Mommy musings

Tips for Looking/Hiring a Yaya

It’s 4:00 AM and I am awake. Nope, I didn’t wake up early. I had been up all night. I am prepping myself for going on graveyard (GY) shift tonight…just for tonight. I seldom go on GY shift that’s why whenever I need to, I have to make sure that I change my body clock a day before. I have to admit, my eyes are drooping and my head is bobbing but I need to fight the sleepiness if I want to sleep soundly later in the morning. What’s the best way to do that? Blog of course! Accompanied with coffee, TV and a few jumping jacks in between.

I shared here before that I saw fingernail marks on Lucas’ arms. This was when he was being looked after by the other yaya. Here’s the picture of those marks.


I still feel like crying and at the same time having the urge to punch the other yaya (nanny) whenever I see these photos. He has these marks on both arms! It’s infuriating and devastating. No child, not even the naughtiest, deserve something like this from a grown-up. I am just happy that she-who-should-not-be-named is finally out of our lives.

Finding a really good yaya is like winning the lottery. Chances are so small yet the benefits are so great. I made some mistakes with yaya #2 and I am sharing with you what I have learned from this experience:

1. Prioritize. Not all yayas are good househelps and vice versa. Know what you are looking for. I have to tell you that the skills set are different for the two roles. A yaya loves children. She is innately drawn to kids. A househelp is a multi-tasker. She can do several things like cleaning, cooking and doing the laundry. What a househelp may not have is a yaya’s intuition. A yaya knows how to manage children especially if they (the kids) cannot speak articulately yet. So what are you looking for? A yaya or a househelp? Looking for both? That’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, sad to say. That is why you have to prioritize.

2. Set expectations right. Tell the yaya what her primary role is. This will give her a clear idea what is expected of her. If she doesn’t like the role, tell her she can always tell it to you. Better let go her if she doesn’t like the job, especially if it involves your children.

3. Set up a surveillance camera.  This is something that I never thought of doing. We have been so happy with Yaya Weng that I never thought of setting up one for the new yaya. It’s probably my biggest mistake second to deciding on keeping yaya#2. There are so many products now to choose from. D-link has a wireless network camera that can be remotely accessed through your iPhone or iPad.  It costs $99.99 plus shipping if you buy online. CD-R King has one also for Php 2,580.00. Even if I trust Yaya Weng with Lucas now, I will still get one for other security purposes. Besides, you’d never know what can happen if your child is left alone with the yaya.

4. Do in-depth interview. Casual conversations are the best way to get information from the yaya. Whether it is about the family or her work experience, these information will help. For instance, if the yaya has been moving out of a home too frequently. Of course it doesn’t guarantee if the yaya is telling the truth or not.

5. Ask for NBI clearance. I have heard so many news of rogue helps. Even if the yaya who is applying for you looks nice, it will not hurt to be extra careful.

6. Find out how much experience she has with kids. Yaya#2 has an experience with a one-year old girl once. I asked her how was the little girl and she answered “malikot po”. I knew that should have been my cue. For some reason, an answer like that just doesn’t sound right when you are hiring a yaya. I mean all children are supposed to be active, mischievous even. They are programmed like that.

7. Look for someone whose background you know. This is actually the reason why I got Yaya Weng then. I know her sister. Her sister is my Aunt’s househelp for a very long time. I have somebody to talk to about her should things get crazy.

8. Trust your instinct, mom. The difference between Yaya Weng and yaya#2 was pretty obvious. With Yaya Weng, I saw how she greeted Lucas for the first time and seeing her carry my son made me feel secured. It was so different with yaya #2. To me, I felt like I need to constantly check up on them. I wasn’t really convinced she can handle my son. So what happened? If I felt that yaya#2 may not be a good yaya, why did I still keep her? I ignored my intuition. We were so desperate to get a new one that I ignored the tiny little voice and went ahead with her.

It’s true that you will never really appreciate someone unless you lost them. That’s how I felt when Yaya Weng had been gone for four months and was replaced by yaya#2. I’ve said it before, she’s a good follower that makes her a good househelp. She is not a yaya, unfortunately. Right now, I’m just happy to have Yaya Weng back.

11 thoughts on “Tips for Looking/Hiring a Yaya

  1. thank you so much for this post…perfect timing na nabasa ko to today coz we’re looking for one who’ll take care of our 6 mos. old baby…with all these news that yayas tend to hurt their alaga, we really have to be extra careful…

  2. awww… super hirap maghanap ng new yaya. our trusted yaya is leaving na din, so these tips are helpful for me. (though, sana like yaya weng, she’ll come back na lang din after 2days 😛 hahaha)

  3. These are very helpful tips, Mags and I totally agree on the prioritizing part. Our dear ate inday isn’t really the greatest when it comes to household chores but she delivers when it comes to watching over the kid…over time I’ve come to accept that you really can’t have it all. Glad that Yaya Weng is finally back!

  4. Oh no 😦 Those fingernail marks! I feel you Mags. I absolutely know how you feel. Thankfully Mama is always there to take care of Liapot, but still finding a helper is really hard. There are times that I want to just cover everything so we won’t need a helper anymore. Your tips are very true! 🙂

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