to feel like a rubbish mother?(17 Posts)
DD is 2.5 and really doesn't seem to like me. I picked her up from nursery this evening and the first thing she said was "where's daddy?" And then cried for daddy constantly until she fell asleep. Her last words before she slept were "I want daddy".
She doesn't listen to anything I ask her to do. I ask in exactly the same way as DH. I don't get it! What am I doing wrong? She shouts "no!" and cries and hits and bites and scratches. She reduced me to tears yesterday, it feels so cruel (am also pregnant so hormones might be affecting how I react).
It's actually started to get embarrassing. At a meal with friends, she pushed me away and pulled my hair.
If DH is around, I have no chance of doing anything with her. She'll always want DH to do it. Taking her to bed is a good example. We've tried explaining that mummy will take her to bed but she screams and screams.
DH and I share the childcare - he does breakfasts and the nursery drop off and I do the pick up, dinner and bedtime. At the weekend, DH and I each have a morning off so I get some one-on-one time with her. I've taken days off work to spend with her doing fun activities. I feel like an absent parent but not through my own choice and I make up for it by spoiling her.
Is this normal? Please tell me it's just a phase! I hate the looks of sympathy from well meaning (smug) mums when she kicks off. I feel redundant when DH is around - he tries to encourage her to play with me but she doesn't have any of it.
Hey totally a phase. Don't beat yourself up that it's cos you work either - I was a sahm and mine still did it. It passed
Oh StepFaux my DD is the same age and goes through phases of favouritism and will not EVER do as I ask her yet will do what DH asks her (I've started to be firmer as I am a soft arse) I think it's normal although maybe flag aggression up with HV as I'm not sure about that part. What does your DH think? I think your hormones will be playing a part here too
It is a phase, they play favourites until the parent getting the cold shoulder stops feeling hurt and catching their toddlers attention, and instead starts thinking result! I can get on and cook dinner/read/ catch up on the admin/mumsnet.
At this critical point the toddler switches allegiance and you don't get a moments peace from your freshly welded on child.
Rejection stings, but it doesn't last.
Yes, it's a phase. It may well be related to your pregnancy; she might be angry about having to share you soon, and she's "punishing" you by pushing you away. I'm no child psychologist, though! Just a guess!
I know it must be hurtful right now, but try not to take it too personally! She'll probably change her mind soon, and daddy won't get a look in!
I think normal. Phases can be looooong when you are living through them.
My lovely friend might say she acts up for you because she trusts you not to reject her, or something. My DD used to be the same with DH, he just kept plugging away pretending not to care and it did pass.
Also even the sweetest natured and most loving children can be difficult in that after nursery slot, when they are knackered.
2.5 isn't famous as the easiest stage is it?! They are terrible twos for a reason and they do pass.
It a phase unfortunately one that comes and goes!! DTs are 4.5 and firmly in the 'want mummy' phase. It's doing my head in. In a couple of weeks they'll switch allegiance again and only daddy will do.
Thanks for the responses. It feels like a bloody long phase! I think she has been like this for at least a few months but it has got worse in recent weeks. Maybe it is linked to the pregnancy..
I will make the most of it and put my feet up!
It's a phase. I used to fantasize about a toddler hamster wheel to burn off the excess energy... Rest assured she won't remember this phase.
you can remind her at opportune moments later though
No you're not a rubbish mum and yes it is normal. It hurts, I agree but its not personal.
DS went through similar at that age. I couldn't do anything for him - stories, food, bedtime, playing, toilet assistance. He just wanted daddy. It will pass, I promise
Also forgot to add, he's now nearly 5 and going through a 'want mummy only' phase. He was an apparent nightmare for DP on the way home from school today because he wanted me to pick him up. And has been glued to me since I got home from work. It comes in peaks and troughs -is that the right expression?!--
My DD was like this. I used to pick her up from nursery and she'd say "I hate you!" and walk ahead of me! It got worse when the baby was born. Her dad was the only person she would listen to. She took great pleasure in rejecting me.
It took a year but she grew out of it. She is a teen now - and we are so close. She is lovely, lovely, lovely!!
Stay strong and calm and firm. Keep loving her and it will pass.
I agree with previous posters, it's most likely a phase that she'll grow out of soon. I also wonder whether this has anything to do with the fact that your childcare situation means your 'one on one' time with DD happens at the time of day that tends to be the Witching Hour for many toddlers. When you pick her up she's tired after a busy day at nursery and then you have dinner and bedtime to get through, both of which can be challenging and trigger tantrums at this age. Is there any possibility of changing things up a bit so that you do some morning sessions and DH some afternoons?
Yup, its a phase, and a bloody trying one too.
I have 3 DDs. At about that age they were all Daddy's girls. Wanted him at the expense of me (a SAHM at that stage). Then a few months later it would reverse again, and again, and again.
Definitely a phase. Both my dd and ds flit between being all over me to all over dh.
Pp is right though. Just I start to enjoy having more time to myself, they seem to decide it's time to be all about mummy.
Some phases of it last longer than others.
If it has got worse since you told her that a baby is on the way it could be linked. She needs some reassurance, in an age appropriate way.
Another one chiming in with it's a phase. DS2 was all for me until just after he turned 1. Then he was all over DH, to the point I couldn't change his nappy without getting a hefty kick in the face. Now he's almost 2 and flip flops daily. we never know which way he's going to go. I'm certain the little bugger does it to keep us on our toes!
I also agree with after nursery time being the witching hour for toddlers. I found that when DS2 was in a daddy phase, he'd reject me all the more after nursery - because he was tired and screechy and pretty much finding everything objectionable. Try not to take it to heart - make the most of DH having to do the bum wiping, snot removing, getting covered in her dinner type stuff. It'll be your turn again soon enough!
Thanks again for the replies. It all feels a bit relentless at the moment. I listened to the Janet Lansbury podcast that someone recommended on another thread - some of it is a bit woo but a lot of it made sense. I went to nursery today a lot more relaxed and upbeat and she was happier. We had a nice evening at home playing and dancing - I think sometimes I get caught up in the routine of getting her fed, bathed and to bed on time. She must pick up on my stress levels and respond.
I do swap shifts with DH occasionally and she is always on much better form in the morning. Unfortunately due to our jobs, he can't leave work early on a more regular basis.
It's also comforting to hear that some SAHMs experience this too - I was convinced it was because I work full time - something else to add to the mummy guilt file..!
She still cried for DH but we can't have it all!
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