My best friend once asked me what our parenting style was. I said, “well, we feed her when she’s hungry, put her to sleep when she’s tired, hold her when she’s sad or lonely and play with her.”  Seemed straightforward enough.

I’ve noticed a lot of Kuwaitis shopping with their babies in tow — but in the arms of the maid. And the maids all stare at me and the Hubby in some kind of wonder as we walk around with Eryn in the sling.  Actually, we’ve been getting stares from everyone. It seems to be normal for many Kuwaiti families to put babies on a schedule and let the nannies take care of things.

To be fair, not everyone does this.  But yes, most Kuwaiti (Middle Eastern, Gulf) families rely on maids to care for their children.

When we arrived at the airport, I was feeding Eryn some Cheerios and pears, when baby Malaika toddled up to make friends with us. The two babies held hands and Eryn shared her toys — but the entire time, baby Malaika looked up at her nanny, smiled, laughed and held her hand while her parents stood in line for the visa. She once made a patting motion on her nanny’s leg — the same motion that Eryn makes on my shoulder or breast when she’s happy and comfortable. Everyone does, and should do what’s best for themselves and their family.  It just made me wonder how attached baby Malaika was her to nanny and not to mommy.

(more…)