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>Being the less loved parent


Is it a given that in every parenting relationship there is the much loved parent and the other one ?

That the other one will spend an awful amount of time feeling well, fairly pants about being the other one.

I blogged about my issues with bonding with Toddlergirl and I wonder whether that has something to do with the fact that I’m very much second best in her world.  Actually I’m not sure I’m even second best because at night when she wakes she first of all shouts for Daddy and then works through a list of others who might be preferable before belatedly settling for me when I go into her room to offer comfort and cuddles.  And even then sometimes she pushes me away.

And there is a little part of me that wonders if Mr has, through his actions made this worse, just fostered the Daddy / Toddlergirl thing a bit too much and unintentionally excluded me.   Because over the last two years there have been rather a lot of times I’ve felt excluded.

And I really wish she realised just how much I love her and just how much it hurts when she shouts for Daddy in preference to me but Daddy is away at work.  And how much even then I wish he was here for her instead of me and how awful it is that I can’t make it better ….

I knew being a parent was going to be hard but I never realised that not being wanted could make you feel this useless.

Photo credit: Stephanie Belton

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18 comments to >Being the less loved parent

  • Hayley

    >I can completely relate to what your saying hun, Me and my son have a very close relationship yet he still would rather have Grandma or my best friend Emma, those are who he will ask for first before me.

    I guess they have a very funny way of showing their love sometimes.


  • The Moiderer

    >I doubt it is love, it is just habit. When my hubby comes downstairs, my little one gives him a huge smile and yells Daddy. She can't really say Mummy yet. When I come downstairs she just carries on doing what she's doing. I know this is not love, this is just different habits. I know she loves me she just shows her appreciation of her dad in a different way to me

  • Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy

    >I know how you feel. My two can't wait for Daddy to get home, he is so much more FUN than Mummy (who has all the other stuff and the disciplining to do and also doesn't have the energy for full on rough and tumble play which is their favourite). I blogged about it a while back, saying how I am jealous of Dave.

    But, I do believe that different offer different things to their children and this changes as the kids grow older. It is worth remembering that with the arrival of Baby Girl it is just natural that Toddler Girl should be looking mroe to her Daddy now, she wants the attention and to be special and it is more difficult for you to provide that with Baby Girl always present.

    Hang in there, stay calm, keep providing love and attention and things will change. It may also be worth talking to Muddling Along Daddy, just to say that you are worried about this issue and see whether you can come up with somethings that he can do that might encourage her to include you more obviously. But most of all remember that she does love you, enormously, you are her Mummy and no one else can do that role! Big hugs. xxx

  • Maternal Tales

    >Oh sweetie – I can totally empathise. I've been through this exact thing with my second – there have been times when she has totally rejected me, pushed me away and said 'I don't love you, I only love Papa (Daddy is French). She's even hit me round the face – nice!! It's been heartbreaking. But the thing is, I know she doesn't mean it (because she has also done it to my husband on separate occasions). She likes to play us off against each other and I think while she's like this we both just have to be thick skinned! She'll grow out of it (I hope)! And I'm sure yours will to. Good luck xxx

  • The Dotterel

    >It'll change, just wait and see! Although having said that, and even though it's something of a cliche, there is sometimes a closer bond between girls and fathers sometimes. But they need their mums too. Just in a different way.

  • slugs on the refrigerator

    >Oh, how awful you must feel when she does that!!!

    Like others have said, I wouldn't take it personally. In fact, in many cases its often the father that is the one that feels less loved and excluded by the relationship between mother and child. In that situation, its often justified that its "just one of those things". My guess is that it is the same in your case as well. It doesn't make it any less hurtful, but all you can do is love her. Which you obviously do.

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    >Gosh, I'm sure you are loved just as much. Perhaps because you are there more than daddy could be the reason why she appears to want him more.

    Take heart, CJ xx

  • 1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books)

    >Children always want what they haven't got… which is why it's hard being the one who's there more of the time, doing all the boring, mundane things to the child and then watching while daddy comes home for the fun bit and gets all the kisses. I think some of it is a girl thing – Daughter is definitely turning into a daddy's girl, and probably a bit of it is inadvertantly encouraged by your husband. Son and I have a very close bond which I'm sad to admit has at times left daddy on the outside – it's so, so tempting to keep all that love for yourself. It's so hard sometimes to give all the love all day and not feel you're getting it back. The most important thing is to respond with more love not back away and let the situation grow…. that's really hard, but like you said, 'hard' pretty much sums up being a mother! Hang in there, and maybe think about you doing more of the fun bits while your husband keeps ship – you deserve it.

  • Mwa

    >I've accepted I'm sometimes just part of the furniture. But there is a lot of value in that, because the furniture is the stuff you can count on always being there. That's how I try to see it anyway. Or I play hard to get. Always works. All of a sudden, you are appreciated.

  • Michelle

    >My heart goes out to you. This must be how my dh feels as all 3 of my kids would take me in preference, yet they all get totally exicted to see him when he is not here and I know love him loads. I also think some of it is just habit. I hope toddlergirl starts to call out for mummy more real soon. Mich x

  • Gigi (MumsRock)

    >I know how you feel, my boy is same with his dad. Always has been – first words were choo choo, tunnel and daddy. And now Daddy still is number one but it's mainly because he see's me all the time. like all the blooming time! You'll come into your own when she's bigger and moaning about boyfriends, borrowing lipsticks, and the rest of it. They're very, very cheeky/manipulative our kids!

  • Ang (A Mum's Survival Guide)

    >Little Miss A ALWAYS prefers her Dad over me and he is the one she calls for in the morning. Sometimes when we're both around she wont go near me, but the minute he is out of the door in the morning, she loves her Mummy again. Sometimes it feels really pants.

  • Debbie(singlemom;complicatedworld)

    >as most have said, its not personal! chances are she sees you more! and a lot of little girls are 'daddys girls'. She does not have to call for you, she knows you are there! You are part of here being, someone she does not have to ask for or even think about! YOU ARE MOM! keep loving on her…she will appreciate you in time!! maybe when she has her own little girl!:)

  • Nova

    >Awww, I'm sorry you're feeling that way. I'm sure at some point the tables will turn. They all go through funny phases. Don't try and over analyze it or beat yourself up over it.

  • Working Mum

    >I get it completely. My daughter is a daddy's girl and is now at that stage where she tells me she doesn't like me, I'm not a nice mummy and she doesn't like my rules! The funny thing is, she does it to my mum and dad as well; grandad is the chosen one, grandma gets pushed aside at the door as she rushes in to find him!! She'll want me one day……

  • Diney

    >She adores you – you are her Mummy! Nothing can change that. Daddy always has a huge place in the heart of a little girl, but Mummy is a constant. She will show it when she is a little older, of that I'm sure.

  • Sandy Calico

    >It's more a case of 'less is more' than 'less-loved'. I know how you feel. My clingy 16 month old, who usually cries if I leave the room, now cries when his Daddy goes to work and pulls a sad face when handed back to me. Little turncoats x

  • Noble Savage

    >Oh darlin' that must be tough. I know my daughter is quite the Daddy's Girl but she doesn't usually push me away and actually prefers me when she's hurt or ill so I at least have the honor of being vomited and snotted on (see, there's a plus side to letting her dad do all that!).

    I'm sure that it's just a stage and that soon she'll be showing her interest and love for you in many other ways. Because she most definitely does love you. Take care. xx

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