Wanted: Yaya

Posted by Analyse at 3:57 PM

Monday, April 18, 2005

Reality is slowly getting into the picture. The question is, who would take care of the baby?

If only I was in the Philippines, for sure, di pa ko kinakasal, me yaya applicants na kagad ako, not even knowing if I’m baog or what!

Much as we want to be cool, this problem has been haunting us since we learned about the good news. It’s a known problem here in France, if you want your child to be enrolled in one of the nurseries here, better register now. I mean now, not 3 months before the D Day!

There are actually different options that we could take, it’s for us to measure the applicability of each solution to our current situation. Talking about anticipation!

Les Crèches (The Nurseries) – public or private, it could be a good solution for us. The fee though is exorbitantly high, and immediate registration is a must. They could normally take infants from 2.5 months to 3 years old, just in time when I finally restart my so-called active life.

Les Crèches Familiales ou Crèches à Domicile (In-House Nurseries) – it could be an ideal solution, considering our bébé will grow in a more agreeable environment. In fact, we will have to bring our child in the nanny’s place where she guards plusieurs children. The schedule could be more flexible too.

Les Assistantes Maternelles Agréées (Professional Nannies) – the same regime as that of in-house nurseries in terms of condition and flexibility but they are not under the community administration.

Nounou (Nanny) – another ideal solution but costs a lot higher. It’s like a personal yaya who would stay in our place while we’re out. She’ll do little house works too! Ideal if the couple have tight schedules. An advantage is that, our baby will grow in the same environment – in our own house. No early wake ups to go to the nursery. The problem is, will we entrust our very own abode to somebody else?

Jeune Fille Au Pair (Au Pair)– the best solution (well, for us). A young student who would want to learn another culture and language and willing to take care of babies and do a little household chores at the same time. The host couple will pay for her French lessons, food and lodging and some weekly allowance. The advantage: higher flexibility as she will stay in our house.

We have been contemplating for quite a while on which solution we should take, and Au Pair is gaining more votes. We only have 2 problems actually, 2 BIG PROBLEMS!

- None of his family resides near our place.
- Both of us could be in another part of the planet in one point or another because of our work.

I could of course slow down, but little voyages in Paris for a short meeting have been part of my routine already. Frenchguy, my workaholic counterpart does a lot more than me, responsibility oblige. Honestly, waking up early morning everyday to prepare your baby, bringing him to the nanny without forgetting to refill his milk, diapers etc etc, going out of work early to fetch him and other bladiblahblahs is not life. I guess we could do better.

But another problem resurfaced. I’ve heard that issuance of au pair visas has been stopped by the Philippine Government, and honestly I have second thoughts on taking European or American/Canadian au pairs. Don’t they love partying? I want somebody I know or my family knows, somebody I could trust. It will be an exchange program anyway, so both of us will gain from the experience.

Just wondering how other working moms cope up? YELP!!!

14 comments:

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

The Dutch take on this is very simple. The women here, supposedly known to be the most emancipated women in the world (yes, Dutch women are very manly, assertive, direct, and cold haha!) are ta-dahhh, BORN MOTHERS. It is their culture here that as a mother you take care of your kids, you yourself and no one else. Quite a conservative move from the liberated open minded Dutch?

There was a research conducted that amongst the western countries the Dutch women ranked the lowest when it comes to work related emancipation. Can you believe that the Dutch women were ranked together with muslim women from countries such as Morocoo and Turkey? ... and there we thought they were that emancipated, lol. Yeah they are, but not with career.

They prefer to give up their careers in lieu of motherhood. And whats interesting, the society and the government supports it and in fact have made womens work flexible to suit motherhood. So a mother here (who has a masters/doctors degree, take note) works 2x or 3x a week the most.

I do admire their choices but quite an irony really.

So Ana, can you work 2x-3x a week? Is this normal in France?

TinTin said...

There are even grimmer choices here in the States. Nannies are out of the question for most middle-class families so, the choices are:

1. Relatives; grandmere, tante, souer,belle-mere, etc.
2. Daycare (shudder). Probably like your nurseries but you have to be careful what you choose. Some have cameras set up (means more $$$) so you can check in online.
3. Individual care givers. Again, must get one with good references. They are less regulated.
4. And a very common arrangement. Split schedules. One parent works the night shift, the other days, with overlap in between. This depends on where you work, and means you and your partner never get to see each other.

Sigh.

ruth said...

if i am to hazard an advice, it would be along the lines of the dutched pinay's take. that's the path i took. if you work, and granted you can get someone to take care of the babe during the day, would you still have the energy to spend quality time with him in the evenings?

if that doesn't sound palatable to you, the creche seems to be good, too. my son started attending one since he turned one, and has gained a lot from it. the company of kids his own age provided the play and camaraderie i would never have been able to provide, even if i stayed with him the whole day.

the first few years of your child's life are crucial, analyse. decide wisely.

Analyse said...

Jori, bizaare for a very liberated country, but why not, right. There are some french mothers who opt to stop momentarily their careers to look after their babies, personal choice, but more often, it’s because the nanny’s salary is equivalent to their own salaries, so what the heck, better stay at home and be with the baby right? Rather than work and give everything to the nanny. Oh well, nanny’s salary here is really exorbitant.

The most I could get is 4x a week, and I could work 1h less everyday too (to breastfeed the baby) without changing my salary. I could eventually work half the time (2.5x a week) but that would mean half the salary too. No I can’t do that, we’re still paying for the house!

Actually, the government here is very supportive too. They even give welcome incentives ‘that’s 800+€!’ and monthly allowance for the baby from 2 months before his birth up to 3 years, but hélas, I just checked and I don’t qualify, not because I’m Pinay, no discrimination, it’s because my salary depasses their limit! “#&%ù!

Tintin,
1. no families around the area.
2. I don’t think they’re that hitech here, but yes, it’s €€€!
3. professional nannies here are followed by social services, so they’re really qualified. But we have to search for them, they’re rare finds!
4. no, I don’t like solution #4, and anyways, doesn’t fit in with our resp works.

Hay hirap pala, when my colleagues complain about this and that (it happens everyday), natatawa na lang ako thinking, laki naman ng problema nila (nasa Philippine setting pa rin kasi utak ko – nagkalat ang yaya!), and now that I entered the same scenario, ok ok, I guess I will need their advice.

Ruth,
would you still have the energy to spend quality time with him in the evenings?

That left me thinking! I was at work when I read about your comment, nakakatawa, I was infront of the machine supposed to be thinking about work but I had your question in mind. As in!

Let me justify myself hehe. Una, we just bought a house and we opted to pay max per month to finish at the least possible time, so can’t afford to stop working. Slave yata ang dating ko nun a. Pangalawa, France works 35 hours per week, compared to my record 48 hours per week in Pinas, I guess I still have some allowance ;). I normally work more than that coz I’m a conscientious worker, I need results asap, but I could easily transform myself into a conscientious mother if need be, Darna! Pangatlo, I want an Au Pair so I could save my baby from the stress of the real world at a very early age, biruin mo, if ever, he will have to wake up early to go to the nanny. Ako nga, tinatamad gumising ng maaga e.

Yep, we’re thinking of bringing him to the crèche collective when he turns 1, at least. Before that, if we could find another way, we will surely grab for it. Sabi ng mom ko, iuwi ko na lang daw ng Pinas, batukan kaya ako ni frenchguy!

ladycharlie said...

Hi, I actually know someone (pinay) who is currently in Denmark who is looking for au pair work within the Schengen states. I could give you more info via email. Let me know if you're interested - ladycharlieATgmailDOTcom.

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

sigh, I have the same problem as you. I dont trust day cares, as there have been cases of abuse and neglect from the care givers.
So far there are no clear choice...

My wife and I both have a carreer... sigh...

Analyse said...

Hey Mell, it will be soon for you. What are your options?

If I could prevent daycares, I'll surely do, nagkakahawaan ang mga bata dun.

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

ana,

truth is, we are praying that my mother in law will get her visa soon... if not, then to the day care for my baby...

Francesca said...

hey ana, pwede ang anak ko as aupair sa iyo when she comes to france. I apply for her this oct, say around six month process baka dito na sila.
She will study and i would like her to have her own money while studying.
email me your reply and suggestions(and offers).I know it is small money in compare but dont worry we will not fight over it. If you trust her of your baby of course.Okey ba?

Analyse said...

Mell, hope she'll get it, how i wish i could do the same (sigh).

Ate Amy, I'll send you a separate email. if ever, we will follow what is applicable in france. check these sites for any idea about the weekly allowance. does she have french basics already? night classes in dijon i guess are for advanced students already. send u an email.

http://www.eaupair.com/faq2/show_faq.cfm?faq_number=93

http://www.europa-pages.com/au_pair/terms.html

schatzli said...

madamme biro mo pag mag kababy ako dito sa Norway and I wanted an au pair but I wont qualify to have one.
why? because the main language of the house must be norsk (Swiss asawa ko we speak english)

Look there are really worthy au pairs around... you can always do an interview and 1 month trial
my ex boss had 2 from slovakia and they were good girls.

Analyse said...

schatzli, ganun? you have to jump to another country before getting pregnant hehe.

i dont know, im quite sceptical about having another culture inside the house :(. i had english/american au pair classmates before, they were nice ok, but each time i go to bars, they're always on rendez-vous. hayy! medyo manang kasi ako..:(

we've got friends, they have a chinese au pair and it seems she's a hardworker, their babies understand chinese now. seems to be an advantage considering china is climbing the echelon of economic success.

anyways, we already started plan B, scouting for crèche!

Bokbok said...

Hi ana!

So, what's up? kumusta ang future maman?

I guess, the best solution is a nounou. But you don't need one who'll stay in your place, super expensive. Ibibigay mo lang ang buong salaire mo, find someone who does babysitting chez elle, quelqu'un qui habite près de chez toi but make sure she's agrée and taking care of at least 1 or 2 more kids, au moins ton bébé ne se sentira pas seul. And beaucoup moins cher pa.

O pa'no, 'happy hunting' na lang! :)

Bisous and ingat,
boks

Analyse said...

Boks, the hunting hath commenced! you're talking about crèche familiale i suppose. we already inquired and we were told to do the inscription 6 months before para di matabunan yung file namin. Of course, the waiting list will be long, i guess that's national problem, so on doit faire avec. there's crèche collective two blocks away from our place, the ideal solution :), i just hope we could get a place, tho february is not the best month daw, ce n'est pas la rentrée scolaire, anyways, we're still scouting for other solutions.

ikaw, musta ka na?