My nearly two year old daughter was racing around the living room, totally ignoring my request for â€śwalking feet please!â€ť when she slipped and fell. She hit the coffee table with a sickening â€śTHUNK!â€ť sound and did the silent scream for a second before bursting out in a hearty wail of pain. I ran to scoop her up but she pushed me away and staggered from the living room into the kitchen.
My husband was in the kitchen.
Once it again it became very apparent that I am not her first choice parent. I try not to let my daughterâ€™s obvious preference for her dad hurt my feelings. He is the stay-at-home parent, so she is around him more than she is around me. Iâ€™m glad she is so close to him and thinks of him as someone who brings comfort and safety.
But still, my heart broke a little bit.
Later that day, my five year old son snuggled up to me and said â€śAre you putting me to bed tonight? I donâ€™t want it to be Dadaâ€™s night, I want you. I love you more.â€ť
My husband looked at me and shrugged. He is used to being told he is in second place when it comes to my sonâ€™s affection.
In some ways, it is probably good that we each have a kid who likes us best. It helps take the sting out of the rejection when your child doesnâ€™t want you, whether that is for comforting when they are hurt or for tucking in at night.
I find myself wondering though if this is just a phase or if we will always have a â€śDaddyâ€™s Girlâ€ť and a â€śMamaâ€™s Boyâ€ť? I also wonder sometimes how much to let the kids act on their preferences. Should I always do bedtime for my son since he likes me better and the baby goes down better for my husband anyways? Do we force them to spend time with the non-preferred parent to try to strengthen those bonds? Are we (me) just overthinking the whole thing?
Do your kid(s) have a preferred parent? If so, does that bother you?