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Daddy, Daddy, Daddy... Uggggg

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey, (NAK)

I am feeling like crap lately. My lo (3 in January) Talks about her Daddy all day long. "where is my daddy" "Gotta wait for Daddy" ect. ect. If he happens to be here she treats me like crap... Pushes me away and even smacks me.

Since she has been born I have been the one doing EVERYTHING for her. He didn't even know where the diapers were last time I asked him to change her, he has never bathed her, never brushed her teeth, never really played with her. Its always been ME!! He even is pretty mean to her. She begs him to play with her or read her a book and I normally end up doing up.

My dh is self employed so he is working a lot and comes home late. If he isn't working he is out with his buddies drinking...

I am soooo crushed that she pushes me away when he is around. That she is always asking for him. WHY???? Is this normal? Will I ever *get her back* I sometimes get angry at her for being soooo mean to me... I feel like I am the one doing all this stuff with her so I deserve her love. kwim?

Man I am totally in tears... I feel like I am going something wrong..

Please tell me Mamas that this is normal and will pass... I hate feeling like this... I want my Mommies girl back
post #2 of 10
Hey Jezzy, hang in there!

Try to remember that nothing she does is personal to anyone except herself! She is still (and for years yet to come) operating from a level of total narcissism that is completely appropriate for little ones. So when she pushes you away for Daddy, she is not pushing YOU away, she is pushing HERSELF toward him. When my son does this I try to remember that he's not pushing ME away, he's pushing away a kind of love and security that he doesn't need in that moment. Then I try to get happy about his desire for independence, and the free time it may bring me.

At the same time, you have an opportunity to teach her that no matter how much she wants something, it's not ok to hit anyone. And you can keep parenting her while she's running away by modeling some good language for her, like "I really really really want my daddy right now! Please help me get daddy's attention!" or "Let me go, I need to see my daddy, please let me get down so I can run to him!" or "I'm so frustrated because I want my daddy to be here and he's not here and I miss him!"

I'd be so resentful in your shoes about the inequality of childcare in your relationship, but I understand that some relationships make things equal in other ways. Your child is moving on to the phase of childhood where she creates other relationships, and you had a super sweet time while you were her only relationship. And here she goes, investing in the one person who could have been right there with you but wasn't. I hear that this is the challenging thing right now for you. My suggestion is that you not let her definition of "go away mommy" be the only way to do it. You can and must keep parenting her even while she's moving out into the world (and in your house, that's daddy.)

Try to remember that the physical and emotional care you've been taking of her was in service to her as an independent person, not for the purpose of making her love you most. Ultimately it will mean that she'll be able to trust you most when she really needs you, but it's your support of her as a whole being separate from you that will fill her with love.

If I had a daughter, I'd try to also remember that her screaming pushing tantruming demand for daddy time is something I'll want her to have in all future relationships - the sense of absolute entitlement to that love and connection, and the strength to fight for it when she wants it. This is exactly the time when her awareness of gender and her sense of power as a girl is getting expressed and she needs to sort that out with her main man, daddy for now.

You haven't said if he's responsive to her needs or not, and that would be another way you can support her. You could coach him in responding to her with enthusiasm, love, without losing the limit setting that she needs from all her parents. eg "Honey! I'm so excited to see you! I can't wait to hug you, but I don't want you to hit anyone - please give mommy gentle touches in the future. Ok? Now come here and lets snuggle!" (And if he's not coachable, or not really responsive to her, then you have to parent her through that - the same way you might have needed support with an unresponsive boyfriend. She'll need help keeping her self confidence high even if he's not accepting of her.)

Your special mama skills are needed now just like they were for that tiny helpless infant she was. But the snuggly reward that you long for... it has to be on her terms. And I'm saying that as someone whose mother has been deeply loving all along, but could never see me for who I am because she so badly wanted me to be a particular kind of little girl (just like her). I yam what I yam, and I've missed having a mother who could see that and love that, as much as I feel her love in a general way.
post #3 of 10
This sounds incredibly painful. My dd is going through something similar, but it is because her daddy is not present but a couple of hours a week. Maybe...

BUT... consider this. Your daughter knows that you love her. That you are more than willing to do anything and everything she needs, wants and has to have. He is not present. She can safely push you away, knowing that you love her anyway. She doesn't have that reassurance with him.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I get it LCBMAX. It just really hurts because he doesn't pay attention to her and doesn't like being coached. She always says should we play and he always has some excuse not to... I guess that is what frustrates me the most. He has even shoved her away and she still worships him... It hurts me for her...
post #5 of 10
Think of it this way, she has you ALL THE TIME and you do EVERYTHING for her, her need are getting fulfilled. Her actions show she loves her daddy too and CRAVES attention from him, she has needs that she feels she needs daddy to fulfill. But it seems her daddy isn't giving her the attention she needs. So sad...if he doesn't step up and do something now...someday she'll stop looking to him for attention/as a male role model and then who knows how the teen years will go....
Not to scare you!
post #6 of 10
I agree with fligthgoddess.

Sounds like she's securely attached to you but very insecurely attached to her dad and eventually she will give up and her attachment to him will be gone.

He needs a wake up call! Your DD is doing exactly what she should be doing--reaching out desperately to the one that's not fulfilling her needs.
post #7 of 10
I have to say that we had the I want Daddy phase around then and DH was around all the time, but if he left it was annoying and all I'd hear was how she wanted daddy. FWIW-I'm not one who likes to "play" either, DH does, so in our case so that is part of DD's attachment.

Maybe it is because he's gone a lot, but IME kids long for the parent who is gone, now that I work part-time DD misses me and will ask where I am.

I do think your DH should be more involved, but you said he doesn't like being coached(do you actually let him do anything or do you hover?), maybe he needs to be set-up and he has a daddy-daughter day.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
I don't hover when we are home. I wouldn't let him take her anywhere though.. He has never been interested in doing anything with her or anything with her unless his parents are around. I know if he said he wanted to take her to the park he would ho to his parents instead. Sounds ok right? His mother is toxic and I know my dh wouldn't step to defend me when she starts out lashing me. I DON'T want her even for 1 min. To be alone with her. She is wierd and can't interact with her.. She will throw stuffed animals at her "for play" and thinks thats ok. When I ask her to stop she says" what a mean mommy you have" ect. Ect. I could write a book about why I don't want dd around her much but thats another story... Pleave believe me... You wouldn't leave your kid with her either.

Another reason I don't let her take off with daddy is that he drinks and it is hard to tell when he is drunk or not.

It is just tearing at my heart.. It just makes me so insecure..

Sorry for the rant.. I just have no one else to talk about this with
post #9 of 10
No offense, but I think there are bigger issues here than just the "daddy" thing. I can understand not letting them go anywhere with his drinking, the MIL stuff sounds bizarre. Maybe you should go over to the Parents as Partners forum, there are many women over there who have DH's who are pretty uninvolved or have bad habits. It's a good place to vent these types of behaviors, to me it sounds like a pretty unhealthy environment for your DD and you.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you Nora... You are right there is much more...

I am going to check out that forum. I have never gone there because partners as parents sounds like everything is right kwim? Anyway... Gonna lurk there for awhile

Thanks ladies...
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