Parent preference rears its ugly head again…

For the past couple of weeks my wife has struggled with our daughter’s bedtime routine. Or I should say, our daughter has started to struggle with having her other mother do bedtime.

I’ve always been the preferred parent, and it has been hard for my wife. When we weaned and Avery had to get used to bedtimes with her other mom (we started doing two nights of mommy and two nights of Mo), there were lots of nights of horrible tears. But then it got great! Avery loved her Mo nights, and would excitedly cheer on her way up to bed that “it’s Mo’s turn!” But now, once again, she pleads and cries herself to sleep: “Avery miss mommy. Please go get mommy. PLEASE. Avery need mommy. Mommy’s comfy. Avery loves mommy. Avery no love Mo.”

It’s heart wrenching. I can’t imagine how heart wrenching it is for my wife.

I’m sure this kind of thing happens in all families, and we’re not giving in because one sign of weakness on our part will only make it worse. We don’t want to be stuck in the old ways where I was the only one who could put her to bed. So we just have to stick it out…. It’s just so hard to listen to her pleading for me until her voice fades into sleep.

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10 thoughts on “Parent preference rears its ugly head again…

  1. Oh man, I feel this. Linnea has been strong in an only MamaLee phase forever when Leah is around. When she’s not around I’m totally acceptable and the target of all affection. It can be so frustrating. This article just came up on my social media (algorithms are so freaky), maybe it’ll be useful for y’all too! https://www.janetlansbury.com/2015/02/when-children-prefer-one-parent/?fbclid=IwAR0ToSbnG94aT3RE7WkZgAyJpOiAGGVps8YKetk7jNOV8-ClzolVbq6eU_g

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  2. I have a 7 1/2 yr old grandchild with 2 dads. Yes, sometimes there are preferred parents for some situations; it varies from time to time which and when. Yes, this is hard on the ‘wrong’ parent. (‘Wrong’ one has varied over the years and events, they have both been in each category and understand how it feels.) What is educational for me to watch now as grand makes such choices is how clearly child is evaluating both parents and situation, and deciding who is most apt to agree to the request. It is absolutely nothing to do with who she loves or how loved she feels. It is hard to hold on to this knowledge in the moment sometimes but important.
    What I find funniest (seeing the humor) is when s/he wants me to call a parent to get permission for something I know has been against the house rules and is precise about which parent I call … . Sometimes a phone call with camera working can be enough in 1 minute to calm the situation down. Lots of talking about behaviors in advance when the world is calm is also good. Another thing to remember is that children are trying to control their world and they need to see that while they have choices in some areas the parents are firmly, securely, in control … so the child is safe.Thank you for posting and all the memories that return.

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  3. I feel you!!! My son is super attached to me n would fight hubby on his turn so we changed things up hubby puts him to bed and I put him down for naps he no longer fights us on who puts him down… Lately he is becoming more of a daddies boy instead of running to me always… He still is attached to me but he’s trailing behind his dad more and more

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