One of the challenges mothers face today is having to choose between working and staying home to take care of the kids. Sometimes there is no choice -- she and her husband need to work. Once the decision is made, it is followed by another tough one: mom has to relinquish the care of her baby to to a nanny or yaya.
Having a caregiver is a tough decision because it almost always happens: at some point, a child calls out to her yaya when she is scared or hurt, not her mom. It is one of the most painful things for a mother ever to experience. She also cannot help but feel jealous and threatened.
Moms, it's tough, but you need to think of it this way.
#1 Your child's attachment to yaya is natural -- and a good thing.
Children like routines, especially when done consistently with or by one person. Think about it: It is the yaya who gives them a regular bath, lay them down for a nap, engage them in scheduled plays with, walks with them around the neighborhood, every single day.
But this close bond has its benefits that go beyond caregiving tasks. It teaches your child how to build relationships with other people. It eventually prepares her to adjust to school quickly and become comfortable in social interactions.
#2 Create a new ritual that is just for you and your child.
Children go through stages of development and affection. There are times when they prefer mom over dad, the yaya over mom or dad, or even grandmother over both parents. Each one will also have established routines where you cannot join in because you are at work. Make sure you have yours.
What you want is to give your child the opportunity to get used to your scent and feel your warmth. Reading her favorite books every night before bedtime, planning regular outings, or perhaps if your child is older, learning to play a musical instrument together can help strengthen your bond with your baby, without worrying a yaya will usurp you.
#3 Your child's connection with yaya will never replace your position in his life.
A baby is going to get attached to whoever is caring for him the most. That doesn't mean he loves that person more -- he's just used to that person. It never replaces the bond between a mother and child. It is a bond that cannot (not ever) be broken.
There will be many times you will feel a little insecure, jealous and even nervous about your mothering ability. It is, however, important to remember that you are the mother at all times. Do your best to feel confident in your role so that your child feels your certainty and trusts you.
So when you come home, before walking into the door after work, take a deep breath. Remind yourself, no matter what, more than anything else in the world, your child wants you.
Dr. Liza Gonzales is completing her life coaching studies at The Coach Training Academy in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada and is on her way to international coach certification. For questions and coaching inquiries and appointments, please send email to email@example.com