Being the 2nd Favorite Parent - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-21-2014, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Being the 2nd Favorite Parent

I am the second favorite parent of my 14 month old baby. This has been the case for a while, but is becoming increasingly obvious! I try to be a good sport about it, not let my feelings get hurt, but they do. I try not to show it, at least. I am the mom that carried her for 9 1/2 months, the one who is still breastfeeding her, and the one who is home with her more often. My wife leaves and she calls for her. She comes home, and she follows her around. When I go to work they come visit sometimes (to pick up milk and say hi to the residents in the group home I work at). If I ask for a hug or try to scoop her up, she reaches for her other mom. It sucks! I try to figure out if it's anything I do, or don't do, but it doesn't seem like it. My wife had two other babies (they were 6 and 11 when I met them) and this is my first baby, but I've always been great with babies. My wife is a preschool teacher, so she has that going for her, I guess. But I try to be as enthusiastic and fun and engaged as her. We go on walks and read books and explore and play with her toys. Still she says, "mom, mom, mom?" pointing away, asking and looking for her OTHER mom! All the time! I read that it will pass, and switch, but I'm worried it won't switch. I just want a special bond. I'm super jealous. That's the truth. Any thoughts? Anyone else experience this?

Loving stepmom to daughters aged 13 and 17. Naturally birthed my littlest one 6/21/13.
LOVE makes a family. Genderqueer breastfeeding, cosleeping, attachment parenting Mama
M/C 2/10 ~Ahti Pan, forever in my heart.
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#2 of 8 Old 08-21-2014, 10:30 PM
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well, i can kinda relate. i'm thinking part could be b/c you're home with her more than your partner is, and maybe she's really wanting both of you together, all the time. they're pretty smart by 14mos, but can't really grasp the concept of going to work, or time, anything. when i had my first, my bf worked so much, he barely saw her the first year. i can't even say she and i were all that bonded, she loved being held by anyone, and didn't seem to care about me until she wanted to nurse. lol. when her dad changed jobs, he was home for 3 weeks in between, and they formed an instant bond. and come to think of it, it was at a similar age, she was 13mos then. anyhow, don't fret too much, things do change. mine is 8 now, and though she favors her dad, she's likes me just fine too. i actually left overnight once, when she was about 4, figured she wouldn't even notice i was gone. she was waiting up for me the next evening, and so excited to see me back home. i honestly thought i was nothing but a babysitter to her, but i think just being together so much, she just didn't have the chance to ever really miss me. i think its fine, and normal, and many parents have kids who are clearly closer to a certain parent, at certain times. there'll probably be times in her life she clings to you more. hang in there, its really normal.
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#3 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reassurance! I am trying not to take it personally, and even if it hurts my feelings, I try not to let her see that, and also remember to be grateful she and her other mom love each other so much.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 08:48 AM
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Mine as babies/toddlers tended to have a few months where they preferred me and a few where they preferred dad, just in phases. After a certain point they seem to like dad better just because him being home is a special treat since it's rarer...and because he likes less healthy foods and watching tv or playing video games and they get to share those things with him. It's a treat for all of us though I'm happy to have him home too so I try to look at it that way.
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#5 of 8 Old 08-24-2014, 10:32 PM
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I agree that perhaps it's because you're always there you're taken for granted, where as her other mom is only there sometimes so she's more special. If it's possible I'd try and structure in some times when it's just the two of them together, so that you can be away and then come back! That could be nice all around, for them to have some special time, you to have some "me-time," and you and her to be able to rejoin. I know with my own daughter (7.5mos) I love her tons, but she is a hundred times cuter when she's being held by someone else. And when I've been gone for a couple of hours, I'm so excited to see her when I get back, whereas if we're together all day it doesn't feel that special at all.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-18-2014, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback and reassurance. I didnt think it would ever change, but I see now at 15 months that it fluctuates. She is still of course excited to see mom when she gets home from work, and that is wonderful. But during the day we have fun and special times. And when I get back from my nightshifts lately, she is a mama's girl, so that is nice too.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-22-2014, 08:04 AM
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Thank you for sharing and I can imagine how you feel. It's really difficult not to take our kids' feelings personally...
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#8 of 8 Old 09-22-2014, 02:39 PM
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I gave birth to our 16 month old daughter, and I stay home with her primarily. My partner goes to work, and whenever my partner leaves, our daughter cries for her. However, whenever I leave, she never cries. I have attributed it to the practice she has with me leaving. I leave constantly for short trips (to go to the bathroom, walk down the hall to pick something up, to run upstairs, etc). So when I leave in the car, it never seems to bother her.
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