Sometime last week, I went to see an older friend who put to bed about 3 months ago. I hadn’t seen her since she delivered the baby so I made up my mind to find time just to go see her. She has an 18-month-old toddler. When I got to the house, I met her breastfeeding the baby while her toddler was asleep. Some 45 minutes later, the baby slept off while her toddler woke up. Her toddler started throwing tantrums immediately and started crying. My friend tried to pacify her with food, sweets and even ice cream. She was still crying. After like 5 minutes, the maid came, carried her and in less than a minute, this girl kept quiet!
I could see the heartbreak in her mum’s eyes even though she hid it. If you happen to find yourself in this situation, how can you win your child’s affection back? Don’t worry too much. Here are some things to do and remember, if you think your child loves the maid more than you:
Mummies, please stop blaming yourself. For this is usually a phase, this too shall pass. And it’s not just working mums who have to deal with this guilt. Babies have been known to go through attachment phases even with stay-at-home mums. In fact, you should be relieved that your child is able to form a loving bond with more than one adult in his life.
Be happy that your baby loves your maid, it shows that she is taking good care of him! It means that when you are gone, he is in good hands, and that, your child is safe and loved when you are not there. Aren’t you lucky?! Be confident and remind yourself that, you remain your baby’s mother, no matter what. It shows that he’s growing up to be a loving, sociable child!
True, you are dead tired at the end of the working day, and would much rather rest. But this is the time that you should use to connect with your little one. Immerse yourself into childcare duties like feeding, bathing and diapering, wholeheartedly. Also, make an effort to do some fun stuff and enjoy the company of your child. Play, sing, laugh, cuddle, read – the more fun you can have with him, the better!
Many mummies feel that sleeping with their babies actually helps in strengthening the bond with their little ones.
Communicate with your helper and let her know that you want to be more involved in fulfilling the emotional needs of your child. Also when you are home, and your child is distressed, don’t just stand back because he prefers the maid. Be proactive, and try to soothe him anyway. If he protests, ignore it; be gentle with him and don’t take things personally. With persistence, the negative reactions will surely pass.
How about planning for that ‘family only’ trip? It’s a good way to start things afresh. Apart from that, spending time exclusively with your child on weekends, without the helper, is also a great way to bond with them. .
If it still bothers you so much, mummies, you might want to consider re-working your care arrangements. You could opt for a part-time or work-from-home arrangement, so that you can spend more time with the baby.
Don’t feel unwanted, it’s just a passing phase that’ll go with time. Remember, maids come and go, buy you’ll always be there for your child.
Have you had a similar experience? Tell us how you dealt with it in the comment section below.