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My Baby Prefers My Hubby and I Hate It!

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At first, I thought it was adorable how my daughter was turning into a "Daddy's Girl." Now that she swats my face away, jumps out of my arms to his, and cries when he leaves her with me, I like it much less.

a family

Momlogic's Maria: I've been told this is a phase that all kids go through -- that the child prefers one over the other. They say it will switch -- that soon she'll prefer me. But it's seriously making me feel terrible that my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter doesn't like me. My husband is trying to be nice about it, but I he's secretly flattered by her favoritism. I know I would be.

I've also been told that this may be the "self-fulfilling prophecy" -- if I think she's a Daddy's Girl and continually call her one, then she will be. The problem is that now it is burned in my brain that she likes him better and I cannot shake it. Maybe I really am being defensive and she senses it so she's leaning towards him.

Also there's that father-daughter relationship. People say there is something special about it -- that it's the same for a mother and her son. I guess that's nice for them, but what about mothers and daughters? That's not special?

The other day, I went to get her from her nap. When I walked in the room, she looked over my shoulder for Daddy. When I went to pick her up, she ran to the far corner of the crib away from me. Incidents like this are hard to be objective about. I just feel like I must be doing something wrong.

I am trying to keep the faith that things will turn back, but I don't want her to make my husband feel this way either. I guess this is just one of those things no one tells you about before you are a parent. I'm not the first mom to go through this, and I certainly won't be the last.

Any advice?




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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
PaleAnt January 6, 2009, 4:53 PM

Just don’t let it get to you. Even though it can be sort of vexing. Just go with the flow an the next time, silly as this sounds, when you feel upset…. take out a deck of cards from your pocket an just play a game. Your childs attention will be absorbed into the idea of playing cards with you, releaving that tention. Sounds silly but a cheap deck of cards works everytime. Eventually, “Daddy’s Girl” will be Mommies hard playin’ poker buddy. Good luck an just remember with time all good things eventually pass. Children grow so fast so enjoy while you can. Take this affection she spends on Dad as time for you to do a load of laundry, wash dishes or do something for yourself. Start a garden or a small hobby an when you feel perplexed about the “Daddy, daddy…. syndrom. Go do something instead an don’t have negative feelings cause it will hurt future relationship between all three of you. Just learn to smile an go on. IT will all turn out okay.

JENNY January 6, 2009, 5:02 PM

my son is almost 2 and he wakes asking for daddy, goes to sleep asking for daddy, only will let daddy dress him , feed him, change his diaper, brush his teeth…he comes to me when he wants me…throws fits for me etc….i take advantage of the time he does want with me , and take advantage of the free time to clean and be with the older children..sometimes it hurts my feelins but overall i feel very confident when i have to go somewhere or anytime i’m not home that my son is very happy and content with daddy

Evas Mom January 6, 2009, 5:24 PM

My situation is the complete opposite. I am a stay at home mom and my 2 year old daughter clings to me every waking minute. She calls for me when I put her down to go do laundry, fix a meal or even go to the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her daddy too, but it gets hard when only my kisses will fix the boo-boos. The hardest is at night, after shes been read her bedtime story and were ready to give hugs and kisses goodnight, she gives them to me first then when daddy leans down to get his she refuses to give them and reaches for me, whining and welling up tears. I say “Now it’s time for daddys hugs and kisses sweetheart.” But no matter what she refuses and by this time she’s crying for me. I know this is hard for her dad, it’s hard for me to watch. And I don’t want him to resent me for it either. He works all the time and whenever he has a free second he’s always spending it with her, but nothing changed. So I know where your coming from, but from the other point of view. And just to let you know, i’ts hard on us too.

Jerri Ann January 6, 2009, 7:16 PM

You don’t say if either of you stay home with your daughter but it is my observance, as a school teacher turned stay at home mom turned day care owner return to stay at home mom that my kids prefer the person who they are with the most.

For instance, I had major back surgery and spent a good 4 months in my own bedroom, not always in bed, but certainly not with my family where my then 2 year old could jump on me and such.

In the beginning my husband complained because my son would cry for me. Before it was over, he preferred my husband over me.

Now with boys that are 4 and 6, things are different again because I’m home all day with a 4 year old and the 6 year old goes to school. The 4 year old prefers me far and away and the 6 year old doesn’t care.

But both of my kids refer to our bedroom as “momma’s room” and our bed as “mamma’s bed” and if they ever want to sleep with “us”, they always want to know, “can I get in Mamma’s bed?” It is just what becomes familiar.

I was out a few times before Christmas after dark and way before it even got dark my 4 year old would start asking “where is mommy”, “is mommy coming home?” “why is mommy not here, it is dark?” My husband is already dreading me going to Blissdom 09 in February because he knows how the 4 year old will handle it.

My husband often has to go back into work because he is on call and neither of my kids mention that he is not here and it is dark outside. I say often, more like once every 3 months or so but still, they don’t seem to notice when he isn’t here if he works late but even if I am just at my mom’s and it starts getting dark, they start asking questions.

So, I have to agree with the folks who say, it will change, it will come with time that her preference will change.

Now, that said, I’m not too much of a believer in such a thing as a “daddy’s girl” at that age. Honestly, I was a daddy’s girl. My mom and I have two total opposite personalities with mine being much like my dad’s. And, my mom and dad divorced when I was 4. She couldn’t get along with him then and she and I have trouble even now, 36 years later.

At 13 the problems with my mom and I came to a head and I moved in with my father. He died when I was 19 and I sunk into a depression that lasted….oh about 10 years honestly. I was more than “just” a Daddy’s Girl, I had my best friend in my dad, I had a great relationship with him and I was truly the classic “Daddy’s Girl”.

My cousin just got married and she too is a classic Daddy’s girl, but at age 2? I just don’t really buy into it.

So, I say that once a child is old enough to develop true feelings for one parent or one parent is more inline with the child’s personality, then you might get Momma’s Boys and Daddy’s Girls or Momma’s Girls and Daddy’s Boy’s.

I can honestly say that right now, my four-year old is a Momma’s Boy but my six year old doesn’t have a preference really.

Wildman January 6, 2009, 8:02 PM

We have gone through the same sort of cycles with our 3 year old. First she likes mommy and not me and then then vice versa. What has worked for us is to make sure that she spent enough alone quality time with each of us. For instance, my daughter and I would go alone on a special shopping outing, water country, or canobie lake park etc.. This sort of thing made great memories and helped too since most of the days during the week are spent with my wife. Additionally, having a regular dinner and having both parents reinforce the fact that she likes both of us and we like her both too helps. Good Luck! - Wildman


Karen S January 7, 2009, 3:13 AM

Canobie Lake Park? Woohoo! Count me in, Wildman. That will turn a kid into a daddy’s girl, at least for the afternoon. But I love the idea of playing cards; that was a special thing I shared with my grandfather. I will need this tip, since my girlie calls for daddy all the time. But since he stays home with her and I had “full custody” while she was nursing, I can’t really complain. And she’s only 14 months, and extremely good-natured and equanimous, so her tantrums so far are really mild and brief. Good luck to all of us…

Fgkgpteg June 30, 2009, 6:35 AM

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Elena October 21, 2010, 1:55 AM

I am actually going through the same thing with my 10 months older daughter. Over a year has passed since your post, what happened after this? I keep reading that it is temporary, that it is a stage, but I never find any follow up to these posts. Is it still happening? Is it really temporary?

Sharon  May 15, 2011, 11:53 AM

Yes, I’d like to know if it’s temporary too?
My 18 month old daughter has always preferred my husband and I feel very rejected by her too.
My husband hates her clinginess to him, but neither of us know why or what to do.
Please say it’s temporary……


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