Tuesday, December 27, 2011

She hates me!

J. driving through the snow at the end of Christmas day, me crying silently in the passenger seat, and then he sees the tears gleaming in the soft orange streetlights.  He asks what's wrong and the words claw their way up my throat, burning as they go.  "She hates me!"

The rational explanation for this charming scene is that S is going through a quite normal developmental stage of preferring one parent (obviously not me) to the other.  I'm trying to be mature about this, but the fact is it really hurts my feelings and I'm starting to have trouble dealing with it.  Spending several full days with S. over the holidays made it clear she doesn't only prefer J. anyone is better company than I am. 

I don't really write about my relationship with my family of origin to respect their privacy, so I'll just say I have an awkward relationship with my mom in particular.  She's not comfortable communicating in my love language and I often question to this day whether she loves me at all.  She certainly doesn't like me much.  So I was excited to be having a girl - here was the chance to be the mother I wanted.

Yet every time I try to cuddle S. or kiss her, she twists away, looking for something fun to do, anything other than sit in her mommy's lap for a few minutes.  I know this is probably normal for an 18-month-old, especially my busy little bee.  And how wonderful that she has a daddy she adores and who lights up every time he sees her.

But my heart aches anyway.

16 comments:

  1. Ok just a word of encouragement...my 3Yo(who I almost died having) preferred my hubby over me for about 6 months. It was excruciating! I gave my life's blood and uterus for him. What was wrong? But eventually he came back and now he comes to me and I love it! It is just a phase but it doesn't hurt any less. Persevere and she will turn around! For girls, the daddy relationship is so important! Let her develop that! She will be less likely to get pregnant as a teen and do better in school! Praying for you!

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  2. ((((hugs))))
    my daughter is going through the same thing -- only it is me she clings to & wants nothing to do with her father sometimes & i find myself constantly trying to even things up because i know how much it hurts his feelings. he even made a comment about it over xmas -- how she likes me better. :( no matter what side of the fence you are on -- you are either hurting for yourself or for the shunned parent -- & it sucks!
    but the good news is that it is only a phase!!
    she will get over this & you will be wondering why you cannot even go the bathroom alone without her in tow!
    hang in there sweetie!

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  3. I have been there, had that exact same crying session, and I know it feels HORRIBLE! As much as you want to be rational and reasonable, it still just really hurts. My oldest went through this phase and it broke my heart- she refused to say Mama, even though she called everyone else and all the DOGS by name... it really seemed like she wanted nothing to do with me, but she was so happy to see everyone else. BUT she snapped out of it really quickly when her little sister was born. Once Mama wasn't constantly available 24-7, it became a whole other story, and now she's clingy like you wouldn't believe!
    So, I know it sucks, but it doesn't mean what it FEELS like it means, at least. HUGS!

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  4. Been there, too. When my two kids were very small, I was still in the Navy and was gone for a considerable amount of time. Luckily, I saw both their births, their first steps, first day in school, and heard their first words. So (probably naturally) they tended to prefer their Mom. But, now that one is in college and one is a HS senior (and my Navy career is seven years gone), they pretty much hate us both equally (just KIDDING). Seriously, my wife and I share their love. They prefer her for certain things and prefer me for certain things. You'll get there. Trust me, by the time Sasha is a teenager, you'll BOTH be blamed for ruining her life. :-)

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  5. my daughter shunned me for a bit. and she wouldn't say mama for ages after she's been calling dada by name. and she was never one for snuggling, awake or asleep, so i felt like i didn't get the love i needed from her, but that changed.
    but like you said, knowing it's normal doesn't make it feel any nicer when it's happening.

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  6. Been there, done that with both kids. I think it is harder when it's the daughter shunning you because you just want this special bond, totally agree. So I had to figure out what it was that Olivia absolutely LOVED (in her case it was reading and music) so only I take her to the library, book store, record store, etc. And she knows if she goofs off not only do we leave, but she isn't going back with dad. So it's kind of our thing now that she's 6, and that's usually when she will talk to me about stuff going on at school, etc. Good luck!

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  7. When I had Emma I was still working so she spent the first year of her life with my mom. We would drop her off around 8 and pick her up by 5:30 or so. She obviously preferred my mom over me for quite some time and it did break my heart. Especially because like your relationship with your mother mine is also fraught with complications (I mean, whose isn't I suppose?). Just before she turned 1 I became a stay at home mom. I remember the first time she fell and hurt herself and came to me instead of my mom. It was a victory! She still loves her Ba-chan immensely and loves to spend the night there, but told me that one night is enough because after that it's too long and she misses mama and daddy. On the other hand she is absolutely not a Daddy's girl and has only started going to him for comfort. She wouldn't sit with him or give him kisses or anything I know that broke his heart. She's coming around, finding that she has lots in common with him (they both like to tinker with building things) and now that she has a younger sister she likes to hang out with Daddy more and more. It'll change at some point, it always does, but know that she loves you more than you can imagine!

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  8. My heart ached too when my daughter did this at that age. It is hard not to take it personal. LOL.
    Know that she will come around, and it's not you or the type of mother you are. Just you being concerned shows how caring you are. And I'm so sorry you feel that way about your mom. I always felt I wasn't pretty enough or skinny enough for my mom (she was a beauty queen). I tried, but...didn't measure up. It's not a good feeling!

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  9. And then she'll be 12 and glued to your side. Little girls grow up to like the momma better.

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  10. Wait for it. My little girl was the same way. Most girls gravitate towards their dads but when worse come to worse she will come to you. There will be times you wished she hadn't. Keep lovin on her. She'll be ok.
    My daughter is 17. There were a couple of "I hate you's" thrown my way. It was hard to look her in the eye and say
    "That's ok. I love you anyway and always will>" Now I'm her hero and she loves me. Patience.
    I'm nominating you for an award on the 5th. Look for it. :)

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  11. Sorry :( From the comments it sounds like a common thing so at least it's not personal. But I'm sure you're waiting for the day she outgrows this phase.

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  12. Awww honey girl ((((super hug)))) I think it is something all us mommy's are going to go through. This weekend it was all about me with my little one and last weekend it was all about daddy and the week before all about our dog Coco. I am not going to lie it HURTS like hell when she is daddy daddy ans she will not even come up and hug me. But I have learned just too let it go. What I usually do is let her have daddy and I will go do some girly crap and after 25 minutes she is looking for mommy. Don't let it get you down it is just a phase......

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  13. I have two girls. The first one is a total daddy's girl. She is so into him it is ridiculous. I've felt my share of jealousy. The second one is all about me, she just thinks I am the coolest thing in the world. Now daddy gets to be jealous. In the end they both love us, they just express it differently. And yes 18 month olds are squirmy and do not sit still for kisses or snuggles.

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  14. Hey gave you an award today. A little free advertisement never hurts right? lol

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  15. Two of my three girls are like this. It can be so hard. It's amazing, though; the older they get, the more they seem to be transforming into mommy's girls. That, I like ;)

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  16. I so remember that stage. With my first, I felt so abandoned. I even wrote about it in her baby book.

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Lend me some sugar!