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or is it him?

(13 Posts)
ineedalifelaundry Sun 13-Sep-09 09:24:55

DH is really pissed off with me because of my lack of sympathy.

DD is 12 months and a real mummy's girl. She wants me whenever she's upset / not feeling well / teething etc. She's happy to play with her daddy but she won't be comforted by him - she only cries louder until I appear.

I think this is completely normal as I am her main carer. And the reason I don't sympathise is his childish reactions - for example, this morning when I came back from the shower to find her crying, and she stopped when she saw me, he practically shouts "Oh, bloody great." and seemed really angry with both me and DD, storming off to take his shower. When he came back I tried to talk to him about it, saying it was normal and all babies do it - he got even angrier and shouted that the worst thing was my lack of sympathy because he's really hurt by not being able to console her.

Is DD's behaviour normal?
Is he being childish?
Or am i being unreasonable and unsympathetic?

I'm asking because I'm really not sure so feel free to be harsh with me wink

throckenholt Sun 13-Sep-09 09:29:30

yes to all three of your questions.

He is feeling hurt - you could appreciate what it might feel like if you were trying to make someone feel better and they took no notice of you but calmed down as soon as some other person appeared. He probably feels frustrated and useless and resentful. It is not his fault that you are the main carer - presumably he is working hard to support the family.

Give him a hug, say you understand how it must feel - but it is no-ones fault and it won't always be like this. At some stage she may prefer him - you will be ordinary and taken for granted because you are always there. They are all a phase.

MIAonline Sun 13-Sep-09 09:31:15

DD's behaviour is normal, but you need to work hard to help her turn to both of you.

He is being slightly childish, but it must be upsetting and if she goes through a phase of being a Daddy's girl, think how you will feel to not be turned to.

You are being unsympathetic.

elmofan Sun 13-Sep-09 09:32:08

dd is normal , my dh was always thrilled --to get off the hook-- that i was the only 1 to console the dc's when they would be upset he would gladly hand them back to me when they were crying , i think its lovely that your dh wants to be able to comfort your dd smile

MrsDermotOleary Sun 13-Sep-09 09:50:52

I had the opposite experience with my 2 dc. DD was a complete Daddy's girl, to the point of shouting "No not you, I don't want you!" to me in the middle of the night if she cried and I went to her. Personally I found it quite upsetting as I am her main carer and dh works away.

However, she is now almost 4 and has turned completely the other way. No idea why but she now wants me all the time and poor dh gets the elbow. We are baffled by this and tbh dh is pretty upset. I feel slightly tied as she won't let him help her with anything while I am present, has to be Mummy.

DS is 1.5 and is a total Daddy's boy. When alone with me & dd he is fine and very loving towards me. When dh is home ds prefers to be with him.

As throckenholt said, things go in phases. Maybe ds will change as dd did, maybe he won't. I have experienced both sides and both are hard. The only answer is to try to empathise with your dh as he will be feeling useless and unwanted/unloved by dd. Rejection is horrible, especially as he must so desperately want her to show she loves him. I think you need to talk it through with him and go easy on him. At the same time, his angry outbursts may frighten dd and make things worse.

Sorry to ramble. Hope this helps x

curiositykilled Sun 13-Sep-09 11:22:51

Yes to all three, as throckenholt says. My dd has a real mummy fixation, DH is not upset about it as he is her step-father and he feels lucky to have her love but I would imagine he'd feel really sad if he was her biological father. And he does, very obviously have her love. XP wants DH to be in the father role and wants only trivial involvement, DH has been around since she was 1 (she's 3 on Tuesday) and XP left when I was 7 weeks pregnant so bit of a different situation.

We have been working on trying to break the behaviour with her as I think it is not particularly healthy for her to be so obsessed with me - "I want mummy to do my straps" "I want a mummy cuddle" "I want mummy to open my lolly" "I want mummy to open my car door" "I want mummy to cut up my food". She uses it as a bargaining tool to get out of being naughty quite often.

I have been careful to check with DH so as not to undermine things he has said to her and we have been working together to get her to let other people comfort her and do things with her. Whoever happens to be doing the thing with her just carries on doing it when she asks for mummy, we don't indulge her request at all and we don't treat it like having someone else is a punishment.

If granny is looking after her and she needs a cuddle, granny cuddles her, if DH is nearer when she falls down, DH cuddles her, distracts her and gives her 'special cream' or a plaster (she likes attention). Her car seat is on the drivers side so if DH is putting her in the car and she won't let him then she doesn't get in the car.

We do all this coupled with DH spending time doing things with the children without me and talks when she calms down about how she can't always have mummy for everything all the time and it makes other people sad when she rejects them as they love her and want to make her feel better when she is sad/do things to look after her. Also that mummy is not going to go anywhere just because DH is putting her in her car seat. Then she gets a little pat on her leg from mummy when DH has succesfully strapped her in and she says sorry and off we go.

We have been doing this for a few months now and it is really working. She has started asking for DH sometimes and often goes to him first for a cuddle. We felt it would be even more important that she sees us both in that role as I am pregnant with twins and we were concerned that if we allowed her to push him away she'd feel really left out when the babies were born.

I do think it is normal but I don't think it is particularly healthy. My friend's boys have a real daddy fixation which he encourages and is a bit horribly smug about. I believe it is better for the one the dc is closest to to encourage closeness with the other one. If for no other reason than just to avoid making a rod for their own back.

MagNacarta Sun 13-Sep-09 11:24:39

You could be more sympathetic - my dd2 went through a phase of being like this with me and it hurt like hell.

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 13-Sep-09 11:33:38

i agree with everyone

cory Sun 13-Sep-09 11:39:35

You may well need that sympathy for yourself later on, when dd decides everything about daddy is wonderful but she thinks he should have chosen a different wife.

We've been through several rounds of this by now. At the moment daddy is the golden boy. Of course it hurts when ds is ill or in pain and doesn't call out for me, but for daddy. But one thing that has never changed is our unwavering support of each other.

CommonNortherner Sun 13-Sep-09 11:44:44

Normal and he is being childish. Your dd is only a baby yet. All she's communicating is that she wants her mummy, she is NOT purposely rejecting her daddy. It's a bit strange to be so put out by a baby who cannot comprehend that she apparently needs to treat both parents equally so one doesn't sulk!!

I do think it's wrong to label her a "mummy's girl" though when she's just a baby and has a primary carer attachment which is quite normal, not what one would term as a conscious preference for one person over another.

beanieb Sun 13-Sep-09 11:45:00

also agree, yes to all three.

GoldenSnitch Sun 13-Sep-09 11:53:27

My DS has been through stages of both me and DH being the 'favourite'.

I've been the only one he wants and the one he doesn't. Being the one he doesn't want hurts

He's now 2.5 and at the moment, we're both good. This will probably change again.

Try to have a bit more sympathy for your DH. Reassure him that this will probably change and that she does love him really. After all, when it's your turn, you'll be expecting his sympathy!

shootfromthehip Sun 13-Sep-09 11:57:54

My DD was like this with my DH and it stung like a bastard. Have some sympathy as it's horrible to be the odd man/ woman out. I used to get really tearful and when DH was unsympathetic it came across as a bit smug.

It is a rites of passage thing as DS has also done this but they tend to eve out when they get older. I love those moments now when they want me and no-one else and that's a wee bit sad but is a result of being hurt in those early days.

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