Yesterday when I got home from work JB held Riley up to the window so he could see me as I got out of my car. I waved, and I could hear Riley’s excited squeals—”Mommy! Mommy!”—but when I came inside he clung to his father’s leg, begging to be picked up.

“Give Mommy a hug,” JB said, and Riley shouted Nooo, Noooo, want Daddy, want Daddy, Daddy up, Daddy UP, and as I approached my son he ran from me, crying and wailing and shouting NO, WANT DADDY.

Oh, a thousand knives in my heart. A million.

Riley has always shown a preference for JB, and I guess I’ve gotten used to it as much as a lesser-wanted parent can be expected to. In the last few weeks, though, things have been—well, what? What’s the word for it? Things have been weird, things have been sad. My boy has been clinging to his father and rejecting me on a daily basis, and it hurts so badly I can barely think about it without tears coming to my eyes.

There are big, painful moments, like yesterday’s refusal to allow me to touch him or approach him, or the never-to-be-forgotten horrible meltdown at the Christmas tree farm where I dared to hold him while JB put the tree in the back of the truck, and there are countless small moments that cut into me over and over and over: the way he instantly asks for his father when it’s my morning to get him up, but when it’s JB’s morning he never asks for me once; the way he climbs into his father’s arms at a moment’s notice but often has to be coerced into mine; the way he will hand a toy to his father but refuse to let me touch it; the way he curls against JB’s body in a way he never does with me; the way he follows JB all over the house, begging for “up, up!” until I think I’m going to scream.

I know my boy loves me, and when we’re alone together everything is usually fine—although I doubt he asks about Mommy when he’s with JB as often as he asks about Daddy (“Daddy working?”) when he’s with me. I also know how blessed and lucky we are that his father is here and present and that he has such a strong bond with JB.

But. I just don’t understand why things are so off balance. JB and I share parenting duties fairly equally, we both dole out discipline when it’s necessary, we both do baths and diapers and bedtime stories. I don’t think there’s anything I could be doing to improve the situation, and yet every time Riley rejects me it feels like I am failing in the most critical of arenas, it feels like I am the most colossal fuckup on this planet and that I am doing every single thing wrong.

It makes me feel ugly, unwanted and unneeded. It hurts me in a way that is deeper and more painful than anything I’ve ever experienced: it’s like being fired, and broken up with, and grudgingly accepted last in the schoolyard pick, all at the same time, over and over.

I find myself thinking despondent, sorry-for-me thoughts: why can’t you love me as much, oh god what is wrong with me?; I find myself thinking immature, angry thoughts: I have given up everything for you; I find myself thinking the kinds of thoughts that are hard to confess to: You don’t want to be around me? Fine. You know what, I don’t really want to be around you either. In fact, I’d rather be reading a good book, or going to a movie, or a doing any fucking number of things other than sitting here trying to play Legos and hearing you whine for Daddy.

Sometimes, after we’ve had a particularly Challenging Moment, and my face is full of pain and I can’t smile, he looks at me and say, “Be happy, Mommy”. I don’t know what to think about this. Does he know it hurts me when he rejects me in favor of JB? Does it matter?

I’m so afraid that things will get worse with a new baby in the house, that he’ll cling to JB even more, that the scales will never, ever shift in my favor and our relationship will always be one of second-best. I’m afraid of the exact same scenario happening with my second boy. I’m tired of feeling sad and resentful.

Things are not always bad. Things are very often good. We play together, we read books, he randomly chases me and grabs my pantleg and yells “I GOT DA LEG!”, he shows me he loves me too. This is not an every-moment-of-the-day problem. And maybe there are some easy explanations: I’m cumbrously pregnant and I can’t roughhouse the way his dad does, I’ve been sick and not feeling like myself, I stay home with him part time so maybe I am taken for granted a bit.

I just wish it wasn’t like this. And I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about it.

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Ashley
14 years ago

Even if it’s fleeting and he is likely to grow out of this, it still just blows. I’m sorry.

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

P.S. Here’s “trick” I learned in Play Therapy. (Dibs in Search of Self by Virginia Axline is a great little book for some of these communication techniques.) It’s better to not to direct a child younger than five to hug someone or behave in a certain way toward someone.

When you came in the door, the first thing JB did was direct Riley to hug you. Riley impulsively responded in the negative because (I’m betting) saying no and resisting the directions of adults is what he’s doing a lot these days. How about trying a scenario where you approach the door waving and being your warm lovely self…you enter. JB and you hug. JB doesn’t direct Riley in any way and you just kind of breeze in. If Riley’s clinging to JB’s leg, so be it. Just breeze in, take off your coat and let it be. Don’t even reach for him. Let him reach for you. He will, Linda, he will.

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

You know why he rejects you? Because he knows you will love him anyway. If he were insecure, he would be clinging to anyone, and everyone who showed him the slightest bit of attention. If you weren’t doing everything right, he’d be that way, and you wouldn’t be able to get him off you.
You have to keep in mind that what you want to do is to raise your children to leave you and be self sufficient adults. If he’s not doing it in a mean way, (I hate you leave me alone don’t ever touch me again, I wish you’d die), then he’s just being well adjusted and normal. JB is just a big playmate that doesn’t stay home as much, and when he is home he’s not distracted with cooking and cleaning and all the many things that you do besides spending time with him.
It sucks, but you are doing a great job…don’t worry about it, and try not to let it hurt your feelings.
My daughter was a daddy’s girl and I couldn’t get her potty trained to save my life. She would go for him, so hey, not hanging out in the bathroom? Plus!

Jen
Jen
14 years ago

I think it’s completely normal, and next year (or when the baby is born and getting more of your attention) it could change and he’ll be stuck to you like glue.

What about getting JB to display random gestures of love more often – hugs and kisses, “I love Mommy”, etc. in front of him? Maybe it’ll help show him how affection can be shared among the three of you?

stan
stan
14 years ago

No, I’m sure he doesn’t know he’s hurting you. But he needs to learn this at some stage and he will as he gets bigger. I agree with Sadie above that letting him know how you feel will help the process, even if it doesn’t seem to work at first. And JB needs to show his sympathy for you as well – Riley will learn from his example.
Also, I guess that being rejected by a teenager feels much worse – they know they are being hurtful, even though they don’t realise how much!
The new baby will definitely change the family dynamic. I hope it works positively for you.
Thankyou for sharing these thoughts and feelings. Even though my two boys are much older, you often make me think about my own parenting skills (or lack of them) and it encourages me to try to do a better job now. I hope you, JB and Riley have a great Christmas and all goes well with the arrival of number 2 in the New Year.

Amie
14 years ago

Well, I don’t have any words of encouragement, but there are plenty here, and I’m taking heart from them myself. I go through the same thing with Gabe. He adores his father, and when Dad is around, who needs Mom? All the things you described are like what I go through. It breaks my heart and has driven me to tears on occasion, but I think that as he gets older things will start to balance out more.

Sarah
Sarah
14 years ago

I don’t have any words of wisdom – just wanted to say I feel for you….I can imagine how this breaks your heart.

Erin
14 years ago

Oh Sundry. You put into words so perfectly the same scenario that happens in our home. It breaks my heart and it really does hurt. We have a two-year-old and a five-month-old. Since our second child was born, we have tried to make a conscious effort to schedule some Mom & Two-Year-Old time together on the weekend. It is easier said than done, and I don’t know if it makes a huge difference on a larger level. But on the day that I spend some one-on-one time with my older child, I feel TONS better about his preference for Daddy. Because I know I’m doing the very best I can.

For what it’s worth: I hear you. I feel the same way. It really sucks sometimes.

ang
ang
14 years ago

My daughter is 10 and she stills goes through periods of being Daddy’s Girl ONLY and then Momma’s Girl next month. So…. I know it hurts, but it will get a little better when little brother arrives. Then the boys will both gang up on you equally. :-)

Christina
14 years ago

Not much I can say other than as it seems with kids that all things balance out eventually.

I would agree with Swistle – both my husband & I work full time and share 50/50 on parenting duties and Matthew is pretty 50/50 in preference over us. If I am out shopping and he & Daddy are home he will ask where I am and when I will be home and vice versa. SO it seems that as sucky as it may be, the parent who spends more time is “neglected” more and the other parent is favored. It is still hard no matter how you look at it.

This too shall pass…

Tessie
14 years ago

This must be so hard to write about, much less experience, but I’m so glad you HAVE written about it. I can’t tell you how many times someone has talked about this issue and I’ve said, “You have to read what Linda has written on this.”

We have had some success with Lesley’s idea. Particularly if my husband and I hug or kiss FIRST, then my daughter wants to hug and kiss both of us. Strange but true.

McCashew
14 years ago

It seems that all the things I would have said have been written already, but I wanted to chime in to say hang in there.

There is an awful lot on your plate right now and perhaps your list of to dos before baby #2 arrives includes spending one on one QT with Riley to shore up that relationship, and with the seemingly constant rejection from him you are not able to accomplish this? As a mother of one, I wouldn’t even know how to begin that task! Life as he knows it is about to change, but he is too young to understand how much it will change. He does not know that you will have another little boy to care for, one that will require a lot more attention, that you will be sleep deprived, or that the time you spend with him will be any different than it is now. You however know these things and perhaps it is this knowledge that is making it so much more painful? I can imagine, though I do not pretend to fully understand, that you had envisioned this time before baby #2 to be a special time for you two? Perhaps you wanted to really savor this time and this is preventing you from doing that?

It will get better and the arrival of the baby may not cue an instant turn around, but it may go a long way in righting the balance.

kendra!
14 years ago

I hope you are assured by others that this, too, shall pass. I would pick you out in the schoolyard, mama, and I’d want you on my team.

McWriter
14 years ago

Why don’t you go the “sad face” route a little bit more? Like if Riley says, “Be happy,” just look at him and say, “Mommy gets really sad when you don’t want to play with me. I love spending time with you and it makes me want to cry when you go with Daddy all the time. How ’bout giving your old mom some of your time, huh?”

See how he reacts. He might be somewhere in the realm of “getting” some part of that!

yasmara
yasmara
14 years ago

I could have written your post word for word.

It is simultaneously so wonderful that Riley and my son have strong bonds with their fathers and also heartbreaking to be the non-preferred parent.

This is probably not very comforting – it did get somewhat worse after our 2nd son was born (boys are 19 months apart). The good news is that it has gotten better over the past year. We talk a lot about how Mama & Daddy have TWO boys (one, two – counting is fun right now) and that we have to share time with each other. I also try to do special time with each of them alone, as does my husband. It seems to help a little.

My husband now has a weekend routine of taking the baby for a morning car ride (drive thru coffee while the baby naps in the car) and my older son and I have time alone for fun at home.

Mel
Mel
14 years ago

There was a time before the strike when I could have written your post word for word, too. That was eight weeks ago and Kevin is now back at work, so I’m afraid it’ll all go back o “Daddy, daddy,” only again. It gets frustrating when he wants his daddy more than me and when I am sad and cry, Ian just tells me to cry. Such sympathy. *grin* But things should even out eventually. I think Ian has gone through phases where he wants his daddy all the time and then, suddenly, from out of the blue, he asks me to roll a ball with him and it makes my day. It’s hard. Hang in there. I wish I could give you a hug or something.

Christina
Christina
14 years ago

It seems like my 13 month old says Da-Da about 100 times a day, and if I’m lucky, I’ll hear Ma-Ma once. We too share parenting duties about 50/50 – and if I go in his room to get him out of bed in the morning instead of my husband, he’ll just say Da-Da over and over like he’s disappointed I came to get him instead of daddy. I too feel a pang of hurt (and even jealousy) that my boy often seems to prefer daddy over me – and I feel like I’m doing something wrong, even though I know I’m not. Maybe it really is just a little boy thing? It just hurts when you’re the one whose gone through pregnancy, labor and delivery, sacrificed any chance of getting a promotion or making more money because I now work about half the hours I used to – and yet, daddy is the one who seems to reap the rewards. :( Ugh. Now I’m sad.

Carrie
14 years ago

From what I’ve read, it seems like he spends more time with you than with your husband. (I gather he works full time to your part time and seems to travel alone more often than you.) Is it possible that with the baby coming, he’s preparing for separation anxiety in advance?

Quiana
14 years ago

My friend went through the exact same thing when his daughter was little, except that it was his sister she favored. It really did suck, but she grew out of it. Now she is an absolute daddy’s girl.
I think that maybe some kids are gender aware early. He sees that he and daddy are the same. Kids really seem to enjoy ‘the same.’
Beyond that, I agree with the others that maybe it is just that JB is away and returns more frequently. Or that a new baby is coming. Or even because you have a strong bond with JB and Riley wants in on the closeness.
Either way, keep your chin up. It isn’t that he doesn’t love you, but rather it seems that he is trying to have a special relationship with his father.

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Not sure what else to say but I’m sending out fellow pregnant mom hugs to you. You are going through a lot with work changes, you’re sick, oh and you’re about to give birth. You just want your little suctopus to love you. I don’t understand why he’s doing it completely but I do understand why it is so painful for you. You have every right to feel those things. I have a feeling things will change when the baby comes. Until then, do the best you can and give yourself a break. Continue to give him all the love you can and he will come around. It’s damn hard being a mom and these kids are constantly testing us…:).
Sorry to be corny but lots and lots of hugs to you (((((HUGS))))) .

Bitter Betty
14 years ago

Just remember – mama’s are the punching bags. Kids have no empathy until they’re taught how to. And it’s totally normal for kids to favor one parent over another at different times in their life. You’re not doing anything wrong. Not one thought is wrong.

I wouldn’t ask Riley to do anything he wouldn’t normally do – no forced hugging, etc., but continue to show him how to love things, how to be gentle and caring and you’ll raise a kid with the ability to empathize and show love. And Lesley’s idea is great – let you and JB show Riley what love is.

And don’t forget – you’ve got a hormone storm raging in your body. This will all change eventually. :)

lunchbox
lunchbox
14 years ago

i like what swistle said. as in, theres a reason for it, but the reason won’t make you feel any better about the whole thing. theres a disconnect between the two.

i’m going through the same thing with my kid (4) and my ex. this is a kid that i gave up everything to provide for since the ex and i split up, busted my ass to feed and clothe and house – and he wants to go live with daddy because, god forbid, i make him pick up his own toys, and sometimes, if he doesn’t, i SEND HIM TO HIS ROOM.

sometimes, i am calm and understanding, i say ‘oh well, i don’t mind if you don’t love me today because i’ll always love you’.

sometimes i am a little more hurt and we sit and i try to explain how saying things hurts mummys feelings. we use examples where his feelings were hurt and compare them to how i feel. and he says sorry, but its not something that works long term.

three times in the last year i have felt the exact crushing stabbing horrific inner pain that you describe and it has been too much, on top of everything else, and i have sat him down and said, you know, FINE, what if you DO go and live with daddy, what if you never see mummy ever again, will THAT make you happy? because all i want is for you to be happy and when you talk like that you hurt mummy SO MUCH that she wonders if she’s doing the right thing by requesting that you spend time with her, so maybe, even though it would practically kill me, maybe if you think that thats what you want, then we could do it. because mummy no longer wants to be around someone who is so adamant that they hate her.
child cries. mummy cries. all over. works for a bit though.

i think we also tend to look at it from an adult perspective, not that that helps you feel any better. as adults, we can measure love, we can realise that certain words or actions are going to hurt people, we can see how much other people have done for us, we understand appreciation. toddlers have no grasp on those concepts… yeah, they’re smart, but those are just too huge for their minds to grapple with. i dunno.

monkey
14 years ago

Hi,

I’m 29 years old, female, no babies.

I’m Riley. So is my sister. My sister and I are alike in personality to my father. Additionally, my father is a better communicator than my mom so it’s easier for us to get along with him. We’ve done the whole “Hi Mummy, is Baba home?” thing constantly. I know the personality thing has been an excuse since we developed personalities but we’ve both shown a marked preference since childhood.

Thank you for this post. The truth is that I don’t love my mom less than my dad. It’s just a different love. My father is someone I can communicate my ideas to better but my mom is just stolidly THERE. Keeping the family fed, washing our clothes, making us dosa, being the reasonable one. The thought of anything happening to her makes me clench up.

It is a quiet reasonable love and we’ve all been guilty (as in my family) of taking advantage of it without recognition.

With that said, I think I’ll give her a call at the office.

Thanks again for the other perspective. What you have penned here is stuff my mom doesn’t let out of her heart except once in a millenium and there is a pretty big cultural difference (my parents are immigrants, I am second generation) and is not as expressive in English as you are.

A.

monkey
14 years ago

Also have to say that growing up and today, when my parents argue/argued…I am on my mom’s side. 99% of the time. And will always defend her to my father/sister. Love is a mysterious fig.

FashionNoob
14 years ago

Linda, it’s a phase. Don’t even sweat it, baby. Most kids go through something like this, and it’s probably about his growing independence as he gets more mobile. You’re naturally going to be the more nurturing parent, and he is probably wanting to show how tough he is, and since JB’s a seriously manly dude, Riley wants to be in with his crowd right now.

Toddlers are heartless little f-ers sometimes, but remember that having kids is about truly learning to be selfless. No one says it’s going to be easy, but if Riley is getting the care and comfort he needs to grow, you are an excellent mom and you have nothing to worry about.

I bet a child psychologist could explain this phase in 2 seconds, but the bottom line is that it’s NOT YOU. You are lovable and such a great mom. Just work on feeling better and staying healthy, and making sure your family does the same.

ollka
14 years ago

It’s so brave of you to share this. I know and you know, I think, that this has nothing to do with you, and it’s just a phase, and it will pass, and many people have told you this already. I also know that this will probably not help you as much as I’d like it to. You are hurt and in a fragile state – and this really, really sucks.

I just want to send you a virtual careful Internet-stranger-hug.

Sara
14 years ago

Oh Linda, I’m crying for you, with you, for me.

I’ve been in this position with both my boys. Currently Dylan, my 2 year old says “I love dada” and REFUSES to say he loves me. His dad see’s him what once every 2 months and holy fucky BY GOD he’s the most wonderful thing on this entire earth to BOTH the boys, yet they appreciate oh nothing that I do, and I’m here, every single day.

It’s really hard to be the less perfered person isn’t it. If you figure out any magical cures, let me know!

MRW
MRW
14 years ago

Oh man,iIt hurts so badly when it feels like the person you love more than almost anyone else on earth rejects you. It’s hard to remember in the moment that it’s not like adult rejection. Riley is expressing his preference, he’s not saying he doesn’t love you or find you worthy of love. I know this is against the grain, but I’ve never told my son that he’s made me feel sad when he’s rejected me. Growing up, my mom could be moody and sensitive and until I moved 3000 miles away I felt partially responsible for her happiness. I resent it. I know she didn’t mean to make me feel like that, but it’s taken a lot of years for me to come close to accepting that I’m not responsible for any adult’s happiness besides my own. I’d like to give my son the gift of freedom from that responsibility. Plus since he’s only 4.5, I know that if he says he’s angry with me or my husband, he’ll change his mind soon enough. I am his preferred parent generally, but there are times when I’m not wanted. I try to remember it’s just my son’s preference, not a declaration that he doesn’t love me. Hang in there.

ikate
14 years ago

I know that this hurts and nothing will really make it better, but maybe the escalating of the daddy-adoration is that he fears you now that you are fully pregnant? I remember my usually snugly nephew not going within 5 feet of my sister when she was pregnant – he was scared to death of the changes in her and, at 3, the only way he thought a baby could get in your belly was if you ate it. He was petrified that if she was near his pregnant aunt she would eat him and no one could convince him otherwise!
While quite funny to us all, it really hurt her feelings that for about 4 months he wouldn’t come near her. And she is his aunt, not his mom so I can’t imagine how your heart breaks.

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

You know why he rejects you? Because he knows you will love him anyway.

This is very true. A child who feels deeply loved also feels safe in expressing all of their feelings around those who love them. Anger, sadness, joy, tears, humiliation… all of these emotions can be safely shared with a loving parent.

It may seem ironic and twisted – when they express rejection or anger, but there’s no greater compliment than that. :)

I just thought of an experience my ex went through with his kids. (The circumstances were different. He was separated from his wife at the time and his kids were much older than Riley. The rejection is the common factor.) When he and his wife separated and he had full custody, his ex-wife could no wrong and the kids either ignored dad or grumped about every decision he made. They also blamed him for the separation. One day his daughter blurted out that she loved her mother and didn’t love him. I was there when it happened.

Having ‘been Sarah’ in my own childhood (I had been abandoned by my dad), I sensed the subtext. I told him, “Sarah feels safe with you. She knows you will never abandon her so she can risk expressing her anger around you and even toward you. The same can’t be said about her mother who has moved far away and rarely sees her. Sarah has to be on her best behaviour with her mother or she feels she’ll risk losing her even though, in reality, she has already been abandoned by her mother. Sarah’s fantasy that her mother still loves her the way she did when you were together has to be maintained at all cost. But she’s angry with her mom and in denial about it at the same time. The same can’t be said for your relationship. You’re a rock, you’re her rock. She knows she can kick you and you won’t budge.”

A child who is loved unconditionally is free to express him or herself. A lot of this expression is blunt and direct early on because kids lack the sophistication of adults. They are also keenly aware of their powerlessness. It’s tough being a kid even when you’re as loved as Riley is. Kids just want to be grown up and powerful like the adults they see around them.

Linda, you are a wonderful mother. You are so smart and funny and human and humane and Riley is one very lucky little boy! (I would have given anything to have a mom and dad like you and JB.)

Tracy
Tracy
14 years ago

Linda, it looks like you have lots of wonderful comments and advice here. I don’t think Riley knows he’s hurting you per se, but I do think he knows he’s pushing your buttons, and probably gets some satisfaction that it works. Just a normal toddler contrary-minded stage. He’s obviously excited to see you, but resists being told what to do, and his resistance seems to escalate in correlation with your insistance that he does what you & JB want him to do. And once he gets to the meltdown stage, he’s committed to resistance, and overwhelmed, and loses it.

I know it’s so, so hard not to react with emotion, but if I were you I would let him know that his behaviour is hurtful and unacceptable, in a matter of fact way, and deal with it accordingly, as you would any type of misbehaviour. Obviously you can’t always make him do what you want, but try not to reward his tantrums with an emotional reaction. It just sounds like you’re locked in a power struggle.

Your baby knows you love him, and he loves you too. He’s just testing his boundaries and trying out his independence on you. And maybe your personalities are so similar that it leads to a clash much more quickly than it does with daddy.

Hang in there, these phases pass before you know it. All the best for the holidays, and thanks for writing – I love your site.

Kayte
14 years ago

We used to call it “Kids Changing Camp” as they would regularly shift from one favorite to the other…I decided to just go with the flow…one day it was Daddy and the next it was Mommy…or sometimes months at a time. I would always say, “Great idea, let’s have Daddy do it!” or he would say the same with “Great idea, let’s let Mommy do it.” The kids realized what seemed to be a power play didn’t work out all that well…and eventually figured out that whoever was closest was the best deal. Now as teens they are still doing it…searching out who seems closest to the possibility of saying “yes” to whatever it is they want…our tactics have been that in order to keep peace between us, the only acceptable answer is “Let me run that by (Mom) or (Dad) and I’ll get back to you.” It took us awhile to figure this one out…surprisingly enough. LOL.

Know this: if you were to disappear today, Riley would never ever be the same, you are his world…he is forever linked to you in ways he does not understand yet and in ways you never thought possible. You are doing a great job.

K
K
14 years ago

Just a thought from one who has no kids but has done a LOT of family therapy. This seems like an opportunity to teach Riley about loving lots of people/things equally and all at the same time. Kids sometimes think they can only have one feeling, one object of affection, at a time. They have to reject one to take up another. Toy A is the best thing ever until Toy B is discovered and then Toy A is cast off.

Perhaps you could model for him that you love him, and new baby, and JB all at the same time. Teach him to gather you all up at once (although I agree with other advice that counsels you to let him find his way to you at his own speed). For example, he can’t do the “walk and swing holding parents hands” thing without both of you. In fact none of you could play that game without all three of you there. Nothing wrong with you observing that outloud while he’s having fun doing it.

I can’t imagine the pain you feel during those moments. Small comfort that most everyone feels it’s less about you or Riley’s love for you than it is about his development. Hang in there.

dng
dng
14 years ago

I did not read all of the remarks so this may be redundant… I think it is because you are about to have another baby and he is mad at you that he will not be the sole center of attention anymore. He will have to share you and we all know, kids do not like to share what is theirs. He is turning to JB because JB isn’t the one having the baby.

Unless this was going on before pregnacy #2, than I don’t have an answer for you. I know it hurts now, but when the baby gets here he will want all of YOUR attention.

Rayne
14 years ago

That breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for your pain. Everyone talks about how parenting is the most rewarding thing in life but seldom do we talk about how it is also the most painful, heart-wrenching thing we will ever do. I guess it is good that we don’t realize this before hand because I for one am not sure I would have gone through with it.

Penny
14 years ago

I’m probably repeating someone else, but I’ve heard many stories about this same kind of thing, and it always seems to come from mothers who stay at home. Even if you’re working from home, even if you have a sitter to mind the child while you are working, it has a certain effect on the kiddo like you describe.

Sorry that you feel this way. It makes me wonder if this is how my husband feels sometimes, as my daughter has a clear preference for me (but she’s 17 months..)

Kay
Kay
14 years ago

That’s it. Make new baby the favorite. That will show him.
Ok, seriously. It is a phase. I went through it with my child and even grandchild (damn Papa). It passes. Promise.

emily
emily
14 years ago

:( I haven’t read everyone else’s comments, so in order to not repeat, I’ll keep it simple. Your boy loves you deeply, this is a phase. The whole time I read your entry, as my heart sunk, I kept thinking about you being sick lately and getting increasingly pregnant. I think those two factors are contributing to the timing of your sadness.

found
14 years ago

Hi, I am delurking! Anyway, I hope it is not too late to comment, and I also don´t know if somebody already said this, but I am wondering if JB has a special day that is just him and Riley? Maybe Riley seems to favor him because you stay home with him several days and have lots and lots of “me” time with him but it may be a good idea for them to also have time of their own so that he can enjoy his dad´s undivided attention? Just a thought!

pippa
14 years ago

Finally catching up after the holidays… ;)

Not much to offer. I’ve felt it more times than I can say, and this blistering pain is actually NOTHING compared to the first time they come out with the “I HATE YOU!” that brought me to my knees.

It’s small comfort, but when they are sick or hurt or scared, it’s invariably “mama” that they ask for. Last night, Bug was having an asthma attack. He fought G like nobody’s business until G handed me over and went to step and fetch the meds… the nebulizer… the compressor. He cried and fought me on the meds, but once we got him under control, he clung to me, burrowed his head into my side, and calmly went to sleep.

I sometimes think that they are designed to do these things to us, to better prepare us for when they leave for college, or move out, or get married and ZOMG have their own children.

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