When you’re not the favorite

I love you mumma but not as much as I love dadda. The first time I heard this my heart broke a little bit. I swallowed my pride and hurt feelings and told Squidge that was OK. I told her I loved her no matter what and that it was OK to love some people more.

Then she said it again…

and again…

and again…

Little by little I began to become  resentful.  When I wake up early to wake her up, help her get dressed, brush her hair and her teeth and she gives me a load of grief a little part of me became angry.  Of course she loves her dad more he bops in and does all the fun stuff. I’m the one constantly haranguing her to get dressed. Stop reading that book for 5 minutes and eat your breakfast. Brush your teeth. Pick up your clothes. Tidy your playroom. Practice your piano.

Things came to an ugly messy head this morning when I needed to be at the dentist at 9am and Squidge needed to be somewhere at 9:30. We needed to be out of the house by 8:45 to accomplish this. She dawdled getting dressed. Disappeared when I called her to brush her teeth. Chose to read a book instead of putting on her shoes. I was stressed. I still needed to get MYSELF dressed and it was 8:30 already.  Dad was trying to help but he wasn’t much. I shouted. I threatened. I got fed up. Why was I stressing. I was just going to cancel my appointment and she and her favorite could sort themselves out. I called the dentist- no answer. I was their first appointment and no one was in yet. I told Dad I wasn’t going and he (and she) could just f**k off. We shouted. He picked me up and put me by the front door saying I was going and that was that and he wasn’t going to live with me being miserable over my teeth and I was NOT going to cancel my appointment. I shouted back I didn’t have time to get myself ready and her and I was going to be late…. well it was ugly. Lots of shouting and for people who generally get along and don’t really shout at each other in anger it was tough.

In the end I went to the dentist… late. She made it to her thing… early.

Still my feelings are hurt. I resent the fact that she doesn’t love me as much as she loves her dad. I resent that I moved thousands of miles from my family only to be a second class citizen in my own little family. I resent that I gave up work to focus on her only to end up being second. I resent that I chauffeur her around to ballet, singing, gymnastics, swimming, piano, playdates… you name it I’m the go to person.  I resent I do all these things for her and she loves me less.

So ya I’ve been snippy today. She’ll ask me something and I tell her to ask her dad… he’s her favorite after all. She runs off crying. I feel like shit.  She asks if she can stay up to read. I tell her to ask her dad… he’s her favorite.  She cries and tells me that she loves me too! I feel like shit because WTF am I playing at? She’s only SIX and I’m much much older than her. I’m her mother and I should be able to be bigger than this. I KNOW that she loves me. I KNOW why she prefers her dad. I KNOW all these things in my head but today I think I heard it one too many times and my heart isn’t letting my head have a say.

She’s in bed right now reading… with dad. I’m hoping that tomorrow will be another day… a fresh start. I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll pull up my big girl undies and get over myself. She loves me as much as she does and that should be enough for me…

 

12 Comments

  1. mariel
    August 31, 2012 /

    ive always been closer to my dad, and my brother has always been closer to my mom. thats just how it always was and still is. mat was always closer to your mom, so ive heard, than your dad. maybe you need to have a boy?! haha. but my mom was always the “mean” one too…but that doesnt mean now, as an adult, that i dont love her and wouldnt do anything for her. but beware…i think it will get worse when shes a teenager! and still, to this day, i will have HUGE arguments with my mom-but never my dad. weird? might not make you feel better….sorry! 🙁

    • Lindy
      September 1, 2012 /

      Oh this does not make me happy. Squidge and I have always been good but recently she’s pushing boundaries… I think.

  2. kelloggsville
    August 31, 2012 /

    Yes, tomorrow is always another day and it always starts with no mistakes in it but, I’m not sure you have made a mistake today. She is only 6 yes, but she also needs to understand that if she is going to say things that hurt peoples feelings then the outcome isn’t always good. I don’t think that it is ok that she is playing you and your OH off against each other, I wonder if she is worried that she isn’t top of your pecking order and this is her way of showing that she is creating her own (of course it isn’t the case but 6 year old minds are very, well… 6!) or I wonder if her friends at school have started the ‘I like her more than you campaign’ – girls do it alot – and she is now playing it out at home but where she is the one in control. Who knows why, times I got into these kind of shouty messes and time and time again the problem ended up passing. ‘This too shall pass’ and all that – in the meantime I think it’s perfectly acceptable to let the two best buddies ‘do it together’ for a bit. They’ll both realise what a linch pin you are in their lives very quickly. Sending a bucket of patience and a reminder that all homes get a little shouty sometimes xxxx

    • Lindy
      September 1, 2012 /

      I hope that is what I got across to her- that she hurt my feelings. OH is trying to not let her play us off each other but it’s tough. How are you and your daughter? Are you close or is she daddy’s girl? You are my future ya know!

      • KelloggsVille
        September 3, 2012 /

        Mostly we get on well. After reading this post I asked her if we were on a sinking ship and she could only save me or her dad who would she choose (mean question I know but she is a lot older than Squidge and can reason this sort of thing out now) she refused to choose. I tried to force her hand and she decided to let us both drown and that dear Lindy is your future LMAO, they just decide to ditch both parents xD

        • Lindy
          September 4, 2012 /

          This made me snort!

  3. September 1, 2012 /

    I get this too – my daughter is very much a Daddy’s girl, and frequently tells me she loves him more than me. Most noticeable when she’s upset about something when she only wants him. When my son was born we got into the habit of me always reading his stories and putting him to bed whilst my husband did the same for my daughter. After a year or so we decided we were making a rod for our own backs, so now we alternate who puts who to bed each night. Oh the fights we have when it’s my turn for my daughter. I have been close to tears on numerous occasions 🙁

    There’s a very interesting TED talk about some studies that show that Dads tend to be closer to their last-born daughters and Mums tend to be closer to their first-born sons. I certainly have very different relationships with both my kids, but I would never say I loved one more than the other. I’m not sure 4 or 6 year olds have the maturity to understand that love can feel different with different people and it doesn’t mean you love one “more”.

    If it’s any consolation, the two times the geekdaughter has been really poorly (febrile convulsions), she only wanted me, not her father, so I’m pretty sure she does love me when it counts. I think Daddy just gets to do more “fun” stuff!

    • Lindy
      September 1, 2012 /

      See I only have one so if she’s daddy’s girl who do I get??? Whaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Will look at the TED talk but not sure how it’ll work for us as she’s a girl and an only. I KNEW I should have had another! LOL

  4. September 1, 2012 /

    I think you need to make allowances for her age – at her age, I’m not sure Squidge understands exactly what she’s saying. You hear “I love you” but what she may well mean is “Daddy is more fun” or “I like spending time with Daddy” – or something different to what you mean by it. Kids tend to be very immediate and definite with their emotions.

    I also agree with Kellogsville that she’s old enough to understand that not every thought should be shared and sometimes it’s kinder not to. Maybe say something like, “It’s okay to feel differently about people, but it can be unkind to tell someone they’re not your favourite” should be understandable to her.

    Hugs, though. It’s tough and I understand why you feel gutted. As Mums we often get the less fun aspect of parenting, I know.

    • Lindy
      September 4, 2012 /

      Thanks Sally. I don’t want to tell her that her feelings are wrong. I can’t force her to feel a certain way which is why I had initially told her it was OK that she loved Dad best. I think your suggestion that she not share her every thought might be just the thing.

  5. September 1, 2012 /

    I think knowing that you aren’t alone on this helps. At least we know that it’s normal that mum and daughter might have this kind of problem. I was at the point when I told myself, I give up, maybe this is how me and my 4 years old are gonna be forever, we just don’t get along. But then maybe it’s not that bad after all… *hugs* hope that tomorrow is a better day for you x

    • Lindy
      September 4, 2012 /

      It does help to know I’m not alone.