Rejected by my 2 year old(8 Posts)
I think to a certain extent I'm blowing things out of proportion, but I'm feeling so sad and anxious all the time.
My husband has done most of the childcare since I went back to work when ds was 1. He is in full time nursery (a fantastic place that he loves) and we both work full time, but my dh does more childcare than me as I'm the main earner and unfortunately I do sometimes work longer hours.
I normally pick up from nursery though and so ds and I have at least an 45 mins - an hour a day, just the two of us and I try to read or play with him in that time, rather than do housework etc.
The issue we have us that he only ever wants daddy. Sometimes it feels like I'm just someone who lives in the house. He never says mummy, only daddy. If he bumps his head or is feeling upset he always goes to daddy. Today daddy wasn't here and he fell over, instead of letting me comfort him, he ran away, looking for him. He won't let me bath him. Daddy gets kisses and cuddles and I don't get any unless dh asks him if mummy can have a kiss or a cuddle.
I had quite bad pnd after his birth and I don't think I'm entirely right now. I still feel dreadful in the mornings when I wake up. I feel like he might know that I'm not as good a parent as daddy and that's why he doesn't want me. I love him so much. I'm ashamed to tell anyone how I'm feeling, even dh doesn't know, I just laugh it off and say it's a phase, but I'm really hurting. Sorry for the essay. Has anyone else gone through this and can let me know what I can do?
Ah you have my sympathies! It's horrible when they appear to favour one parent over the other but honestly he is 2 and it is just a phase! My DC1 was very similar to this at 2 and was also very attached to my in laws (they are still close), regularly telling me that wanted to go and live with them and sobbing when I would collect him from there after work. I remember brazenly laughing it off but crying. He honestly did grow out of it. I would say by the time he was 3 things were much better. Do tell your DH how you feel though. Could you spend dome weekend time together? One thing I made a point of was to have some one on one time with DC1 swimming (he loves it) every weekend so it was something he associated with me rather than anyone else. Could be any activity though.
I am a SAHM so do 90% of the care, but between 18m-2yrs, DS only had eyes for his daddy. At bedtime he would try to push me out of the room so he could have daddy all to himself. I found it heartbreaking and very hard to deal with. I know how you feel .
But he's now 3.5 and it was a phase, sometimes I'm the favourite now sometimes DH. He's quite capricious but on balance its evened out. DH now finds it difficult not being quite so irresistible
I feel like he might know that I'm not as good a parent as daddy and that's why he doesn't want me.
He definitely doesn't think that. But he could be picking up on your sadness and anxiety. Do you think it is possible that you are crowding him a bit? In your desire to have a relationship with him, maybe he feels pressured, when things with daddy are more relaxed?
I say that because DD2 went through a similar kind of thing with DH at that age. I am a SAHM and when DH came home from work he was so eager to spend time with her, but all she wanted was me. She actively rejected him for weeks. It broke his heart.
But once he stopped trying, and just let her get on with it, after a few days, she was over at him, sitting on his knee and wanting to play. It was on her terms then, and that seemed to help.
You could try to set up painting or something else he would really love, but don't ask him to play. Just take yourself off to the table and start painting, and let him come to you?
It is so hard to not react to the rejection, but try not to take it personally. And be kinder to yourself. You aren't a lesser parent than daddy...daddy is just flavour of the month right now.
Thank you so much for your replies - the activity sounds like a great idea. I will definitely look into doing something with him on a weekend, just the two of us.
Lizkeen I hadn't thought of that, but yes, I probably am. I'm so desperate for cuddles that I sometimes probably smother him a little. I think taking a step back would be a good idea.
Thank you all for the kind words.
My Ds1 was the same, they do grow out of it, but not overnight!
DS2 then came along and was a very clingy mummies boy - one extreme to another! We used to jokingly call them your child/my child (particularly when they were misbehaving)
DH and I are very good at supporting each other so if one child refused a parent the other would say "no mummy wants to help you, let mummy help" and then dad would refuse to help so the child had no option but to except help from mum.
It's hard not to take it personally but your DS does still love, you, try not to take it to much to heart. It does get better! 💐
Oh, I feel so sad for you. I have been there, my DD was very similar at that age. She rejected me and would only hold Daddy's hand etc.
But I promise you it's a phase. It really, really is. I found it very hard
impossible to not get emotional about it, I had many tears conversations with DH. As other posters have suggested, it helped when I did activities just her and me. And we started some routines for just the two of us. Such as fun times when brushing teeth (wearing hats or sunglasses), special places we go for hot chocolates together etc. But it took time, and I had to be careful not to exclude DH from the fun stuff.
It's honestly a phase, it will get better.
Lizkeen - great ideas!
You just reminded me that ds1 also refused to go to mil which caused a few issues! He has always disliked being over handled, and mil would never put him down!
Then she had a strop (blamed DS dislike of being handled on me not being affectionate enough!) 😡 and refused to go anywhere near him. He responded by toddling over with a book and sitting on her lap! Truce! They (we) also have a good relationship now!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.