I Want My Daddy!!!

Oh my. How often have I heard that refrain in the past year? Of course it’s to be expected, but that doesn’t make it an easier pill to swallow. At least for me.

We went through the “I want my DAADDDYYYYYYY” phase for months with our little princess.

{Oh, and can we agree on one thing? “It’s just a phase” could probably be one of the most annoying phrases in mom-history. It may be true, but when you are in the heat of battle, “it’s just a phase” doesn’t seem like a PHASE. It seems like a lifetime. Or eternity. Or eternity times ten. Don’t do the math on that one. I was a marketing grad, not a math genius.}

Anyway, Matt and I had a well-established routine with the twins. We would read a book together on the couch and then everyone would head to their respective bedrooms. I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but sometime after Q turned 3 and could verbalize pretty much everything, she made her wishes known that Daddy AND ONLY DADDY could read her bedtime story. Like she would scream if I so much came into the room. Or tried to dry her off after bath. And it progressed – or digressed – from there.

For the most part, she was okay during the day, but once Daddy was home, it was all Daddy. All the time. For everything. Playing. Bathing. Feeding.

And forget the weekends. On the weekends when Matt was home, I almost didn’t exist.

Cognitively, I understood it. Yes, it was a phase. Yes, she missed her Daddy when he was at work. Yes, Daddy was wayyyyy  more fun than Mommy. After all, as a work-at-home mom, I’m with her most of her waking hours, thus responsible for the “boring.” The grocery, the discipline, the threats and institution of time-out. Same ole Mom for her 12 waking hours. I get it.

{And to be 100% fair, Matt is an AMAZING Daddy. He gets home, immediately changes out of work clothes, and goes to “work” to play with the kids, do their baths, and a bazillion other things I am immensely grateful for. So I wasn’t spiteful AT ALL  towards him getting attention. It just was.}

But still, it stunk. To put it plainly, I felt betrayed. Betrayed by a 3 year old. How is that even possible?

I cried hot tears at night because it seemed my daughter just didn’t love me. Didn’t want me. Didn’t need me.

I cried all the way to church {and at church} on several occasions when my son chimed in on the action and no one wanted to drive with Mommy. They only wanted Daddy.

I cried when my sweet husband, seeing my despair, tried to rectify the situation as best he could. “Look, Q, Mommy said you could have a little treat after dinner. She’s so awesome!” I appreciated what he was doing – but it still hurt that he had to do it.

Stung actually.

I was at a lost of what to do. Because we weren’t simply talking moments of “I want my Daddy!!!!!” We were talking weeks, maybe even months. I can’t remember exactly now because it was a phase. Ha. But it was a long time. And challenging.

I remember asking friends what to do. Not many had experienced it. Or if they had, they didn’t want to share it. I remember someone saying, “Gosh, I wish they would want their Daddy…I’d grab a glass of wine, plop in front of the TV, and be grateful.” That’s all fine, well, and good for one night. Or even two. Not multiple. Over and over and over.

It’s taken me months to even be able to write about it because it  hurt so much. And then I felt guilty because it hurt so much. I mean, I felt like I was doing everything in my power to be a good “mom” and yet it was just being denied. And my son, who probably needed some quality time with his Daddy, was relegated to bedtime with Mommy for months. I’m sure just once he wanted a reprieve from me. Grin.

Looking back, I don’t know when exactly the tides changed. I know that I had to humble myself completely and not lash out when I felt unloved. I simply would kiss my little girl, told her how much I loved her, and walk out of the room. And start over again the next day. Until one day, she asked me to read me her a story at night. Actually, she begged. Begged for me. I was bone-dead tired, but you best bet I was going to drag myself up there and read her a story.

And now things are better. We are able to bounce between rooms again so it’s a little more “fair.” She {and her brother} still LOVE when Daddy is home, but they don’t freak anymore if he has to leave. Q still doesn’t LOVE my bathing style, but tolerates it. But my, oh my, that child loves some quality time. Her love language is for sure “quality time” and “gifts.” Since I wasn’t willing to bribe her with gifts, we spent a lot of one-on-one time together – whether it was a quick window-shopping trip, going to the grocery store, sitting and coloring for hours – that’s what she needed. I understand that better now and tailor my free time to make sure she gets those special touches during the day. It makes for happier times for us both, and now I hear the sweet refrain of “I LOOOOVEEEE you, Mommy!” multiple times a day.

Honestly, I don’t have a ton of advice with this one. It was a lot of waiting it out, a lot of patience, a lot of crying, and a lot of growing. And perhaps, just “coming out of the phase.” Grrrr. Again with those words. So, I want to hear from you! Did you ever experience this with your kids? How did you cope as a Mom? When/how did it get better?

Daddydaughter- Kendra Martin Photography (2)

Photo Credit :: Kendra Martin Photography

Basically, hey, let me know that I wasn’t alone!!!

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Meagan is a Dallas native who has lived in the Katy area for over a decade. She kicked a soccer ball all the way to Louisiana to attend college at her family’s alma mater of LSU, where she promptly fell in love with a Texas Aggie in Baton Rouge for an internship. After swimming back to Texas following Hurricane Katrina, Matt and Meagan fell in love with the Houston area and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Following several years of infertility, their miracle twins Ryan and Quinn were born in June of 2010. She believes there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, a large Sonic Diet Coke, sushi take-out, Girls Nights Out, and a mindless book to curl up with. Besides playing chauffeur and catering to the whims of her children, Meagan also is the Co-Owner of Houston Moms Blog. You can keep up with Meagan at The Clanahan Fam and on Instagram @meaganclanahan!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this. I thought I was alone in this little phase and it hurts so much. Thank you, thanks you, thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh goodness, not to pour salt on your wound, but my son only wants ME! I feel honored and blessed, but it can be tiring and testing. I’m glad they’ve gotten past that stage; I hope my son starts to allow my husband to help me in caring for him haha!

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