Saturday, April 05, 2014

Life Without a House Helper

It is more than six months now that we do not have a house helper. Life is rather hard for me. My wife goes to her office 5-6 days a week so I am the one watching the two girls almost everyday, especially on days where she leaves around 7am and come back past 7pm. There are days that she comes home after lunch and I am relieved.

My wife's auntie helps us two days a week, usually Mondays and Wednesdays. She comes before 7am and leaves around 2pm. This frees me to do some work or some errands. After 2pm until evening, have to watch the girls. While they are cute and pretty, they tend to fight often; or do drawings, play with their dolls and other toys, and scatter things later.

Our last helper, the 5th from my province in Negros Occidental, left without permission, brought out nothing, after being scolded by wifey. Since late 2006 to September 2013, we've had about 13 helpers. At least two of them stayed only for two days, another two stayed for about two weeks.

I asked my wife to find a helper as she did not like all of our past helpers. She said she cannot find one. I wanted to go to a recruitment agency but I am wary to get a stranger and leave the two young girls with her. A friend hired a nanny from a recruitment agency. On the 2nd day of her stay, the nanny stole many things from her house, jewelries, laptop, other valuables, and ran away. She is angry of course, but only comforted with the thought that at least her daughter, same age as Elle Marie, was not kidnapped. Some helpers and nannies are members of kidnap for ransom gangs. This scares me to leave our two girls, Bien Mary 3+ years old, and Elle Marie 7+ yo, with a helper that we do not know well.

Before I would work at the office. If my wife would come at 7pm, then I will go to office at 8pm and work until around 3 or 4am and go home. If she arrives at 2pm, then I can start working earlier. Since about two months ago, my wife got a Globe tatoo internet. This made things more comfortable for me.

Still, I have to do the usual house work, like washing the dishes (wife cooks early in the morning for breakfast-lunch), do some laundry, dry the clothes, fold them after drying. I don't iron my clothes. Have to dry and fold them well. Those that look crumled and not neat, I wear a jacket or coat. Anyway I seldom go out, mainly to attend seminars, conferences, some reunions with friends, or some rotary meetings.

With no classes, I drive the girls to a park 2-3x a week. I tell Elle that she must have strong legs for her PE classes in school, so she runs in the park. Not far, maybe about 100 meters, rest, then another run, then whatever she likes doing -- ride the swing, slide, see saw; or simply play with the sand.

My work suffers of course. Although I blame my bad time management habit mainly for this, the absence of a helper also contributes. Feeding the kids as they do not eat well on their own, watching them that they do not fight too often, or that they do not scatter things too often, or simply watching the younger one that she does not fall down if she climbs up or goes down the stairs from our bedroom in the second floor. Or helping her go to the toilet, or take a bath properly. She also wants me to read her some small/thin books.

I am more than half century old and I still do daily household chores, things that used to be done by our helper. I am not happy of course but have to adjust to this reality....

See also:
Elle Marie and Bien Mary, Part 2, July 14, 2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please mention that I did not just scold our last helper... She destroyed almost two dozens of our clothes which she kept AND I uncovered.

I only asked her to replace one thing... Bien's really nice dress worth P350 from Divisoria. That was supposed to teach her a lesson that every clothes she destroy has a price.

Supposed to be she left because I asked her to buy a replacement that day but she never came back. It is not accurate that she did not bring anything with her. She brought Bien's dress with her and her essentials.

I don't think that changing house help is exclusive to us. All of my friends went through the "helper challenge". Some are lucky some are not. I don't have high standards for helpers on the contrary. I am also not choosey.