But it's 1:16am now and I have insomnia.
Not sure if it is because I dozed off while trying to make Clarissa sleep and it became a power nap instead.
The hubs has sinusitis and is snoring quite badly, so try as I might I couldn't quieten myself down to fall asleep when I went back to our room.
At 1230am I decided to bite the bullet and camp on the spare bed in the study room.
But I heard a noise coming from the kitchen.
All lights were out but someone was sniffing in the toilet.
In the dark.
It was our helper.
So I stood outside and waited for her to come out.
There had been way too much drama with her in the recent weeks that I can't even find the energy to write about it.
She finally came clean about why she kept changing her mind about staying / not staying.
She had a medical condition which she kept to herself for the two years she's with us.
So one day last week she suddenly texted me and said sorry I cannot renew my contract I'm sick.
Naturally I asked why and it turned out to be something I thought can be resolved.
But I was ready to let her go, even though I'd already paid for her insurance by then (because she said she'd continue and even shook the hubs' hand to say she wouldn't go back on her word).
But I offered to pay for her checkup here, simply out of good will.
In the end, for the next few days, she told me she wants to stay on even after getting her health check results.
So just last night, I renewed her work permit.
It's not about the money or time I spent doing these, but really, the unnecessary stress she put us through.. and we could have started our search for someone new way earlier and not have to face this situation.
I think we've bent over our backs to help her, to let her stay.. but all we got was such a selfish treatment.
Every night she'd be staying up late, even after Clarissa has gone to bed, sitting in the kitchen, either on her phone, or crying, or doing everything but sleep.
She could have gone to bed at 10pm and gotten a decent 8 hour sleep even if Clarissa woke up at 6am.
Makes sense for someone who thinks she has a medical condition, right?
Makes sense for someone whose reason of the day for not staying is "I think I need to rest"?
So I asked her why.
I told her I'm not trying to make her stay, but I genuinely want to understand why.
Why is she so miserable here?
Why is she not sleeping?
Why is she crying?
What did we do wrong to her, to make her behave like this?
All she said was, she deliberately stayed up late because she loses weight when she doesn't have enough sleep.
Which was also why about two months back she started keeping food away even though she used to be able to finish the portion.
She'd save them in the fridge and reheat them, and reheat them.. Until at one point I was shocked at the backlog of food she had.
We told her not to do that, it's bad for health, especially since she has a weak tummy.
I told the hubs my hypothesis back then, that she was perhaps trying to lose weight quickly so she could return home looking thin like she really wasn't having a good time here.
(I'd planned to let her go home for a holiday in April. Paid, two-week vacation.)
So it turns out that my guess is right.
I asked her.
Why do you think you need to go back looking thin and miserable?
Why can't you go back fat and happy?
In other words, why are you choosing to be unhappy? What about our family is making you do that?
She said it's not us, it's her.
Sigh. I don't think my talk with her would change anything about her mindset.
But I told her I really think she could lead a better life because she is very hard working.
I always tell her to ask her kids to study hard. I even tell her which universities they need to aim for, to get a better chance of landing a better job.
And when she renews her contract, she'd get a full month bonus each year, which she gets to save for their education.
Her kids would always ask her to buy things for them.
New laptop, one each.
New basketball, a branded leather one.
New basketball shoes, Nike.
And so on.
So last Christmas when i found out that Lazada Philippines ships to her hometown, I got her to choose Christmas presents for her kids.
Her son wanted the branded basketball and her daughter wanted a necklace.
I paid for the presents and told her it's a gift from us to her kids.
It's my way of saying thank you for taking care of our girl and sorry you couldn't be there physically for yours.
It's not a lot of money to me, but it's more than 15% of her monthly salary.. so I really hoped I could help relieve some of her stress of always having to buy things for her kids.
Anyway I told her that I hope she'd not be like this when she goes home. Be hardworking, but please be happy. Continue to ask her kids to study hard and not ask for branded stuff because you can't keep up with this kind of lifestyle.
Even if she had decided way earlier not to renew her contract instead of making things so ugly now by changing her mind about 10 times, I'd still want her to return home happy.
It makes me angry, that we take pains to make her happy and comfortable but she chooses to look pitiful and miserable.
It makes me frustrated, that diligent people like her would always be stuck, because of her mindset.
So now, or rather, when the hubs wakes up in the morning, we have to activate plan b.
It's kinda funny because the hubs asked me yesterday, as we were looking at some helper's profile, whether I'd keep her or choose a new helper if she's suitable.
He said he'd choose to keep her, but I said I don't know.
I want to see this as a blessing in disguise, because who knows, we might find someone who is not only diligent and liked by Clarissa, but also cheerful and positive.
Even if she extends her contract now, I foresee the same things happening over and over again and soon I might have MOM coming over to investigate our neighbours' complaint about hearing someone crying every other night.
The transition would be tough, we will not be able to find someone in time, but I can do without the emotional baggage in the long run.
No time for drop-off no time for breakfast.
I couldn't sleep after that episode even though I really tried. Lay in the dark for an hour before I got up to read.
And then the hubs woke up thinking I'd fallen asleep on the mattress in the little boss' room.
I told him what happened while he gave me a head and neck message.
Decided that I should wake up slightly later than usual and take a cab to work directly as I have a 830am meeting.
It was nearly 4am and it took me a long time to fall asleep.
I woke up before the alarm rang at 7am.
I'm so screwed today.
Back to back meetings, plus a night call starting at 730pm.
Need a lot of will power to get through today.
Breakfast and lunch in one comfort food combo.
I'm doing well so far.
Sat in a pricing meeting and actually understood everything. 😂
Might crash later, let's see.
Came home earlier today hoping I could snooze a bit before the night call.
But the little boss was already up from her nap.
She was a sweetheart though, willing to play on her own while I did my business and took a shower.
She'd put the puzzles together and say:
I did it!
Hahaha yep me too.
I survived the day.
Visibly happy after she pooped.
She was a little moody while working on the puzzles. She pooped while I was still in the toilet and came over to the door to inform me, "Mummy, I poop poop so big!"
Why you tell people about my poop poop?
And then I had dinner with her, like I did for the past 2 evenings.
I ended up having to feed her 90% of the time and she put up a fight a few times.
👧: Can you eat your rice please?
👧: Then what do you want to eat?
👶: I want to eat no!
👧: Can you drink your soup please?
👧: Then what do you want to drink?
👶: I want to drink no!
She finished everything though, after a lot of story telling and conversation.
And I feel like I haven't eaten. 😂
This is the hubs and I, feeling all bruised all over again.
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Be kind to people.
All we got in return was defiance and a lack of remorse.