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Friday, June 01, 2007

Why are kids so attached to the maid?

My part time helper is fond of telling me the story of how attached her previous full time employer's kids are to her. She told me that they only want her to feed them and when the are out, they prefer to hold her hand and look for her and they even sleep with her. Well, its no wonder then, since they sleep with her!

I can think of several reasons why kids sometimes prefer the maid.
  • Sometimes when mum is busy, mum tells the maid to drop everything and play or look after the kids. So in this case the job for that moment is to look after the kids without distraction. Of course the kids love this. Kids love attention without distraction. I am often guilty of being so distracted when I am trying to pay attention to the kids that I don't give them my full attention so if there is a maid whose job is to give them full attention even for several minutes in a day, of course the kids love it and them.
  • Maids have no authority to scold or discipline the kids when they are acting up. Now this is something which I think is a big problem for parents who have to rely on maids. If you give the maids the authority you may worry about the maid abusing or over using this authority and yet if you don't you may end up with kids who abuse this lack of authority. Kids are smart. They know who they can bully. Its a fine line to draw. You don't want to have kids who are rude and disrespectful to the maid.
  • During mealtimes, when the kid acts up, the maid is given the job to cuddle and carry the baby while mum eats. I see this very often in a restaurant. I'm not saying that mum does not want to pick the kid up. Yes of course mum loves the baby more than anything in the world but in a demanding situation pressed for time when you hardly even have time for yourself and to eat a decent meal it is very tempting to ask the free hand around to pick them up while you have a quick bite. So at the end of the day, you get a baby or kid who is more attached to the one who gives them the attention when they cry out for it.
  • When you are out at the mall. I see a lot of mothers browsing around while the maid plays with and runs after the kids. Its very tempting to browse around when you don't have the time to do so instead of having pestering, whiny kids clinging to you but at the end of the day again you have a situation where the kids have more attention from the maid.

Thats all I can think of for now but I'm sure theres a lot more situations that you can think of.

What does all this translate to? Kids love attention so they end up loving and being more attached to the person who plays with them at home and outside, picks them up when they cry, and doesn't scold them. And most certainly they will get attached to the person who sleeps with them as in the case of my part time helper with her previous employer's kids.

I'm talking about kids but the same goes for the man of the house too. I know a friend whose maid treats her husband better than her. The maid is always ready with a cuppa or the newspaper, is there to greet him when he comes home and puts away his shoes, reminds him of his keys, bags etc when he leaves the house etc. Lol!

Related posts:

Read Mothering is really hard work Heres an excerpt:

"...........due to the lazy human nature, I must say that I am tempted, very very tempted, to ask the part time helper to feed, bathe, change, wash dirty smelly little bottoms and do all the other "hard" parts of motherhood while I just sit back and do the easy part of playing, loving and cuddling them.


  1. Thank goodness my kids are not attached to the maid.

    1. I'm guilty of that. I didn't have to ask the maid, but when she sees that I'm busy in front of the pc and they kids start fighting and crying, she volunteers putting down the task on hand and attend to them. But my kids still prefer me than the maid

    2. My maid don't have the authority to scold & discipline my children. They do bully her sometimes, but I'm always around to correct them.

    3. We never bring the maid out to dine. So have to handle the kids myself.

    4. My kids co-sleep with hubby and me.

    5. We never bring the maid out shopping. :P even if we do, I prefer to carry or attend the kids myself, including wearing my baby in the sling when he was younger. Even if I'm out shopping without hubby, maid offers to push trolley with the kids in it, my kids would throw big fuss. My maid actually felt awkward to walk empty handed or just holding the diaper bag behind us. LOL

    Actually why do I need a maid hor...when most time I'm doing the work myself.

    I think because I'm 24 hours at home, that makes the different of why they are not attached to the maid. So I can't really verify your points.

  2. We (me & daddykhong) agree with your points. Maid is definitely not an option for us. Even though how hard it is to dine outside with a walking toddler and a crying baby, we still have to manage on our own. At least we are happy doing it.

    But I'm happy that finally we have a part time cleaner and grass cutter to manage our household cleaning....thanks to daddykhong.

    Btw, I have you as our role model to handle two kids WITHOUT maid!!! Hehehe...

  3. hey MG,
    agreed with what you said. Anyway, I can't think of why on EARTH some mummies want their babies to sleep with maids. Oh wait, I have a few friends who do that, so they can sleep SOUNDLY at night! haha..
    terrible lar yeah?
    Anyway, kids are closer to me, coz the maid mainly does household chores.
    oh well...take care!

  4. i totally don't agree maid sleeping with maid, cause i can't imagine what will my maid be doing when my baby is crying..sleep thru...

  5. I agree with your points too, i totally wont let the maid sleep with my kids cause i dunno what will happend with my baby, eventhought i had to takecare 3 of them by myself.The maid have to weakup early to do house chores, how she can have enought sleep to handle a baby at midnite??

  6. dragonmummy,
    Your kids prefer you because YOU do all the things for them. Otherwise, to your dismay they may choose the maid to feed and bathe them instead.

    Without a maid, daddykhong has no excuse not to help out with the kids. Hehe. But I'm sure he enjoys "helping out" anyway. I can see that he's the type who loves to spend time with his children and doing things for and with them.

    Yeah. I have absolutely no idea why anyone in the right frame of mind would want to have their kids sleeping with the maid.

    Sleep through or worse still, hit the child and say "Oh you, shut up!"

    Some expect their maid to be superhuman, expecting them to wake up at dawn to wash the car and make breakfast, look after the household plus the kids. Something just have to give in those sorts of situation. However fortunately, I think only a few out of the majority of those who have maids are like that. Most ppl treat their maids quite well, I think or at least, I hope.

  7. Seriously I still prefer to do things for my baby myself, I don't trust the maid, even she has experience in taking care of baby before. And having the maid co-sleep my baby, no way.

    Besides, I'm a jealous mummy. And I get jealous when my DD is too attached too someone else, even the grandparents, other than me and my DH.

    Especially the early day when she was only few months, I got very upset when I couldn't calm her but someone else could even though I started co-sleep her from the very beginning.

    So I tried doing everything myself whenever I could, bathe her, cleaned her up, co-sleep her every night, take her out(only me and hubby).

    Lucky now she is very attached to me...even though daytime the grandparents are taking care of her while I work. They also hardly ask the maid to take care of her.

    But now that I'm pregnant, I have to ask help from the maid at times, when the grandparents are out.

    But I still co-sleeping, and calm her on my own when she makes a fuss at night, carry her on and off though I'm warned not to do too often, and when going out it's always me, hubby and DD, no maid, so we can carry her on our own and feed her. After, how many years do our children actually so attached to us physically, the moment the go to school or kindergarden, and have more friends, they will want their friends more...hahahaha... and I think the first five to seven years are the best time for us, parents, to enjoy with the kids and build the bonds and trust. After that the kids will be too busy with school work, tuition, extra-curriculum and so on. And before we know it they will be working already. Their childhood is just too short to be missed.

    But I have to admit one, my DD enjoys playing with the maid but I wouldn't say she is attached to her.

  8. Dolphine,
    I think you're right. The fact that your DD enjoys playing with the maid does not mean that she is attached to her. That is the difference which I didn't realise before. And you better take care of yourself while you're pregnant. For example if you like to carry your DD, you can cuddle her while sitting down or while resting in bed instead of while walking about. :)

  9. I'm so agree with ur points..hahaha..
    When i got maid, i also rely on maid a lot, when go out i can still shopping and buy things, at home i can sit in front of pc,and let her play with my kids..my maid is mainly taking care my boys.And when i'm home i will help up too. So now when the maid left, i spent more times with my kids and now they are stick to me like "super glue". Not that when i got maid the time they dont want me, but not as close as now.U know what i mean? But i dont let the maid to sleep with my boys.Night time i will taking care of them even though when they are still baby.Glad that i can spend more time with them now, but on the other side i'm tired and stress too with two active kids..

  10. my son has never been too attached to maid even though he's always been taken care by the maid. each time a maid goes back it's like nothing to him also. dunno about my girl but i think it will be the same too...kids nowadays r very smart ledi, they know maids will b maids, they r not family..

  11. Chloe loves her babysitter .. keegan too..! because keegan pays 100% attention to her.. while they are together.. ;) unlike us.. we gotta pay attention to the customers .. other stuff .. like blogging.. ;)

  12. I am a working mother, and i leave my baby and maid with my mother during the daytime and fetch the baby home at night. He would co-sleep with me at night as i felt that i should spend more time with him since i am out during the day. But the fact is that he is responding more to the maid than me even though i take care of him at night. Whenever i came back from work and tries to play with him, i don't get his attention. But when the maid calls his name, he would smile at her. I just felt that he is upset with me for putting him at my mum's place. Perhaps I am jealous, but i want to have the special bond between me and my baby not with the maid. What do I need to do? I am already spending my full time during weekends with the baby.

  13. annie,
    Its human nature to just let someone else takeover when we're tired, stressed out and want to have time to do other things so having a maid around makes it easier to do that. Having two super glues around can be really reallly tiring. Hahaha.

    Some of the kids realise that maids are not family as you say but a lot of them do get rather attached and cry when they leave.

    Yeah. Our time with them is sometimes full of distractions not 100% like those of a sitter becos thats the sitter's job. They're not supposed to be doing any other thing at the time.

    Hello anon. Thats tough and I feel for you. I'm not sure if its because he's angry with you for leaving him at your mum's. Its just that they are attached to the one who spends the most time with them. My kids usually stick to me and reject their dad when he comes home just because I spend all day with them. I guess one way you could try to go about this is to spend time with your son in the evenings doing the things that he likes and not let anything else distract you. Give him 100% of your time and attention during this time (maybe set aside an hour a day or something like that) and see it that helps? I have to take some anticonvulsant medication which left me feeling drowsy when I first started on it so I asked my part time helper to sit with the kids and do nothing accept play with them and in just one short week they warmed up to her and asked me to go to sleep so that they could play with her!

  14. Hi All, thanks for your advise. I guess I have to fully spend my time and give 100% attention to my baby whenever i can. I was actually planning to let my baby co-sleep with the maid, but I rather not now till he is 1 or 2 years old. At least, if he wakes up at night, I am always there to comfort him.


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