Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Advice for Moms Advice for Moms

Daddy "phase"

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 10:52 PM
  • 13 Replies
1 mom liked this

Hi Ladies!

Back in October I asked for advice on my then 19 month old son not wanting anything to do with me at bedtime.  Well, he is now 22 months and it has only gotten worse.  Since September he has refused to "allow" me to put him to bed.  He would run away from me and cry, but it has progressed to screaming and sobbing.  I am the primary caregiver and work 3 days a week.  When I am at work he spends one day with my MIL and the other two with my husband.  He is a real daddy's boy.

I have been trying to keep things in perspective.  After talking with my mom and sister as well as close friends and women on this sight I have been trying to let this "phase" pass, but it feels like it has been forever and a day.  My mom advised me to just put him to bed even if he's crying.  The few times I did that he sobbed himself to sleep.  The way he acts when I try to pick him up for bedtime is like I'm a stranger looking to hurt him and it really breaks my heart.  He still calls me "dada" and thinks it is funny, so we started correcting him by saying "No, my name is 'mama'".  The kicker is that he calls my MIL (with whom I do not have the closest relationship) "Ga" or "Gaga".  He literally squeals when she comes over.  He squeals and yells "Dada" when my husband comes home or when he hears his ringtone on my phone. When I come home from work he runs away from me laughing. I understand he is just playing coy, but I'm at the point where I feel like if I didn't come from work he wouldn't even notice. 

It used to be that if my husband was working late or had a hockey game our son would be fine with me putting him to bed.  It was only when he had the choice that he refused me, every time. However, tonight hubby was at a hockey game and our son cried when I said we were going to read a story and sobbed "dada". He continuously refused to snuggle with me in his chair (part of our routiune) so I finally just put him in his bed and walked out.  I gave him a few minutes to jump up and down before I went back in and gave him the option to snuggle.  He said "yes" but refused to kiss me goodnight.  I cried in the darkness as the glider went back and forth.  Ugh.

Did I mention my son doesn't want me to comfort him when he falls or gets sick? He only wants daddy.  The other day MIL was at the house when I got home from work and he fell and smacked his head on the hardwood floor. I scooped him right up, even though he was trying to get to my MIL to comfort him. Totally tore my heart out. 

The other day my husband mentioned that he feels like our son plays more rough with me than with him.  He slaps/bites me when he's frustrated and has rarely done that to my husband (shocker). He has neve done that to my MIL. She has said to me "Oh he's NEVER done that to me".  Sometimes I wish he would just slap her in the face so she'll stop saying that. I've been told he could be doing that to me because he isn't talking very much yet and because he feels safe with me. It's really anyone's guess at this point. 

I don't know any other woman going through what I am going through right now.  Recently I've gotten many responses of "That's so unusual because most of the time toddlers want mommy". Good grief! Talk about an answer that makes you feel like crap.  Not only is that response completely isolating, but it makes me feel like a bad mom.  My husband and family are constanting reassuring me that I'm an awesome mom.

Damn! I hate feeling this way now and am looking for some "I've been there too" advice. I'm beginning to think this perfect storm is the reason I feel the need to overeat chocolate and drink a glass or two of wine every night, but maybe that's just motherhood ;-)

Per my suggestion, I put him to bed tonight and will continue doing every other night and see if that helps. Tonight he cried "Dada" about 4 or 5 times.  I told him he was with Mommy and he was safe and that Daddy was just in the next room and there was no reason to cry, so he calmed down. I've been advised to just allow him to choose my husband over me at bedtime, and I was comfortable with doing that and waiting out the phase, but now that he refuses me when hubby is out it has become an issue.

As a side note, I told my husband that on the days I work I'm not coming home and cooking dinner.  I'm going to get on the floor and play with our son and give him my full attention when I get home.

Thanks for reading!


by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 10:59 PM

I would remain consistent in my role for his life.   If it is your night to put him to bed, then you put him to bed as scheduled.  What are the disciplines for when he hits you or does something else?  This is the age that time outs or some other consequence really needs to be consistent and clear for him.

Firenygirl180
by Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM
My 19 month old alternates who he wants at bedtime and if he wakes up at night.
He may refuse to goto bed unless he has mommy, but wake up 2 hours later and only want daddy.
I say stick with the alternating. Df travels and has some late night meetings so he isn't always around for bedtime but I am pretty much always here for it.
It would break my heart if ds wanted someone else to comfort him all the time so I can see how it stresses you out and frustrates you.
I hope things get better. I know from my psych classes kids go through phases where they like daddy more and then they dislike dad and only want mom.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Hollermom
by on Jan. 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I feel your pain. My 14 month old son does this too. He always cries out for "dada.". I also work 3 days and have a nanny who comes to watch him. He loves the nanny most of all. When I come home he hides behind the nanny to try to keep my away. When I do take him, he cries and cries.


Besides the 24 hours a week I work, I am the primary care giver. My husband does very little. I think that is why our son loves being with him. I also think our nanny has really fun playtime with him-she has so much energy. I bet your MIL also has a lot of energy and spoils your son. Most people that don't have young kids at home are going to be more rested and have more energy. I've talked to a lot of people about this and I mostly get that since your the constant caretaker, your son feels like he can push you away for a "fun" option because he knows you'll always be there. It hurts but he trusts you to love him.

We have found something that sort of works...but it's not the heathiest solution. Our son doesn't have sugar very often. But when I come home from work, I give him a cookie and we go have a special snack time and then play. It works most days- but some days there are still tears. I know that would not be a good bedtime option.

I hope it gets better! I know how sad it can make you feel!
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
SlightlyPerfect
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Have you talked to his doctor at all? It seems you've eliminated every single cause except medical. It's bewildering to me.  I'm sure you must be devastated.

slightlyperfect

kali_mom
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this
As a mom of five children I have experienced a similar situation with one of my babies. Practically tore me up inside until I realized it did NOT mean my son didn't love or need me. Babies are small people who have likes, dislikes they have needs and preferences. Please don't think of it as him not wanting you. He is learning each day about making choices and what he may be drawn to for the moment. Continue to shower him with love and always remember he is your son forever! It will work itself Mommas :-)
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mousesmommy5610
by Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Ok so i didnt read any other comments just because 'I HAVE IN FACT BEEN THERE" not so much now-ish lol but my daughter will be 3 in may and when she was 3 months old her biodad and i split for very good reasons he does take her three days aweek which sucks for me but good for her right?? well when i first got with my now husband she attached herself really quickly to him and if he left the room she would come unglued or if he went to work or if she was dropped off without him being home.. she didnt want me to feed her dinner or help her in the bath or read stories or go to bed with her... she wanted daddy so i handed the raines over to him at that point but i wouldnt completly hand them over thats MY baby... so him and i sat down and talked and we came together as one he never did anything with her without me there and we did it together. and eventually she started treating us equally up until recently.. we live with MY parents in the basement and lately if she gets told no or in trouble or even at bed time she cries for "nanny" and its upsetting or if she gets hurt and my mom is there she does come to me first as long as i havent pissed her off that day or else she fights to get to nanny ... and she lets her get away with quit a bit and it makes me mad MY daughter has always been well behaved and very out spoken and she has ALWAYS listened to me and my husband but lately shes telling nanny on us and its just upsetting to see her act this way i know that once we move out again things will be ok after she levels out a little... so maybe you should sit ur hubs and MIL down and say look i know its a "phase" but it doesnt feel that way and i need your help to help him and me... when u are at work its out of ur hands atm... but when u walk threw that door have them insist on huggin you then have him hug you too.. if he wants them in whatever is needing to be done have them include you at every possible moment even in the middle of the task have them step away and say ill be right back stay with mommy.. and try it that way... its going to be tough but do a co parenting thing with both the other adults and he will eventually realize that ur mom and thats how it is...

atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM
My oldest loved Daddy! I didn't care. We all have different personalities. Let Daddy do what DS wants. I didn't exist when daddy was around. Luckily our youngest was more attatched to me. It is their personality.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
PinkButterfly66
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I would recommend that you try to reconnect with your son in other ways.. maybe bath time?  My daughter was the same way -- no one but mom would do.  But her dad, always hands on from the first, stepped up and started bonding with her in other ways, story time, bath time (she had a blast with him, I was more interested in getting her bathed than playing) or play time. 

PaulaChillz
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I only have girls,so I got nothing for you.I do think you are doing a great job and I hope he is just going thru a phase that would hurry up and end! I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.

kirbymom
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

 Bravo. Love this advice. 

We have 8 children and all have had their prefernce for a particular parent. We just play it up with them. The kids love it.  They start thinking in terms of the game and then it became less of a struggle and there were less hurt feelings. 

@ Nothongforme ~~  I have been there. So has my husband. Right now, my 4 yr old daughter doesn't want anything to do with her daddy. One minute she is fine and then the next, she can be mean. It just depends on her mood. 

Your son is being the same way. He is trying to bond with daddy now because he has made his bond with you. He knows you will love him forever now. That is indicitive of his comfortableness in NOT choosing you at certain moments. Same with his grandma.  He is not so sure these two people  and so wants a relationship with them.

 It really will work itself out.  I know this, because I have had the very same feelings you are experiencing now.  SO, take a deep breath and slowly let it out and remind yourself that this too shall soon pass.  :)  Take heart mamma. You Are Not alone.  :)  

Quoting kali_mom:

As a mom of five children I have experienced a similar situation with one of my babies. Practically tore me up inside until I realized it did NOT mean my son didn't love or need me. Babies are small people who have likes, dislikes they have needs and preferences. Please don't think of it as him not wanting you. He is learning each day about making choices and what he may be drawn to for the moment. Continue to shower him with love and always remember he is your son forever!
It will work itself Mommas :-)


  

undefined

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)