Your baby is growing attached to your domsetic helper and you are feeling ‘threatened’ or even ‘in competition’ with her? If you are having a tough time dealing with the situation, the following advice will – hopefully – help you get through it.
Am I the only one concerned about this?
Worry not, it’s a natural feeling. Obviously, everyone has their way of reacting in such situations and feels different about it, but being bothered, upset or even jealous in this case is completely normal and comprehensible especially for first-time mothers. Sometimes, you might even feel hurt – particularly in those moments where your baby behaves as if your helper is their mom. Some mothers might even feel frustrated as they have the feeling that they are missing out on important moments in their children’s lives and end up feeling guilty for leaving them behind when they must return to work. Discard the idea that you are ‘abandoning’ your children, that is not true! The mother-child bond is special and absolutely irreplaceable.
1 Mom, 1 Helper, 2 distinct roles
Keep in mind that your domestic helper’s role is not to replace you. And, rest assured that she will never replace you! It is normal though that your helper and your baby develop a bond (and that’s a good thing!). This won’t make yours any less special! Your helper is there to do her job and it is understandable that she would end up caring about your baby but she has no hidden motives.
Babies do need love
Love and affection are important for babies as they play a vital role in their development. Feeling loved enables children to become more confident. It also makes them feel safe, comforts them and helps them develop their self-esteem. And as such, it should not be denied to them – no matter where it comes from.
I feel helpless, what can I do?
If you are uncomfortable with the situation or if that’s really bothering you, there are a few things that you can do about it.
(1) Spend as much time as possible with your baby before returning to work but also once your maternity leave is over.
– While on maternity leave, make sure you interact with your new-born baby as often as possible. Breastfeeding will enable you to share privileged moments with your baby. If you are bottle feeding try to be the one feeding them.
– Whenever you are home, try spending quality time with them – playtime is crucial to deepening the bond you share. Bath time and bedtime are also key moments so make sure that you are the one bathing or tucking them in whenever possible.
(2) If you feel like this is necessary, it might be a good idea to detail your helper’s responsibilities especially those related to your baby – and define the do’s and don’ts. You might even need (and that’s okay!) to establish that you should be the only one to care for them when you are home – especially in the earliest stages of their development – while your helper could oversee non-baby-related responsibilities such as cooking or grocery shopping.
Discuss it with your helper
Make it clear that you need to spend those moments alone with them. If you are not comfortable with things as they are, do set rules and boundaries. Do not hesitate to share with your helper about how this whole situation makes you feel. And if she is a mom too, she will surely understand and give you and your children some space.