#20 – Confinement Stress

I understand that the only way babies communicate is through their cries. I was mentally prepared to take it easy after delivery to avoid post-natal blues. After discussion with S, we decided to engage a highly recommended confinement lady (CL) to assist for two months instead of the usual one-month.

My CL didn’t start on the right foot. She came late and made my mother wait 2 hours for her. Maybe it’s just the way she was; you know how some people rub off on you the wrong way? There just wasn’t any chemistry, right from the start. Just to give you an example, her gregarious nature translated to her always chit chatting (instead of working) with visitors. She did not have any inkling of privacy and likes to stand around to “observe” while I breastfed Baby L. That really made the self-conscious me very uncomfortable. I had to ask her to get busy in the kitchen, as I did not require any assistance, particularly with breastfeeding.

She was not the tidiest (or cleanest) in the kitchen. There were plastic bags and kitchen rags and cloths all over the place and she hung her clothes to dry on my window frame! I wouldn’t say that my house was interior design magazine standard but it was definitely not far from that. As a result of the “intrusion”, the once house-proud me did not even want to step into the kitchen for those two months.

She asked to watch TV program on Friday afternoon and we allowed. She even asked for time off and day off on several occasions and that really put us in a difficult spot. If we allowed her to go, we were afraid that we might not be able to handle our new born. We would also feel shortchanged as we paid her for the full two months. If we did not allow her to go, we were afraid that she would “harm” Baby L in her own ways since her request was not granted. We contemplated letting her go after one month as her presence made my mother and I upset. What’s more, there was a huge argument between my mother and I…triggered from the things that the CL did and did not do.

And, oh, how can I forget… she balanced Baby L on one leg; and that leg was perched on my clean drawer (yes, she stepped on my drawer!) while she fetched Baby L’s toy with her other hand. What can I say, she’s definitely not on my Christmas card list and I will also not be recommending her to anyone.

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