I keep trying to figure out where to put this but can't come up with the right spot... DS is 3.5 so this seems like the best location.
Has anyone ever felt that they have failed to attach to their child (not necessarily vice versa)? I never noticed anything odd about my relationship with DS before my DD was born (1 year) although he was always closer with DH than me. That never really bothered me though. But since having DD in my life, I guess I've realized what attachment looks/feels like. My DD is like, my world. I love everything about her .. her laughs, smiles, the way she nurses, the way she sleeps, the way she talks and plays and I can never stop gushing about the amazing things that she's doing. Even though she often drives me crazy, I can't stand to be away from her for more than 3 hours or so at a time. She thinks the sun shines from me. She thinks I'm some kind of magical cure-all. I feel like when it comes down to it, if my DD had nothing at all, she'd be happy as long as she had me.
All of that is what has made me examine my relationship so closely with DS. He has been SO, SO, SO, SO clingy and needy with me since DD was born, and understandably so. I have upped our one-on-one dates, his cuddling time, his hugs and kisses, and time being carried even though he's like a million pounds. From that side of things, I think he has become a lot more attached to me than he ever was. He is now a lot more confident in his family role, I think, as my son and DD's brother and knows that he is loved and safe. After lots of interrupted sleep, night terrors, and anxiety-like behavior, he now seems to be doing well all around. He is sleeping, he is happy, he is toilet trained, he is seeming more and more like the other toddlers I know all the time. He constantly says he just wants to sit with Mom, just loves his Mommy, wants to cook with me, etc.
What seems off is the way I feel about him. Don't get me wrong - I love my DS and I do my best to do right by him.. I make sure he eats right, dresses warmly, is taken care of and loved, has free space to play, etc. It's just not like I feel about my DD - he sometimes spends weekends with Grandma (my MIL) and I don't miss him (DH misses him terribly). He drives me up a wall to the point that I don't feel motherly instincts winning out, and I put him down for a nap rather than try to find a nice way to deal with him. When tanthe gets all whiny and tantrum like, I often ask DH to take care of him, and I settle down with DD. I honestly don't even like playing with him, really, because he always tells me I am playing wrong and wants me to sit just here and do just this thing, etc. Which is annoying..... but even while I'm saying how annoying it is, I know I would think it's funny if DD did the same thing.
On paper the relationships started totally opposite - DS was unplanned, I was working, he only BF til 4 months, he didn't co sleep at all, DH has been his comfort person.
DD was very planned, I am a SAHM, she is still nursing, and co sleeping, I have always been her number one.
Now, having grown up and changed quite a bit since my unplanned pregnancy with DS, I have done my best to make up for all the poorly chosen things I did for him as a baby (not cruel, just not exactly what I would have chosen if I'd known better) but for some reason I just can't seem to jump the gap that makes me feel that pull toward him like I do DD. Whenever I hear them fussing, I assume DS is hurting DD and rush to her defense before I even know what I happened. I sometimes get short tempered with him, which I've never done with DD. It makes me feel so guilty to feel so different towards my children. I am grateful that DS has DH to make up for all of the empathy I seem to lack. Does it seem like failed attachment? Is there a way to reverse it/make it better?