We've heard many horror maid stories -- maid run away, maid abuse children, maid don't do duties well, maid seduce husbands, maid stealing, maid having boyfriends etc.... These, of course, causes undue stress on parents. So, you'd think that having a good maid would be a blessing. Unfortunately, even good maids are a cause of concern for some parents.
Recently, I came across a working mother who voiced her dissatisfaction that her child seem to be closer to the maid than to her. I'm sure many of you have experienced before (or are currently experiencing) that jealous feeling when your child is more obedient to the maid, choose to spend time with the maid and stick to the maid even when you are around.
Just let me share some thoughts (and I hope I don't step on anybody's toes).
- First, remember that YOU created that situation. Your child did not ask for a maid. If you ask your child, I'm sure they would be 110% in support of you staying home instead of the maid. Therefore, the choice of having a maid to act as a caretaker on your behalf, is your choice. I know some mothers cannot afford to stay home. But that is not the point here. The point is, you put a maid in your home, so be prepared to accept that your child is very likely going to have a close relationship with this caretaker.
- Be realistic, you are not there for your children 24-7. You may say that you are the main caretaker of your children. However, in their waking hours, exactly how many hours are you around to take care of them? Probably not as many hours as the maid. Plus, children learn that mommy hired "kakak" to take care of them. So, if they need something (food, entertainment, comfort), they will go to the person that they are used to. In your eyes, you are the main caretaker because you are the mother. But in your children's eyes, do they see you as that? Take some time to ponder what you are in your child's mind.
- Your child does not have an on/off button. If your child likes the maid, you cannot expect the child to switch off that feeling when mommy is around.
- Don't try to compete with your maid for your child's affections. If your child loves the maid, doesn't mean he/she loves you less. You will always be the mother. Children know that!
- Of course they are going to behave differently with you. Their time with you is limited. So you may encounter some "manja," cheekiness and playfulness. Also keep in mind that children may even misbehave to get their parent's attention. And boy, do they always want their parent's attention. I pray your children have not resorted to that trick.
- If you really cannot accept that your child is closer to the maid than you, than stop whining about it and start clocking in more hours with your child. You cannot work out of the home and expect the blessings of being a SAHM.
I invite working mothers that have a maid to share their experience and thoughts. Like I said, I hope I have not offended anyone. Tell me if you agree or disagree with me. And what would your advise be for such a mother?