Being the Least Preferred Parent – Sometimes it Sucks!

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that our daughter prefers her mum to her dad. To be honest, it’s not even close. I know that I am the least preferred parent. And the vast majority of the time I have been totally fine with it. But I’ll be honest and admit that lately it’s started to get to me.

I'm certainly looking like the least preferred parent when I'm getting smacked in the face

Being the Least Preferred Parent – Sometimes it Sucks!

I suppose I should start this off by saying that a huge part of the reason I’m the least preferred parent is because my wife still breastfeeds. When you’re the one who’s literally exclusively feeding the baby for the first 6 months, and then continuing when weaning starts, you’re naturally going to form a much stronger bond.

It’s not like my wife is just a food source for my daughter either. That’s barely even what it’s about to a 20 month old toddler. It’s also about comfort and connecting with her mother. She doesn’t really need the milk as much these days. I know this as she goes a full 12 hours when my wife is in work without it. But what she does miss is that comfort.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I regret the fact my wife breastfed. No chance. I’m just saying that I’m not really surprised I’m the least preferred parent when I’m up against a person with milky boobs!

breastfeeding meme baby wants mom not dad
This is very accurate

When I’m with my daughter all day, she might enjoy her time with me, but I know she would still prefer it if she had her mum

As mentioned my wife works 12 hour shifts. She’s basically out of the house from 6:15am to 7:30pm. Almost every single time she works Isabelle will have a couple of moments throughout the day where she pines for her mother.

When your daughter is trying to open a drawer because she knows there are photos of her mum in there and all she wants to do is look at them and point at her, it’s a little bit frustrating. Especially when she then wants to cry about it. Sometimes I find it funny. Other times it upsets me.

I guess it’s all the little things that add up. She very rarely ever wants to give me a kiss – and I don’t make her – but she’s usually more than happy to give my wife one. Sometimes my wife has to carry her around because she doesn’t want to come to me. She might not want to get in the shower with me but will jump in with my wife. If she’s had any sort of bump or she’s the slightest bit ill then it’s all about mummy.

After a while it gets a little upsetting. Either that or I’m just an overly emotional person who’s totally overthinking this and is being a slight knobhead.

I’ve Always had an up and down bond with my daughter – Mind you, I’m like that with most people

I know you’re supposed to love your children all the time and all that bollocks, and of course I do. But I’ll openly admit that I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve struggled with my bond with Isabelle.

If you want a little insight into how my mind works – good luck! – then I can tell you that when I feel that someone doesn’t care, even the slightest little hint, I pretty much fully shut down emotionally. This could get pretty complicated and a detailed account of my thought process isn’t exactly what this post is about. Let’s just say there’s probably a reason I don’t have any real life friends. I’m just a dick.

Basically, when I feel that Isabelle is in one of her “I want mam not you” moods and she seemingly doesn’t care about me, I have to try very hard not to flick to “Well I’d rather the dogs then.” Ironically though, I just want mam home too!

I guess my point in all of this is at the moment I sometimes just want to cry when it feels like Isabelle doesn’t care. When it’s the first thing in the morning and my wife shouts down “come and have her” and I meet Isabelle at the top of the stairs only for her to run and hide in the spare room, it gets to me. She did it the other day and I just put my head down and felt like crying about it. Which is stupid, she’s just a toddler. But I can be stupid sometimes.

I know She Loves me but sometimes knowing someone would prefer to have someone else is hard

I'm the least preferred parent, but I dare say she still loves me

Look, I know Isabelle loves me. Well, I’m guessing she does. You never actually know. But it’s still hard sometimes knowing that she would MUCH prefer to have her mum and I’m by far the least preferred parent.

Maybe it doesn’t help at the moment that she’s possibly going through some sort of mental leap with her speech, and whenever she’s having one of these leaps she just wants my wife a lot more.

I just hope that she’ll come round to liking me a little bit more fairly soon. I know I’m a bit of a dick, but I am a loveable one!

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I know I'm the least preferred parent. For the entirety of my parenting life that has been the case. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, but lately it has started to get to me slightly. So this is what it's like being the least preferred parent.



I’m a 26 year old married father of one. I started blogging after suffering postnatal depression when Isabelle was born. These days I talk about much more than just that.

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1 Comment

  1. Lizzie Dewar
    5th January 2019 / 6:16 pm

    It’s a tough age. She still can’t quite communicate her needs and emotions, and sometimes when it all gets too much she probably wants the comfort for Mum, especially as she still breastfeeds. It’s the absolute constant she’s had in her young life.
    As a mmu it’s be the preferred parent. That absolute unconditional love from your child and also knowing you are a comfort to them when they are sad, or frustrated, or hurt. But sometimes, it would be great if we weren’t the preferred parent. When you are tired and touched out and when you just want 5 minutes to be ME and not MUM. When sometimes I need support, but I am the support. Those moments, I wish I wasn’t the preferred parent.
    The other side of the coin!

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