Yes, this is about dealing with the fact that your only child likes you second best. It can be very hard when you physically grew that child and nurtured them, only to have them come out looking like your spouse, and favoring them! I say most of this in jest, but let’s be honest, sometimes it can be hard on your emotions when you realize your child has a favorite parent. Obviously this would be a whole other story if there were more kids in the picture, but when you have one child to shower with love and affection, favoritism doesn’t always feel the greatest.
Being second best ‘parent of the year’ was something that I had to come to terms with and understand how to deal with it quite quickly. Like, what do you do when you’re kid only wants to kiss and cuddle your husband, or will only eat dinner if he’s being held by Dada, but only “dada”?! Well, I don’t really have a definitive answer, but I do know that the first thing to realize, is that it doesn’t mean that you have loved your child any less. For most moms, and especially stay-at-home moms, we are a fixed person in our child’s life, we are always there. Therefore, they don’t feel the need to say “mama” first, or scream with excitement when we arrive home, because in their minds, we are always there, we never leave them.
Without the presence of Chase, you would think that I was the favorite parent, but put him back into the daily equation (like weekends), I am simply the one who provides sustenance and entertainment…Haha! Don’t worry, he usually has his ‘lovey’ moments when he just wants to cuddle with me, but there are also the times when he has fallen and my mama heart just wants to love on him, but he’d rather be held by his dad and want nothing to do with me. Those times are definitely hard, because I just want him to love me the same way all the time, and I question my love and actions, thinking I’m at fault. No one is at fault, some kids just prefer one parent at certain times, it doesn’t mean there is no bond between you and your child! Oliver may be a momma’s-boy someday (fingers crossed), but if he doesn’t I will know that it’s not because he loves me less. Love, it is an unexplainable thing.
There is no secret formula to making sure your child loves both parents the same. Love can be shown in so many different ways, so I want to encourage you to not feel disheartened or discouraged. It may also feel that since you are the one primarily dishing out discipline/punishments, they may see you as a less loving parent, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As your kid gets older, and they are able to wrap their mind around discipline, they will see that you weren’t being the ‘bad cop’, you were showing them love by leading them on the right path.
I hope this helps, even if it lets you know that you aren’t alone in these feelings, and we all go through these types of seasons of motherhood and life.