I Want Daddy!

From the moment Emma was born, she was a Daddy’s girl. My postnatal notes mention several times that she would settle on Daddy very well and we often hear friends and family comment on it. At first I found this really difficult, especially during those first few weeks when I was recovering from my c-section. For some reason it made me worried that I wasn’t bonding with her, that I wasn’t doing enough as her mum.

Over time this feeling faded as I could see that my relationship with Emma was completely different. I was the practical one who made sure she slept and ate her breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was (usually) the one who changed her nappy and picked out what she would wear each day. I could see that when she fell over or was feeling poorly, it was Mummy she wanted. Recognising those little things made it all worthwhile…until a few weeks ago.

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Suddenly there was a shift and all she wants is Daddy. Hearing Daddy’s voice and resting on his shoulder is what makes her feel comforted. She screams when he leaves the room and laughs and jumps for joy when she sees him again. When she’s having a tantrum, Daddy can make it all better in a way that I just can’t. I know it’s not personal but somehow it hurts – it feels like a rejection from my own daughter, who I simply couldn’t love more.

I can sense that my other half knows this is hurting me as he often mentions to me that he’s not sure why she’s doing it and that he’s a novelty as I am with her more. I’ve read before that toddlers often do this, and attempt to play their parents off each other. After weeks of brushing it off, it’s sort of got under my skin all of a sudden; it’s made me question whether I’m too strict with her, or perhaps I’m not enjoying our time together and not a lot of fun. All I know is what’s staring at me in the face: she just doesn’t want Mummy anymore.

Even though it’s the last thing I want, I feel guilty.

Guilty for going to work in the morning and not seeing her again until 7pm. Guilty for having to work late and occasionally not be able to do the bed time routine. Guilty for taking a piece of my old life back. Guilty for taking her to nursery on Friday mornings, when I have the day off, as I need a couple of hours to sort my life (laundry) out. Guilty for just not being there.

I hate feeling like this, so I’m hoping it is a toddler phase that will pass eventually. And part of me feels that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, that there’s no reason to feel guilty at all. Why is it so easy as a Mum to let that guilt creep in and yet for my other half, he really does shut the door on it. Maybe Emma knows too on some level that I feel like this – kids can sense everything and maybe she knows I feel bad, that some days I’d much rather stay with her than be sat in an office. Maybe sometimes I just need to remind myself not blame myself for everything.

Cuddle Fairy

5 Comments

  1. November 23, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    The good old guilt. Never ends, does it. I feel guilty if I am home and guilty if I am at work.
    #bloggerclubUK
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  2. November 24, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Oh this is a hard one. It’s just the opposite in our house. All Ethan wants is me and it can be so draining. It’s hard on his Dad as it must be hard for you. I’m sure it’s nothing personal and it will pass. You mustn’t feel guilty. I hope you feel better about it soon. #bloggerclubuk
    Jaki recently posted…A Touch Of Kindness – Wednesday Wisdom 6My Profile

  3. November 28, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Oh I went through this. I’m a SAHM so the main care giver and we went through it a few months ago and it got me down too. I wrote a post about it and it’s one of my most popular ones.. why? because I think it happens to a lot of mums! My daughter is nearly 2 now and she’s been better with me recently but she’s such a Daddy’s girl still. I went away this weekend and came back to a squealing running with open arms daughter, and she regularly says “Mummy” now when she’s with Daddy just like she says “Daddy” all day when he’s at work! Kids are fickle sometimes. Don’t worry it truly isn’t personal at all. xx #BloggerClubUK

  4. December 9, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    Aaaah yes I’ve been here too and it’s totally normal to feel jealous. They swoop in, all fun and good cop, and they seem to be treated to the biggest smiles and laughs and cuddles. I think it’s partly novelty, because you as the mum have always been around more. I found when I went back to work that rather than wanting MORE cuddles etc with me, E was basically just cross with me for leaving her and gravitated even further towards daddy! The cheek of it. Anyway, it levels back out in time, promise.
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  5. January 14, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    At the moment its opposite in our house. All Lily wants is me. She won’t let my partner put her to bed and if he goes to her in the night she screams for me. I feel really bad sometimes that she wants me over him because all he wants to do is give her some cuddles. I hope she becomes a daddys girl at some point because its time he had his time 🙂 Though totally dont know how i will feel with rejection until it happens.

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