Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sad. I'm just sad...

My daughter doesn't like me. Not in the way I always thought she would, anyway.

From very early on, it was obvious that Brigid was a daddy's girl. We couldn't persuade her to sit and cuddle with us very often, but when she did decide she was ready for a break? It was always a break with Steve. When we go places? She wants to hold daddy's hand. When we get into the car? She wants daddy to buckle her in. When you ask her who she loves, who is her favorite, who she wants to hang out with? The answer is almost always daddy.

When she's not feeling well? She wants her daddy.

And, I know, I should be happy about this. I shouldn't take it personally. Steve and Brigid have the kind of relationship that any daughter should have with her daddy. She adores him, and the feeling is mutual. They're very lucky to have each other.

But still, I wonder...what did I do wrong?

I know she loves me. I know, when there are other people around, she asks for me sometimes. But she also refuses to hug me sometimes, refuses to give me bedtime kisses, refuses to let me read books to her.

Because she wants her daddy.

Last night, we were in night two of Steve's three night business trip to Charlotte. And Brigid, upset about going to bed, started crying for her daddy. And I tried to tell her he wasn't home. I tried to ask her what mommy could do to help her feel better. And I got nothing more than 'I want my daddy'. Repeated over and over and over and over again. I tried to hold her, I tried to read to her, I tried to let her play with the iPad, I tried just lying next to her and rubbing her back.

My presence just seemed to make everything worse. And she never once stopped asking for Steve.

After about an hour of this, I told her I would go downstairs and try to find something to make her feel better. And then, I just went to bed and cried. At 8:45. I was too exhausted to do anything else.

For the next thirty minutes, she was mostly quiet, except when she'd call out for her daddy every few minutes. And then she fell asleep. Only to wake up this morning, asking for daddy again.

If this were an isolated incident, I'd chalk it up to her trying to get a rise out of me. But it's happened the last few times Steve has been out of town. It happens sometimes when he's in town, and I'm just trying to put her to bed. It happens at preschool, no matter who drops her off. It happens when my mother-in-law is driving Brigid back from lunch with friends. It happens when I get her up some mornings, and Steve is already at work.

She loves her daddy. I picked a great father for my kids. We should all be happy that we are so lucky in this situation, where I don't have to be enough for her. And yet, my heart is broken because I'm not enough for her. I can't comfort her when she is upset like her daddy can.

And that's tough to face.

Much like the job situation, I'm very much hoping that this is another product of crazy, raging pregnancy hormones, and I'll be able to process all of my feelings of inadequacy in a more realistic light six to twelve months from now. But at this moment? I feel like a crappy mom.

How am I supposed to do this all over again a second time?


  1. Tara, I don't comment often but your post is breaking my heart. I also have a Daddy's girl and it really tore me up when I was pregnant with her sister (who is a Mommy's girl - for better or worse!) B loves you. You are her Momma. You will find ways to connect with her. I promise. Hang in there.

  2. Aww Tara, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. You are definitely not a crappy mom, because you wouldn't be sad about Brigid wanting her daddy. You are not a crappy mom because you love her and care for her, which there a lot of women who have children and don't take care of them. Hopefully this is just a phase for both you and Brigid. Sending hugs :) Heather

  3. You are not a crappy mom! My Bridget is a daddy's girl as well, and I can see her doing the exact same things in a year that your Brigid is doing now. I sometimes have the same feelings you do, and I've even said that I really hope I have a mama's boy for our next child. It's nothing you're doing; your daughter loves you, too. She'll come around. Just keep loving her like you do. And hang in there. I know the pregnancy hormones don't help matters.

  4. Tara!! :( This post makes me sad. I'm a daddy's girl, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I was the oldest with two younger siblings. I craved attention! My sister hogged my mom (ALL. THE. TIME.) and my brother is sooo much younger that he needed his mommy. I hope this is just a phase for you and her!!

  5. I am sure you are a wonderful mom! They kids all go through phases and right now Daddy is king. Jack refuses to cuddle with me, only dad. At first I am so insulted, but I realized, it wan not that he hates me, but that he just wants his dad at the moment. Just stay strong...little girls always need their mommies.

  6. this is why they say daddy's girl and mama's boy! i think it's natural and gives them balance. don't take it personally even though it feels terrible sometimes. my daughter doesn't have her dad around, and even though we are close, inside i know she misses (needed) that bond with her dad. be happy B loves her dad...things will all even out in time. tell her you love her and that you are there for her if she needs you...and let her cry it out if she must :)

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