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I am not sure if I'm going crazy!
Our DS (age 4) has been with us 6 weeks. Initially he wouldn't come close to me at all, now he sits on my lap, plays, cuddles (everything apart from "snuggle" watching films side by side)
My DH is in the forces, while he was away for 2 weeks our bond most certainly grew stronger.
DS has always been comfortable with DH since day one - doing all of the above & more no problems.
My 'issue' is (and I do feel like I'm becoming very silly/childish myself thinking this way!) is that when DH returns home, DS pretty much just clings to him the way he did in the beginning. So bath times, bedtimes (everything) he'd prefer him to do. Granted he is still more at ease than he was with me, but he still wants daddy to do everything & cuddle on the sofa for bedtime.
Is this normal for me to feel this way! I actually find myself getting upset & frustrated over it, which of course is to the dislike of my DH.
We have tried explaining to DS that it is ok to sit with mummy to when daddy is back (he is off for several weeks over Xmas) & we've also just left him to it, I.e sit where he wants & has who he wants for routine based things.
I do not want to have this constant worry for 5 weeks as it will put a dampner on Xmas, but it does upset me - as silly as it sounds I feel "rejected!"
Any advice or comments of a similar situation or feelings would really help me a lot (unless I am the only one to get upset by this?!)
Thank you x
From the start my DH and I alternated bedtime routines with our 2. So one night I would do DD2, and DH DD1, and then we swapped the next night.
For about 2 years DD2 would cry and fuss and cling to me when it was DH's turn. But normally by the time she was half way up the stairs it was absolutely fine. For her she attached to me as the one who was around all the time and couldn't bare the thought of parting. It only stopped when DH took early retirement.
For your DS, maybe DH is more of a 'treat'. DS has learned you are always there, but DH isn't. So when DH is around he clings to him. I am not surprised you find it upsetting though. The poor little one is trying to make sense of everything still and may not understand about your DH coming and going.
Make sure you work as a team and that you still get to do your share of the 'caring'. It is very early days still. Enjoy your first Christmas (keep it calm!).
I am only at the start of my adoptiona application so have no experience however my husband has just finished twelve years in the forces. Most forces families we know have the same thing. Daddy (or mummy In some cases too) is not always there so is a novelty when he is, so the kids do tend to be more clingy to him. Once he's been home a while it evens out, then he goes away and mummy's the favourite again, then daddy's back and the novelty starts again. Your definitely not the only person and it also happens with biological children too so I'd try not to worry although I know that's easier said than done x
We have a 2yo who's been with us for 11 weeks now and what you are describing is very familiar! My DH works long hours during the week so he sees him for breakfast every day - whenever daddy is home he is the favourite by a mile. It's only very recently that he's stopped completely ignoring me when daddy's home. It feels very demoralising when you're their main carer and spending so much time trying to bond with them (it has definitely affected the way I am bonding with him, sad to say).
We have had a lot of support from our placing authority so it might be worth your while asking for strategies to help. I know we have been told that adopted children generally "test"/reject the main carer when significant others are around as they want to make sure you are reliable and are going to stick around, likely to be more of an issue with your situation as he is older and remembers a lot more of what has happened.
Aw great thank you both for your comments! I thought it would be relatively normal I was just worrying with how easy he attached/bonded to him in the 1st place.
I think I need to just relax a little more about it!!
Yes it is normal (all of it)
Yes it is "silly/childish"
Yes it is still normal...
Knowing that how you are reacting is a bit silly doesn't make it feel any better.
I speak as someone whose child screamed non stop for about an hour when he met me and started screaming again every time he made eye contact that day - I ended up having to sit him on my lap facing away from me! And it took about 3 weeks and LOT of bribery to get him to make eye contact.
And yes I did feel rejected and struggled with it.
You can't really relax about it - good luck with that! You can't relax about it because you are so emotionally invested. It is good that you care about how he feels, just remember that.
You just need to pretend that its fine (IMVHO) and continue doing whats best for him - getting him to attach as well as possible with you OR your DH. Because to be honest (as I'm sure you know) after 6 weeks he really isn't securely attached to either of you.
Thank you rabbitrabbit78 - yes it sounds very similar! He has only just recently stopped pretty much ignoring me to when DH is home. DH is taking him to school today & I am already on edge! (Crazy) its like in my head I feel if I let him in further it will only make our bonding worse! (Again probably ridiculous).
Like you initially it did affect our bonding too, it's almost like I couldn't fully let myself go until I knew he was capable of doing so.. Not ideal.
However, DH & other members of the family who have taken care of him while I am out have advised he is always asking "when is mummy coming home" "mummy does it this way" etc, so I just need to remind myself at this stage it is important to just be around & ensure he is happy & not get top hung up in my feelings.
Keecumber - thanks for your message, yes you're right he won't be securely attached to either of us yet, sometimes it just feels that way!
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