to ask about your 1 year olds relationships with their father?

(49 Posts)
BusyLizzie99 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:17:16

Dd is 14 months. Dp works 4 days on 4 days off and sees dd for at least 4 hours on work days so a great deal more than alot of fathers IMO. However, dd only ever wants me. She is sociable, smiley and waves at him but there's not a chance she'd play with him or let him hold her or anything while I'm in the room without screaming the place down. I do everything for her 24/7 because of this and - quite frankly - I'm knackered. We have 2 other children and I want to be able to spend one on one time with them without baby hanging off me. He takes her while I read with elder dc and if distracted and in a different room she'll play for 20 mins or so but then come looking for me. AIBU to think she should be used to both of us by now and that if he doesn't make more effort with her she's only ever going to want me to do everything? Or AIBU and is this a normal thing considering her age?

needaholidaynow Sat 20-Jul-13 00:30:26

Aww you know what my DS1 is the same. He's about a year older than your DD but honestly 99.9% of the time he wants me. He wants me to hold his hand, bath him, read a book with him, cuddle him. If I go off somewhere and leave him with my DP he'll sometimes cry or shout "mummy!" Wanting me o come back. But all his dad gets is " Bye Daddy!" Lol.

I think all children are different with who they feel closest to, and its not necessarily a bad thing either IMO.

ByHecuba Sat 20-Jul-13 00:32:49

Could it just be her personality, if your other DCs weren't like this?
My DD will play with my husband if he really takes time to entertain he/make her laugh, but there's no way she'd sit and cuddle with him for long. If he gets up with her in the morning, she is usually whinging after 20 minutes and it's almost impossible to have a lie inangry
She is more content if he puts her in a sling on his hip and lets her walk round the house with him whilst he does stuff. Seems to take her mind off it.

I have put it down to the fact that because I spend all day with her, I can work out what she wants quicker than he can, so not his fault.
I think it is really normal to be clingy at this age, with separation anxiety etc.
I'm just giving into it and letting her cuddle, but I only have the one atm, so I'm certain I will be singing from a different hymn sheet if we have any moregrin Hope you get a break soon OP.

babyhmummy01 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:37:43

My godson was like that at a similar age, only ever wanted his mum. He grew out of it but it was frustrating as his mum is disabled so trying to help her was a nightmare cos he would scream blue murder if anyone else went to him

BusyLizzie99 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:38:05

But they're all like this with me so whichever one I'm doing something with it means the others are 'missing out.' I feel run ragged while dp sits around - I.e. Two youngest in bath tonight while I'm reading with eldest, I get older child out of bath, dried and dressed, then baby too and dp just lurks about because none of them want his help. I feel like it's always going to be like this with youngest dd if he doesn't do something now. The other two are older and stuck in their ways but I feel we could encourage younger dd to be closer to him so I don't have to do everything for everyone.

babyhmummy01 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:41:37

You may have to force the issue then, stop doing stuff and make dp do it, refuse to engage, "daddy will do it" etc. Will create upset st first but will calm down

poppingin1 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:51:31

My DD is exactly the same and my DH was very upset about this when she was smaller (22 months now).

To stop her constantly hanging off me when he is around on the weekends, we found an interest they could share that I am not a part of. They share an interest in music that they explore without me. He sits and plays music video's for her from all different genre's and they sing the songs together and dance wildly around the room. It sounds naff but it encourages her to not stick to me all day long and he shares his love of music with her. DH used to be involved in making music so its a passion of his and all we have to do now is play a song in the house and she instinctively goes to her dad to sing, dance and play with him.

Sounds like your DH does need to be a bit more proactive and for us it worked to pick one specific interest of DH's and find a way to make it toddler friendly, which was easy with music. Of course I listen to music with her too, but he makes it more fun focussed and physically interactive.

They are going to start bike riding and swimming without me this summer too.

ByHecuba Sat 20-Jul-13 00:57:30

Poppingin's DH's music idea is lovely, am going to suggest it to my DH.
It is almost like DH has to 'work' a lot harder with DD, whereas I am more for comfort/cuddles/boob which take less effort grin

MY DH struggled to bond with my older children, when they were young, but I when I started working evenings he had to "cope" with them crying as I left and he soon devised activities that they could enjoy together. My youngest has a fantastic bond with her Daddy, as he has looked after her since she was 8 months old while I was at work (still only evenings, when he gets home from his "day job"). He sets aside a couple of hours every Saturday to take her to the "cafe" for lunch (slice of toast!!) and the library. Encourage your DH to do something with each of your DCs individually, that is THEIR special activity. One of mine enjoys playing golf/ pool with dad, one does archery, one goes cycling and the other did do karate (until he got too old, 20 now!). Let them go out somewhere together, go swimming, for example, while you do something else with the others. Sometimes it will work out that they can ALL go off together and you can take a break.

MrsSparkles Sat 20-Jul-13 08:12:19

My 2 year old DD is very similar - certainly a mummy's girl (unless Granny is around when I am forgotten smile). To a certain extent I blame him, he complains she never wants to go to him, but what does he do every weekend, lie in bed/on the sofa and play on his ipad. He never takes her out or plays with her for more than 5 mins.

I've given up nagging - its not worth it, and everytime I get cross thinking about remind myself, its him that's missing out.

Dd1 was like this until I went back to work and dp had her alone 2 and a half days a week. The behaviour quickly disappeared as they got used to each other.

MrsSparkles sad

headinhands Sat 20-Jul-13 08:30:48

Don't worry op, ds was the same. He's now 6 and loves spending time with us equally.

MrsSparkles Sat 20-Jul-13 09:07:54

attheendoftheday It's my own fault really, I should have gone out more, and left them together when she was younger, and let them have something they do together without me - I think that's the key.

He's just never had to learn that DD comes first, so if she wants me I'll invariably stop what I'm doing and play with her, he won't he'll say in a minute, which will actually be 10-15 mins later by which time she's off to something else. We have very different (cultural) parenting styles.

I'm hoping she'll grow out of it, plus I'm planning to take up a Sat morning hobby so they'll have to get used to each other!

DP is a SAHD most of the week, he works 1 dayand all the rest is evenings.

Our daughters adore him. The younger one (2) would choose him over me and the older one would choose me everytime and twice on Sunday's smile

He has been a SAHD since the youngest was 14 months old (when I went back to work!) works for us smile

quesadilla Sat 20-Jul-13 09:15:06

I think this is fairly normal: babies and very small children tend to have a closer bond with the primary care-giver (usually mum.)

My dd started to bond with her dad much more at about 18 months. I just noticed this more or less overnight sea change. The kids become more interactive suddenly, and men sometimes find it hard to relate to babies.

That's not to say you shouldn't encourage him to spend more time with your dc though: sounds like everyone would benefit.

peteypiranha Sat 20-Jul-13 09:16:39

Dd is 1 and will go to dh just as much as me. He does however do a lot of childcare so they are very close. He is on her own with her a lot too. He was the same with dc1. It doesnt sound like your dh is very hands on, and needs to do a lot more with her.

peteypiranha Sat 20-Jul-13 09:21:20

I also dont buy the men find it hard to relate to babies. If they are involved, hands on dads and care about their children then they will be just as involved as mum.

ClimbingPenguin Sat 20-Jul-13 09:26:00

It changed for us when DH started co-sleeping with DS instead of me. He would then bring him through for feeds when required.

At a year, my DS was practically velcroed to me. He'd scream if DH picked him up instead of me, wanted no-one but me.

At 18 months there was a change. He will now play with both of us, sometimes will seek DH for a cuddle rather than me - but if he's upset and cranky he will still come to me.

Both my boys see DH as the fun one though wink

ChunkyPickle Sat 20-Jul-13 09:40:05

DP always did a lot for DS (majority of bathing, carrying when out and and about, pacing the hallway, feeding once weaned etc), yet still he much prefers mum - holding my hand to cross the road, being carried if he's tired etc. - the only men who have trouble relating to babies are the ones that won't take the time I think - in the early days DP seemed to be in the bath with DS more often than out (it calmed DS down a treat)! There's never been any problem with bonding (although I relate to the taking 15 minutes to do something DS has been asking for, by which time DS is either over it or incandescent)

Like BabyHmummy says, I think you need to force it - for ages I did bedtime (because I fed him to sleep), but once he'd largely dropped that feed we swapped to DP doing teeth/bed/story - and he was upset the first few times, crying for me, but we just told him it was Daddy's turn and Mummy would come in and say goodnight after the story - and now, even through the tears of not wanting to go to bed he pokes his head around the door to say goodnight to me and pads off with DP.

elQuintoConyo Sat 20-Jul-13 09:40:39

I have the opposite: DS is all over Daddy like a rash while Mummy hardly gets a look in. Especially difficult when DS is ill; DH works from home and I'm a sahm, DH can barely get any work done because DH cries for him. I'm left standing around like an uninvited guest, it's heartbreaking. And a pain in the ass: DH had a huge job on a couple of weeks ago, DS had fever and wanted only Daddy. DH's 40th birthday was being with sick, screaming DS all day then working like a bugger til the small hours to get the work done.

This has been going on since DS was about 9/10 mo, he's now 19mo. He's happier in DH's arms, although he plays with me quite happily.

It's been heartbreaking sad

CatsRule Sat 20-Jul-13 10:14:19

My ds is 16 months and a total clingon grin

He loves his Dad and sees him as fun time but always wants me. We both work full time so sees us both the same amount of time and we both do for him. Must be a baby/Mum thing!

If I'm out he will happily (sometimes) settle for dh but if I'm there he automatically wants me.

From what I hear, although it's tough, it is normal behaviour. I'm trying to get over the hard part and enjoy all the cuddles while they last!

ChristineDaae Sat 20-Jul-13 10:25:00

Mine was a bit like this, but like a PP I started working evenings 4 days a week when she was 9months old. Now she really doesn't mind which of us is around. Unless she's ill, then it has to be me!

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 20-Jul-13 10:34:59

Encourage your DH to do something with each of your DCs individually, that is THEIR special activity. One of mine enjoys playing golf/ pool with dad, one does archery, one goes cycling and the other did do karate (until he got too old, 20 now!). Let them go out somewhere together, go swimming, for example, while you do something else with the others. Sometimes it will work out that they can ALL go off together and you can take a break.


We would have the same in our house although often he takes the 3 of them together it works a treat he is the coolest daddy and I get time off it is great.

BusyLizzie99 Sat 20-Jul-13 11:15:54

But headinhands - neither of the older children starting accepting him doing things for them when they got older and I can't see this one being any different. I spend my time stretched between the three while he lurks in the background and it isn't fair on the kids or me. The older ones don't want to go do anything alone with him, when he's tried they just sulk because they want me there too and don't engage with him. If I ask him to have the baby he always just takes her for a walk where generally she falls asleep so isn't really getting used to him - as soon as she gets back she's crying for me again and I'm up later to deal with her because of the sleep while he sits watching tv.

PoppyAmex Sat 20-Jul-13 11:23:03

I'm a SAHM at the moment and my 16 mo DD is all about Daddy.

She will only "choose" me over DH if she's hurt or upset, otherwise Daddy is just a whole lot more fun. <sigh>

poppingin1 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:37:03

smile @ Hecuba

It really is funny watching DH prance around the room toddler style which is an added bonus for me.

OP your husband needs to get his arse into gear and help you out more. I would push the issue as someone suggested earlier.

IShallCallYouSquishy Sat 20-Jul-13 19:21:43

My DD is 14 months. There's no doubt that she loves daddy to pieces but mummy wins every time. She is very clingy to me.

Her face lights up when DH comes home from work in the evening or when we go and wake him up in the morning. She shrieks dadadada and crawls over to him. However, she will 95% of the time be sat/leaning on me when the 3 of us are on the bed/sofa. Upset/tired/poorly she wants me. Bedtime, she settles better for me.

I put it down to the fact that she was with me all day while DH works. I do all her meals, all her care, playing with etc during the majority of her waking hours Monday-Friday. She was also BF until 12.5 months so I think we've got that extra closeness she didn't have by DH being able to feed her.

headinhands Sat 20-Jul-13 21:47:58

Hi Busy. It sounds like you would like your partner to actively engage more when he's with the kids? Is that right? Do you feel able to have that sort of chat with him?

BusyLizzie99 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:38:14

I feel like it's too late with the older ones. They accept he's 'fun daddy' but want me for everything else which is fine except I can't do that and everything for the baby too. He is helpful in that he'll come home and take.over cooking tea etc but I'd much rather he takes the baby and has some time with her. She is very full on and my back is killing me by the end of the day, which I tell him and ask to wash up to give it a break for ten mins but within a minute he'll bring her to the kitchen and she's round my ankles again.

redwellybluewelly Sat 20-Jul-13 23:47:22

Oh I remember this stage, worse as she co slept and still breastfed pretty much like a six month old baby! Then he started looking after her all day once a fortnight while I did extra hours at work and they have a very very close bond now. They just had to get used to each other.

What helped was me having to get out of the house, so he had to cope and DD had to put up with him! We also arrange to tag team evenings and weekends so agree by text or email what we want to get done (e.g. paint cloakroom, bake cake, wash car etc) and the other manages the children. Extreme but means we both get time off and the children are comfortable with either of us - although DH isn't completely confident looking after the baby just yet!

BusyLizzie99 Sun 21-Jul-13 00:17:33

She co-sleeps and breastfeeds too so I literally am never away from her. I asked him to have her the other week while I ironed and cleaned the toilets etc as I can't. Do those jobs with her there but he literally just walks with her in the pushchair til she sleeps then is still no more used to him. She's also beginning to get whingey if he's in the room at all and clinging to me in case he takes her whereas when it's me and her she's more content.

CheeseFondueRocks Sun 21-Jul-13 01:03:04

The opposite here. DH works from home mostly so DD had us both there in her first year. Now at 17 months, she's a daddy's girl (he does bedtime for example, they go to baby swimming and toddler group) and I don't think she'd care about me being gone if she wasn't still breastfeeding. grin

katykuns Sun 21-Jul-13 08:02:32

I think you have to be tough and find something to do by yourself outside the house and leave them to it. I am a bit worried that the older children react the way they do, maybe they need to do something they would really enjoy where they couldn't really sulk about for fear of missing out on the fun. I kinda feel sorry for your DP, it must be hard dealing with the rejection and having crying/sulking children when you try to have quality time together. Once this rejection phase is over, I bet he would be far more enthusiastic.

My DP is a stay at home parent so DD's get on fine with him. DD2 (13mo) seems to prefer my cuddles, but plays with Daddy and when it comes to bad nights, she will only settle for him. pretty sure that's because I work nights and he just had to cope.

SkiSchoolRun Sun 21-Jul-13 08:17:28

Mine are both daddy's girls. He rarely sees them in the week so they want him a lot at the weekend. We have a nanny on the days I am at work so I guess they're used to different people but they were always ok with him before I went back to work. I've had a couple of weekends/nights away with friends which help them "share" parents. OP is this an option? Let them all get on with it?

ClimbingPenguin Sun 21-Jul-13 19:09:17

I said it above but I co-slept and bf, we just switched to him co-sleeping and at 21 months he is still bf

Maybe he needs todo more things like reading with her etc? So instead of taking her off your hands he's actively engaging with her. He might not know how so give him ideas?

BusyLizzie99 Mon 22-Jul-13 02:19:05

He isn't here enough to do that unfortunately Climbing and also sleeps too heavily. I've tried Creature but he just brings her back to me at first complaint or gives her things she isn't allowed to keep her quiet which then makes my life more difficult when I say no to them later on. Tonight she was playing in elder dds room while I was saying goodnight to elder dd and he goes and stands over her. Low and behold, within ten seconds of him being there she's coming back over to me and crying at the prospect of him taking her. I sometimes feel it'd be easier alone.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 22-Jul-13 02:25:01

Oh you poor thing.

Both of mine have been a bit like that, but when DD2 came along, DD1 had to accept a lot more of her Dad's company, and he made a real effort to take her out on fun outings and things (zoo, bicycling, etc - she was 34 when DD2 was born).

The only way we manage still - DD2 is now 20 months, and better than you describe but not much - is that he takes them out of the house. So he takes them both grocery shopping on a Sat morning while I clean the house or whatever. If they're in the house, they want me. Or if it's in the evening he'll take the younger one upstairs to play on the bed or "help" fold laundry, so she's out of my sight and that way she cheers up.

The other thing that I wonder is, though, why is he sitting around watching TV while you're doing it all? Is there not cleaning/laundry/DIY to be done? In this house, you don't sit down if the other parent is still working, and we only have two children but there's always something to be done.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 22-Jul-13 02:26:01

She was 3 when DD2 was born, not 34. Jeepers.

BusyLizzie99 Mon 22-Jul-13 02:52:33

Haha that would be one hell of an age gap!

He doesn't like playing with her in a different room to prevent her asking for me as he feels he's 'missingkid's on whatever else is happening...! He asks the elder dc if they want to do something with him but they say no, that they want him to take the baby so they can do stuff with me. Which I get is not very nice for him but think that perhaps if he listened they'd be happier with him and might respect him more. I do all household stuff really as well as sorting the kids. To be honest I prefer when he just goes and watches tv otherwise he lurks while we're doing baths or whatever not helping in any way and interrupting the kids when they talk to me.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 22-Jul-13 05:16:16

What does "missingkid" mean?

Basically he's not going to help in any way, then. He won't take her into another room let alone out. He won't interact with her. He won't do the housework. You're knackered and your older kids miss you.

It's not the most flattering portrait, is it?

LittleBearPad Mon 22-Jul-13 06:32:21

What do you men he gives her stuff she isn't allowed. Actual problematic stuff or stuff you don't think she should ideally have . Perhaps you need to step back a little and allow him to/make him step up.

Don't do everything for the older ones and they will learn that Daddy's there too, same with the younger one. I think you may need to force with issue not only with DH but with your children too (in a nice way) or nothing will change. Going swimming or something by yourself and leaving them to it may help.

BusyLizzie99 Mon 22-Jul-13 07:03:03

Oops - missing out, sorry!

By stuff she isn't allowed I mean stuff like in the past few days he's let her play with/chew on: keys, pack of mints/chewing gum til they opened, multi link cubes which she puts in mouth, pencils which she chews, rubbers, pencil sharpener which she puts her finger intoand so on. I dontdon't mind doing everything for theolder ones - they don't need as much but don't want his relationship with the youngest to go the Same way which it feels like it is.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Jul-13 07:11:20

You are letting him be an extra child and he sees you as 'in charge' and mother to them all, including him. He needs to take responsibility - e.g not let her get hold of small objects.
I would simply go out and leave him to it. She is at an age where she can go a long time between breastfeeds so take several hours out shopping, go out for the evening, make it early so he does the whole bed time routine. Do it even if you just walk round the block.
I would now get her in her own room.
Have one to one time- take the older 2 out, together or separately and leave him at home with the baby. If she screams, she screams and he will have to deal with it.

Hissy Mon 22-Jul-13 07:24:00

Did you know that even when in the womb, babies can detect domestic abuse, and are actively harmed by it?

Your DD perhaps is picking up on the fact that your DP isn't a nice man to be with, and needs your protection.

Sounds like her instincts are spot on. So are yours, but you seem slower to act.

Please go back to your other thread?

There is lots of support there, but actually given the fact that your P is vile, mean, cruel, the LAST thing you need is to actively encourage your baby to latch onto him.

LittleBearPad Mon 22-Jul-13 07:48:11

Having now also read the other thread I think there's far more to this than you would suggest. Your DP doesn't actually sound very nice - hope things improve or you probably would be better alone.

Fairenuff Mon 22-Jul-13 13:25:30

It's understandable that your older dds don't want to spend time alone with him surely, bearing in mind what you already know about his behaviour towards them?

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