One thing I’ve learned since having my son is kids are constantly changing. Just when you get used to one routine, their needs change. Their patterns change. Teething. Feeding. Sleeping. Growing. Talking. Learning. They are in a constant state of flux. I know this very well and yet the latest change has caught me quite by surprise.
The simplest way to put it, my son is so over me. At three years old, he has replaced mommy with daddy. Those little moments that I thought only mommy could handle are not mine anymore. At first, I was a tad caught off guard. I was a stay-at-home mom for nearly all his three years and so he was very attached to me. Only I could put him down for his naps or put him to sleep at night or care for him when he wasn’t feeling well. Now, he is over-the-moon happy to have daddy do all of the above. He has brought out the especially stinging phrase “No, not you mommy, daddy!” or I get the extra agitated whine when he calls out for help and I appear, not his daddy.
His new daddy obsession is slightly irritating and slightly exhilarating all at the same time. It’s irritating when he is adamant only daddy will do and I have to convince him I am just as capable or when he would rather snuggle up to daddy on the couch. That was my territory for so long. It is exhilarating though, because now I have some breathing room. After pregnancy, one year of breastfeeding, an additional two years as a stay-at-home mommy, it’s nice to see my son rely on dad so much. I am needed, just a little less needed. And that’s ok!
I am especially happy they are bonding. When I went back to work, my husband had to be more hands on. My son has adapted just fine to this transition and is thrilled to spend time with daddy. It certainly helps that they share interests like superheroes, Star Wars and listening to movie scores (I’m not kidding, they do this together). My husband is excited our baby is at such a fun age and they truly enjoy each other’s company.
I know I am only seeing the beginning of his independence from mom. Soon, he’ll be exerting independence from mom and dad. While hopefully a decade or more off, the day is approaching when he will be just fine throwing both of us to the curb. He’ll prefer his friends over hanging out with us on a Friday night. He’ll detest being seen with us in public. He’ll leave home, go off to college, get married one day. All these things, I hope for him. The bottom line-there is a long journey of detachment ahead and I’m just getting my first glimpse of it at three years old.
So what’s a less-needed mom to do? Well that’s a no-brainer. Plan her first post-child girl’s trip! Guilt-free.
What change(s) is your child going through right now? What’s been the toughest part of this transition for you?