My 4 year old loves daddy more? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-10-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How silly does this sound?  Okay so here is the full story (and I'm sure it's a common one)
 
DS1 just became a big brother this past March 2011.  So he had 4 years (he turned 4 in May) of being the only child.  He was nursed up until my 2nd trimester with DS2 and we were always close.  He slept in my bed religiously and I was the only one he wanted to snuggle him to sleep.  When DS2 was born, DS1 had the flu when I brought him home.  At that point, daddy slept with him in his bed as I had the baby with me in my bed and didn't want to expose a newborn to the flu.  When he got better, I offered him to come back in bed (but would transfer him to his bed when he was asleep - due to the fact that I am not comfortable bedsharing with a baby and a 4 year old in same bed until baby is older).  He didn't want to come into my bed and liked sleeping in his bed but still needed the snuggle time before bed.  I would (and still do) get busy with the baby and he would wake up if I tried to snuggle DS1 to sleep...interupting our time together so daddy would take over.  Daddy snuggles to sleep and now is the cosleeper with my 4 year old.  DH does creep out of bed with him to come into bed with me but DS1 sometimes will wake up and they end up bedshare together for the night.
 
If DS2 is sleeping and staying asleep (he starts off the night in his crib so I can do things then comes into bed with me) I can do the snuggle thing with DS1 but he won't with me.  If I can then he wants daddy to and says "the whole family, mommy, it's nice to do that".  Who can argue with that?  But I can't help but feel kicked to the side since it's ok when it's just daddy snuggling.  
 
Not just bedsharing but it's everything - he is always asking for daddy for everything since they got really close since the baby has been born.  They go out and do things together all the time..things that are limiting with the babies schedule.  
I just can't wait for us to do things as a family (we sometimes do now that he is 9 months) and maybe daddy and baby do things and mommy and DS1 can do together again.  Its not always easy to leave baby with nursing so I don't leave him too often since I still nurse on demand.
 
Has anyone else been in this boat where your first born just doesn't seem to love you like he used to and is all about daddy?d  I'm so grateful that my DH can bedshare with I'm and offer the comfort that I used to but I'm jealous in a strange way of the bond that they have that we used to have.  I feel like I breastfed him for 3 years for many reasons and one of those benefits was a lifetime bond...
 
I know things change over the years but..still hurts sometimes...

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#2 of 6 Old 01-11-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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They get favorites - usually for one parent for a while, and then for the other parent for a while. You will probably be the favorite again later on. It might partly be because you're obviously giving so much attention to the new sibling and daddy can be more focused on him. I'd try not to take it personally. I'm sure he still adores you! 

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#3 of 6 Old 01-11-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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They do pick their favorites and it changes all the time.  I think it depends on how their needs are met.  When DD2 was born DD1 and DH were super close.  When he deployed she was devastated.  I mean I had to pick her up from the front door every night for the first month because she would sit there and wait for him.  I didn't let it bother me that she wanted him more than me.  I felt good about it.  That meant that he was a very important part of her life.  When he came back she was much closer to me but willing to give him her attention.  And now they're still best buds.  Still pretty close.  And I think that's very important.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-11-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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I know it may feel a bit hard, but honestly, you are LUCKY that he is not crying all the time because he wants you when he can't really have you (e.g., baby nursing). I think age 4 is a natural time for DSs to seek out their fathers and begin to bond substantially more than before. My DS1 (4) just went on a 10 day trip with his dad. Before they left, I was his favorite. Now, we are head to head! LOL! He really bonded a lot with his dad, and wants him a lot. We struggled when DS2 was born (DS1 was 2.75) because DS1 still wanted me all the time, and was very sad and frustrated he could not have me. It was very hard on all of us. He nursed until the day he turned 3 when I cut him off because I could not take it anymore (we did it gently, with lots of advance warning and prep). I am absolutely thrilled that DS1 has developed such a strong relationship with DH because I know nothing will ever change our own relationship, I will always be his mommy, and he will always come to me for certain things. It is totally awesome for him to be forging a strong relationship with DH too! Just think how lucky he will be to be so close to both of his parents! Hang in there and try not to take it personally!


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#5 of 6 Old 01-19-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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THIS. I know it must feel like such a tug and pull, you want him to want you, but trust me, it's much more difficult the other way around. My DS responded the opposite, he has been clinging to me for dear life since DD was born 1 year ago, and I constantly, constantly have a 3.5 y/o and a 12 mo climbing all over me, competing for my voice, time, arms, lap, milk, bed, you name it! Actually, DS really preferred my DH most of his life, until DD arrived on scene, and I guess he felt threatened or something. Honestly, I wish he would depend on DH a little more, but he just so strongly prefers me at this time. It's very, very exhausting to be #1 in the eyes of two very young children at the same time. Weirdly enough, 12 mo DD seems to be bonding to DH really well and has given me some space lately, sometimes even cuddling with DH in bed at night instead of me after she's finished nursing. 
 

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Originally Posted by porcelina View Post

I know it may feel a bit hard, but honestly, you are LUCKY that he is not crying all the time because he wants you when he can't really have you (e.g., baby nursing). I think age 4 is a natural time for DSs to seek out their fathers and begin to bond substantially more than before. My DS1 (4) just went on a 10 day trip with his dad. Before they left, I was his favorite. Now, we are head to head! LOL! He really bonded a lot with his dad, and wants him a lot. We struggled when DS2 was born (DS1 was 2.75) because DS1 still wanted me all the time, and was very sad and frustrated he could not have me. It was very hard on all of us. He nursed until the day he turned 3 when I cut him off because I could not take it anymore (we did it gently, with lots of advance warning and prep). I am absolutely thrilled that DS1 has developed such a strong relationship with DH because I know nothing will ever change our own relationship, I will always be his mommy, and he will always come to me for certain things. It is totally awesome for him to be forging a strong relationship with DH too! Just think how lucky he will be to be so close to both of his parents! Hang in there and try not to take it personally!



 


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#6 of 6 Old 01-19-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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We have friends who have quite a few children, and the dad says he feels like, when there is a new baby, his job is to "pick up the pieces of the one that went before."  I remember reading something about ebf, about how in tribal cultures, it's when the baby starts to wean that it starts to wander off after its father more?  Ready to explore new things away from those apron strings.

 

It's happened with each of ours.  First, when they are no longer the youngest, and then again when they are bored with Mama life all day.  They learn that Daddy does all sorts of cool things outside, and such, and, because he usually only has one at a time, he's more likely to let them do it, too.  Ds is the 4yo now, and loves to tell me over and over and over how Daddy plays Connect 4 (apparently, I do it wrong).  AND, he has his OWN lighter, and HE can start the fire...with DADDY.   Big emphasis when he says the words in caps. 

 

But, it does come back around.  They go back and forth between us as the grow.  I think it's a good thing. :)


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