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My Daddy’s Girl :: How to Deal When You’re Not Their Favorite

daddy's girlAs a working parent I always feared it could happen, but when my toddler rejected me for the first time I was devastated.

After a long day in the office I was excited to get home to my twins. We completed our nighttime routine and my husband and I began tucking them into bed. He hopped in one crib and I hopped in the other. (Yes, you heard that right! However, I do not recommend this routine unless your crib mattresses are resting on the ground like ours!) After a couple of minutes we switched cribs so each child would get equal time, but on this night my daughter wanted nothing to do with me!

“Mama, NO!! Switch, switch!! DADA, DADA!” My daughter yelled at the top of her little lungs while physically assaulting me. Her tiny hands couldn’t hurt my body but her words bruised my heart that night.

Part of my own personal mom guilt revolves around being away from my kids during the day. Layer on top of that a dose of jealously over my husband’s schedule and you get one insecure mama. He is a Preschool Teacher and has the flexibility to be home many afternoons. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

Recently my husband brought them to his preschool’s summer camp. They were the youngest kids there at 23 months. Wise beyond their years, they were quickly running the place. My camera roll filled up with photos sent by my husband; mementos of their first big adventure. I lit up with each new photo, but also felt a pang of jealousy to not be able to witness these “firsts” in person…their first art project, their first game of tag, their first round of “Ring Around The Rosy.”

Being a working mom is not without its challenges. My daughter’s rejection made all of my insecurities bubble over that night. I had waited all day to spend time with her! How could she be so cruel!?

I wish I could tell you that it only happened once. I don’t have a special technique to “Let It Goooo.” (Although deep breaths and a little perspective do help). You see, I love my daughter’s relationship with her Father and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

While I wish I could spend just as much time with them as he does, I’m slowly learning that some unintentional heartbreak may come along with being a working mom. Instead of dwelling on what I’m missing, I do my best to focus on the positives. There are many daily indulgences I couldn’t live without. I am at my most “zen” while driving to work in my cool air conditioned car, iced coffee in hand and music blasting. So, I guess you could say I’m torn between two worlds (But aren’t we all as working moms!?).

I know the “Daddy” phase is just that, a phase and it will pass. When my daughter dismisses me, I am trying to be okay with it. On the occasions when she calls for me, my husband is very sweet to point it out. 

daddy's girl

Anyone else’s child go through a “Daddy” phase? Tell me I’m not alone in feeling alienated by my pushy toddler!

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10 Responses to My Daddy’s Girl :: How to Deal When You’re Not Their Favorite

  1. KAS July 12, 2017 at 9:30 PM #

    Wow! Thank you for writing this. My son is 18 months and I am experiencing the same issue. It is amazing to know I’m not the only one. You articulate exactly how I feel, I was never able to actually put words to the feelings. So thank you!

    • katemoncayo
      katemoncayo July 13, 2017 at 10:39 AM #

      Aww, thanks so much! Being a working mom has so many challenges, but knowing others are going through the same thing makes it sting a little less!

  2. Natalia July 16, 2017 at 12:42 PM #

    I had same issues
    I remember my daughter smiling at my husband all the time and not much at me
    Also one time we went to q park and I was carrying her and she started crying and calling for my husband to carry her
    I was so hurt that she always preferred my husband over me
    She was a 100% daddy’s girl
    So I did cry many times
    But like your husband he always tried to point at little things and encourage her to look for me etc
    Now she is 5 and she loves and seeks for me
    So yes it is a phase
    Painful and sad
    But will change 😊

    • katemoncayo
      katemoncayo July 19, 2017 at 10:02 AM #

      Glad to hear I’m not alone in this!! XO

  3. Janelle July 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM #

    My oldest daughter is a daddy’s girl by FAR. She is 6 now and has always been daddy’s little girl, and you know what? I realized that instead of crying that she doesn’t come running to me, I embrace it. I know way too many girls (little girls, teen girls, young women) who don’t have positive male role models and/or father figures in their lives. Every time my feelings may be hurt because she only wants daddy cuddles….it also leaves this happy fluttery feeling in my stomach that I chose the right guy to father my children and that my girls are lucky to be daddy’s girls.
    (Disclaimer: it also helps that my youngest daughter is a Mommy’s girl!)

    • katemoncayo
      katemoncayo July 19, 2017 at 10:03 AM #

      I 100% agree! So lucky that my twins have such an amazing Daddy!

  4. Amanda July 18, 2017 at 5:29 PM #

    Thank you for sharing. My little boy is 4 and it’s like this for us–hubby has a very flexible schedule, I work nights. The torn feeling of hurt and love/pride in your husband is one I know all too well. Good to know I’m not alone, and thank you for expressing it so perfectly.💖

    • katemoncayo
      katemoncayo July 19, 2017 at 10:03 AM #

      Thanks for your kind words and glad to know I’m not alone!

  5. Kimberly July 19, 2017 at 9:46 AM #

    I am a SAHM and my children still do this. I feel awful saying this, but I often selfishly think, “I gave up a career I loved for you and revolve my entire life around yours. You’re supposed to love me more!” I’ve never said this out loud, it’s just my selfish feelings in my head. I know my husband wishes he could be home more often with them and feels the same jealousy you experience as I send him photos all day of firsts, but it still breaks my heart that they physically push me away, screaming because they prefer Daddy hold them, snuggle them, and tuck them in. They also prefer my mother over me. I feel like I am failing as a mom every day! They are 22 months old. I keep telling myself, it’s just a phase! I really hope so!

    • katemoncayo
      katemoncayo July 19, 2017 at 10:05 AM #

      Isn’t it crazy how our insecurities as a mom can just take over!? We have to remind ourselves every day that we are doing the best job that we can and they love us no matter what they say. Hugs!!

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