Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finally fired the yaya

As I type this, the house is undergoing a mini-renovation. Thank goodness I had finally hired an all-around girl to help with the housekeeping and babysitting. She started Monday. I really hope she's the one. Already we can tell she's much better than the last yaya.

I finally fired Yaya Grace. She's been a huge pain in the ass since the first day I hired her in January. But she's the cheerful type and was able to entertain Vito so I tolerated her. Very soon, she proved to be lazy and ignorant of household chores. She didn't even know how to cook rice in a rice cooker. How is that even possible? Vince kept pointing out that Vito always looked dirty, had little cuts and scrapes on his legs, and that he caught Grace eating Vito's food when she was supposed to be feeding him (Vito eats whatever we eat). He said, "Mukhang pinapabayaan si Vito." But I tolerated her since she and Vito seemed to get along.

Then just before Holy Week, I got off work early. Looking at my watch, I knew Vito would be at the playground so instead of going home and napping, which was my plan, I went to the playground to surprise my toddler. I didn't expect to be the one surprised. From afar, I saw Grace slapping Vito's arm repeatedly. I can tell that Vito was being makulit. He was grabbing at an exposed wire. I had told Grace before that a child is always curious and will investigate everything. No matter how many times you say or yell "No!" and "Stop!", the child will keep at it. The solution is (and we got this from Cesar Millan, the dog trainer) you stop, distract, remove the child. Physically stop him, distract him from the object, then lift him up and away. So Grace knew our method. I also warned her that we never ever hit our children.

So when I saw her slapping at his arm, well... That just decided it. I was very calm. I called to Vito. She looked up alarmed. I led Vito away from the exposed wire and told him to get me some flowers and leaves, which he happily attended to. Then I told Grace, "We do not hit Vito." She said, "Ma'am, hindi nyo alam yung nakita nyo." Talagang ako pa ngayon ang mali!

We went home soon after. I didn't speak to Grace. I was deciding whether I should just give her a warning or dismiss her. I spent a sleepless night. Vince had one solution: "No one hurts my kid. Get rid of her." But Vince said to let Holy Week pass since Grace might have a hard time getting a ride home. So that was the plan. But the next morning, as soon as I saw her, I knew I just had to let her go.

So I prepared her separation pay and told her, "Grace, sinabi ko naman sa iyo na hindi pwedeng saktan si Vito. Dahil sa ginawa mo kahapon, hindi na kita pwedeng makatrabaho. Etong buong sweldo mo for April. Alis ka na ngayong umaga para may mahanap ka pang sasakyan pauwi."

She replied, "Ma'am, never ko pong sinaktan si Vito! First time lang yung kahapon! Hindi na mauulit!"

"Paano ako makakasiguro na totoo yang sinasabi mo? Hindi na kita mapagkakatiwalaan. Kailangan pa naman yun lalo na't manganganak na ako at mas madalas kong iiwan si Vito sa iyo."

She started crying and then said, "Ano na lang sasabihin ng mga katulong at yaya dito? Na pinaalis niyo ako. Ma'am, paki-sabi na lang sa kanila na nagbakasyon ako!"

Imagine that. Hindi man lang nag-sorry. Ang mahalaga sa kanya is what the yayas would say about her instead of what she did to my child! She left after one hour of packing. But she had enough time to deface the closet of the maid's room and destroy the handle of the Swiffer my mother-in-law gave me. Oh, and she also stole the radio. Good riddance.

I let her go very kindly. I never lifted my voice in anger despite what she did to Vito. I gave her a full month's pay so that she won't go hungry while she looked for work again. But after I started bringing Vito to the playground and telling the yayas that Grace was on holiday to save her face, the yayas told me that Grace let Vito eat stuff he picks off the ground and when they reprimand her, she'd tell them, "Okay lang yan. Wala namang pakialam ang nanay niyan." Kaya naman pala nagkakasakit at nag-LBM si Vito! They told me Grace just texts and talks on the phone while Vito would roam around the pool area. The pool area! I should be grateful my son is still alive!

The anger came then. And I told Vince. And he said, "I don't know why you keep protecting her. You're not doing any of the kids downstairs any favors. The yayas need to know that when they hurt their wards, they will be fired." So finally I told everyone that I dismissed Grace because I caught her hitting Vito.

Vince and I have been very angry at Grace--we treated her well, we gave her a great salary, generous days off, we hardly even made her work! One yaya in our complex said, "Yang si Grace, ma'am, laging nagyayabang na wala raw siyang ginawa kundi matulog sa inyo. Ang swerte naman niya!" Swerte talaga siya. Tapos anong ginawa niya? Diba there's that saying that if you teach a person to fish, he'll never go hungry? Well, sometimes kahit anong turo mo sa tao, anong klaseng tulong pa ang ibigay mo, itatapon nya pa rin lahat yun dahil saksakan siya ng tamad.

So there. We've been yaya-less for three weeks and, because of my advanced pregnancy, life has been very difficult. Juggling work, blogging, housekeeping and child-rearing... Wow, it's not easy at all. Thank goodness Vince is here. He's totally taken over everything so I can work.

We hired a new yaya anyway since I'm due any day now. Vito's still warming up to her. We hope they'll get along soon. Most importantly, we hope she'll love him and care for him as if he's her own. I really don't know how I can trust a yaya again after this, though. I've been having nightmares, beating myself up for ignoring the signs, ignoring what my husband was pointing out just because I needed a yaya so that I can work. But deal with the guilt I must, and trust again I must.


  1. OMG! Reading this makes me soo angry. Ang kapal! I've had countless yaya woes as well so I can just imagine your frustration. It's so hard to find a trustworthy yaya. I hope this new one is okay as you need all the help you can get. Hang in there, Frances :)

  2. Good riddance!

    So hard to find a nanny you can trust. I thought we had the perfect nanny (even my mom thought so) until the guards caught her with a condo janitor at 1am!

    Found out that she even took my then 6-month-old son to Galleria to meet a textmate! Good thing God watched over my little boy and nothing bad happened, but still!

    Good luck with the new nanny and praying for your safe delivery!

  3. Frances, I must say that I admire you for keeping your calm despite of what you saw. If I were in your situation, I don'tknow what I could've done. I'm wondering though why other helpers tell the amo about the "wrong doings" of the helper once they've been fired. It has happened to us countless times!

    This is my first time to comment on your blog but I'm an avid reader of your blog. :)

  4. Hi Frances! I can empathize with what you're going through. My yaya also left us(though not in a bad way like your previous yaya) and we now have a new yaya. I'm just so stressed out because for a 2nd day in a row, my daughter (who's 15months) is not eating well and drinking her bottle. I'm not sure if she's just warming up to the new yaya or because she's teething or because of her bad colds. Good thing, we breastfeed as soon as I get home. Sobrang nappraning ako na baka mangayayat ang anak ko dahil hindi nakakain ng maayos. Hay! As I type this, I'm worried sick and itching to go home to be with her. And I'm so worried that my new yaya will do something bad to my child :( Praning kung praning!

  5. I've had bad experiences with yaya, also. I've been yaya-less for more than a year. My mom takes care of my daughter now while I and my husband go to work. I'm just really thankful to her because I'm at peace whenever I leave that my daughter is in good hands. I'm not sure if I'll ever trust a yaya again. Though, I'm on the look out for an all-around household help.

  6. Oh my goodness. Grabe. I feel your anger. But I also commend you for being a good employer up to the end. Wala siya masasabi sayo. It's OK, mommy, you'll find a good helper soon. Trial and error lang talaga. Sana hindi stressful, but it is! Hugs from me to you.

  7. hay...buti nalang you fired the yaya na. the nerve ha! nakakainit siya ng ulo!

    i hope the new yaya would be 100x better.

  8. good riddance! Nakakaloka yang si Grace, she does not deserve to be a yaya.

  9. OMG!!! While reading the line that you saw the yaya hitting Vito's arms, nagdilim ako. hehehe! sensya na po at nanay din lang. This is why I decided to be a stay at home mom to my 3 daughters. because this is one scene i don't like to happen. Baka kung ano ang magawa ko sa maid if malaman ko na pinapalo nya or sinasaktan niya ang anak ko. You're lucky kasi the other yayas told you the truth of what Grace has been doing all these times. I hope that this new yaya wil be IT. You deserve to have a yaya that will really take care of Vito... Have a safe delivery... Congratulations in advance for the coming baby... :)

  10. Init ng ulo ko kay Grace while I was reading your post, even if I don't know her. Grabe. You are so patient, Frances. Haaay. Good riddance talaga. I hope I won't ever find a yaya like her. I'm looking for one pa naman.

  11. God forbid! Akala ko tamad lang yung ex-yaya nyo (based on one of the former posts I have read) yun pala maldita to the highest level pa! You've made the right decision of firing her ( at ang loka-lokang yaya ha, concerned pa sa feedback ng ibang yaya sa neighborhhod nyo WTF!). Reading what the other yayas had been saying, your son would indeed be in great danger kung hinayaan mo pa na mag stay sya sa inyo (at the nerve ng yaya na sabihin na "walang pakialam ang nanay nyan". If I were you at nalaman ko yun I would really slap her!)

    Hopefully, the new yaya will indeed be the one. Bless the heart of your neghbors' househelp as well. The way I read it, they are also concerned about your dear darling Vito.

  12. Yaya woes...I just fired my 1 year old daughter's yaya too. My other helper caught her getting angry and cussing at my daughter because she wouldn't take a nap. So I fired her because even if she swore that she would never do it again, I just couldn't trust her with my baby anymore. :(

    Other yaya woes (I can write a book actually on all my horror yaya stories!)...Like, my first born son's yaya of 2 years went on vacation and never came back (while I was 7 months pregnant and on bed rest) --- complete with a two month advance in salary. Plus, weeks later I discovered that she stole two of my LV bags, the pillows and blankets in the helper's quarters and God knows what else.

    It's been so hard for me to be as trusting and kind as I used to be. Parang the yaya's just walk all over me whether i'm too kind or not. Anyway, just wanted to say that I feel ya! Hope this yaya will be a good fit for your family. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and transitioning Vito to being a kuya. Praying for your safe delivery. :)

  13. Horrible maid. You really don't know what happens when you're away :( That's why we installed cameras in the common areas of the house. People know that everything's being recorded so there's less of a chance they'll mess up. (hopefully)

  14. Grabe, nanggalaiti ako sa nabasa ko,Frances. Naalala ko rin yung mga pinagdaanan ko sa mga yaya nung si Erin ay toddler din. Alam na alam ng original SP e-group yung mga kwento ko kasi dun ako naghihinga ng sama ng loob. Last week lang nahulog nga si Emilie (7 months) from the bed (about 2 feet tall), at si Erin (8 yrs) pa nagsabi sakin nung pag uwi ko, almost 12 hrs. since the incident.At na guilty pa si Erin kasi feeling nya kasalanan nya dahil sya nakabantay kasi yung yayanag prep daw ng food (22 sqm lang ang buong unit, nalingat pa) Buti hindi nabagok ulo. Pigil na pigil ako. hay.Now, meron akong yaya for Emilie pero tempo lang kasi mag aaral. I'm still praying for a new yaya.

  15. I'm not as kind as you are Ms Frances,in fact when I was a teen I hit our maid when I found out she stole my things.It was just one slap to the arm and then we fired her asap!Tsugi na,walang awa awa.What for? So I commend you for the kindness/grace you showed to your ex-yaya.I am sure I can't do that if it happened to me.When I got pregnant,I knew right away that I wanna be a stay-at-home mom so that I wouldn't have to let a stranger take care of my children.I had many bad experiences with our helpers kaya siguro mahirap magtiwala.My husband is not around all the time too bec he works abroad.So I am a stay-at-home mom now,but maybe in the future I'll need a babysitter when I get pregnant again.When that times comes,if a yaya named Grace sends her bio-data over,I will ask if she used to work for you hehehe!Prayers for a safe delivery and for Vito's new yaya.

  16. The nerve of that woman. Good riddance, indeed. I can't tolerate liars and self-absorbed househelp. I'm sorry that Vito had to suffer the consequences of her stupidity and selfishness. But it's a good thing you are a good person, Frances. I believe God blesses you with the strength to get through these times, so don't feel guilty: You did the right thing letting her go and showing her kindness. Bahala na si Lord sa kanya!

    We're also maid-less, and we don't know if we want to hire one again for some time, kase they're so much work! Grrr.

  17. Waaah! OMG! Kawawa naman si Vito!!! Please, Ms F, post Grace's picture here! Nakakatakot naman yan, kapal ng mukha! Napablotter nyo ba sya, since she also stole things and defiled your property?

    I'd like to share rin my parents' experience back in the 70s. They hired a yaya who eventually left my then two-year-old sister alone in the apartment. Naglayas! My parents went home with the house pitch black and with a hungry kid. The neighbors reported na noon pa raw umalis yung yaya and never came back for my sister. And same with Grace, the fool defaced their cabinets with my dad's name--creepy diba!!! Also, some ten years ago we had this yaya na naglayas also, leaving a note for us na papakulam raw nya kami! Oh my gawd! Buti na lang I was in high school na back then, already able to at least do things for myself.

    My sister pa naman (same sister who was abandoned by yaya!) is looking for a yaya/all around maid since her longtime one is leaving; and the other one's too inept to be looking after two kids and do household chores! Baka kakahanap nya ng replacement si Grace ang madampot! Di bale, ipaghihiganti ka namin! Hehe kidding! Di bale Ms F, karma is digital nowadays, bahala na sya! :D

  18. Oh my. Sa lahat ng mga kwento niyo, talagang nakakatakot mag-yaya! Actually, my offciemate sent me a YouTube link of hidden cameras of babysitters hurting kids. Nakakadilim talaga ng paningin!

  19. Anne @ Green Eggs, no need for us to install cameras kasi Vince works from home and I'm also home almost all the time. The only time Vito is alone with the yaya is when they go to the playground. And that's where the hitting and kapabayaan happened--sa playground.

  20. Mommies, thanks for thinking I'm such a good person. But I'm NOT! Pasalamat si Grace nangyari yung incident sa playground. Public area so I really had to control myself. I was telling myself over and over again, "Don't make a scene. Don't make a scene."

    Pero kung sa condo namin ko siya nahuli, ewan ko. Baka tinapon ko siya sa labas ng bintana! So thank you, Lord, for saving me!

  21. Good riddance to maids & yayas like your previous one. Sometimes i don't understand bakit wala silang malasakit sa atin despite giving them a generous salary, & treating them like family. I've had bad experiences with yayas/maids too that's why maidless na kami ngayon. Even if sometimes doing household chores can be tiresome, i stop myself from getting one again kse nga instead of making life easy for you, added stress pa sila. :/
    I admire you for the calm way of dealing with her & I hope ok na yang new yaya ni Vito. :)

  22. Gosh, Frances! It seems yaya woes are super common everywhere! Like the other commenters and readers, I truly commend you for your patience and treating with her in the most gracious way. Knowing myself, I probably would have made a scene even if we were in a public area! LOL! :)

    Praying that the new yaya is OK na. We're also hoping our yaya woes have come to an end - the kids' old yaya (the one before the most previous one, who stayed for a little over a month, left for a day off and never came back!) has come back and I hope she stays much longer. She is the only one who left us on good terms.

    I can relate to what's happening with you now, at least a little bit. :) Your place is getting refurbished, kami naman we're moving - and we have to do it by April 30!!! (We just found out yesterday that we could rent the apartment we wanted at the rate we can afford!) LOL! BUT, as I said in my latest post, ALL IS WELL! God will make a way, and I believe He will do the same for you, too! :) God bless, dear!

  23. We need good childcare in the Philippines like they have in France. It should be regulated and staffs properly trained.

    If it will be in the US, Grace would be in deep trouble -- neglect and physical abuse could land her in jail...

    I live here in the US but I don't have the heart to leave my baby in daycare yet. I know someday we will but not yet. He is 2.5 y/o and my spouse and I work part-time. I grew up in the Philippines and as a child I had bad experiences because of abuses and neglect I suffered from caretakers. The worst abuse I had was from the hand of a relative. You can never get over those bad childhood memories. Childhood is the foundation of your life.

    I don't want to scare anyone. It takes a village to raise a child and parents cannot do it alone. I am hoping that you would find the one. It is a blessing to find the right person.

    P.S. Also have your maid/yaya tested for TB.

  24. We will be firing our help this week too. Thank goodness!

    It took so long kasi matagal na s'ya and galing pa sa in-laws ko. We had to make sure that all of the stories are indeed true.

    Kaya pala lahat na lang ng ibang yaya/maid na hired after her, umaalis kasi minamaldita n'ya. May sumbong na she hurts our boys too, gusto ko nga mahuli para we go straight to the police. To top it, she has explicit photos and videos. NKKLOKA!

    Feeling kasi nila, they are doing us a favor. I don't understand why they don't see being a yaya as a job.

    Good luck on your new yaya. Yes, have her tested for TB and lways ask for a police clearance.

    Sana may blog where we could post warnings about these nightmare yayas.

  25. 1st time commenter here.

    I'm glad that the first and only yaya we got turned out to be good. Just reading the comments here gives me the creeps. My hubby tells me that i should be more trusting, but for me, she's still just a stranger.

    I think there is no perfect yaya, but you have to choose which ones you can tolerate. Our yaya goes on vacation every other week for 2-4 days, but at least she comes back. It's a real pain because I can't go on leave as often (mas madalas pa sya magbakasyon sa akin) so my parents are on call whenever she goes to her province. But other than that, she's okay. My 1year baby boy adores her.

    i hope you find a yaya that can match your expectations. Especially now that you're having a new baby, it may be to stressful for you to handle.

    God bless!

  26. nakakainit naman ng ulo yang si Grace. naalala ko tuloy un naging yaya ng anak ko. sila lang naiiwan sa bahay maghapon and my son was just three months then. i had this strange feeling that she will no good and she did. wala pang 1 month nagpaalam na sa amin sabi nya naaksidente daw un anak nya at nasa hospital. she said she will come back so sabi ko okay. eto na ang kwento ng kapitbahay namin. naninigarilyo daw, tapos one time iyak daw ng iyak ang baby ko kaya kumatok un kapitbahay namin bakit daw ang lakas ng iyak. sabi nya nagugutom lang daw. my gulay ang lalayo ng kapitbahay to think na naririnig nila iyak. kinalinutan na ko ano pa kaya ginawa nya sa anak ko only God knows. meron pa un nagkalatay un legs ng anak ko sabi nya dahil daw sa socks na mahigpit naniwala naman kami kasi ang lalaki nga ng legs ng anak ko, now after hearing stories from kapitbahay hindi ko na alam kung ano na talaga caused nun. thank God hindi na sya bumalik. i am just thankful also that i have found a trustful yaya now kaya mahirap talaga makahanap unless s distant relative who will surely love your baby.

  27. I'm lucky with Yaya Lani. She has been with us since Julia was born (15 months). We had doubts when she started because Yaya Lani is only 17 years old. She follows our instructions and does her job really well. Julia loves her.

    One time, she was with Julia in our room. She didn't know I was home early. I overheard her tell my daughter who was crying, "Daddy and Mommy are working. Uwi na sila mamaya. Daddy and mommy love you.."

    She was able to buy tricycle for his dad na hulugan. So proud of her. Sana dumami ang mga yaya na tulad niya :-)

  28. OMG talaga! Buti nalang yung 1st yaya ng baby ko eh love nya anak ko, though umalis sya ng di nagpaalam na di na babalik kasi magpapakasal na. Ok lang din.

    Talagang good riddance yan! Nakakainit ulo yung kwento mo Frances. Haay...kaya ako, I hired a new yaya, pero ginawa ko nalang househelp kasi di man lang umabot ng 5mins anak ko sa kanya eh nauntog na agad kasi tutok lang sya sa tv.

    Like what my mommy friend would always say, they don't make nannies like they used to. Iba na ngayon, sila pa matapang at demanding.

  29. Good riddance. I'm so sorry about what happened, I have nightmare stories about yayas also. It's really hard to find a good one. I hope the new yaya of Vito will be for keeps! Have a safe delivery, F! Praying for you and wiggle! :)


    Complete Name: Mariel Buenafe

    This person had made serious offense (CHILD ABUSE) during employer and employee relationship with one of Cambrige Village resident owner. Let’s coordinate to stop this maid entering our HOME.

    Thank you.

  31. Hi! I happened to pass by your blog after googling "how to ask a yaya to leave" and would like to say that you're already so kind to the yaya even after what she did to your son. But what if you did not see her doing that to your son and just got bits and infos from other yayas that, well in my case the yaya is not taking care of your child properly, would you have fired her all the same? Or would you wait for her to screw up and then fire her? I'm in a dilemma now and would like to ask for your opinion on this matter. Thank you in advance for the help :)

    1. Hi Jasmine, it's kinda hard now because of the Kasambahay Law. In my case with Yaya Grace, wala kasing sinumbong sa akin yung mga ibang yaya until after umalis si Grace. So wala talaga akong alam. Although my husband did point out na mukhang napabayaan si Vito (and totoo nga, pinabayaan ng yaya at pinabayaan ko rin) so dapat dun pa lang, I called her attention na. Then I should have said, "Kung hindi mag-improve ang performance mo, maghahanap na ako ng ibang yaya."

      As for your dilemma, I won't wait for your yaya to screw up. Nakakatakot kasi paano if ang screw up niya is sinaktan niya anak mo? I really don't understand parents who wait for proof kasi kawawa yung bata! So if I were in your shoes, I will talk to her about what I've observed and what I've heard. Wala man akong proof, at least alam na niya na she's under scrutiny and that will make her more careful.

      At the end of a grace period and you still have a bad feeling about her, let her go. You have 5 days to give her notice. Plus, you pay her her salary plus 15 days.

      From Kasambahay Law: "“Section 34. Termination Initiated by the Employer.—An employer may terminate the services of the domestic worker at any time before the expiration of the contract, for any of the following causes:
      (a) Misconduct or willful disobedience by the domestic worker of the lawful order of the employer in connection with the former’s work;
      (b) Gross or habitual neglect or inefficiency by the domestic worker in the performance of duties;
      (c) Fraud or willful breach of the trust reposed by the employer on the domestic worker;
      (d) Commission of a crime or offense by the domestic worker against the person of the employer or any immediate member of the employer’s family;
      (e) Violation by the domestic worker of the terms and conditions of the employment contract and other standards set forth under this law;
      (f) Any disease prejudicial to the health of the domestic worker, the employer, or member/s of the household; and
      (g) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.”

      This is from Manila Times: "The employer who terminates the services of the kasambahay for reasons other than the aforementioned shall be liable to pay the kasambahay his/her earned compensation plus the equivalent of fifteen (15) days work by way of indemnity. If, however, the duration of the service of the kasambahay is not determined either in stipulation or by the nature of the service, the employer or the domestic worker may give notice to end the working relationship five (5) days before the intended termination of the service. The domestic worker and the employer may also mutually agree upon written notice to pre-terminate the contract of employment to end the employment relationship (Section 32, RA 10361)."

      Good luck!!! Just do it. Trust your gut.

  32. i have the same problem i hid a video cam it captures how the yaya slap my 3 year old kid and my 2 year old she slapped the other one on the hand my youngest on the head she even take off her clothes in front of my children..pinaalis ko na sya but she was saying things about us that my husband and his friend was planning to rape her for goodness sake she doesnt even taking a bath and why my husband will do not...she's telling that we dont have food that were mahirap that were asking bigas from the store that wasn't even true..now my husband doesnt want to give her full payment..shes stayed for 2 weeks..is it okay if we didnt give her the full paymnt since were planning to file a case...

    1. Keep the video footage. That's your proof why you fired her. As for the stuff she's saying, wala kang magagawa talaga diyan. Pati mga former yayas namin that we dismissed marami ring sinasabi about us, like the obese yaya thief (stole our iPad so we fired her) who kept telling people we didn't feed her. Um, her body just contradicted her allegations.

      Anyway, hindi ko alam ang sagot sa tanong mo about not giving her her final pay. It's her salary and hers by right. If you're planning to file a case, then maybe it's best to consult a lawyer about that. Good luck!


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!