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Bonding with my baby

  1. #1
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Hong Kong

    Bonding with my baby

    I wanted to throw out a discussion point here because it's starting to bother me. I have a new baby and a fantastic helper, but recently I realized that I was defaulting to letting the helper take care of a lot of things for me. For example, I'd be on the computer doing some work and it was her feeding time, so I'd go ahead and let the helper prepare and give the bottle, as I was feeling lazy and feeding baby can be some work. Despite all the 'help', I also found myself really depressed...even feeling like I didn't really know how to play with my baby, or that playing was boring.

    Well, each time on my helper's day off, I am suddenly in a great mood. I felt productive doing it all myself - even the non-baby stuff like cleaning up around the house, and I am able to sing and do silly dances for my baby....something that I'm far too embarrassed to do with my helper around.

    We won't get rid of our helper, because she's fantastic, and always tells me she is so grateful for her job - she came out to HK to work to make some money for her 4 kids back home - and anyway I will go back to work soon so we need someone to watch our baby during the day. But, I feel like having a helper makes me lazy and prevents me from being a proper mom. I guess I can suck it up and just ignore the helper and do my singing and silly dances, and force myself to take over the mom duties I know I should be doing which aren't as fun like diaper changes and feeding. But I wonder how other moms deal with this. (And honestly, despite knowing I should suck it up...I haven't been able to).

    Two things to note: (1) this inadequacy started when we decided to move to the bottle - when I was exclusively breastfeeding I didn't have this problem at all (2) we come from a country where having a helper is not the norm, so I have never dealt with this concept of a live-in person who does it all for me!

  2. #2
    jvn is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mid-Levels, Hong Kong

    I think what you're feeling is guilt, there's a whole lot of shoulds with babies, especially about breastfeeding and here, the issue of how much time to spend with your baby if you have a helper also comes up.

    I'm a great believer in happy mum, happy baby - I'm a SAHM and have to admit that I do sometimes get bored playing with The Boy (although I'm finding it's much more fun as he gets older and more responsive) and I think it's nice that the helper and I can alternate playing with him or play different games with the three of us. I feel like it's more fun for all of us that way and both the helper and I get some time out to do other things.

    I try to make sure when I do have time on my own then I do stuff that I enjoy so I appreciate it, exercise, meeting friends without babies etc... then I'm all the happier to get back and be on form with The Boy. My personal philosophy is that it's not about ticking boxes, how many nappies you change, baths you do, hours you spend playing it's about finding a balance that works for you all.

    I also believe that it is natural for children to have more than one primary carer, in communities/times when we all lived nearer to extended family this might have been mother, sister, in-law's etc, for others they may have husbands who work shorter hours but for us it's having a helper - that's just the way it is.

    I'd say, especially if you're going back to work soon, schedule some fun stuff for you and your baby - try some of the playgroups or playdates and then schedule some fun stuff for just you and appreciate both of them :-) easier said that done but try to let go of the guilt as neither you, your helper, nor your baby benefit from it and enjoy what you have.

    BTW, you don't sound lazy to me and get doing those silly dances!!

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