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15 Month Old Prefers Dad

Just wondered if other moms ever felt bad that their toddlers prefer Dad because he is the "fun guy" and I am the one who does the more unpleasant tasks like baths, diaper changes, toenail clipping, ear cleaning etc. In short, my husband works 60+ hours a week and is gone overnight 3-4 nights a week. While my 15 month old son and I have a wonderful time together when my husband is at work, when he gets home my son wants nothing to do with me! He will scream until my husband picks him up and if I try to pick him up he will scream for Daddy. My sweet baby boy who will spend hours playing with me when daddy is not home wont let me hold him or play with him. I have read about this in parents magazine but it is always the Dad who is left out and the children prefer Mom since she is the primary caregiver during the day. My husband is all "fun"and I know boys always like thier daddys but I thought at this young age I would get a little "mommy preference". Has anyone else ran into this or am I a big minority here? Today I had tears in my eyes when my husband got to spend the evening playing with my son and he completely wanted nothing to do with me. What am I doing wrong here? I know it is childish to feel this way but I cant help it. Also, my husband doesnt seem to want to help the situation and I get the feeling he actually finds it flattering.

What can I do next?

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Hi T.,
I have 2 daughters who are very much daddy's girls. In the beginning, my youngest daughter was closer to me...but as she got older (around a year old), she began wanting her dad too. I started feeling like the odd man out...

Now my girls are teenagers... and even though they have a great "fun" relationship with their dad... they know they can come to me for the things that matter most to them.

My husband still gets dibs for the fun stuff...but now I have a place in my daughters' lives that daddy doesn't fit.

Now...my husband on the other hand is a momma's boy still to this day (he's 40 yrs old!)... According to his mom, there was a time when he realized he was a boy and wanted to be like dad. So he would stick by his dad every chance he could. As he got older and there were other boys to hang out with...he didn't "prefer" his dad as much and remained his momma's...

Hi T.! Wow I am going through the exact same thing. My son is now 3 years old and it has been really hard to keep myself from crying. I feel like when my son's father is around my son is actually mean to me. I have also tried to talk to my husband about this and I think he too finds this flattering. I really have no advice. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and it really helped to hear that someone else is going through the same thing. There are times that because of this I felt maybe I wasn't a good mother. I have really just tried to enjoy the time alone with my son and look at the time when my son's dad is home as a break.

I think that if their dad is away so much, children tend to "cling" to them when they are home. It must be scary to not know when they will be leaving or coming back, so I often wonder if children cling to dad (those that work outside the home) rather than their SAHM because mom is "safer" and the child knows she is not going anywhere.

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There's nothing wrong, I personally think you might be over reacting. Your baby never sees his father, and when he is there your little one is so thrilled that Daddy is finally home, all your son wants to do is love and play with his Daddy while he can. You have your son all day, everyday., focus on the play time you and your son get and not the "chore" things you have to do for him. If you think about it, you might find that you get more one on one time with your son then your husband. Enjoy the freedom you have while your husband is home. Take a long bath, go window shopping for an hour or two. Let him deal with the bath and diapers a couple of times. Parenting is a shared job, if you don't share you'll burn out.

Good luck.

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suck it up T.. Let dad enjoy this. It won't last long. Enjoy the time you get with your child- one on one. You need to think about this from every angle, then it will become clearer.

Good luck.


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I think it is fantastic that your son is so enthused with your husband. If it were me, and my husband worked that much while I was at home all day and some nights alone, I think I would take advantage of this situation. I would use at least some of the time to get some "me time" in. Go have a quiet bubble bath or go shopping all by yourself! Look for the positive in this situation. It could be like it is in my home when I am home all day with the kids while daddy works and even when he is home, they still expect everything to come from me, and so does he! Then you have everyone in your home demanding all of your time and engergy. Be happy that you have the opportunity to have a little break from being mommy and get some time to just be T. once in a while.

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I know how you feel. My husband works a lot and is always busy. But you know it is all in how you look at it. My son is with me ALL day and Night before he goes to bed (minus 4hrs for work) But anyway. I have all day to be the go to person and i get to see all of his little first's and i get to tell my husband about them. If you think about how much they are missing out on really...then it makes it a little easier for them to be the go to person in the evening. Take that time to get things done that you just couldnt get done earlier in the day. Just try to think about what it would be like if your baby wanted nothing to do with daddy imagine how hard that would probaly be for him. One day it will change, so everyone says my son is almost 17 months, and his feelings may be hurt when it is. It doesnt make it any easier but maybe it will take the sting out a little bit. Well good luck to you and your family.

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Since Dad is away so much, do not begrudge him the time with your son.
And cherish the time you have with him now when he is little.
Things will be different as he gets older.
Take a "big girl pill" TODAY!

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It's a great thing that your son loves his daddy AND his mommy so much! If he didn't feel this way, then when would your husband get to have quality time with his son? And of course your husband is flattered by this behavior---that encourages even more bonding time, which is a win-win for everyone. You are a family of 3, and the hope should always be that your son feels happy, secured and loved equally by both mom and dad. My husband loved coming home at the end of the day to our 3 kids and YES every evening was daddy time--and it was just the way it should be. I guess the question is: What would you like to have happen? What if your son spent all day with you and then still only wanted you in the evenings? It sounds like your husband is away from home a great deal of the time; don't you want him to form a warm loving bond with your son? AND, you deserve a little break from being mommy too! My kids are all grown now, but during those baby/toddler years, I loved seeing my husband come home at the end of the day, because I knew that my kids would get the chance to spend time with him and I would get some relief from my hours with them.

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I completely understand how you feel. There are times when my daughter wants nothing to do with me...only wants her daddy. And on the other hand there are times she only wants me...it does flip back and forth. One thing to consider...when your son is in the "daddy zone" take advantage of it. Take some time for yourself...get some stuff done that you put off while it's just you and your son. Get caught up on some scrapbooking, sewing, or whatever hobby you may have. Try to look at the other side of this as you having some ME time for a change :-)

It seems like this is the only time your husband gets to spend with your son so you should let him have it (you get to work on your relationship with your son all day and night, but your husband only has these limited hours). You’re lucky he wants to be with your son when he is home – some men would want to relax during their limited time off and not want to be “bothered” with their children. If I were you, I'd relish the break and use the time to catch up on reading or just to take a breath. You could also suggest that you take a night once a month (or more often) to go out and do something as a family. That way your son will get to do things with both of you and know that he can enjoy being with both Mom and Dad at the same time (plus, with your husband being gone so much you can’t have that much time to do special family things).

I think this is fairly common, and if I were you I would focus on the opportunity to NOT be the one your son wants/needs all the time! It's important for you (us!) to have time to youself, so maybe you should use their time together to pamper yourself with a relaxing bath and a glass of wine. Enjoy it ... especially since your husband is gone so much. :)

You've received so many responses already, however I just want to let you know I understand the feeling as this is already happening some with my 9 month old! Once daddy gets home, he will fuss/cry until dad holds him, etc. He prefers daddy to hold him over me. At first I too was taking things personally, as I didn't realize kids could do this so early. But, I just had to put a positive spin on the situation, which was this: Now I can have some "me time"! I totally take advantage of the opportunity to bake, clean, read, etc. So, I would say take advantage of the time when he wants to be with just your husband to do things you like, get projects/cleaning done, etc. Your husband may find it flattering, which isn't necessarily bad, but it can get old too when you're the only one your child wants, so he may quickly realize its not that great all the time! And, in a few months, he may want only you all the time! One other thought: he may really be missing his daddy when he's gone, not understanding why he is gone so much. I'm no child psychologist, but I wonder if maybe these feelings are playing out in his behaviors? Hang in there. It sounds like you are a great mommy!

Don't worry about it. He will prefer Daddy for awhile and then go back to Mommy. This is normal. Be happy that he is not clinging to you 24/7.


Be assured that your son will switch his parent preference every couple of months. As someone else said, it is just a phase. Enjoy the few minutes you get to yourself because when he switches back to you, you won't even be able to go to the bathroom by yourself!!


According to my pediatrician this is pretty normal. I have the same situation--my husband works a lot of hours but when he's home, my 11mo old son is all about him. He too is the "fun guy." The only benefit that I have is that I have his milk supply so when he's hungry, daddy isn't so great. Hahaha I know it totally sucks and it is frustrating that you do so much of the work while your hubby is all play. And I don't think things change much as they get older. Maybe you can just join in the fun or sit back and enjoy the fact that they can have so much fun together. I've come to terms with it and often sit back and giggle at the two of them playing. I know you don't want to hear this, but your husband could be one of those that isn't involved at all. I wish you luck and peace from a fellow "chopped liver" mom.

I had the same feelings (and sometimes still do) you are having. I was the most important person to my daughter while Dad was away at work. The minute he walked through the door I became invisible. I only reappeared when it was diaper changing time or bath time. At first I was hurt and didn't understand. Then I felt foolish because I was feeling this way because she wanted to spend time with her Daddy. Then I got over it! I realized that I actually had some free time for myself to get caught up on the things I needed to do. I actually had more than 30 seconds to myself. And as guilty as I felt feeling that way I loved the time I had to myself. But it wasn't long lived. My daughter is now 3 (going on for in a month)and I can't go from one room to another without her knowing where I am. Of course she loves the time with her Dad but not like she did when she was around your sons age. So relax and enjoy the time to yourself while it lasts. Eventually he'll come back to you and your husband will feel the same as you. Let your husband enjoy the feelings of flattery because soon he'll start wondering what he did wrong to deserve feeling like he's left out. Then you'll explain to him that he should enjoy some time to himself like you did. Just enjoy the time and attention now because once they get older things change. I have a 12 year old son that thinks I was put on this earth to make his life miserable.

Of course he's going to want to play with dad after his dad has been gone all day at work. Don't take it personal, but rather be excited that not only does your son love BOTH of you to death, but that he's got that special bond with his dad that all boys need in order to learn about "manhood". It's nothing that you're doing, has nothing to do with who he likes best, and even if he DID like your husband the best, shouldn't you just be happy that it's one of his parents and not a grandma, babysitter, or neighbor? I know you have your feelings hurt, but try to differentiate the feelings of jealousy and sadness. Sit and watch and enjoy their special bond instead of making your husband feel guilty about spending quality time with his son in front of his mom.

As hard as it can be, don't take it personally and in fact embrace it. Children at that age have a hard time sharing anything, so it's an all or nothing thing, which is why in the daytime it's you and at night it's daddy. It won't be this way forever and of course, your husband finds it flattering. Who wouldn't? Jealously is normal in a new family and I bet your husband experienced it on some level-when your son was a newborn and he got all the attention and experiences some now since he has to work 60 plus hours and you get to do all the caregiving. My husband and I were in a similiar situation and he really was depressed that he didn't get a more active role in that stuff.
Try to see the big picture and focus on the blessings!! IT could be the other way around and he could be having behavior problems when dad gets home,etc. Also, let your son see you give your husband attention as well. That's healthy and will help your marriage stay strong too!
Take care-

I think that if their dad is away so much, children tend to "cling" to them when they are home. It must be scary to not know when they will be leaving or coming back, so I often wonder if children cling to dad (those that work outside the home) rather than their SAHM because mom is "safer" and the child knows she is not going anywhere.

Firstly, don't beat yourself up for your feelings. However, you need to redirect your thoughts in other ways, which will also help redirect your feelings. Rather than feeling left out when your son is able to spend time with his father, you need to use that time to recharge for yourself. This is a perfect time for you to have some ME time.

In addition, I think you need to realize that your hubby is quite unusual. There are so many moms out there that could only WISH they had a wonderful father for their child. Your husband sounds like a really hard working man. He could easily come home, collapse in front of the TV and ignore you and your child. The fact that he gets involved is something you should be very proud of yourself for choosing such a good guy. [I thought I snatched the last one personally.]

It is hard not to be the favored parent; however, how much hurt would your hubby feel if he came home from working to make life good for the family and be treated with rejection or limited affection. I think that many men experience that kind of reception, and I think it makes it harder for family bonding.

You really need to appreciate that your son has such love for his daddy and your hubby so much love for your son. I fully believe you are right that your husband may not be trying to lose that favored status, but would you want him to lose those precious few moments that cost you nothing, knowing that you will be the one your son turns to when daddy is gone again?

Don't feel that daddy is all fun time, because he too can do the bath, diaper changing and all those non fun tasks that you do. I really stress that you need to consider this a time for your son and husband to create the bond that you are fortunate to be able to have while he is away. This is also a perfect time for you to concentrate on YOU, which is necessary in so many ways.

Just my two cents worth.


Yes, this is quite normal, and please try not to feel too bad about it. Trust me, when the "chips are down" your little guy will still want Mama! Probably your son is missing his father in the time he is away, and really does need attention from you both. Hey, use the only-wants-to-play-with-Daddy time for a Mommy sanity break for yourself. Go take a bath, read a good book, do that fun project for yourself you've been meaning to get to, take the time to plan for fun activities for when you are alone with baby boy. Be sure to thank your husband for taking an active role in the growth and development of your wee one--lots of husbands do not. Appreciate the free break you are getting; lots of us do not get that opportunity. Your son loves you very much, but needs Daddy, too.

Best wishes,

Hi T. - as I'm sure you've received a multitude of responses, I'll try to make mine short, but from my heart. My husband and I have one son (almost 3), so this advice comes from my experiences. Let me start with a book recommendation for you - "Bringing up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson. This book has been inspirational and helpful to both my husband and me. Let me preface my comments with this - Your son loves you - trust me. In his eyes, the sun rises and sets with his mommy. That being said, the father/son relationship is SO crucial to your sons life, that I don't even think I can put it into words. Your son has begun to 'masculinize' himself by relating to his dad as a male. A natural part of his growing and maturing... he has to separate himself from you a little bit to ensure that he is a boy. He has realized that mommy and daddy are different, and he is like daddy. His natural tendency is ALWAYS going to be to emulate his father, therefore, the building of a strong, emotional connection of respect and adoration is so crucial at his age. Very soon, he'll be wanting to shower with daddy - just to make sure that he and daddy are made the same. All the 'rough housing' that boys start at this age is another way for the boys to relate and grow in their masculinity. I sometimes will just sit and smile as my husband and son wrestle for an hour - both ending up covered in sweat and panting....but my son so happy to of connected with his daddy in a way that he never connects with me. Boys are simply wired differently than girls, and his connection to you will always be completely different than the one he has with his dad. Don't feel slighted - relish the fact that he idolized his daddy, and has a constant daddy in his life to help shape him into the man he will inevitably grow up to be!! I so understand how easy it is to feel like chopped liver when daddy comes home and you're left standing idly be like no one wants to include you - I felt that way for a couple of weeks - but then realized that I had my son all to myself for the 10 hours a day while my husband was at work, so, truthfully, the break became welcomed and understood!! He missed his daddy while he's gone, and will probably never get enough in the few hours before sleep - part of a sahm's life, I suppose!

I hope this helps in some way!!! Good luck!

Both of my kids did this, and I have one of each. It sort of bummed me out at first, but then I looked forward to my husband coming home from work and both of them run to him screaming DADDYYYYYYY. It's fun and exciting. I think its normal development at that age to make the switch. They still love us as their mommies and when their hurt, who do they call for???? Mom.

Hi there,
1st be happy that you husband will take time to play with your son! There are fathers out there who wouldnt even care to take the time after working so long. 2nd enjoy the time off! Get stuff done. My son has been like that since he knew daddy existed. Even all our friends kids prefer my husband over there dad when we go place. My husband is the fun one. I have learned that it is a chance for me to relax and try to get stuff done. Not worry that I am the non fun parent. 3rd be glad that you son has a good relationship with his father. Trust me your son loves you just as much. He just shows it in a different way. The older they get when they can express how they feel they will tell you. My son now tells me he loves me and gives me kisses so I know I have a special place with him. Just a different kind then daddy! Relax its hard when they cant express it verbally to you but one day soon he will.

He doesn't prefer dad, he just enjoys dad. Just be glad he isn't afraid of dad! Enjoy the time this will give you to go take a long walk, go to the store alone, etc. You aren't doing anything wrong except you are jealous of the fact the child wants some one and one time with his father!
You have done everything right because the child likes his dad, and has recognized that time to be spent with dad is limited!!! Like I said, enjoy the time they spend together to get a little time for yourself and give your husband extra kisses because he is a great father and the child trusts him!!!!

Hi T.,
I have 2 daughters who are very much daddy's girls. In the beginning, my youngest daughter was closer to me...but as she got older (around a year old), she began wanting her dad too. I started feeling like the odd man out...

Now my girls are teenagers... and even though they have a great "fun" relationship with their dad... they know they can come to me for the things that matter most to them.

My husband still gets dibs for the fun stuff...but now I have a place in my daughters' lives that daddy doesn't fit.

Now...my husband on the other hand is a momma's boy still to this day (he's 40 yrs old!)... According to his mom, there was a time when he realized he was a boy and wanted to be like dad. So he would stick by his dad every chance he could. As he got older and there were other boys to hang out with...he didn't "prefer" his dad as much and remained his momma's...

It's just a phase... like everything else child-related. :-) Kids switch their preferences often and it's nothing personal. All of my kids went through this. Heck, at 6 years old, my son is still going through this. They change preferences ALOT. For a few months it's daddy, then it's mommy for awhile, then back to daddy and so on... it just keeps on going. Be thankful he likes spending time with his daddy because it gives you a well-deserved break in the evenings. My kids always ignore me once daddy walks in the door and I cherish it. I think it's great they have a good relationship with their father especially after you hear about so many distant fathers. Besides... once he's home, he gets to play with them and put them to bed so I take an hour or so to just relax and watch TV, work on needlepoint, or whatever to relax. You've been 'on duty' all day, so take advantage of the break.

Don't worry.. in a few months he'll go through a 'mommy only' phase and you'll be missing this time when daddy could take over for awhile and give you a break! :-)

First of all you're not doing anything wrong. Enjoy this time - go have some alone time - this phase will likely not last very long. I would suggest encouraging your husband to help with some of those "unpleasant tasks" when he can. I know it's hard, but it's not that he likes you less, but he spends most of his time with you and it's always nice to have a little change and it sounds like Daddy provides that. Be glad that he loves his daddy - lots of kids at this age do cling to their mommy, and that's not any better than being totally dissed.

It's totally normal. I still have that with my 5 (almost 6) year old daughter. I have learned to embrace my "free" time and do something I want when daddy's home.

Don't feel bad, there will be days when he will only want you and you won't be able to pee on your own.


Be GLAD your son has a father who pays attention to him and plays with him and is a DADDY not just a father.

I had a father, but he didn't know much of how to be a DADDY. He didn't play with us, he didn't talk to us, not when we needed it. He cared about us, but just didn't know how to show it.

I am fortunate to be married to a man that is a wonderful DADDY. He has 3 grown children, and wasn't home much when they were little, but he knows a lot about them!!!!!!!!!!
Now he and I have a 6 yr. old and a 2 yr. old daughters. The 6 yr. old and now the 2 yr. old too, have both been DADDY'S girls. Sometimes I wish a little that they would come to me more, but they do that during the day or the nights he isn't here.
I just beam with pride, when I see them run to Daddy, and hug him and want to play with him when he is home.
It is not just a father--son bond, it can be a father daughter bond also.

What you need to do is when he is home, have him stay with your son, while you do errands, like grocery shopping!!!!!!!!!! I love to take my daughters out with me, but there are times I WISH I DIDN"T have to!!!!!!!!!
There have been times when my husband wanted to go see his mother (45 min. from us) and I wanted to stay home and clean, so my husband takes the girls and I can do household chores in peace. Housework goes so much faster when you dont' have little ones to slow you down.
Tell him when you leave, that he can do his bath (something my dad never did), he can do his nails, he can feed him, he can change him (another thing my dad never did), this is your time to go out and do some little things without your son. Make Dad do some of the "work" with your son. You may need to show him how, but that is good.
Your husband needs to learn how to do those things also.

I'm sure your husband DOES find it flattering, as you would if the situation were reversed. Please try not to make it a competition; parenthood is for both of you. Be happy for your husband, and make that quality time that you have with your son to yourself just that - make the "chores" of bath, etc. playful. My husband and I babysit for our 1st grandchild, and my daughter can't wait to get home from work to do those things you listed as "chores." If she misses them (as she does sometimes because she has gone back to school, also), she gets your - shall we say "jealousy" - feelings about us for getting to spend so much time with her.
You are entitled to your feelings, but please remind yourself of the dedication it takes for your hubby to leave you both every day to go faithfully to that job so that you can spend the time together. I felt as you do sometimes when I was raising our 3 daughters, so no, it isn't unusual. A thankful heart does wonders; what you need is a renewing of your mind. (If you're a prayerful person, prayers of thanksgiving for your blessings of husband and child.) Don't neglect yourself, and make time for togetherness with your husband. Talk to your "higher power," if you believe in one. Good luck, and God bless.

I think this is really typical, and just as soon as he prefers your husband, he'll wake up one day and want no one but you. There were so many Sunday mornings when I'd wake up, go downstairs all ready to cuddle with my son who would already be playing with his daddy (Sunday is my day to sleep) and as soon as I'd get through the door, he'd point and say "Mommy, GO!". It would break my heart, but then I'd remind myself of that when, for the 17th time during the day, I wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom by myself, and I learned to take advantage of it as "me time". I kind of consider it as my opportunity to be off the hook. I can't take care of him if he wants nothing to do with me! And then, there will be nights when although my husband usually does the bedtime routine, no one can read stories but me. Our son has even interrupted his dad mid-story to say "Daddy, get Mommy." It all evens out in the end, I think. And just wait until you have baby number 2 - your son will not be able to get enough of you, literally!

Good luck :)

Hi T.~
First, I want to say that it seems to me that some of the responses you've gotten so far could be a bit more supportive. I don't think the problem is that you don't want your son to enjoy his daddy. I'm sure you appreciate the bond they have. I think the problem is that you feel completely rejected by him when his daddy is around. And of course that is going to hurt your feelings. You aren't doing ANYTHING wrong.

I understand how you feel about this. My daughter has physically removed me from chairs so her daddy could sit with her instead. I am a stay at home mom as well, so she is with me 24-7. At first, it really hurt my feelings, but now I've come to accept it. Here's how I look at it. Your son may have a "lovie" (favorite blankie or stuffed animal). He needs and wants his lovie, and will always expect it to be there. If he lost it, he would lose his little mind. But if you offer him a new toy, he'll probably drop the lovie to play with the new toy for a while. You know he still adores his lovie. And you know that eventually, he'll want his lovie again. The new toy may get his attention for a while, but you know it could NEVER replace his lovie. In essence, you are his lovie. :) He can push you away and enjoy his daddy because he knows you will always be there, waiting for him. You are a constant. Unlike Daddy, you don't leave. He knows he has to soak up his daddy-time while he can because he knows Daddy is going to leave again.

The other thing I want to say is that, yes, your husband likes it. Mine did, too. I think sometimes daddies feel that they aren't really needed. We (the mommies) take care of our children's needs without assistance and we do it well. For a long time, I know my husband felt as if my daughter didn't care if he was around as long as Mommy was there to take care of her. When she started showing a daddy preference, he was so pleased - and relieved. He felt like she really, truly loved him. He felt that he really had a place in her heart. Especially because she chose him over Mommy (and we all know how important Mommy is!)

I also think that maybe your husband doesn't want to share their time with you since he is gone so much. Maybe he feels that he should get some one-on-one time with your son since you have him all day to yourself. I'm just guessing. Maybe you can talk to your husband and tell him that while you recognize how important daddy-time is, you also want to have family-time. That is how we do it in my house. When my husband gets home from work, I straighten up, make dinner, or make some phone calls and let them have their daddy-time. Then after dinner, we all play together (family-time). Of course, my daughter is almost 2 1/2 now, so it works better now than it did when she was 15-18 months. But it's something you can suggest to your husband and maybe he'll put more effort in including you in the fun (once they've had their separate time).

I wish you luck in dealing with this. It's not childish for you to feel this way. It IS hurtful when someone you love so much rejects you. But answer this question: If your son gets hurt and has the choice of going to Daddy or you, to whom would he go for comfort? I'm willing to bet that it's you. And that right there speaks volumes. So cheer up, Mama. Your son still loves and needs you. :)

All my best!

I will admit I didn't read all the responses, so I apologize if I repeat. I think several things are happening.
A) since he doesn't have much time with Dad every day he is just making up for lost time. B) Dad's are suppose to be the fun guy (in most of thier opinions :), but when he is home, have him do the bathing and diapering, it is GREAT bonding time. C) LEAVE, and I mean it, you are with the lovely youngun 24/7 when Dad is gone, if you left the house for a few hours when Dad was home, you would probably get the same welcoming when you get home that Dad gets (I can be gone for 5 min and when I get back my 2yo acts like I was gone for Days) Plus getting the shopping down alone would be a Blessing in my book :D
Also, there is NOTHING wrong with feeling neglected by this situation. My personal thought is this...is Hubby spending quality bonding time with you when he is home or is he giving ALL of his time to your son? That tends to be an issue with me; my hubby will work from 8a to 8p and at 11p (when I am trying to sleep cuz I get to get up at 6a) he wants time with me and I want nothing to do with anyone. Be sure to get Adult time each week with hubby, Be sure to get Momie time alone when hubby is home and loving on baby, and when hubby is home and baby is all about Dady remember that in the morning all of your baby's attention will be for you :) Best of Luck and Blessing to you and yours


It's not that your son prefers his Dad, it's just that your son gets to spend so much time with you that when his Dad is around he wants to spend as much time as he can with him.

Your son has probably never had a chance to miss you. I remember when my son was that young he always wanted to be with his Dad, but then one day I thought that I'd take advantage of it and actually leave the house by myself and my son threw a fit - tears, screaming, mommy mommy - it broke my heart, but I knew right then that he didn't prefer his Dad over me or vice versa, he just wanted to be with his Dad for what little time he got to spend with him.

So long story short - take advantage of the time that your husband is home and do something nice for yourself. Go hang out with your friends without the kids. Get a pedicure or maybe just a nice relaxing hot bath. Trust me when your son has a chance to miss you he will start evening out who he wants to spend time with on the weekends.

Oh and don't blame your husband for not wanting to help the situation, he's probably jealous that you get to spend so much time with your son that when he does get a chance he takes advantage and don't feel bad for feeling the way that you do either - trust when I say that you are not alone in feeling like that when you do so much for your children and they seem to take you for granted.

Take Care and God Bless,

Hi T.,
I think this is completely normal and will pass. I think kids go through stages as to who they prefer. My husband also works a lot and travels a lot. My son is now 3 but he went through a phase where he did the same thing. As soon as my husband got home he would only want to be with him, follow him everywhere, etc. Actually it gave me a much needed break. I know it can be sad because you feel like you are the one doing all the hard work! But my son has evened out his preferences at this age. Don't feel bad he will probably go through another phase where he will only want you!

I think that you should take that time and do something for YOURSELF, considering you are there with him during the week when you husband is gone. You will always be his mother and he will LOVE you in a SPECIAL way no matter what. You carried him and you will always have that bond with him,, so dont worry about it take it a a breather when he's with his dad. Enjoy.....

My son is the same way and he is only 9 months old..this whole time he has preferred to be with someone else mainly my mom. I felt a sense of jealousy towards her(shes the one who watched him while I work) that my baby the one I take care of wants her even when i'm gone half the day and come home he's not even excited to see me and if he is only for a second before he see's my mom and wants her to get him. I have to say though he is starting to get that 'I want nobody but mom trait' slowly but i think it will be full-blown before he is one. Maybe your son just wants his daddy when he is home because he doesn't get to see him for those 3-4 days when he gets to see you..don't feel bad i think every mom goes through this its normal and your son will grow out of it.. he just misses his daddy!!!

My daughter prefered her Dad from the moment she was born. She bonded with him and didn't want anything to do with me. I'm a SAHM and she didn't seem to like me until her Dad had to work late everynight for 3 months, and I was the only one she had to play with. She was a year old then. She'll be 3 in a few months, and he's still her favorite. She wouldn't even let me comfort her at night, she'd cry harder until Daddy came. Then she'd fall back to sleep in minutes. Just be glad your son has a good relationship with his Dad. If you were gone, he'd probably miss you too. I now have another daughter, (10 months) and she has always prefered me. sometimes I wish she liked Daddy more too, for I'd like some time without her having to be at my side. Try not to let it bother you. You aren't alone. Just because your son likes his Daddy time, doesn't mean you aren't loved too.

Hi T.! Wow I am going through the exact same thing. My son is now 3 years old and it has been really hard to keep myself from crying. I feel like when my son's father is around my son is actually mean to me. I have also tried to talk to my husband about this and I think he too finds this flattering. I really have no advice. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and it really helped to hear that someone else is going through the same thing. There are times that because of this I felt maybe I wasn't a good mother. I have really just tried to enjoy the time alone with my son and look at the time when my son's dad is home as a break.

Absolutely! You are not alone. It is HARD to be the one doing all the "work" and he gets to have all the fun! My DD started this about the same age as your son. It's a tough turn of events, b/c you're right, in the beginning it is Mommy who is the end all be all. It took a while, but finally I embraced it and am happy for my hubby to be able to have some quality time with our DD. I imagine he felt left out in the beginning when she preferred me so much. Try to take advantage of this new situation to do something for yourself in the evenings! Good luck and remember, you are NOT in the minority here. This is a very normal milestone for everyone!

You are doing absolutely nothing wrong! I have a 23 month old boy and he did the EXACT same thing around 18 months. My husband works all day and when he would come home from work, our son would ONLY want him. He would scream and scream until his daddy picked him up. My husband joked about putting a "hip saddle" on because our son would freak out if he tried to put him down. He would have to carry him around everywhere. Of course, I was getting upset about coming in second place and there was a tear or two. However, now he gets excited when Daddy comes home, but it doesn't matter who picks him up or who he spends his time with. I honestly feel your child will grow out of this phase, because you will probably notice that his mind will frequently change about what and who he favors. Hope this helps!!

With your husband gone at least 1/2 the nights a week, I think it is very good that your boy wants to bond with him when he is home, and that your husband is eager to spend this time with him, too. It would be worse if your child didn't want to be with his dad as a result of the absences. My husband works an hour away a couple of days a week and is gone until bedtime. Our 4-year-old daughter then really wants Daddy's attention when he gets home and wants to play the games that the two of them enjoy together. Also, when I am gone teaching belly dancing classes on Thursday evenings, sometimes she ignores me a little when I get home and has obviously bonded with Dad and enjoyed the exclusive attention.
I have a friend whose little girls both preferred Dad for about a year after they were done breastfeeding. It doesn't sound like your situation is abnormal at all, but I do understand your feeling of rejection. Instead, take advantage of the free time to do something you enjoy, and make sure that you go on outings all together as a family regularly too.

Hello T.:
I have a 13 months baby girl, and she preferes Daddy some days and mommy anothers! It's no big deal, in fact take advantage on the times when he only want's his Dad and use it either for you (relax, take a bath, excercise) or house work activities... Also try to involve your husband in some of this "not fun" activities and try to make them fun (sing a song at dipper change, splash at bath time, etc... and do some more stuff together as a family not only mom or dad... go to the park together, play ball,etc. Something that involves both of you...

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