Apparently most kids go through a stage where they prefer one parent over the other. If you’re a parent who hasn’t experienced this yet, I can tell you first hand, it’s nothing short of brutal and you’re bloody lucky.
I had my first taste of this when my daughter Edie was about 16 months old and we went on holiday to Bali. She was so excited to have her dad all to herself for two weeks that I was like the third wheel the whole trip. When she woke she wanted her dad, when she fell over she wanted dad and only he could put her to sleep. Bloody hell kid, don’t worry about me, I just went through a kinda hellish 42 weeks of throwing up while carrying you in my belly, and then pushed you out, no biggie or anything.
When it first started happening I tried to pretend I didn’t care and laughed it off but really, it ate me up inside. It broke my heart every time she chose her dad over me – as ridiculous as that sounds.
Towards the end of the trip, I wasn’t hiding it anymore. I was outwardly competing with James for her attention, giving her ice-cream at every chance and trying to be the ‘fun’ parent. Aren’t children supposed to be the needy ones, not the parents?! James, my husband, thought I had lost my mind. He may have been right.
It broke my heart every time she chose her dad over me
Everyone I mentioned this told me it’s totally normal for kids to go through phases like this and assured me it wouldn’t last long, but a girlfriend at the time was going through the exact same thing with her son, and it had been going on for months. I was terrified I wouldn’t cope if this happened for months.
Thankfully, not long after we came home from our trip and routine took over, Edie was back on the even love for each parent train. Phew. While there are some days she still only wants cuddles from dada, other days it’s all about my cuddles and I’m learning to be less of a desperato for her. Slowly.
Nadia Bartel and Monty had a really honest chat about this exact topic On the Couch recently, check it out here;
Who’s the fave parent at your place?