Before Yaya Maps—our current help for almost two years now—came along, Gummy has had only two official yayas when she was barely one year old. There were more than 30 others who applied whom I fired or replaced in as short as three days.
You see, some five to six years or so ago I was a monster, first-timer mom. I was overly strict with the people I allow to touch my child. I was a germaphobe, meticulous when it comes to the sanitation of my baby’s things and critical when things are not done my way. I rationalized and attributed my behavior to my being a mother who only wants to protect her child [from any sickness].
A yaya to me then was like a slave, who should be following my orders at once. I want things done a certain way and when they aren’t done my way or they insist on doing it a different way—though still accomplishing the same result, I snap. I must be obeyed at all costs. (Did I say I was cruel?). My perspective then was: “Since I pay you, you follow everything I say. And if you don’t, you leave my house.” But can you guess who suffered from my pride? Yep, me.
I guess just like Pharaoh, the Lord hardened my heart to teach me a valuable lesson. I had to endure the next four years without an extra set of hands as a direct consequence of my unreasonable leadership. Yes I am blessed to have my mom and wowa to watch after and attend to all of Gummy’s needs so I can work. But I also had feelings of guilt then that I was putting my mother’s life on hold because of the burden of having to take care of my child.
Looking back, I understand why the Lord withheld giving me a yaya and I couldn’t thank Him enough for allowing me to be yaya-less those four years. It was so that He could mold me into the responsible servant-leader of the home, discipler of family members and the faithful and prayerful mother that I am today. I embraced the [self-inflicted] suffering I had to go through that the Lord used to mold my character (James 1:2-3). Here are my reflections:
God removed all forms of “external help” [not family members]so that I will learn to ask for help within my family (God was dealing with my pride) so that I will appreciate them more. My mom and wowa are exceptional examples of a mother’s sacrifice and I would not have witnessed that if our life was comfortable with a helper whose job is to do everything for us.
God taught me to depend on Him solely (John 15:5) and to trust Him for everything especially for physical and emotional strength through the difficult times (Philippians 4:13). Instead of grumbling that I don’t have a helper, I learned to embrace and learn from my suffering as a consequence of my bad attitude. The Lord was faithful to honor my humility and He heard my prayers and blessed us still with a faithful, hardworking and efficient helper in Yaya Maps.
God will not entrust any of His children to you if you cannot take care of them, treat them and love them the way He does. To have a house-help is a blessing, it is a privilege to be served by people. We must never feel entitled as their “masters,” because they are not slaves. Yes they are paid and employed and their job is to make our lives easier and lighter but that never mean abusing them just because of their inferior position. Remember that we do not own any person, even though we pay them.
The greatest blessing during that period of being yaya-less was having my child grow up with me—literally stuck with me wherever I go. The amount of time we spent together during her formative years in our God-ordained, single and hands-on parenting set-up paved the way for me to intentionally teach and train my child in the way she should go (Proverbs 22:6) and really influence her ways (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). These four years of dedicated availability to attend to all of my daughter’s needs (that consequently caused her to be extremely attached- this one calls for another article) are the most fruitful years for me in raising her into the obedient and godly child that she is today. (Praise God!)
Now that the Lord has blessed us with Yaya Maps, I treat it as a privilege to have her under my care. She is also God’s creation whom God appointed to be in my house and therefore I must be a good steward of this blessing—by treating her and loving her like how God would as well as leading her to the Lord.
In Maps I gained not just an extra set of hands, a playmate for Gummy, a baker, a friend, but more importantly a sister in Christ whom God placed below me to lift up to Him. My greatest moment of ‘pride’ as her “ate” is when she decided to attend CCF, do regular Bible Study and just last weekend, publicly declare her inner conviction of following Jesus through water baptism. Truly, me and my house, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15) What a great blessing to have a helper who has the same faith, convictions and whom I am confidently will consistently uphold the same principles to my child when I am not around.
Truly the Lord gives and takes away. But God gives again, and when we have learned our lesson, He blesses us with a gift beyond our expectations.
Honor the help you have at home today. If you have none, embrace that season and take it as an opportunity to become Christ-like and be closer to your children. Remember Romans 8:28. God always works things out for our good. He is our Father who loves us; and knows our needs.
Send me your yaya stories over at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear them!