Hi Everyone. Wow I havent posted on this site in years.:) Basically I'm wondering how to help my daughter accept the man I love. We have been dating seriously for about a year and a half (since she was 2) and she has always had a love-hate relationship with him. Some days (or even months at a time) she plays with him, talks to him, initiates snuggles and tells him she loves him... But other times she tells him point blank "i dont want you to be here, I want you to go home" or tells me in front of him "I dont like *name,* i wish he wasnt here," etc etc. He is extremely patient with it and tries to give her space, and be understanding about her not wanting to share my attention. He tries to involve her in meaningful activities, which usually works great... But then she will go for days or weeks where she hates him again. Last night she said "when he is here you give him ALL your love and there is no love left for ME." Which is very telling. He and I both give her tons of attention when he's here--- She just doesnt like other people being around taking my attention off of her, and unlike kids who grow up in bigger families, she doesnt usually have to deal with my attentions being split. Ive told her countless times that nothing will EVER change my love for her.
I honestly do not want to raise her thinking that I'm here to constantly entertain her and wait on her hand and foot etc-- I want her to know that while I always will love her, I have a LOT going on in my life. Its a hard balance because I (like most of you, i'm sure) tend to overextend myself with parenting. Esp as a single parent (she sees her dad 2-3 days month and he does nothing in terms of discipline/trying to help her learn how to act etc.)
So my dilemma is this... On the one hand I want to honor and cherish her feelings, but on the other hand I dont want her to call all the shots around the house...I'M the parent afterall. And in all likelihood, I am probably going to marry this man, so he's here to stay. I'm not going to cater to her whim and just send him home whenever she decides she doesnt like him. But it creates a really awful situation when shes whining and crying that she "just wants it to be mommy and no one else." And I feel guilty that Im subjecting her to something she dislikes so strongly! I dont want to sow the seeds of resentment etc. :(
Does anyone have advice, or experience with this situation? Thanks for listening!