I don’t know about you, but this was one of my biggest fears when deciding to host an Au Pair. The thought of my daughter wanting to go to our Au Pair over me when she was sad, when she hurt herself, when she wasn’t feeling well, broke my heart!
It is not something you can be sure will happen, but it is also something you can’t avoid if it does happen. These are one of the thoughts working parents face when making the decision to go back to work and host an Au Pair for their child care needs.
I remember thinking, Stevie is going to be spending more one on one time with our Au Pair then me! She is going to get used to having her around and I am going to be the guest in the house! What if she thinks our Au Pair is her mum and not me?? All completely irrational thoughts but that didn’t stop them from flooding through!
If we remove the way it makes us feel as parents and strip it back to the situation at hand, is it really a bad thing? Yes, we always want our babies to come to us for comfort into the safety of our arms, but isn’t it awesome that they feel so comfortable with your choice in child care, that they rush to them for comfort and reassurance? Doesn’t this mean you have made the right choice and they feel loved and cared for by your Au Pair?
Whilst this can be a tough pill to swallow, and trust me, the first time Stevie went to our Au Pair over me (not that it happens very often to be honest) really did affect me. I felt like she chose to be comforted by her over me, chose her love over mine, did this mean that she loved our Au Pair more than she loved her own mother??
Of course this isn’t the case! As I have said before and will continue to say again and again, your child knows who their parents are and nothing can replace the love of a mother or father. You have simply given them more people who love them and more people for them to love in their life and they access that depending on the timing and the situation.
It is important not to make your Au Pair feel bad that your child may want to go to them over you from time to time. Reassure them that you think it is lovely that your child feels so comfortable to go to them in a time of need.
Whenever it happens now, I just think ‘at least this is making her feel better – it is obviously what she needs right now’. Kids do know how to pull at your heart strings and I am still convinced that sometimes Stevie does these things on purpose to punish me for leaving her! I am sure this is all part of my mummy guilt psyche though haha.
Whilst jealousy is a normal emotion, it is a wasted emotion and can do more harm than good to your own well being. Try to look at these occurrences in a new light and remember, you are their mummy or daddy and they will always want you.
If you have any questions about jealousy – does my child want to go to the Au Pair over me? Feel free to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.