Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pros and Cons

We get lots of questions from friends and family about having a full-time housekeeper/cook/yaya live with us. It's funny how I couldn't have imagined having a stranger live with us before we got here and now I almost can't imagine not having Cora with us. Having household help is the strangest part of living in the Philippines. There are enormous benefits and also many things that I could not have foreseen being a problem with this arrangement. So to answer some of everyone's burning questions:
Your own home is never completely yours in the sense that Cora knows where to find Addie's missing swim suit or whether or not we need more laundry detergent. She makes our bed even if I want it messy and never leaves the toothpaste splattered on the mirrors. Sometimes a little mess if comforting ( I guess it feels like home). Cora (as a result of her Filipino upbringing) keeps fruits and vegetables long after they are edible. The vacuum cleaner accidentally got plugged into the 220 volt socket and almost blew it's fuse. Our canola oil gets recycled (kind of gross to me). Once in awhile like this past weekend, the house begins to smell and we finally figure out that a bag of old rotten chicken bones were accidentally left in the laundry room (what the?). These things are rather minor compared to some stories we've heard but still cause a bit of strife sometimes. By the time Friday rolls around I'm ready to have my house to myself.

On the other hand the Pros are almost immeasurable.

Cora keeps the house spotless and is a wonderful cook. As a result of her upbringing she's good about stretching our resources as far as they can go. She saves us lots of money on groceries by doing the shopping herself. Justin's clothes are always pressed. Addie loves Cora and they play well together. I get to eat my lunch and dinner in peace because Cora will play with Addie after she's finished eating and allows me to finish alone. Lucy is walked frequently and I no longer have to bathe her! Cora literally takes care of all the household chores and lets Addie and I just play. Justin and I have a built in babysitter for the weekday nights if we want. I could go on and on praising Cora.

Addie has taken to helping Cora sweep the floors (which I know she wouldn't have picked up from me since I didn't do that much!). Cora brought Addie her own broom so now she gets to do her own cleaning whenever she feels like it.

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