Please help, 2 y/o daughter completely attached to dad!(8 Posts)
I'm hoping someone can please give me some reassuring advice in relation to my 2 y/o daughter. She was born prematurely at 29 weeks so was in special care for 2 months - I'm not sure of this is related. Basically, she is completely attached to my husband. Everyone has just been saying it's just a phase including other mums who say it's happened with their daughters for a couple of months. I would expect that and think that's pretty normal, however my LO has been like this since she turned one. It's also increased to the point where of if daddad is around and i even look at her she scowls and says 'nooo' and shakes her head. She screams even more if I try to comfort her and will only stop crying when dad picks her up. She always sits and snuggles with him and if we're out anywhere my husband has to do everything. She wants him to carry her and snatches away from me. When he's not around then she is generally ok. I work 3 days a week and have her two full days, the other days she's at nursery and then one day with grandma. I'm just feeling incredibly down at the moment and I can't stop myself from getting upset. I've been quite patient up until now hoping it's just a phase, but it's starting tomake me quite depressed and a complete failure. My daughter just sees her dad as her primary caregiver. Just recently on a couple of occasions where it's been really bad I've even thought I hate her and wish I hadn't had a baby! How bad is that? I also feel very jealous of them both which leads me to feel hatred towards my husband too and we're falling out a lot and arguing. He's not affectionate to me at all and he doesn't always help the situation by being quite unsympathetic. He just doesn't understand what it's like at all. I also had a miscarriage recently, so the combination of everything just makes me think I wasn't supposed to be a mother. I know you will thinkthink I'm a terrible person but I've even wanted to just walk out. I'm so sorry to witter on. Basically, could it be like this forever? And do you think it could be because I wasnt able to bond with her at birth due to her being in special care? What can I do, antidepressants? I feel like I'm going to go out of my mind.
Didn't want to read and run. Just wanted to say that if it's affecting your mental health (which it sounds like it is) please speak to your GP. I'm sure things will improve with your daughter, I guess you just persevere with doing things with her, more time just the two of you maybe
I think you sound quite depressed and negative. This can be making the situation worse:
a. By you only noticing the times she goes for her Dad, forgetting any special moments she's had with you, being over sensitive to her close relationship with her Dad.
b. Depression can make you withdraw emotionally a bit, and she may be reacting to that.
I would definitely go and talk to the doctor and maybe try out the antidepressants if the doc feels the depression is more than just in this area. I would also find at least 1 time a day on your work days when you have a little bond with her eg. she smiles when you pick her up, or when you give her a bath she chats to you, any small moment. If you can write it down, all the better, so you can look back and it will be a lovely record to have when she's grown up anyway. On the days you are off, try and notice at least 5 moments like this. Actively try and play on her level, let her lead you playing and I bet you will have tons of precious times. Don't compete with her Dad, she will pick up on bad atmospheres and it's not going to help.
It's a phase. Just a long one! My 2 year old DS is exactly the same with my DP, and it's even worse since our 6 month old came along. It gets to me too, but I keep reassuring myself it won't last. It might go on for ages, but it won't last!
In terms of your mental health though the PPs have given some great advice which you should consider.
Had exactly the same experience - I was really upset too initially. My dd suddenly became really attached to her dad when she turned one - I def bonded with her as a baby but it seemed to coincide with me going back to work and stopping breastfeeding. She's three now and still a daddy's girl but will sometimes choose me when he's around now. I'd suggest taking advantage of it as much as possible if it gives you a break sometimes.
Seriously, I do understand it's hard - I felt like a failure as everyone else seemed to have really clingy kids and I felt like I must be a terrible mum as she didn't seem to need me. However I read somewhere, and liked to believe, that when they do this it's partly because they are attached and secure they are actually taking our love for granted. I guess it's the life of a parent!
Good luck and hope you feel better about things soon.
It's nothing to do with your lack of attachment. My 8 year old is still a Daddy's boy - has been since 2. He is always the one he wants for his hospital stays, the one he asks for when ill etc. I've got used to it now - I find it strange that so many see it as 'natural' that the Mum is the favourite and that if you are not it must be a negative reflection on you. However, your husband needs to be supportive, especially before they develop empathy. E.g. if DS1 was cuddling him and refusing to look at/interact with me he would put him down and say "oh no, Mummy's sad, I'm going to cuddle her to cheer her up" and then run up to me and give me a big cuddle. DS1 would then usually laugh and run in.
Now he's older he can be reminded not to hurt my feelings by showing overt favouritism, and I do love that he loves DH so very much but I do know that it hurts sometimes.
You do sound very down about other things though, and linking it to things that are very negative about yourself. I think a GP visit is a good idea.
It sounds like a few things have been tough for you recently, and maybe your focusing it all on this one element. If she has you to herself two days a week, it not that surprising she might gravitate towards her Daddy when you're both there. Our DS 2 does this and mostly we actively ignore it. E.g. If I was supposed to bath him and he asks for his Daddy to do it, we just say no Mummy's doing it. Or if he falls over and wants Daddy, I just carry on comforting him myself. This is an approach you need your DH on side for though, so he doesn't undermine it by rushing in when your DC asks for him.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. Peachpearplum, you seem to be the only person I've spoken to in a very similar circumstance (daughter, became attached to dad at 1, seemed to coincide with me going back to work etc) who seems to understand how it really feels. A lot of mums say 'oh I know how it must feel, my dd/ds is like that too.... but attached to me instead of dad'. Yes um, completely the same thing! I think you're right though, I need to be careful with my reactions as could be detrimental to our future. DD has been better with me over the last few days, she's been coming to me a bit more. She will always chose her daddy but that is absolutely fine - I just can't hack it when she doesn't want anything to do with me altogether and cries if I go near her. It just breaks my heart 😢 thanks again and I'd love to hear other people's experiences if they have any please xx
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