But I Love Daddy More…


Ouch, it still burns.  My son said this to me the other night before bed.  And he must have known that it was breaking my heart by the look on my face, because he followed with, “It’s ok, mommy. I still love you. I just love Daddy more. He’s my buddy.”  Ouch, again!

I kissed him goodnight and proceeded to my room where I broke down and did the “ugly mom” cry.  I was so tired, worn down, hungry, and stressed, and I just broke.  “I do EVERYTHING for him,” I cried to my husband.  “I try so hard to be fun!”

But the truth is, no matter how hard I try to be fun, I also have to be hard on him. My husband and I are trying to shape our kids into kind and respectful human beings. And because I am with my boys alone more than my husband, I am the “mean” one, and daddy is the “fun” one.  I am not saying my husband doesn’t discipline. He does, but I do more only because of the extra time I spend with them.

I mentioned this painful experience to a few of my mommy friends, and I was surprised to find that, unfortunately, this was super common and normal.  I was met with similar stories of harsh words from toddlers, and stories where my friends felt just like me, like they had failed as a mom. We’ve all been there. We are all so hard on ourselves.

But one of my friends said something really interesting when I told her what my son had said, “Aww, that is so cute. It’s great that he is buddies with his daddy.”  

Wait, what?  

She was right. . . I hadn’t thought about it that way. It is great that he is buddies with his daddy. I want my boys to be super close to their dad. In fact, I want them to have a special relationship, don’t I?

I think that kids need moms and dads for different things and may feel stronger towards one or the other in different situations or in different stages of their lives. But, isn’t that wonderful?  Why should I feel pressure to be the perfect “everything” for my son all the time? I have a teammate. We both have parenting strengths and weaknesses.  We work together, and our kids love us both.

The same goes for grandparents- every kid knows it’s more fun at Grandma’s house… right? Of course! Do you ever feel like your kids love grandma or grandpa more? Don’t.

I know my son loves me.  And I know, he is 3 years old and can’t fully understand his feelings.  Maybe he just thinks wrestling with daddy after work is a little more fun, or maybe bedtime with daddy’s stories are just better than mine after a long day. And that’s ok. I know he loves me.  I’m pretty sure when we are belting out the Lion King in the car together or getting a special treat at Starbucks together or baking together, he is having fun.  And I’m pretty sure if he got a tummy ache this afternoon or a scraped knee, he’d be running to me for healing kisses.  Maybe in those instances, he needs me more and maybe he’d even say, he loves me more.

So the next time your toddler makes you feel less than loved, remember it’s normal. And be happy that there are others, daddies or grandparents who love your child and that your child loves in return. It should never be a competition.  



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