Can affluent moms ever catch a break? Between running your charities, maintaining perfect abs after childbirth, and crafting your own line of cruelty-free makeup from berries and charcoal, there’s hardly any time left to be a #BossBitch at motherhood. Hiring an au pair to take care of your exceptionally above-average child is a great solution to your scheduling woes, but it comes with one major setback: What if your baby bonds with the au pair instead of you?
Here are some amazing mommy-hacks to prevent your baby from forming an emotional connection with the hired help.
The benefit of hiring an au pair over a regular nanny is the total financial control you exert over her. Typically, an au pair comes from a foreign country to live with you, the host family, while she cares for your little one. And if she comes from a poor country (ick!), she’ll be so amazed by the luxuries of things like Keurig cup coffee makers and running water that you can decree a litany of capricious rules that she’ll be too appreciative to question. Besides, you’ve hidden her passport.
In order to retain your exclusive position of “mother,” you must prevent every milestone your child might attempt while not in your presence. If your baby tries stammering his first words in front of the au pair, instruct her to spray him with ice water (a harmless yet effective deterrent). In addition, make sure to polish your hardwood floors regularly, and outfit your baby in cotton microfiber socks. This will make his first steps unlikely until mommy gets home and can equip him with booties for proper traction.
If the dreaded scenario occurs—in which your baby tries to call the au pair “ma ma”— instruct the au pair to quickly and assertively issue a blast from an air horn before the baby can get out the second syllable. This will stun the baby and prevent him from continuing his wayward cognitive development until you, his rightful genetic predecessor, are safely back home.
Make The Au Pair Wear A Mask Of Your Face
If you’re looking for a more subtle approach, trick your baby into thinking the au pair was you all along! First, you must create a mold of your face. Then, hire a special FX team to craft a perfect silicon mask reproduction. Place the mask on your au pair, toss on a wig made from your own hair clippings, and voila—you can be both in Milan accepting an award for your innovation in kombucha skincare AND “at home” reading Dora The Explorer to your baby or whatever books children like.
I know what you’re thinking: “This plan is perfect and I would definitely like to hear more about your award-winning kombucha skincare, but what about the au pair’s distinctively different voice? Won’t that be a dead giveaway?”
I encountered this hiccup myself when using the mask-method on my son, Fig-Barnaby. My au pair at the time had a heavy Guatemalan accent, and when I came home to find little Fig-Barnaby asking for leche, I knew something had to be done. I recorded myself speaking a few key phrases, such as, “Mommy loves you,” “Don’t put that in your mouth,” and, “It sure is a good thing that I’m mommy and not a Guatemalan woman in a lifeless mask!”
Stage The Au Pair’s Death Once Her Services Are No Longer Required
If your child has already formed a loving bond with “other mommy,” you can always stage the au pair’s death as a last resort. This will quickly and cleanly sever their emotional ties. There are several convincing (and creative!) ways to achieve this outcome. A popular favorite is the “life-sized dummy falling down the stairs,” but in my opinion this has become a pedestrian cliché. I’ve fired several au pairs, each receiving a send off worthy of Martin Scorsese. Sofia met her “end” by tripping over my son’s toys and falling directly onto a glass coffee table (this had the additional benefit of teaching Fig-Barnaby the importance of tidiness).
Natalia was “swallowed” by the toilet: a pair of her socks and shoes in the bathroom and an ominous flush was all that was needed to create the implication. Elena was “poisoned” by an ex lover; Elisa’s tattered clothes were found in the jaws of the neighbor’s dog; Irma didn’t eat her vegetables; Alma “exploded,” and Victoria had a tragic accident involving the industrial juicer.
My son has learned that I am the only mother-figure immune to the terrible, improbable disasters that plague his life. He loves me by default, the greatest gift a mother could hope for.