22 October 2012

Feeling like a Failure

I have been feeling less than inspired to blog lately, as you can see.

The reason behind it is pretty simple: I haven't wanted to. The reason behind not wanting to is a little more complex.

Recently Natalie has become more and more attached to Matt. I think it began with our trip to the beach in September. We were all together everyday for four days straight. She realized how much fun Daddy is.

It was really cute at first because it wasn't extreme. She'd follow him around from room to room or reach out for him to hold her. No big deal, she still wanted me.

In the past week or so she's been absolutely nuts about him. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to see the two of them connect and bond together.

The thing is that she doesn't want me anymore and she freaks out if I try and hold her when he's around. She cries for him, stretches her arms across the room to try and reach him, and if he has to hand her off to me she grips onto him for dear life.

I feel guilty admitting this and stupid saying it but it's made me feel a little depressed, hence the lack in posting.

It  hurts my feelings that she chooses him over me and in a weird way it makes me feel like I'm failing as a mother.

I'm the one she's with all day, the one who plays with her, feeds her and takes care of her. Why doesn't she feel closer to me? Am I doing something wrong? Can she sense when I get impatient or frustrated with her? Am I not nurturing enough? What is it?

If I were on the outside looking in I would tell myself that I'm  over reacting and reading too far into it. I would shake myself and scream, "She's ten fucking months! She is not judging you! Pull it together!"

That's when I start to feel guilty.

I know I should just suck it up and be happy. I have it made. A beautiful daughter, sweet husband and a thoroughly good life. Why am I focusing on one negative aspect that is hopefully just a phase?

In the big picture, who the hell really cares if she has a preference right now? I'm still her mom, I'm still raising her and when she grows up I'm sure we'll still have a great relationship.

It's just so hard to shake this feeling of inadequacy. It's so hard not to feel like less of a mom because of this. The funny thing is I would never think twice about a mother going through the same thing. I'd never say, "Her baby prefers her husband over her, she must be doing something wrong."

Why are we as mothers, as women so damn hard on ourselves?

Took a family trip to Front Royal yesterday. 

14 Thoughts :

Stephanie October 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM  

Girl, I've been there and I'll probably be there again. Chloe went through a few week spurt where she was such a daddy's girl. We have the opposite though, she's home with him all day so I just assumed she was more used to him. It upset me b/c during the little time I got with her at night, all she wanted was her daddy. Like I was missing something special the two of them shared. I do think each parent has their own bond with their children and it's definitely a phase. I guess on a positive note, you can use this phase as a time to do things for yourself. Go run a few errands in the evening, read a book, something on your own while Natalie and her daddy get to spend time together and you don't feel bad. I'm gonna be the one on the outside looking in saying don't read too far into it. You'll be her favorite next week. :)

Megan October 22, 2012 at 1:37 PM  

First of all, that picture?? oh my holy cuteness!!!

Second, you said everything I would already say to you. All I can say is you know she loves you and you are PLENTY enough for her. YOU are her mother, no one else. And there isn't a better mother out there for Natalie besides you!

Kyleigh is a major daddy's girl. Every day when she wakes up, where's daddy? when's daddy coming home? all. day. every. day. It use to bother me but now I embrace it. She has a wonderful daddy who loves her and she loves.

Just look at that happy, smiling, beautiful babygirl. You ARE definitely doing something right. :)

Katie October 22, 2012 at 1:42 PM  

So I feel a little lame posting a comment as I have absolutely zero experience or advice to offer. BUT I can only imagine that I would feel the exact same way. I'm sure this is just a phase and you are a fantastic mother. However, I feel like you feelings are completely warranted.

Shannon October 22, 2012 at 2:17 PM  

Oh girl - I think this is so common. Especially when you are the one with her nearly all the time and Daddy is a novelty. Daddy is the fun one right now, but I betcha anything that when she's sick or needs loving, she's all about you b/c you are her primary care giver.

And that picture? Seriously - - she's just too gorgeous.

Venassa October 22, 2012 at 2:48 PM  

I haven't experienced this myself, since I'm all that Chloe really knows since I'm the single mother and her father is only in the picture twice a month. She's not as extreme about it, but my boyfriend's daughter prefers him to her mother, simply because he's the one she doesn't see as much so he's more special to her. He's not the one who says no or enforces the rules, he's just fun daddy. I think Natalie just knows you're always there, and since her father is there a little less she's more amazed by him right now. I'm sure (and I hope) it'll pass very soon. To be honest, I think I'd be quite jealous and hurt over it too. We all want to be the favorite parent.

Krista October 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM  

You have it right, we are WAY harder on ourselves than necessary. Needless to say I went through something similar with youngest. He all the sudden was being hurtful to me and calling me names. It did not last but it sure hurt while I was going though it. Hang in there Sean, it won't last. No one can fill your place as her mama.

Anonymous October 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM  

Sean you are way too hard on yourself! Natalie clings to me (guess I am not anonymous anymore) because usually when I hand her to you I leave for most of the day and maybe she just doesn't want me to go because she likes us all to be together. You are a wonderful mother and Natalie has just gotten used to the fact that you will always be there and I am popping in and out of her life (stupid work!).

I am the big fun daddy who lets her touch the ceiling and throws her in the air and she enjoys our time together, but, I am not her number one choice! That would be her Pap Pap who takes her on bike rides, feeds her ice cream and takes her to the water to feed the ducks. She always reaches for him when I am holding her. She is a silly baby girl and who knows what her actual reasoning is. Maybe she just likes our facial hair!

You are doing everything right! You are a wonderful mother! I bet you and Natalie having a good time at this very moment!

Ashley October 22, 2012 at 4:02 PM  

I am new to your blog, and enjoy reading your posts. Anyway, I think it is in our heads, as women, to be critical and super perfectionist of ourselves. When things don't go as expected then it's always our fault. It's the standard that we impose on ourselves in order to be "super mom". We know it's ridiculous yet we do it....

My son is only 2 months old and is still in that stage of needing his mama since I'm his food source. I know that one day this will happen. My heart will probably break a little because I'm possessive and crazy like that! Ha ha ha. Don't get me wrong; I want my son to be close to his daddy too...but, maybe a bit closer to his mama. ;)


Marjorie October 22, 2012 at 4:19 PM  

Evangeline is doing this too!! All she wants is Chris. Everyone keeps telling me "she's a Daddy's girl." I think it's cute, but I hoping it's just a phase?

Kate @ Daffodils October 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM  

Ugh this is a tough when! Bennett cries every.time. Kev leaves the house in the morning. Me? Doesn't blink an eye. And if Kev goes in the garage to get a tool and comes back in 30 seconds later, the boys go nuts to see them. It is almost like they take us Mommas for granted because they are with us all day? I am sure it is just a phase though and you know that she loves you very much. I mean let's be honest, I get excited when Kev gets home from work too :) Hang in there!!

Sarah October 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM  

I literally JUST blogged about this a few days ago. Same thing around these parts! I would say that Drew is already kinda back in the middle and it was only a phase that lasted a few weeks. Definitely don't be too hard on yourself!

Jazz October 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM  

Aww I'm sorry you're feeling like this, but yessss you are being too hard on yourself!!
No one knows what babies are thinking (unless there are mind readers out there), so there's no saying she prefers Matt over you :)
I don't know if this is really relevant, but it reminds me of those things you hear about where the kids whose parents have split up, spend the weekend with their dad (or mum) and the parent takes them to do all cool things like the cinema and McDonalds and buys them presents, then when the kids return to their main home, they're all wingey and grumpy because they're with the parent who they see all the time and the one who doesn't have as much time to do all that 'cool' stuff. But they don't see that their mum (or dad) is actually the one providing them with the most things in life. Kids and babies are just oblivious to certain things, but they always realise eventually that both parents are on a parr (most the time), and (normally) there isn't just one 'cooler' or 'better' parent. Well I think so anyway. They're all in a world of their own to be honest. I've probably made you feel worse, sorry if I have!!
Don't be too down about it though! Maybe have a fun day out just you and Natalie?
By the way, she looks so damn cute in that pic.

marie October 25, 2012 at 2:53 PM  

I am sorry for that pit in your heart right now. My kids never went through this as babies but they've made up for it now. My oldest told me point blank (that's what I get for asking the hypothetical question "If we got divorced who would you guys want to live with?") "You're nurturing & stuff mom but dad's just more fun".

My kids have an awesome dad. I take full credit for giving them him.

I am sure this is just a phase. Everything is so new to kids they're just trying to figure it all out like the rest of us. Maybe after the vacation she thought he would be around more and now that he's back to work she's confused and thinks he's going away for good. Oh to get into the mind of a baby.....

Megan October 25, 2012 at 10:42 PM  

Ughh. I accidentally deleted your comment on my.blog. They really should have an "are you sure you want to delete this" button.

Anyway. She has 8 teeth. 4 top, 4 bottom. And yup, they are strawberry birthmarks. I was told they should go away by the time she is 5, definitely by the time she is 10.