My Daughter Prefers my Husband

My husband and I have an almost 4 year old son and an almost 2 year old daughter. You know the phrase ‘daddy’s girl”? Well I didn’t realize how true that could be.

I do not think parents should have favorites. I think you can have favorite foods and books and movies, but I do not think people should have favorite children. My kids have such different strengths and personalities. They are their own people that grew inside of my body. Comparing them and picking a favorite would be like me trying to decide whether I should eat grass or dirt. It does not make sense to me.

Kids on the other hand, they sometimes do have favorites. It may be a stage or a million factors at play, but sometimes they do have favorites. My husband is my daughter’s favorite.

Awhile ago she had an especially intense stint of favoritism that lasted for several months. During that time she refused to say mommy. When I would reach out to pick her up she would point her finger at me, scream ‘NOOOOOO”, go to my husband, and burrow down as far as she could into his chest. If I tried to dress or change her it was a struggle while she cried out for daddy the entire time.

I would like to say it did not bother me. I would like to say I was a big enough person that I shrugged it off. I would like to say I was thankful I had a husband and she had a father that took care of her so well she could not be with out him. It did bother me though.

I did not cry myself to sleep at night, but my feelings were hurt. I had to taper back flash forwards of her being a teenage terror to me or talking to a shrink about her mommy issues as an adult. I just tried not to react or make a big deal of it. On occasion though a snarky comment was made. So mature, I know.

Eventually she started saying mommy again and stopped shrieking like I was violently trying to kidnap her. Nothing changed. I do not know why this little phase started or stopped. I say little phase, but a few months of this felt like a lot longer. She is totally on board and okay with mommy now, but she is still a daddy’s girl. And that’s okay.






14 thoughts on “My Daughter Prefers my Husband

  1. Oh, this makes me sad… of COURSE you feel hurt. Sometimes we feel as parents we should be above these feelings, but we have feelings too!

    When I was pregnant, far enough along for it to be obvious, I can’t tell you how many times random strangers would find out I was having a girl then say something like, “Girls like their dads better” or “be prepared for her to only want her dad.”

    It brought me to tears sometimes, especially with all the hormones (why would anyone say that to a pregnant lady!?). Eventually I got mad and decided people were smack-talking my daughter before she was even born. I wasn’t going to let them mess with our relationship. I don’t know if these things sometimes become self-fulfilling prophecies.

    So I bonded with her, no holds barred, but when she was around 1-2, she STILL went through phases of preferring her dad. She’d scream when I tried to hold her and be content with him. I tried to comfort myself by thinking about how important it is for girls to have good dads, but it still hurt.

    Fast-forward to age 3-4 and it isn’t true anymore. She’s extremely close to me. In fact, the pendulum swung the other way and now when my husband tries to read her a book, she yells “NO, I want MOMMY!” He tries to hold her hand she she runs away and grabs mine.

    And I can tell it hurts him, but I don’t want to “make” her hold his hand so it seems like a chore.

    Lately we’ve been biking though, and because of balancing issues, she’s been riding with her dad (I take our 2-year-old). They get about an hour of riding most night where they talk…

    I’ve noticed it making huge changes in their relationship. She’s excited when he comes home (she used to barely care) and she’ll hold his hand when we walk across the street and she says loving things to him.

    Sorry I’m going on so long, but you touched a nerve because I know how this feels. People love to tell moms how much daughters prefer their dads and it scares us.

    But I think kids go through phases of preferring one parent and it’s normal. They can switch over time. Maybe getting some one-on-one time with your daughter, talking with her, would help? The biking helped us.

    Or it will turn around in time. Kids go through all kinds of weird phases and this one will pass.

    Hang in there, momma. I’m sure your daughter loves you to pieces 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why do people do that when we are pregnant? I also found that before we knew the kids’ sex people tended to lean positively toward boys and negatively towards girls with their ‘little’ comments. It’s like issues are projected onto little girls before they are born.

      Yes one on one time is a
      Great idea. She will have one off nights occasionally where she doesn’t go to sleep till waaaaay late. I find myself not minding though because the boys are asleep and I realize I don’t l

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shame, that is so sad to read. I can imagine the hurt you were feeling during that time. I have no idea why little ones go through those sorts of phases. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to read their little minds at that time 🙂 One thing is for sure, she still loved you during that time….maybe she just thought she needed to give dad more attention at that time. 🙂


  3. This is a beautiful post, and so real. Good for you for being present with your own feelings and still loving your daughter and her process. 🙂 Glad she’s over the phase (well, mostly?), and many blessings to you and your whole family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I never want to force my kids to physically approach anyone they are uncomfortable to, I just never thought it’d be me.

      Yes she mostly out of it. I think she’s a daddy’s girl for sure but mom is okay too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so touched. Being mother is not easy, I could see that. I am single and I am scared for all such reasons to get married and have children. All these makes me to say I am better off single. I love kids though 🙂 However I can’t write a new destiny for myself and I have no idea what all struggles I am going to go through if I am taken to the mother road.

    Liked by 1 person

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