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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a SAHM to 3 kids. I have stayed at home since we had our first child and I realized that I could not/would not go back to teaching. I just did not feel comfortable putting him in daycare or hiring a nanny---it did not seem right for either him or me. Now it is 11 years later, and I have 3 kids--11, 8, and 5.<br><br>
Yesterday when I was driving with the girls we saw a daddy who was picking up his girl from kindergarten. Emma (my 5 year old) asked why that daddy always picked up his child, rather than the mommy. I told her that some daddy's stay at home to take care of the kids, and the mommy works. She thought for a moment and then said..........<br><br>
"I wish we could do that. I wish you could go to work and Daddy could stay home with us." My 8 year old immediately said "Emma! We love having mommy home with us, she is the best mommy to stay home!". And Emma said, "Yes, but I would want Daddy to be with us more. You could go to work Mama." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I did not show any emotion, but I admit I cried later when I put the kids down to bed.<br><br>
With my first two kids we were always super close--they would have never said what Emma said--because even though they loved Daddy so much, it was Mama they wanted for the bulk of parenting. When the kids fall down I am the one they run to, when they want to talk I am here, for fun and games and nurturing I am the go-to girl. So it was shocking to me to have Emma say something like this.<br><br>
I guess it just cuts down to my core because I try so hard to be a very "present", loving, fun-loving and nurturing stay at home parent. I am the parent for my kids that I did not have in my childhood. I reached down into my soul and pulled out the best of myself to do this job incredibly well. Our house is very cozy and harmonious and filled with lots of laughter, games and most of all--love. We don't have the yelling and angst that my childhood was filled with.<br><br>
I am 40 years old and out of anything I have done in my life, this is the one thing I feel like I have done extremely well. I am proud of how I have risen to this tough job and pushed myself very hard to do it well.<br><br>
I know she is only 5 and does not realize that she hurt me. I would never mention it to her or make her feel badly about it. I just hurt my feelings in a way they have not been hurt in years. When I tried to talk to my husband about it later he just chuckled and seemed pleased that she felt that way--and then he realized I was really upset he said "she didn't mean it".<br><br>
The thing is, I know that Emma did mean it. She is a very smart little girl, and is also one of those kids who never really says anything "mean". My other kids went through periods of saying "I hate you" to me, but it was more in the heat of the moment and they were just expressing their angry feelings. This was not like that at all, it was more matter of fact.<br><br>
Thanks for listening,<br>
Lisa
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
It probably had nothing to do with wanting less of you, she was probably just saying that she wanted more of daddy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I don't think they "get it" KWIM? They are too young to understand.<br><br>
Ds said that once to me, he wished daddy could stay home and I went to work. I agree with Angela I think they just want as much of us and they can get, and she doesn't realize that if daddy was home and mommy worked sure that would mean more daddy but less mommy.
 

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I agree with the PPs. Your DD has never really experienced you NOT being around, kwim? She probably can't even fathom what that would be like. I think she wants more of daddy, but she wouldn't be suggesting less of mommy if she knew what that would actually be like!<br><br>
I tihnk she takes you for granted, but in my heart I feel like every child should be so lucky--to have a mama so loving and present that she can be taken for granted. It means you're doing everything right and your child feels safe and secure and totally unconditionally loved.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's true--she does not see too much of Daddy because he works very long hours and also travels a great deal. I think if the situation were reversed she would miss me too.<br><br>
But the thing was that my first two kids at her age would have NEVER said something like that--or even thought it. We were so attached that if I tried to go to the market and leave them home with daddy they would often cry and want to be with me. At 5 they were still in the velcro to mama mode, and although that was not the easiest way to live--it just was how it was. They loved daddy with all their hearts, but the nuts and bolts of care needed to come from me, because that was their comfort zone. They still feel that way in many ways today, even as older children.<br><br>
So it was a very different perspective to hear Emma say that--since my other two kids would have never made that comment. Emma is my youngest too--so that makes it even tougher for me. She is a very different child, though--she is incredibly bright (and that is not just me bragging!) and taught herself to read at 4, can do many things my other kids could not at her age. I would not be surprised at all if she went on to be a professional when she becomes an adult--I can see her as a doctor or a dentist. So maybe she just identifies with my husband in a way that she can't identify with me?<br><br>
Eman's mom, I am glad that you shared that it happened to you too--that helps.<br><br>
Hugs,<br>
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wednesday</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I tihnk she takes you for granted, but in my heart I feel like every child should be so lucky--to have a mama so loving and present that she can be taken for granted. It means you're doing everything right and your child feels safe and secure and totally unconditionally loved.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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That is beautiful. Thank you for that. Okay, deep breath, feeling a bit better.<br><br>
I know it seems silly, but I actually was up almost all night--so sad about this. I could not sleep because the words just kept rolling around in my head.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I can understand you feeling that way on her comment. I also think she was just trying to get across that she wants to see more of her daddy & since the topic of conversation was that one parent had to work that was the only way she saw to see more of him KWIM.
 

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I don't think it has anything to do with your mothering, or something you did or didn't do-you sound like a very caring, loving mom that made good choices.<br>
She probably would just enjoy more time with dad, every child is different, and all relationships aren't the same. Especially if he is gone a lot. My husband is gone a lot too, travelling for work and on call. Since my daughter was born she has been really close to her dad, and sometimes prefers him to me, it has felt strange after having 2 very attached-to-mama older ones, but it is OK with me. Don't beat yourself up<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
It probably had nothing to do with wanting less of you, she was probably just saying that she wanted more of daddy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br></div>
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Yes. Yes. I worry about how little my dh will have with his kids. His career requires 50+ hur weeks (and it will get worse in the future). I hate how unfamily friendly work srtuctures are.
 

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Aw Lisa, I can see how what Emma said would be hurtful to you but in a way, I think it's wonderful that you have a "Daddy's girl" who adores her father too. That speaks well for the choice you made in your partner and as the father of your children!<br><br>
Sometimes kids are just closer to one or the other parent. I love my mother. I truly do. But my heart belongs to my Dad in a very different way. He loves me absolutely unconditionally and I think I could go to him with anything at any time. My Mom and I don't quite have that magic. I almost don't know how to describe it.<br><br>
I also don't think it speaks to your mothering abilities at all. If Emma's Daddy was around more and you were around less, she'd miss the heck out of you too!<br><br>
I worry about this too. My DH frequently works over 100 hours a week. Sometimes, he is the "magick" parent just because he's rarely around.
 

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if it makes you feel any better, lisa, one night when i was putting Jade to bed-she is also 5-she said "i love you mommy so much. I love daddy more than you, but i still love you alot." i definitely felt sucker punched. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
her dad is out of town on business, which he is about once every 6 weeks or so, and I know i will hear lots of "I wish daddy was here. Why don't you go out of town so i can be with daddy instead?"<br><br>
but, he takes her on a trip across the country every summer alone to visit his family, and she spends a good deal of the time saying "I wish mommy was here. Why can't she take me instead of you?" I'm embarrassed about how happy i always am to hear that. :LOL
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
It probably had nothing to do with wanting less of you, she was probably just saying that she wanted more of daddy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
-Angela</div>
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I agree. Lisa, I dont think for one second your daughter wants less time with you.<br><br>
My husband and I "tag team"...and for 10 years I worked nights and weekends. So the kids were either with him or me, and then on my nights off, together with both. But for a few years my husband had a 4 day work week, and I would schedule myself on that day, plus one other. My husband totally got into the rythym of the day to day parenting stuff. He was a very good "mother". And our youngest really missed him when this changed, even though I was with him 5 days a week! My husband works 60 plus hours a week, and if we were to ever change roles, where my husband were to work 2 days a week, and me 5, my kids would absolutely unequivocaly love it.<br><br>
Try really hard not to take it as she loves you or values you less.<br><br>
Mama <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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My husband and I "tag team," too. He's with the kids while I teach in the afternoons and 5 - 7 evenings a month when I rehearse.<br><br>
My four year old was sick the other night, and dd was fussy. Dh was walking her while I closed my eyes for a few minutes - that was the plan anyway. Ds woke up needing his Daddy. He wanted me to get dd, and have dh lie down with him. He told me "I need Daddy! I love him! I need him because I love him so much!"<br><br>
Both of my kids go through phases, wanting one parent over the other.
 

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Lisa - your 5 year old sounds just like mine. Bright and straight to the point. Mine can really cut me to the core. Like your older ones, my dd12 would never, ever say the things that have come out of my dd5's mouth. Like your dd, she is not mean, just straightforward. Ouch. I feel for you, but FWIW, I think you seem like a great mama <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Lisa -<br><br>
My son says stuff like that sometimes, too. Like "mom, why don't you get your job back and E can go to daycare?" He is in school now, but little sister is home with me. I think my son thinks daycare sounds fun. He never went to daycare, just to an in-home childcare provider that he loved. He remembers going to my office for parties and I think he has an image that my office was party central.<br><br>
Kids say stuff and I think we need to sift it out to figure out what it means. I totally agree that your child would probably like more daddy time, not less momma time.<br><br>
Blessings.<br>
Kathleen
 

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Lisa,<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br>
My Emma, only 3 1/2 has always had the same desire of MORE Daddy.<br>
I often felt robbed of that special attachment I share with my other 2 because she just prefers Dad.<br>
It is like he is her primary caregiver when he is around, and she misses him constantly when he's gone.<br>
maybe your daughter would love some special time with Dad, we often have "dates" with the kids for precisely this reason.<br>
So, I am sure it was no comment on you, you sound like a great mom, but I understand how you feel.
 

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yes - I think she just wanted more Daddy (not less of you )<br>
you are doing a great job - I loved reading your mail - hope I can get it together with my children as well as you have with yours ..........
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I definitely think this is one of those "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" moments we all face. My husband left us over two years ago. He spends very little time with the kids. He doesn't know who their teachers are, what time their bus comes, and wouldn't have a clue where to go if he had to take them to the doctor. He's never given the little one a bath (she's 2.5), doesn't know the oldest one started her period, and has no clue what after-school activities they are involved in. He skipped parent-teacher night, missed our daughter's first band concert, and hasn't cooked them a meal in years. The gifts "he" has given them since he left have been things that I've bought and wrapped, because I want the kids to feel important to him. He's taken the big kids places half a dozen times in the past two years, and has never stepped foot out of the house with the baby. He does support them financially, but the day in, day out parenting is 100% my responsibility. I'm sure you think I sound bitter in my post, but I'm actually not. I'm glad I am able to be the parent my kids need. I know I'm a good mommy. This is more than my job, this is the fulfillment of my life's dreams. BUT, when he walks in the door after not seeing them for a month, and they fly into his arms with their little faces lit up with excitement, it hurts.<br><br>
The grass is always greener...
 

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My dh works and I'm a SAHM. When our older dd was born, I was taking a class at the comm. college (2hrs twice a week). I thank my lucky stars that I did that because dh & I have always been interchangeable for her. I know how good it feels to hear dd say, "I want Mama to do it." I couldn't feel good about denying dh that wonderful feeling. And dh would be heart-broken if she <i>always</i> preferred me to him. Dh has expressed interest in being a SAHD and we're trying to figure out a way to make it possible at least part-time.<br><br>
I agree with Jennifer3141 -
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">That speaks well for the choice you made in your partner and as the father of your children!</td>
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<b>Your dd is lucky to have such a great Mom, and a great Dad as well.</b> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I'm sorry you are feeling so hurt by her comment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> My dd has always been more close to me than dh, but my ds is equally attached to both of us. He was/is a somewhat high-needs child, so dh spends more time actively parenting ds when he is home. He's never said he wishes I would go to work, but I could see him saying it. He often says it's "not fair" that Poppy has to go to work every day.<br><br>
I'm not sure why, but my reaction to this is very different from yours. I *love* it that ds feels so close to his Poppy, and I often wish dd felt closer to him. (A couple of times she has said to me that she loves me more than Poppy. That made me feel sad for *him*, but I understood what that really meant from a very young child. She's just closer to me because we spent so much time together.) I love that ds feels he has *two* options if he is hurt or needs comfort. I love the assurance that if anything happened to me, he could feel secure in the care of his father. I *know* that he loves me tremendously and depends on me for all kinds of things. Sometimes he will insist that I be the one to hold him or help him, etc. But sometimes he insists on Poppy instead! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I guess I would just encourage you to look for the positives in this situation, now that you've had a little time to work through your initial hurt. Of course your dd loves you so much, and I agree with the pp's who suggested that she really meant she wants more Daddy, not less Mommy. The fact that she feels close to her Daddy and wants to have more of a relationship with him is a *good*! It's healthy for children to have attachments to adults in addition to Mom. (Assuming the other adults are able to offer stable, loving attachment.) For girls, healthy attachments to their fathers are associated with all kinds of good things -- self esteem, delay of sexual activity, and other stuff I can't remember. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Try to focus on what's great about what she said, because I seriously doubt that her comment reflected anything negative about her feelings for you. 3 y.o.'s just don't have the language to always say *precisely* what they mean -- not even the bright ones. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> (I have a bright one myself who is now 5, so I'm not being snotty! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
A final thought: Do you think that maybe you feel in competition with your dh for some reason? If so, that might be something to explore and work through. Ideally you are both on the same team, kwim? Just a thought...
 
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