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18 month old calls my husband "mommy" and seeks comfort from dad

My 18 month old over the past few months has started calling my husband mommy when he is upset and seeks comfort from him. Over the past year he has had chronic ear infections and was sick alot. My husband cared for him in the middle of the night most of the time and puts him to bed every night while I do the bedtime routine with my 5 year old daughter. My son has a very volatile temper and seems to be going through the terrible twos early however when he is upset and my husband is home with me, he pushes me away and calls for "mommy" - meaning my husband. I am upset that I have not created the motherly bond I needed to when he was sick and that it will hurt our relationship in the future. I feel rejected by my son and blame myself for not being able to provide him comfort when he needs it. If I was more patient and had gotten up with him in the middle of the night this would not be happening. Has anyone had this happen?

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Asked by cdimegliolopez at 11:32 PM on Aug. 26, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • You did create the motherly bond. That happened when you birthed the baby and that will NEVER change.

    One thing I would do is make sure to correct him every time he calls dad "mommy." Every time.

    And you know what? Your child is at the age where mom becomes "chopped liver" in any event. The Dad Show started for my son at about this time...and it's still going on. I'm there when he needs me, but if he had a choice of parents it would be Daddy every time.

    I'm good with that, actually. Since Dad can't do a blasted thing without me. **grin**

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:39 PM on Aug. 26, 2009

  • It's really common. Obviously he associates mommy with comfort. He had to get that at some point. You were there for him, he just maybe is going through a phase where he is more attached to daddy right now. I remember doing that myself when I was little.

    Have your husband correct him "No, I'm DADDY." and just be there whenever you can be. This doesn't mean he doesn't love you or won't be close to you in the future. Don't beat yourself up so much.

    I do think that being more patient and being there a little more in the early days would be a good idea in the future though. Those are critical bonding months. Not to say you can't make up for lost time now... you can and you should, but sharing the nighttime parenting responsibilities and sharing in a bedtime routine with a newborn or even an older baby is important.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 11:41 PM on Aug. 26, 2009

  • I don't think that it's your fault at all! You're with him a lot, and you and your S/O make it work with two kids and your lifestyle. He will not remember in even 6 months that you didn't put him to bed or get up at night with him, and I'm sure that when he has the flu, etc, you do care a great deal for him. Mothers are not the only caregivers in the family- fathers can be there and should be there when their children are sick. If DH hadn't gotten up with your son, you wouldn't have been able to function during the day.
    Mom takes silver after about 2 wks, especially with boys. If you're a SAHM, that is even more pronounced because he sees you so much. Just refer to your DH as daddy, and when he calls him mommy just say "That's daddy. I'm mommy." It'll turn itself around naturally eventually.

    Answer by sweetphoenix529 at 1:40 AM on Aug. 27, 2009

  • I think its just a phase- my 19 month old son calls every one momma- from his daddy to his pawpaw. However when you tell him to go get his momma he will run straight to me =D
    Also my 19 month old is also starting to more of a daddy's boy lately also.

    So he doesn't love any less he knows who his momma is- just hang in there and it will all come together sooner or later

    Answer by Srmorris1258 at 10:11 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

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