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DS' fixation with daddy is getting me down...

(19 Posts)
AliGrylls Sun 16-Oct-11 19:30:37

My DS (2 yrs 4 months) is starting to get me down. For over a year now I have found it increasingly difficult to get him to do things. The only person he wants is daddy and he wants daddy to do everything for him. Is this normal?

To give you an idea of our situation my DH works from home and is pretty part-time and usually works from home. The division of care is 70% me / 30% DH and I have one other DS who is 11 months.

I am getting to the stage where I don't actually know how to deal with it. He won't come with me if I ask him too and over the past few weeks he has been getting much harder and having tantrums. Initially, DH would respond to the tantrums by going to him (therefore giving him what he wants) but he has stopped now because he knows how much it got to me. I am getting to the stage of giving up and letting DH deal with it because I don't know what to do myself and I am losing confidence in my abilities as a mother. I am really finding it a struggle.

noblegiraffe Sun 16-Oct-11 19:47:16

Is he possibly feeling neglected by you because of the new baby? If he has been awkward for a year and the baby is 11 months, that would seem to tie up.

Could your DH take the baby out and leave you with your DS for some serious bonding time?

AliGrylls Sun 16-Oct-11 19:58:49

I think it is partly that. I have tried really hard though for him to not feel neglected and to a certain extent because my other one is so easy I do usually give DS2 much less attention. I have a special DS1 day booked in soon.

Will it ever end? It is really getting me down - whenever he cries about anything he goes to his daddy. I feel like it should be me he comes too and it makes me feel a bit sad.

allaboutthename Sun 16-Oct-11 20:21:27

My ds4 is very similar - and so is a friends ds. It hasn't got much better (sorry, wish I could say it changed for me). My ds just seems to have a bond with his dad, which seems to be related to being a male, almost as if he needs to be around his dad to learn how to be a man. I did read that male figures are important to boys but usually it starts at a later age. I've grown used to it now although I did feel rejection at first but I do know he loves me. I thought it was quite unusual as boys are supposed to be close to their mums but my friend's ds is very similar.

13lucky Sun 16-Oct-11 20:35:27

Hang in there Ali. My ds was EXACTLY like this for about 18 months - from about the age of 18 months until about 2 months ago. He has just turned 3 and I was only saying to my dh today that suddenly he seems to be much better - he even chose to stay with me this afternoon instead of going out with dh...unheard of!!! He was so attached to dh at one point that when we were on holiday, he would scream blue murder when I tried to take him somewhere whilst dh was playing with my was really embarrassing and must have looked like I was a stranger trying to abduct him! My dd is older so please don't blame it on having a younger sibling. It will get better but it took 18 months for this to happen here so hang in there! I'm sure you are a wonderful mum - don't forget must also be tough having dh around, working from home - that doesn't help the clinginess, I'm sure. You'll get there. x

C0smos Sun 16-Oct-11 20:47:27

I have exactly the same problem with DS who is 3 next month. it started about 18 months ago and everyone told me it was a phase, but it has been going on so long that I am resigned to always being the second class parent.
I only have 1 DS so no sibling rivalry there.

My DH and I share childcare about 50/50 but because of my sons preference my DH probably ends up doing more than me.

A typical day - if any reason I go in first thing in the morning (don't usually I start work at 7am when he is still asleep) he shouts at me to "go away" or "go to work". If my DH is in the house he will continue to have nothing to do with me, DH has to do everything, feed him, change nappies, play with him, he hits me and tells me to go away. When I get home from work, he screams at me that I must go away, and he wants Daddy. he calms down eventually and I do his dinner but as soon as my DH is home, I must go away again and he screams when I put him to bed. (we have to pretend my DH is going out so he can't do it).

The only time I have nice days with him is when my husband is not around ( he is a bit of a homebody so doesn't happen very often). Then he will play happily with me, come out with me, I can change nappies etc - it's great. No mention of Daddy all day.

The only positive side to my story is he dislikes the nanny more than me, and if I am the last to leave and the nanny takes over the nanny gets the same treatment as I normally do.

Sorry - nothing useful to add, just wanted to let you know you are not alone and it really is heartbreaking sometimes.

learningtofly Sun 16-Oct-11 20:48:44

Please don't worry, you are not alone! M

my ds is 2.1 yrs and exactly like this. Absolutely fine if its just me around but totally focused on daddy otherwise. It has improved a bit over recent months but he will still choose dh over me to comfort him if he falls over etc.

It hurts I know and totally understand. But since I stopped letting it show how much it affected me things turned around a bit. We have also noticed that ds responds much more positively when I discipline him and will follow my requests more readily now than Dh.


sprinkles77 Sun 16-Oct-11 20:54:12

I think my DS is heading the same way. He's 19 months. Glad to read this and find I'm not the only one!

learningtofly Sun 16-Oct-11 21:05:17

Honestly ds didn't day mummy until he was 20 months old. Daddy was perfected at 12 months.

There have been moments when I considered disappearing out the house as I might aswell have been invisible (actually four weeks ago I did and went to the pub for an hour to calm down as I was so upset)

OhMyGolly Sun 16-Oct-11 21:40:27

I have it the other way round, so am semi-lurking for tips for dp, he is fine when I am not around (ds2, 23 months), but as soon as he so much sniffs me he is "mammy,mammy,mammy"

I will give the other side, it is a complete pita, he seems obsessed with me, I cannot move without him following/being on me, trying to climb my legs. I can't have a lie in because he comes and climbs on me at every opportunity, or wee in peace. My house is a tip because I can't properly sort it out unless dp takes them all out at once.

I don't give in when dp is doing things for him, or putting him to bed (and he is screaming for me). It's actually lovely in a way but mostly really really tiresome.

All 3 of my children are like this, totally focussed on me, they love daddy, but it's all about me usually.

Are you very physically affectionate? kissing and tickling and chasing and chucking them up in the air and eating their little bellies? Because that is the only thing I can think of as the difference between dp and I.

He isn't very physical with them at all, whereas I am, so I do actually think that is the key (for us anyway).

learningtofly Sun 16-Oct-11 23:58:06

OMG thank you for posting. I don't perceive any differences between dh and I with our behaviour towards my ds. Ds's fixation started early though (noticeably to other people at about 10 months) and only in the last two months or so has changed.

We initially put it down to the fact dh works away from home and sometimes will go to work expecting to be home and then not come back for 2-3 days. But it doesn't improve when dh is home, if anything it actually now magnifies his behaviour.

In hindsight it could be any number of things (I struggled to bf and ended up ff'ing do didn't bond that way, had an emergency cs and dh held ds for the first hour)

Personally I think it might be, for us, the fact dh is a really light sleeper whereas I sleep like the living dead (always have) and dh always is up and with him in the night or first thing by the time I am coming round. There isn't a lot though I can do about that - everyone said I would be cured when I had children but it didn't happen, I still sleep like a log.

AnxiousElephant Mon 17-Oct-11 00:18:28

It is quite normal for children to gravitate to the parent who sees them least, so dad in this case. My dds were similar at that age, dd1 was enamoured with DH and dd2 gravitated to me smile. It has changed now and dd1 only wants me to put to bed and dd2 just wants DH! smile This is just a phase, it will probably change over time. I think the bond chaqnges when you have dc 2 because the baby initially takes all your attention with feeding, changing etc and DH pick up the slack with dc 1 for a while in the attention stakes, so a firm bond develops and then it becomes normal for them to ask for dh. On the plus side this means that they usually wake him in the mornings but leave me to sleep grin

AnxiousElephant Mon 17-Oct-11 00:21:50

learning - are you me??? smile You sound like my mirror lol! Same problems with dc1 and I also sleep like a log!
I think your ds1 is probably having a bit of seperation anxiety with ds and that is why he sticks to him like glue, fear of him leaving and wanting to know he is still there.

gotkids Mon 17-Oct-11 00:32:05

How about accepting that that is just the way it is? Have the same conversation with yourself as you would have with your partner if things were the other way round. Kids are not there to gratify your needs, no matter how deserving you think you are - you are there to satisfy theirs.

sprinkles77 Mon 17-Oct-11 14:45:10

learning I'm sure it's not about the EMCS or the FF. Please don't think you haven't bonded or that it is anything you have or have not done. I just think there's a novelty factor to daddy. My theory is that I am around so much that DS takes me for granted. And has no need to give me a name because I know instinctively when he needs me so does not have to call. grin

tostaky Mon 17-Oct-11 14:59:56

Ah well, I had emcs with DS1 (3yo), DP held him for the 1st hour or so and he is all about me… The other day I went out to the corner shop and he was just screaming Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! While his dad held him…
However DS2 (18m) is very much a daddy boy, telling me to “go away” sometimes (and yes it hurts). DS2 also used to call me "daddy", and DP "mummy" (yes really....)

Having one of each extreme I can only say, their personality must have developed in the womb because from Day 1 they had the same treatment, same amount of kisses and cuddles… and DP has always worked long hours so he hasn’t been more “here” for one or the other either…

jjbingo Mon 17-Oct-11 21:43:16

I am worried about this scenario. I am due to return to work and my DH will be staying at home to look after our baby (I earn more than he does). I am sooo worried that she'll want only him and will forget about me!

madmomma Tue 18-Oct-11 10:21:42

My son is like this too. He's 12 months and has been a dedicated daddy's boy virtually since he was born, which I have really struggled with. Always settles better with him, cries when he comes to me etc... I have always been the one at home with him all day, so it can feel like a real slap in the face when I've looked after him all day and Daddy waltzes in and ds is lovestruck. My dh doesn't even play with him that much or read to him etc - I do all that because he works v long hrs. It sucks.

AliGrylls Wed 19-Oct-11 14:34:43

OMG, I am really affectionate towards him - we do somersaults and upside-downies and cuddles, we are a really physically affectionate family. I have sometimes wondered if it is the other way round, ie, he is a bit overwhelmed by me. I think he just loves his daddy slightly more.

jjbingo - I am sure she will always love you, she just might not show it.

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