It was a Sunday and my boys and I were rushing to go to church, when I realized I left my phone back home sitting on the charger. Since we were just a block away, we drove back and asked my helper to come fetch it for me. (Denna attends the youth service in the afternoon). As she ran towards me with the phone in her hands, I saw for the first time her protruding, as I would guess, already 5 month old belly. I did not say a word right there as I was stunned. How can I miss this all these months?
My helper has been with me for a year and a half. The only time I expressed my woes over her was the first few times she took some weekends off and won’t come back at the time she promised she would and would not respond to my text messages. I later summed it up to her adjustment period. Being a social being, she did not feel comfortable yet with us back then and if she had a choice at all, she would really not want to be working as a househelp.
Denna w/ Jed when we celebrated her birthday last November (sorry for the crappy mobile shot)
After having letting go of the helper prior to her (stayed with me for 2 weeks) who left me a phone bill amounting to five thousand pesos, I knew right there that we were better off without a helper. After single-handedly managing my household all by myself for 9 years, including the time when our son was born, how hard can it be? Receiving Denna to our household on December 2010, fresh from our 9th anniversary getaway, we agreed that we will have to do a 2-week trial period. I explained to her that I was actually no longer looking for a helper after the headache I had with the one before her. Who, by the way, I sent to prison to be questioned. I needed to have that done for the girl to learn her lesson. Apparently, she has done some stealing with her previous employer, which I only found out when I hired her.
Denna, after proving herself trustworthy, was given a raise 3 months since I hired her. I also had her apply for her SSS membership and we started to pay her contribution for her service with us soon after. She also had a birthday and Christmas bonus. Needless to say, we were really happy with her service.
I remember telling her three things when she came. Three things that I needed her to keep in mind.
1. I don’t condone thieves and liars.
2. I don’t like having to tell every single thing she needs to do around the house.
3. Her primary role is to take care of the house. My son, who was 5 years old that time, can practically fend for himself.
Three things that I never had a problem with her about. We leave our jewelry, gadgets, even cash lying around just about everywhere around the house and there was never a single thing that went missing in the duration of her stay with us. She does everything around the house. There was not a time since she came that I needed to tell her to change the beddings, curtain or clean the cars, the fans. She initiated on doing all her tasks without being told. She was pretty consistent. What a gem! Now, I’m not sure if you can actually hire that kind of help from any local agency.
Denna has a boyfriend of eight years. They have been together since she was in high school in Bacolod. Whenever I spoke with her about her boyfriend, she’d always say that they are planning to save up to be married in the next few years. I reminded her the natural progression of relationships and all that. Then this happened. I was amazed at how she was more worried about us as she plans to go back to the province and give birth there. She teared up as she expressed how awful she feels having to leave us at this time when our family is going through some tough times. She has been treated like family and our boy loves her. She first wanted to stay around until the month she is set to give birth but later decided that it is better for her to spend her last trimester back at the province with her family.
We spoke to both her and her boyfriend and assured them that even if they did not plan this baby, God has a purpose for him or her. Denna has a personal relationship with Jesus, so it assures us that the Holy Spirit in her will take care of her as she goes through this. We shared the gospel to her boyfriend, G, but we did not compel him to make a decision. We just needed to be comforted that we will be sending off our Denna to someone who also has personal relationship with Jesus. We prayed for them before we let Denna go. She’s very grateful that she now has SSS which she can use to claim her maternity benefit when she gives birth to her child. She promised to come back after giving birth. But I reminded her that she should prioritize her child, first and foremost and make sure to find a church in the province where she will grow spiritually.
Truth be told, finding a reliable and trustworthy househelp is a real gem, these days. It was the one thing we so thank God for after having experienced how it is to have the exact opposite previously. After being helper free for 9 years, letting go of our well-loved privacy was a sacrifice for us. But because we owe it to ourselves (myself, really) to rest a little and be a little more comfortable as I can focus more on homeschooling my son and my online job, we had to hire one. Now, I’m back to my old, domestic goddess self! And what better way to welcome it but by concocting my very own homemade laundry detergent which I will blog about real soon. 🙂
We miss Denna a whole lot and she has not been gone a full week yet. She left at 5 in the morning last Saturday and even managed to prepare breakfast for us before she left for good. How can you not appreciate a helper like that? Now, whenever well-meaning family or friends recommend a replacement, I gently have to turn them down for all the obvious reasons. 🙂