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My DD doesn't love me ...

(55 Posts)
whattodoo Fri 20-May-11 15:37:52

My DD (3yrs) is constantly rejecting me lately.
She's always been a daddy's girl, but lately its far more noticeable.
The other day, she pushed me a way and said "I don't like you" and then snuggled up to Dad and said "Like you".
Yesterday, I picked her up from nursery (DP usually does this) and when I entered the building I heard her key worker tell her that Mummy was here. I then heard (from about 100 yards away, no exageration) DD shouting "No! Daddy!" repeatedly. I poked my head around her room door and when she saw me she burst into tears and started screaming. All of this was in front of other children, parents and staff. I was so upset.
I'm aware that she probably doesn't know the full meaning of 'like', but it hurts so much.
I work 3 days, spend the rest of the week with her. Weekends are fun filled fests with her, me and DP. I play with her, read her books etc etc.
I do most of the disciplining and take responsiblity for moving her development forward (in a natural way, not pushy!). So mine is probably the only stern voice she hears.
I don't honestly feel as though I've ever properly bonded with her. I felt no rush of love when she popped out, I couldn't breast feed for more than 2 weeks. etc etc.
I can't bear this rejection from her, although I know she doesn't mean it. But I want to nip it in the bud before it becomes an issue between us.
Any ideas?
I'm so sad, humiliated, rejected, inadequate, bad mum ..........

SkyNewsAddict Fri 20-May-11 16:07:17

She does love you, I have no doubt.

My DD is 2 and she LOVES daddy, the minute he comes home she isn't interested in me. I'm always the one that has to discipline her if she is naughty, I'm the one that won't let her have her yoghurt if she has refused her lunch and so on.

Could you plan some mummy days with her where you take her out to have some exciting fun together, just you two?

I understand why you are sad, but you should not feel humiliated, rejected, inadequate or like a bad mum. Its a phase. Its always a phase!

Pinkx3 Fri 20-May-11 16:11:26

She absolutely does love you! Try not to feel to disheartened by her comments because it will most definitely be a phase. My DD used to do this when I arrived home from work to pick her up at Granny's but thank fully she has grown out of it (she is nearly 7) although she does still looooooove her granny which is good. My younger DD 'rejects' DH and Grandad a lot too at the moment but I know it will pass.

BluddyMoFo Fri 20-May-11 16:12:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 20-May-11 16:16:16

Mine did that, oddly enough she was the same age and I worked 3 days a week too.

She soon grew out of it, don't worry. She is now 15 and I'm definately no1 in her hit parade smile Dad "is like, sooooo embarrassing".

linziluv Fri 20-May-11 16:17:46

I'm going through the same with my 3yo DS...makes me feel like a shite mum too. I try so hard to make his life fun and spoil him to death but all I ever hear is "I want my daddy"...he spends most time with me and to be honest, apart from rough play and shoulder rides, his dad doesn't do an awful lot and doesn't set boundaries like I do.
I hope it's just a phase as due today with DD and have been limited with what I can do with DS.

Sexonlegs Fri 20-May-11 16:18:18

I feel your pain. But, it will pass.

When dd2 was about 2/3. I remember being at Waterloo station, and dh had nipped to the loo. When I went to push her in the buggy she started screaming at me to go away. I felt awful.

You are not a bad mum or any of those things you said about yourself; you sound great to me with all that you do with your dd.

whattodoo Fri 20-May-11 17:24:27

I know what you're all saying is right. Its just so upsetting and was humiliating in front of everyone at nursery.
I'm conscious that I don't want to go to pick her up again, which isn't a healthy attitude to have!
I guess my only consolation is that whenever she's poorly or bangs her knee or whatever she automatically wants me.
Oh well, I'll just have to hope this phase passes very soon, I just want my cuddly little girl back.
I feel like I've let her down.

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 20-May-11 17:28:46

The stock response to children declaring that they hate you/don't like you etc is to reply "that's OK because I really love you".

They soon get bored of looking for attention in that way and move on to something else....grin

Pictish Fri 20-May-11 17:37:47

Whattodo don't be so silly worry so much.
This is what kids do...they switch alliegances like their socks, and often play up to one parent while being haughty to the other.

You dh is an alltogether more precious commodity, and she takes you for granted. I know for a fact that her behaviour is a back handed compliment. She is so confident of your love she can reject you and safely know that you'll still love her to bits. This is very normal 3 year old behaviour and I advise you to ignore it.

The only thing you need to nip in the bud is how much you are allowing this to upset you. xxx

loler Fri 20-May-11 17:46:18

Someone wise once told me that dc only do this because they know that you love them and feel very secure in that love.

It's still annoying and hurtful - hope she grows out of it soon

Sylvaniasandwich Fri 20-May-11 18:24:11

Oh honestly honestly this is a phase. My DD was so rejecting of her dad as a toddler but they have a wonderful relationship now. She was also rejecting of me when my mum was around, which I did find hard. Just be mum and bear it as best you can without letting her see that it hurts. KatieScarlett's advice is good I think.

Selks Fri 20-May-11 18:32:43

She does love you, make no mistake about that. Her behaviour might just be because, as you mention above, you deal with the discipline and her father does not, so he could be seen as just 'fun' in her eyes. I would address this with your DP as it is unfair if it is just you having to do the discipline - it won't help your relationship with your daughter in the short or long term if he is not involved fully in parenting - which he isn't, if he is leaving everything but the fun side up to you. You need his support in this - talk to him.

SkyNewsAddict Sat 21-May-11 13:21:14

OP "I guess my only consolation is that whenever she's poorly or bangs her knee or whatever she automatically wants me"

That is how my DD is exactly!! She loves Daddy, wants him more than me, but as soon as she is poorly or fallen over, Daddy just won't do and she just needs Mummy. Thats how I know she does love me, because when she really needs someone, its me she wants.

25goingon95 Sat 21-May-11 19:36:25

My DD was like this. It really hurts doesn't it, even though you know they don't mean it! DD and i fell into a downward spiral because i also had PND and so wasn't very good at hiding my hurt (DD was at it all the time telling me she didn't want me anymore and pushing me away! Think she sensed my low mood and was unsettled sad )

so, i made a huge effort. I was quite OTT with compliments to her and acting interested when i didn't feel it at times and now DD is 5yo and we are best buddies smile she is still a daddies girl but never tells me she doesn't want/love me anymore.

It is most def just a phase, just make sure you don't let her see it hurts you, i had an awful time of it but luckily managed to turn it around smile

peggotty Sat 21-May-11 19:41:05

Selks is spot on, you do need to talk to your DH about this. What does he say about it all? It's not fair on you to be the one who does all the disciplining etc. You sound very down about it, are you a bit depressed or lacking in confidence in general do you think?

rubyrubyruby Sat 21-May-11 19:44:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Sat 21-May-11 19:49:14

They all do this - but it's usually daddy who gets the cold shoulder! My ds was a daddy's boy from the moment he was old enough to express a preference. It doesn;t mean he didn;t love me - but for a while he loved daddy a little bit more. It changes - try not to worry. And tellyher you love her loads.

And you said "I do most of the disciplining and take responsiblity for moving her development forward (in a natural way, not pushy!). So mine is probably the only stern voice she hears". Talk to dp about this - you need to be united about discipline. It might be that you need to lighten up - or he might need to toughen up. But you need to be united.This will get even more important as she gets older. And ditch the "moving her development forward" - that happens automatically!

whattodoo Sat 21-May-11 20:48:58

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom. I know it will pass, and I know I need to make sure she doesn't see that it upsets me.

I've taken ADs for years, on and off. I ran out of tablets a few weeks ago and thought I could do without, I suspect I need to get back to the docs.

Having spoken with DP about this, he has promised to step in and do the 'telling off' more.

Seeker - as far as 'moving her development forward' I don't mean anything scary or forceful, all I mean is that I'm the one who starts to encourage her interest in using big girls cutlery, for instance. or I'm the one who notices when she might be ready to think about ditching nappies at bedtime. I always take my lead from her, we go at her pace.

Incidentally, i've just realised that every single morning, its my side of the bed she comes to first to see if I'm awake (despite DP being nearer the door). Hmph, the only time she shows a preference for my company is blinking early in the morning or the middle of the night if she decides she needs a poo! Ironic

Thanks again everyone, you've banged some perspective into me.

Wallace Sat 21-May-11 21:12:38

Glad you have got some perspective smile

I have 4 kids and am regularly told they hate me/I am the worst mum in the world/that I don't treat my children very nicely.

I just let it all wash over me. I know they don't mean it.

seeker Sun 22-May-11 23:13:33

whattodoo - when my ds was about 2 he leaned round in his pushchair to look at me and said "I do love you, mummy" "I do love you too" I said, heart melting "But" he went on "I love Daddy, Gracie and the kittens more"!

teafortwo Sun 22-May-11 23:40:01

At three years old she will still be considering you as a bit like an extension of herself. Always there in the background, good ol' reliable, you are there day in, day out, keeping everything ticking day to day... basically you are a pair of everyday jeans. Daddy on the otherhand is a party dress - interesting, more distant and full of glittering energy! In a traditional set up it is NORMAL for Daddy to be The Muse and love of children's lives.

My dd aged three would draw lines and lines of bodiless'Daddies' all over her paper and one day I walked through to the livingroom to discover a huge picture of him on the wall. GRRRRRRR!!!

And... if this isn't bad enough peeeerleeeeaaaase don't get me started on her overwhelming passionate love of her Grandfather!!! When she stays with them my Mum washes her, cooks for her, plays with her, shops for her, introduces her to children her own age, has started to teach her to cook and paint and takes her on wild and adventurous days out... and when she gets back to ours she sobs and sobs because "I miiiissss Grandpa. I looooove Grandpa. I do so so MUCH." [rolls eyes]

sleepingsowell Sun 22-May-11 23:58:30

You've had all the good advice on this thread already so I won't repeat, just wanted to add that only YOU are the one who can let this affect you and your DD's on going relationship - she won't do that, at her age she's still acting on the impulse of the moment and does not (cannot) consider her actions from any other viewpoint than her own due to her age and stage of development

Let any resentment go, start every day with a clean slate and all will be fine I promise. Remember that she is unable to think through the consequences of her actions so it would be highly unfair to treat them as a 'rejection' - she simply cannot have that intention.

I have a friend who has a similar thing, her boys show a preference for dad at the moment (due, as others have said here, to mum being the ever present person who gives them the security they clearly have) but she just cannot get over it and whenever they do come over to her she will be negative and say things like "Oh, you've remembered I exist have you?" instead of just holding out her arms and being warm to them. You can see the confusion on the kids faces and it's just silly.

colditz Mon 23-May-11 00:02:31

She's three, and it's not her job to make you feel adequate, needed, wanted, proud and happy. It's her job to develope properly and eat her dinner. It's your job to meet your emotional needs, maybe your partner's. Certainly not your toddler's job.

You can't stop her rejecting you, she'll stop doing it when it stops being an interesting experiment in 'feelings' ... ie, when she grows out of it.

colditz Mon 23-May-11 00:07:18

Ps - my children, apparently, hate me. I am actually the baddest mummy in the world, and they wish to live with daddy, because daddy never puts onions in bolognaise/makes them switch the computer off/makes them eat their vegetables/puts them to bed/washes their hair/says no.

It's all just kiddie bullshit. They may think they prefer someone else, but when the crunch comes, when the knee is scraped, and the friends are being mean, and there's vomit on the pillow - who do they come howling to?

Mummy.

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