Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Daddy's Girl

 For a long while now, I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that Phoebe is a daddy's girl. As a toddler, Finn had phases where he preferred one parent over the other, but they were short lived and seemed to alternate between the both of us. Phoebe, on the other hand,  has been preferring her dad over me for about a year and a half. Consistently. Sometimes it is more evident than others- certain days she will only let him do things for her, some days she screams at me to go away and leave, and some days she is happy to be with me. But, nine mornings out of ten, she runs straight to her daddy first. When dad leaves, she often cries... when I go, I usually get a smile and a big wave.
I know she loves me, but it is hard not to let my ego get in the way. I am the one who takes care of her 80% of the time, and I feel like my life revolves around the kids. Yet, I always seem to take a back-seat to dad..... Is it because I discipline more? Am I boring? Do I smell bad? Does Todd hand out bags of candy while I am gone?
Don't get me wrong, I am glad that she loves her dad so much, but man- it's hard to not be jealous. I am just trying to muster up all of the zen inside of me and be happy, even on the days when she screams for her dad and tells me to go away. On those days it is pretty hard, and I would be lying if I said that I never shed any tears about this....
Have any of you experienced a child that strongly preferred your partner? If so, how did you deal with it emotionally? Any parenting tips for a situation like this? I keep hoping that this is just a phase, a very long phase, and that eventually, mom and dad will both be equally cool.

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  1. Oh- thank you so much for sharing that personal information. It's hard to, I know! I have the reverse situation where my youngest is very attached to me and not quite as much to her dad. She loves him so very dearly of course, but she just has a thing for me. Wants me to do the reading, bathing, etc...

    When out youngest was really little she would not cuddle with Brad. When we asked her Why she would say: "Daddy too yucky." We always laughed about it and Brad has never been upset about it. He just tickles her and makes a joke out of it and they both end up laughing. But, I think it's different emotionally for a guy, maybe. Either way, I think it's a passing phase. Over the years (she is almost 6 now) she has definitely grown out of it quite a bit.

    Maybe set up a special day with just Mommy to somewhere she really loves? So there are things that are just between the two of you, time to be with eachother without others around? It's hard to not let the ego get involved but just remember...she LOVES AND NEEDS YOU SO MUCH. And you are a good mom. And girls need their mommies...especially when they get a little bit older because there is that female bond. Hang in there.

  2. I have no advice, just hugs. I can appreciate how hard this is. Hang in there.

    PS Got your postcard today, thank you!

  3. Oh I hear you! I hear you I hear you! It is hard. And like Kim. No advice. I'm still dealing with it myself.

  4. My son wanted to do everything with my husband then around 14-15 yo we started to have incredible conversations and discussions that was just the two of us. My advice is plan something that is just with her (two) and have fun. You'll get your fix and there will be no tears. While you are all together as a family, enjoy the dynamics!!

  5. For us, it is the reverse, though not so extreme as it used to be. Clayton definitely went through an intense phase of only wanting to be around me. He wouldn't let my husband really do anything for him. He would run out into the driveway screaming if I tried to go somewhere without him. To some degree, we humored it, but sometimes we would just say "Daddy loves you too and really wants to be near you." I think, as the others have said, giving them more one on one time together has helped a bit. Clayton still prefers me, but he is not so emotional about it anymore.
    Of course, our situation is much easier to deal with since I am the one with Clayton most of the time. The times Jason has to struggle through it by himself are really so few.
    But it has gotten better. I hope yours does too.

  6. Thanks, everyone, for the sweet words of wisdom and encouragement. I have decided to stop being so concerned about which parents she wants, and just focus on loving her.. and so far it has gone well. She has given me a bit of special attention these past few days. It may only come in bursts, but I will take it when I can!