OMG, I Think My Toddler Can't Stand Me
By Mouthy Housewives on November 18, 2011
Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here to help, three times a week. Today, the Housewives answer an exclusive BlogHerMoms question!
I have two boys: a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. I stayed at home with them after they were born, but a few years ago I decided to switch careers and went back to school. In order to study, I send the 2-year-old to the babysitter (my neighbor) for an hour and a half three days a week while my 4-year-old is at pre-school. That way I can catch up on homework rather than stay up till 2 a.m. However, since I started sending him in September, he began to hate me! He doesn't want me to talk to him or touch him and all he wants is his dad from the moment he wakes up in the morning till he goes to bed at night. When my husband is home, the little one clings to him like glue! I am sad and hurt. Help?
Mama Non Grata
Dear Mama Non Grata,
First of all, good for you that you’ve gone back to school and are working on a new career. Every one of us parents knows how hard that is as well as the huge amount of sacrifice you’re making. You should be immensely proud of yourself.Brava!
Now, on to your dilemma. Speaking as someone who raised two two-year-olds without being hospitalized for mental exhaustion even once, I feel fully capable of telling you what I know about those sweet, little creatures with the adorable faces: they’re batshit crazy
And trust me, I don’t mean “batshit crazy” in a “ha, ha, he thinks that plastic bowl is a hat!” kind of way. No, I mean “batshit crazy” in a “my toddler is basically a mini-Charlie Sheen wearing Gymboree pants and a Batman cape” kind of way. Seriously, I think Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was probably written after Robert Louis Stevenson tried to give a bowl of ice cream to a 2-year-old who missed his nap that day. “I said I want shokolate, not strallbewwy! Argh! I’m going to my waboratory!”
What I’m trying to say (in The Mouthy Housewives way) is that preferring one parent over another is completely normal for this age. It’s definitely just a phase. My sons both did it to me and it absolutely didn’t have anything to do with babysitters or preschool. And while I know it’s tough to not take his rejection personally, I really wouldn’t freak out about it.
But if at all possible, see if you can carve out a half-hour here and there to spend some alone time with your son and make him feel special. I did this with my oldest kid and called it “Sam & Mommy Time.” I always made a huge deal out of it and told him we could do whatever he wanted, just as long as it didn’t involve firearms or Celine Dion music, and he absolutely loved it. Try it and I think you'll be happy with the results.
And when you’re all together at home, it's definitely okay if your son prefers your husband for now. If he’s like most kids, it won’t last long and he’ll soon be clamoring for his Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! once again. Just let your husband enjoy his moment in the sun while you go get some much needed rest.
Good luck to you!
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