Toddler clinginess -- dad feels like a babysitter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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That's what he said to me yesterday, anyway. Our dd is 22 months and has gone in and out of only wanting mommy stages. She's in one right now. We still bf and I sleep in her room. It has been an ongoing discussion with my partner and me: trying to nurture our relationship while also giving her what she needs at this young age. Overall, I would say we're doing pretty well.


I guess it's really hard for him right now when they are alone together because she asks for me a lot. Some of the language he's using makes hims sound really frustrated, like saying he feels like her babysitter and referring to her as "lame" because she was asking for me instead of playing with her friend when they were on a dad/kid date. It makes me feel like he's resenting me and his daughter and I would love some advice on what could help us move past this with grace. Yesterday, I wanted to reply, but you're not her babysitter, you're her father! So act like it! But that's petty and ridiculous and would not help.


But, that's where I am, too...


thanks for listening.

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#2 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 10:25 AM
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around 2 the daddy phase started for my kids.  poor dad now gets constant attention and wont be left alone.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#3 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 04:33 PM
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In our house, I'm the one who feels like DD's father is just a babysitter.  In our case, it's because he just plays and plays and plays with her, but isn't so good at things like maintaining a schedule and integrating chores and personal time into his time with her.  So, she loves Daddy to play with, but if she needs something, it's up to me.  So, if I have any tips for you and your husband, it's to be sure he's taking on the full range of parenting responsibilities, not just the play.  Other than that - I think it's just a normal phase that she'll some day outgrow. 

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#4 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 10:59 PM
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I am currently the one out of favour with our daughter, and it has been quite a few months now.  She is almost 3 and wants my partner for most things.  I remind myself that it is healthy developmentally for her to express herself/ her preferences, and that it is not personal.  I try to make the most out of long periods when we are 1-on-1 so that we really reconnect. Because I am in less demand, it gives me more patience when we are together because I am not as overwhelmed as when I was always the go-to-mama.  Our daughter has just weaned so I am noticing lots of budding signs of independence. I do wish things were more balanced though, in part because I see how tiring it is for my partner to always be the desired parent.

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#5 of 5 Old 11-06-2012, 02:59 PM
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I am the working parent while my partner is home with our kids, age 34 months and 17 months, and it takes a maturity on dad's part to accept the "mommy mommy" cries while he is the one doing so much for them.  That said, there are times when both girls are totally all over him and want nothing to do with me, and right now my older daughter is on a "run and hide rather than kiss mommy bye" phase, which I hate.  But if it is possible, try to gently remind your partner that we are the grown ups and kids do not mean things in the way we sometimes attribute to them.  No 2 year old is trying to be hurtful, and it will probably be "daddy daddy" soon enough.  I think it can be hard for the father if you are bf'ing and sleeping with your child and not with him, though, and that might be where a lot of his difficulty with the situation lies?  Maybe trying to have a conversation where you recognize that it's been difficult and suggesting that there is an eventual end to that arrangement might help?

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