Being a mother is probably one of the most emotionally charged experiences of a woman’s life. It is an experience with emotions, with feelings of anxiety.
As the child grows anxiety is developed, anxiety that is associated with leaving your child in the care of another person. Most mothers are faced with twinges of doubt, guilt and even envy toward the caregiver who gets to spend the whole day with your baby.
It is natural to feel some competition with your caregiver. Siblings experience competitive emotions when a new baby is brought into the house.
Even spouses sometimes feel they are in competition for their child’s love. Whether you drop your baby off at a daycare center or at a school, you will always ask yourself whether you are still number one.
Do not worry; mothers are irreplaceable and your child holds a very special place in his/her heart for you.
Your baby will not confuse you with your nanny. She may, during her language development, call your nanny “mommy” but do not jump to the conclusion she is starting to believe this.
At the same time, she is probably calling every loving female in her life “mommy” too.
This is just a learning period and you should know not to take this phase personally. She will probably also call the milkman, her pediatrician and every male stranger on the street “daddy” as well.
During this phase, get quality time and teach her/him the correct name or word when she mistakenly says “mommy.” Simply say “No, that’s “nanny” and instruct your nanny to make the same correction.
Please do not shout at your nanny in front of children; there is a bond between the two and it may leave the child traumatized.
Do not be tempted to hire one temporary nanny after another, thinking that if your child receives care from several nannies that she/he will not come to prefer their nanny over you.
Your child will just get confused and start searching his/her way out of such situation.
And be prudent, because of this, your children may never be able to form attachments later in life and those vital bonds they so desperately need for healthy emotional and cognitive development.
In the British daily the ‘Daily Mail’, Prince William, Princess Diana’s son shared how his mother’s death when he was 15 still impacts him.
Writing in Daily Mail, he wrote that never being able to say the word “mummy” saddened him to no end. He went on say that “initially there is a sense of profound shock and disbelief that this could ever happen to you.
Real grief often does not hit home until much later. For many it is a grief never entirely lost…. Life is altered as you know it, and not a day goes past without you thinking about the one you have lost.”
We must remember that our time with our children isn’t indefinite.
What you do and say will make an impression. Be honest; watch your attitude, apologize when you’re wrong, be real and make your mark early. How will your kids remember you?
And there’s no time like the present to start making those memories good ones.
The author is The Minister of Gender and Family promotion