they leave without a proper goodbye. Hindi ko nga nililibre nang ganun ang friends ko, pero ‘pag nang-indian sa lakad nakakaasar. How much more ‘yung tinrato mo nang ganyan at nawala na lang, ‘di ba?
I get that we are still a lot more fortunate than our helpers. They’re probably thinking that the problem they will cause in leaving us clueless is nothing compared to their current plight. From, “Kasi mas malaki ang sweldo doon” to “Kasi may sakit si ganito-ganyan” and even to “Nagmamahalan kasi kami nung driver o boy ng kapitbahay at uuwi na siya sa probinsya at gusto kong sumama.”
Anna Bates from Downton Abbey. If only she were a real person!
Mga ganern. Hay buhay.
Speaking of helpers and “buhay”, naku. Yesterday our part-time, stay-out helper in Los Banos was not able to come. It was surprising because she’s always been reliable. I’ve also come to like her because she’s soft-spoken, diligent, sensible and punctual. She’s also nice to Raviv.
My mother-in-law—who lives a bit near the maid’s place—talked to Randy and explained that the reason why that maid cannot come was because she could not even get up. Since summer, may bukol na raw sa breast, at sobrang sakit na.
Sigh. I feel so bad, and I pray it’s not what we all dread.