YES. My children act differently with me than they do with Daddy, or anyone else for that matter. It’s a behavior that I’d read about and put in the back of my mental file cabinet, but I didn’t really worry too much about it, until now. WARNING — this post is going to be somewhat of a “vent.” I am in the thick of it. I have two toddler BOYS and Daddy has been out of state working, making me a “single” Mommy. I understand their both at ages where learning to control feelings and emotions as well as anxiety and neediness can kick it. They are also learning to have their own voice and exercise control..so there’s a lot going on! However, the level of whining and neediness has been going through the roof at times, my boys can just be so “extra.” I definitely think a lot of it has to do with the fact they don’t get to see Daddy everyday right now, because when he is around, they are just “different.”
Now here’s my vent. This scenario of “different with me, than with Daddy,” has become a source of frustration for me and a cause of angst between me and my other half. It seems every time I give him a rundown of happenings and talk about how I think I’m going looney or the boys are just so out of control with their meltdowns, he chalks it up to my “babying” them. The other popular “explanation” for their wildness with (exclusively) me, is that I’m not firm enough or I let them get away with too much. And — I do understand that he is doing his best to offer constructive insight into why I deal with certain issues with the boys that he does not… BUT I don’t think he truly gets the concept that BOYS/KIDS are different with their Moms than they are with their Dads (or others). Just the other day he said well, “They don’t defy me, so I must be doing something right.” I almost blew a gasket!!!
Alright, so now that I am a few days removed from that, I needed to do some research and write this post because I need to know if other Moms out there are going through these same motions and feeling my struggle!?!
I found this on theparentingdoctor.com –
Mothers symbolize NEEDS for children, and biologically kids are wired to associate the NEED for food and survival with their Mom. That is why kids will escalate their behavior to get attention (a connection) from their Mom anyway they can. Dads, on the other hand, symbolize trust, taking risks and play for kids. So kids don’t get so desperate for that critical attention from their fathers, as it is not an innate survival attachment.
According to an article on parents.com –
Experts say it’s typical for toddlers to make the parent who’s with them the most their main target for bad behavior.
So yeah, I’m not delusional…and I’m not saying there isn’t some truth to Daddy’s perspective on how I parent our children, but my stance is that since we are two different people, what works for him isn’t necessarily going to work for me. I just wish the other side could embrace that notion.
Am I taking it personal? Absolutely. Every day I think about how I can be a better parent and try to reflect on what works and what doesn’t and what I can do better. I read up on what the experts have to say on whatever the current situation is and I consult my wide network of Moms, from fellow bloggers, to other working moms, mom friends I grew up with and sometimes even the ones I bump into at the playground. It’s a tough job and while I am far from perfect, I am trying to do the best I can.
Overall, my boys are sweethearts. They are polite and well-mannered (needing occasional reminders) and very friendly. But they are boys and toddlers and they miss their dad, that’s a void I can’t fill. We FaceTime and talk on the phone, look at pictures of him and pass the time as best possible, until we get to see him again. They need their Daddy and they need me, they’re just different with me, than with Daddy.