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Daddy's girl(9 Posts)
Since this time last year, when I fell pregnant with my second child, my first child - a daughter - has grown distinctly cold towards me.
I was quite sick with this second pregnancy and had to get my husband to take over the early mornings with her, and by Christmas time my daughter seemed to be completely disgusted with me, shunning me in preference for my husband at any opportunity. I was extremely upset but I understood that this was her way of telling me she didn't approve of my being sick or unavailable.
The situation improved over the final months of my pregnancy and even when our second child was born did not return to the same extent but it is still there and if I am even slightly unavailable to her she spurns me completely and turns to my husband. Most of the time I am sanguine about it. I really love her and I think that the situation will revert to normal in time, once our second child - now three months - is slightly less dependent on me for breastfeeding etc.My husband is also going away for a month in the new year and I find myself thinking of it as the time I will have to regain my daughter's respect.
However, sometimes I get extremely depressed and self-blaming about this situation - when tired, when well-meaning friends point out what a daddy's girl she is, when she is rude and dismissive of me in front of people I don't know very well, or just on "those days". Other people seem keen to label our children as well - my second daughter is of course "mummy's girl", not as if she has any choice, as I am breastfeeding, and though my husband has many and various talents, he has no boobs. These labels are clearly ridiculous but I find them perniciously worming their way into my mind and on bad days I sometimes feel that I have permanently ruined my relationship with my elder daughter and that I am a bad and evil mother to her. Needless to say there are things about the way we handled her at the beginning (first child, green parents) which act as fodder to this negative fantasy, and sometimes I do get seriously hung up and upset by this. Has anyone else had and dealt with such a problem? Please do not write back and tell me how clingy your toddlers are - so are those of all my friends, and being told that limpet children are worse is no comfort when you are repeatedly spurned by your child!!!
Shants - I am regularly spurned by my daughter and she sees her father for about 4 hours a year with no contact in between. Whatever you do as a mother, you are the first line of attack, particularly by daughters, it seems - I know I'm generalising a little.
My daughter takes great pleasure in reciting a list of the people she loves. Guess who are at the top and bottom of these lists? She stares at me intently as she does so. Obviously, when I'm feeling particularly pissed off this has some effect. But, I think you need to tell yourself - which I'm sure you do anyway - that she must feel particlarly loved and secure to feel comfortable enough to spurn you.
And I regularly feel that I have permanently ruined my relationship with my daughter - I am shouting at her as I type!!!
It's ridiculous really. It's like when boys are closer for whatever reason to their mothers - could just be because they have similar interests or whatever - they get the "still tied to the apron strings" accusations.
Shanti I am not sure from your posting how old your daughter is. According to experts (Yes I know!!) little girls are programmed to ''fall in love'' with their daddys at or around the age of 3, and the same with little boys and their mummys. This is all perfectly normal and is like a dry run for the real thing. And of course kids spurn the people they feel most safe with and realise that they will be loved whatever they do! Perhaps this could be the case with your daughter? Your idea of just the two of you doing stuff is brilliant. I am sure you are not to blame, it all seems normal stuff to me (albeit horrible). I can remember vividly the first time my daughter told me that she didn't like me at all, but loved her daddy. It hurts, but I am sure it will pass.
I havn't got a daughter, so shouldn't really be here, but my 7 year old has gone through several phases of putting dh or me first on his love list.
However when it is my turn to be number one, there's also a disarming thought : he tells me he likes me best because I let him do what he wants and daddy doesn't. So the brownie points I gain in the love stakes are taken away in the discipline stakes. You just can't win.
A thought: try reading 'Three Shoes, One Sock and No Hairbrush' by Rebecca Abrams. It's 'everything you need to know about having your second child' and I'm sure she must deal with this situation in there somewhere. Take heart - three months is not long - my elder child (a boy) took a heck of a long time after the birth of my daughter to settle down to the change of relationships - like you, I had problems in second pregnancy and my daughter was then colicky and seriously clingy, to add to my poor son's confusion. You've said yourself that you know that it's not really your fault and as long as you hang on to that thought, it will get better. When people say she's a daddy's girl, tell them how *grateful* you are that she has such a good relationship with him, as so many children don't have that chance with their fathers. If you say it convincingly enough, they'll have to believe you! And don't listen either to those mothers who say 'Oh, my toddler loves the baby and she's so happy about it all ...' I don't think many toddlers are really that happy about such a big change in their little lives. They just have different ways of showing it. Good luck.
thanks for your hints/advice. it is v helpful to know i'm not the only despised one out there!!! this week we seem to have turned a corner - hope it continues that way.... cheers
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