Wednesday, August 29

A Sad Reality

I just have to start off with saying that Sammy has been playing the same song on Guitar Hero now for so long. And, it's driving me CRAZY!!! I'm sick & tired of hearing the constant clicking of his electric guitar! We may not have packed all our clothes or our kitchen items in our sea shipment, but deadgum... we packed the PlayStation & the Guitar Hero!!

But, that's not even the sad reality...

We live a very different lifestyle here in the Philippines. Almost all ex-pat or other well-to-do families (which would be almost any family from a non-third world country) in the Philippines have hired help. A driver, a cook, a ya-ya (nanny), maid, etc. It is very common because it is very inexpensive. So, there are several children whose parents I never meet, because either the driver or the ya-ya is responsible for dropping off & picking up the children. I would say the hired help waiting for children at school WAY outnumber the parents waiting for their kids.

This morning, as I was waiting for our driver to pick me up after dropping off the twins, another little girl was getting dropped off. Her ya-ya got out of the car & opened the back door to let the girl out. The girl quickly got out of the car, crying. She did not want anything to do with her ya-ya & did not want to go into her Kindergarten class. She wanted her mommy. Anytime her ya-ya tried to get near her, the little girl would scream & cry & yell at the lady to "get away from me". However, she also did not want to walk into her school building by herself. I contemplated whether I should have asked the girl if I could take her to her class, but didn't want to offend her ya-ya. It ended up that the ya-ya finally got back into the car & drove away leaving the little girl standing outside all by herself. My heart broke for this child who was crying for her mom. Another mother made sure the little girl made it to her class safely, but we were both saddened by the reality of this event.

It reminded me of several scenes I read in The Nanny Diaries a few years ago. I was reading a fictional book, based on reality, but could never fully grasp that this truly does occur in the world. Today, unfortunately, I saw it with my own eyes. And, like I said, it just broke my heart!

We just recently hired a helper to cook for us & stay home with the children when we wanted to go out on a date. She is wonderful! When we interviewed her, she told us at her previous job, she woke the children, got them dressed & ready for school, took them to school & picked them up in the afternoons. I assured her that she would not need to do that with my children. One of my very favorite times of the day is when I get to pick my kids up from school. I love the excitement on their faces when they see me. I love to hear all about what they did during the day. I love to listen to them chatter away on the drive home. I wouldn't want to miss that for the world!


Dana Lynne said...

Awww, that IS sad. I wonder why it is so common to have so much help over there? Is it because they need the work? Or just because it is cheap? Or a combination of both? Anyway, I'm glad the little girl got to class okay - is there anyone that can let her mommy know that she was upset?
As for Sammy...that is hilarious! I've heard that Guitar Hero is addictive! Men. Or should I say, "boys". :) How was his trip? We miss you!!! Hugs to all of you! :)

Stephanie said...

That is really sad. I can't believe that there are that many parents there that don't want to be there to drop their kid off or pick them up. You are doing a great job with your kids, Amberly! They are lucky to have such great, attentive parents!

Carolyn McBryde said...

You go, mom! That reminds me of a time I went to pick up Matt in 1st grade. I was looking pretty cute in my 80's big hair (& hair bow!) and even bigger earrings, and beside me was a scuzzy looking guy with greasy hair, tattoos, and a cigarette. I piously assumed that his little girl would be embarrassed that he was out of the truck waiting for her, but instead she jumped in his arms and squealed, "Hi, Daddy!" No one can replace mommy & daddy!

Jenn said...

Maybe some of those Moms can learn a thing or two from you! You are an awesome mom!

Dara said...

That is so sad about that little girl. Poor thing!

I know what you mean about wanting to be there to pick up your kids from school. There is nothing like it! I rearranged my whole work schedule just so that I could be the one to take and pick up Emma from school everyday! I wouldn't miss it for anything! I have to work an extra day, but I am home every afternoon with my girls!

Hang in there! You are doing a great job!

Amberly said...

You guys are so sweet. I seriously wasn't fishing for compliments, but thank you anyway. And, I do realize that there are circumstances where a mom or dad just plain cannot be there to drop off & pick up their child from school. I get that. But, my post was written from what I've experienced here in the Philippines. It's just a completely different lifestyle than I am used to living.

Dana, it is a combination of both. It is very inexpensive to hire help. (A full-time ya-ya averages about $200-$250 a month.) Plus, they need the jobs. They are trained to do this kind of work & it's what they know. It's just difficult for me to get used to that way of thinking, though.