Monday

Second Child Blues

Help me do the right thing here. I have been a nanny for this family for 2.5 years. They recently had child #2. Dad dotes on her before and after work. For the entire time Mom was on maternity leave, there was a baby nurse here. Mom was so out of it that when the baby nurse needed a break or a shower, I was asked to watch the baby. The baby nurse was very skilled, so I know she had to recognize the problem, but she never said one thing. I even tried to make eye contact with her during certain bizarre events and she looked past me. She was not one to get involved.

Now, mom is back to work and I am home with two children. If Dad doesn't get the baby up in the morning, she will lay in her crib starting up at the mobile. She cries a whole lot from 10-2, but I don't think abnormally so for a now 7 week old child.

Margaret Keane
I like my job. My life is comfortable because of my job. I don't know why the mom doesn't want much to do with the new baby or doesn't want to attach to her. Literally, I have seen her cover her ears to not hear her cry (when we were home together). She would make excuses about errands to be out of the house. I don't know if it is depression because she responds to child #1 the same.  I don't know how to describe it but she will pick up, hold and laugh with child #1 (age 4), She smiles at the baby but with a tight smile. The most contact I have seen from her to the baby is rubbing her forehead. I can count the times I have seen her hold the baby on one hand. I cannot stress enough to you how the baby nurse was providing the child 100% round the clock care for the first six weeks, minus the three days she took off. (only 3, even though she worked 24/7).

My question- does this sound unusual to anyone? Am I imagining things? The last thing I would do is say something to the mom or Dad, but should I look for anything? Should I just keep trying to make parenting the baby easier? I prefill her bottles, set out formula, set out stacks of diapers, etc. It's making me very sad and I don't understand it!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like post partum depression. my boss had it and did the exact same things as you described. Please talk to the dad or another family member. good luck

Anonymous said...

It sounds like post partum depression. I had it. It was awful.

Please talk to the dad. My dh didn't quite pick up on the signs because he thought I was just exhausted and I put on a good face for him. If you have a good relationship with the mom, talk to her. Not from a judgmental point but from a caring point.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like post-partum depression, and is definitely something mom should be getting help and support for. Thankfully you are there to be with the baby the majority of the time, but it is concerning for the mom to be alone with baby if she is that detached and potentially negligent (or worse). I would say something to the dad, focusing on your concern for the mom's health. It may be awkward, but better to say something than not in my opinion.

Nanny said...

Sounds like PPD. I hope she gets help for it before something bad happens. Can you tactfully talk to dad?

thirty something said...

Talk to the dad about it - he will appreciate it and know how to approach it with his wife best. Poor mama sounds like she needs some help for PPD.

Anonymous said...

Classic PPD. Talk to dad or her mom

Anonymous said...

Chiming in... That's postpartum. If you know who her doctor is, I would mention it to the doctor if dad doesnt do anything about it. PPD ranges person to person, birth to birth. It can be mild to severe. Very important to get someone involved.

Angi

Obama's Nanny said...

These anonymous posts are insane. How hard is it to not be anonymous?
Anyway, it sounds like what you are saying is you CANT talk to the Mom. Then write an anonymous note to the father. Write an anonymous note to the mother. It doesn't have to be specific just, "I miss your beautiful smile. I hope you are doing well with the little ones at home. and then give her the name of a therapist. I mean seriously. We're talking about an innocent child.

Anonymous said...

When you're on a cell phone it becomes more difficult to authenticate. I sign mine though.

Angi

Anonymous said...

It is the exact same process....

Ali said...

.....no matter if anonymous or name/url

Anonymous said...

Not when you have a small screen to work with. And it's 2 extra steps for name/URL...You have to type name and URL

Angi

dana richard said...

Omg.... I had this. My kids are teens now so it was a while back. She probably hears the crying and perhaps cannot see life past this stage. You dont realize how fast this stage goes by and it just seems so hard.Just be there for her. She is so lucky that she does have you!

this_nick said...

URL is optional.

this_nick said...

Why an anonymous note? That's creepy.