This is the phrase most often heard in our household, along with: “Mummy make my breakfast”, “Mummy pick me up”, “Mummy read my book”, basically I am my daughter Lizzie’s personal assistant. My Hubby, Michael, finds this hard, he is very sensitive so has taken this as a massive rejection. It also means I get very little downtime, no chillaxing while daddy does bath-time for me!
At first I thought I had only two options:
- Ignore Lizzie’s pleas for me to: wash her, change her nappy, play with her, etc. and let Michael do it. This was Michael’s preferred option, he felt empowered but I felt terrible, I could hear Lizzie crying for me and it broke my heart. As a stay at home mum I spend the majority of my time meeting my daughter’s needs and then when Daddy was home I was ignoring them, this just didn’t sit well with me.
- I meet Lizzie’s needs and Michael has to just deal with it. This was hard too as then Michael looked like a sad puppy and felt like a spare part and I was exhausted.
Through the first two years of Lizzie’s life I oscillated between these two options, but recently I have discovered some new options that seem to be working better:
- There are some tasks with Lizzie that I will consistently do whether Michael is at home or not: bath-time is an example, we are in a routine, it works and honestly Michael just gets her too excited in the bath and it all ends in tears.
- Go through our routine with Michael in detail, how I respond to different situations, what works and what doesn’t work. This gives him a better chance of success when he is caring out different tasks.
- It easier if Michael starts a task rather than taking over from me, for example in the mornings I used to get up when Lizzie woke up, cuddle her, change her nappy and then take her to Michael and he would take her down for breakfast while I had my shower. Sounds a good plan, right? Only problem is that when I would hand her over, she would get so upset and Michael would struggle to calm her down. Now when she wakes up, he goes to her and she doesn’t see me until I have had my shower, no tears, no upset 🙂
Michael has also instigated daddy & daughter time where they go to the park or softplay every weekend, this has been a brilliant success, they both love it and it is the only time when Lizzie will cheerfully and easily leave me. I have noticed that after these sessions she is much more willing to let Michael take care of her.
Are there any other options?
I’m sure soon Lizzie with develop in to a daddy’s girl and I will be writing a post about coming to terms with that rejection.