Our family has uprooted itself from the warmth and safety of Manila and moved to Twilight country.
Trees, forests, squirrels, Cullens. We're all here, freezing our butts off in what the locals are calling the coldest winter in years. And it's only gonna get colder. FML. Hard to have fun when you're freezing, but well, we're not really here for fun. We're here for serious business.
And believe me, being a stay-in yaya is serious business. But I'm not just yaya, I'm ate and inday as well. Aside from taking care of the kids, feeding them, bathing them, brushing their teeth, dressing them up, putting them to bed, carrying them to and fro, playing with them, keeping them from bumps and bruises, cuts and crying, reading them stories and making up new ones, I also do the dishes, wash the clothes, make the beds, make them breakfast, pick up their toys, clean the house, clean the floors, wipe the tables, take out the trash, vacuum the car, as well as any heavy lifting as is required.
Hello life in the first world.
It was exhausting just typing that. Just mentally going through my day. Now I believe we pay our help too little for the things we make them do. They keep our lives running so we can go "live our lives". And we get upset when they don't do things exactly the way we want them to, when we want them to.
My fingers are dry and cracked, my back aches and there's never enough sleep. What I would give for a day-off. But I chose this first world life. Our yaya's, ates and indays back home don't have that luxury. They have people counting on them. With their limited capabilities and limited education, they're doing their best.
I know we've all had problems with the people in our household and I'm not judging. All I'm saying is, it's a hard life. And one that has pushed me to the lowest points in my days as a father. It's made me grab my crying child by the shirt and scream in his face. I will regret that perhaps for the rest of my life. I resorted to something that took the least amount of time, effort and work because I was tired. Just completely spent. And I just wanted him to stop crying. Of course it only made things worse. And I felt like the worst dad ever.
But whenever my babies have their meltdown, I remember what I did and it stops me from having a meltdown of my own. Breathing helps. And wine. But the hardest part is when you're exhausted. That's when things start to slip. The dark side is definitely the faster, easier path. But then we all know that ending, arms and legs chopped off by your best friend and mentor, left to burn alive, then reborn to become one of the most iconic and enduring figures in modern pop culture. The merchandising alone! Hmmm. That doesn't sound too...
The laundry I fold isn't perfect. The breakfast I make is barely nutritious. I'm probably ruining my kids brains with too much ipad and youtube. They still get their bumps and bruises, cuts and meltdowns despite my best efforts.
But I'm the only man for the job.
Be nice to your yayas, ates and indays. Get them the best tools to do their job well. Tonkita by Arix makes excellent home cleaning products that last a long, long time. In fact, one of the highlights of my day was buying a new bottle cleaning brush. It was joy and it made my job easier and faster. Tonkita has brooms, mops, brushes, buckets, all high quality stuff that your yaya will thank you for. Honestly, it makes a big difference when you have tools that make things go easier and faster. Like the dark side without the evil.
And at the end of a long day of housework, all I want is wine. And some Marca Piña Dutch Edam cheese from Holland. And two sleeping babies. And my boss to say, "Thanks baby." That would be absolutely perfect.