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Singapore
Saturday, February 4, 2023
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WORKING PARENTS THROW RESPONSIBILITY TO MAID, UNTIL SON CALLS MAID ‘MAMA’

As a working parent, I have always taken pride in my ability to juggle the demands of my career and family.

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I have been able to be a successful professional, while also being an attentive and involved parent. But there was one area where I had to admit defeat: housework.

After my son was born, I quickly realized that I simply couldn’t do it all. My husband and I had full-time jobs and were already stretched to the limit. We needed help around the house, but we were reluctant to hire a “stranger” to take care of our son. So we decided to hire a maid.

At first, the arrangement worked out great. The maid was helpful and seemed to genuinely care for our son. She was always punctual, dependable, and efficient. We even gave her a raise after a few months, as a sign of appreciation.

Son calls maid “mama”

But then things started to take a turn. My son, who was only two at the time, began to form an attachment to the maid. He started to call her “Mama” and would cry when she left. I was taken aback by this sudden change, and I began to worry that we had made a mistake.

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It wasn’t just the fact that my son was calling the maid “Mama.” It was also the fact that we were essentially abdicating our parental responsibility and throwing it onto the maid.

We were allowing her to become the primary caregiver for our son and in the process, we were neglecting our own parental duties.

I started to think about how I could be a better parent and take a more active role in my son’s life. I decided to take a few months off of work and spend more time with him. I also made an effort to do more around the house. I cooked meals, did laundry, and even helped with bath time.

My efforts paid off and I noticed a change in my son’s behaviour. He was more affectionate and attentive towards me, and he started to call me “Mama” again. I was relieved and happy that I had taken the time to be a more present parent.

At the same time, I was also aware that the maid had played an important role in my son’s development. She had provided him with the love and attention he craved, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

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My experience taught me an important lesson: being a working parent doesn’t mean you can’t be a great parent. You just need to make an effort to be more involved in your child’s life. And if you can’t do it all yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a parent to be a parent.

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