Your family's nanny enables you to keep the proverbial balls in the air and the train on the tracks. With tremendous relief and real gratitude, you acknowledge that you've found the right person for the job. But--with mixed emotions--you're thinking maybe she's too good: Your kids like her more than they like you. Don't panic or cave under your insecurities and fire the woman who is likely doing a fantastic job. Instead, consider these reassurances and relish in the truth that you're doing something really great for your kids:
• Be thrilled that you have found and hired an incredible nanny to care for your children. Bravo to you! That task is no easy feat.
• Realize that there's enough love to go around. You want your children to have strong feelings and an attachment to someone who is so important in their lives. Their warm feelings for her don't mean that they love you any less.
• Remember that she's your teammate, not your stand-in or your replacement. With open communication and a mutual respect for each other and the relationship, your nanny can come to feel like part of the family to you, too.
• Have your nanny help you reinforce nanny and Mom roles. It's helpful to have photos of you and your family around the house so she can talk about you during the day, and remind your kids that you are missing them and looking forward to being home with them soon.
• Feel liberated! Isn't it nice to know that your kids are not only well cared for, but happy and loved while you are away?
• Know that you're exposing your kids to new interests and skills. Your nanny may have skills and interests that you don't share. Your children benefit from exposure that is unique from what you provide.
• Remember that no one can replace Mom. Just as your children miss the nanny when she leaves, they miss you while you're away. Chances are, they often save some of their emotions from the day--good and bad-- for your arrival because they seek the comfort that only Mom can provide.
• Consider the alternatives. Many parents can attest--be glad that you don't have an unreliable, distracted nanny who is unhappy to be there.
• Own your insecurities. Concerns or guilt you may have about leaving your children in the care of their nanny or missing out while you are away are your problems, not your nanny's or your kids'.
Perhaps the most important advice to moms struggling to accept their children's attachment to someone else is to let go of the hurt, and enjoy the time you have together. Being at peace with your nanny and well prepared to make it work will help you make the most of the time you have together with your kids, as well as the time you have apart.