Husband Upset Because Daughter Seems to Want Mommy All the Time

Updated on September 29, 2006
T.E. asks from Newburgh, IN
11 answers

My husband has recently pointed out to me that he is upset because our daughter doesn't seem to want him to do anything for her. I am currently a stay at home mom after being in retail management for years. My husband of course works a full time job and is at home in the evenings except for Tuesdays and Thursdays when he is in night school. I have tried to explain to him that he doesn't spend enough one on one time with her so when she needs something she wants me. He thinks that because he is her daddy it shouldn't matter. On the weekends when he is at home his son (my stepson) is at our house and I feel that he spends all of his time with his son. I just feel like he doesn't put in the effort to make one on one time with out daughter...and he gets very frustrated that I don't push her into wanting him to do things for her. Any suggestions on how to explain to my husband that our 2 year old daughter needs one on one attention from her daddy without causing any tension between us?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your advice. I spoke with husband and it went well. I explained that it was all about quality time. They now have set Monday nights as their designated "date" night. Their first "date" will be this Monday. They both seem very excited!!! Thanks again

Featured Answers



answers from Louisville on

Don't explain it to him, it sounds like he's not listening anyway. Plan a night out with friends every two weeks or so and leave him home with her. Leave them a project to work on TOGETHER while you're gone. Even if you just go shopping alone. After a few times of one on one time he will love it as much as she does.

More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

Try again to explain to your husband that "one on one" time is very important. Also, it's not just about time, it's about QUALITY time. Suggest to him that reading a book to her before bed will be a great way to start. My daughter is almost 20 months, and it makes her so happy to sit in a chair with me before bed and read a book. Then we talk for a few minutes about what she will dream about - things like sunshine and carebears :) That is the best time for both of us. Also playing with her - even if it's a tea party or playing with dolls.
You should also explain to him that getting down on her level will be great for their relationship. It's definitely ok to be a little goofey to have a great time with a two-year-old. Because he's not with her as much as you, I can see how it would be difficult for your daughter, but these things will probably help a lot. I'm sure your husband is probably tired a lot from work and school and home-life, but one thing you can never get back is time so he should be sure to take advantage of every possible minute he has with her now.
One more thing is when your step-son visits, he should encourge both of the kids to play together with him. They can all play hide-and-seek or make up some silly games.
I would explain to him that you are not trying to hurt his feelings, but perhaps these suggestions will help the relationship between the two of them. Tell him too, that you cannot force your daughter to go to him if it will upset her, but spending this time with her and doing these activities will show her that he is there for her also.
Good luck!



answers from Louisville on

My soon-to-be-ex husband had the same issues with our oldest (now almost 4). I was a stay-home mom, she nursed, she was very "high needs", and she was completely attached to mommy. It really hurt his feelings & he wanted me to somehow fix the situation, to train her to want him. I never could make him see that it was his responsibility to bond with her, not hers or mine. Eventually, she became a daddy's girl all on her own & now adores him & the time she has with him. But now he's having the same problems with our youngest daughter (who's almost 2).

It makes sense that your daughter would be more bonded with you since she's with your all day & for him to spend more time with his son, since he only sees him on the weekends & his son actually wants to do stuff with dad. If you make too big a deal about that, it may seem to him that you're forcing him to choose between the kids or that as the stepmom you're favoring your bio child over your stepson, which isn't going to help you at all.

As frustrating as the situation is, I think you need to be careful about telling him what he needs to do. Depending on your husband's personality, he may see that as you blaming him (even though it may very well be his fault) & many people get defensive & only act worse when they feel they're being accused of wrongdoing. In reality, he probably feels like he's doing everything he can.

I think you should try a little "reverse psychology" and some positive reinforcement with your husband. Why don't you get involved in something one night a week, just for a couple of hours, to force some daddy-daughter time? Pushing her into doing things with him is not likely to work when you're home, since she's used to coming to you for everything. She has to learn that Daddy can help her too, which isn't going to happen with you around.

On the weekends, take your daughter to run errands or something with you for a few hours in the morning to allow some daddy-son time, then plan something for the whole family in the afternoon or evening. Or have him keep both kids for a short time on weekend afternoons so he gets bonding time with both. Maybe if your daughter sees how a "big kid" plays with daddy & how fun it is, she'll want to get involved too.

These are just some thoughts that came to mind. Obviously, it's not an overnight process, but they will become closer eventually. Good luck!



answers from Lexington on

Tell your husband that his time will arrive soon enough. When she grows up some, she will be daddy's girl. The problem is that she is always around you, so there for she is depending on you for everything. Get out and let daddy step in an hour or two here and there. It is not all about the stepson getting all the attention. Sounds like mom dad and daughter needs to spend time together on husbands days of. Don't push on the stepchild. It can do your marriage damage. Time will answer your question.



answers from Indianapolis on

When you're both in the house, let him take care of things for her that you would normally do, even if she asks you to do it. Tell her "I bet Daddy would love to help you with that." and take her over to him and have her ask him instead. Start out slow, like maybe one or two things a night (when he's home), then work up to more. He needs to know that you want your daughter to spend more time with him, so *you* help bridge the gap instead of expecting him to make all the effort. (Yes, he does need to make effort also. I think the one night out a week where you leave them together would be a good thing.)



answers from Jacksonville on

Let him take her out by himself or with his son and your daughter. My husband and sons bonding time usually happens when I'm at work or not home. They love their daddy even though he works a lot!



answers from Indianapolis on

My daughter, who is also 2, was very much a Mama's girl until the last couple of weeks. I work part time, but had more time with her than my husband. What has worked for us is I have an evening or two where I work late and she has only him to depend upon. After several months of this, she has decided that sometimes Daddy is able to do things for her when I am around. Hope this helps!



answers from Lafayette on

I feel for you. My husband was the same way at first. He said he would just wait until she was ready. I told him he had to make her ready. Now EVERY Friday evening, my husband and daughter have a 'date'. This usually consists of a 30 minute trip to McDonald's. Sometimes they go to the park or Wal-Mart afterwards. This has been going on now for about two years. She now knows when it is Friday and gets very excited and tells EVERYONE that she has a date with her daddy. My husband has grown to absolutely love his date night with her and is really bothered if for any reason he can't go. On these nights, mommy takes her or Papaw or her Uncle. It has become a very special time for the two of them. Sometimes people speak to him and ask him how he can live with only seeing his daughter on the weekends, he just laughs and says 'what makes you think that? I am just on a date with my most special girl. I left my wife at home!'



answers from South Bend on

i had the same thing with my son when he was 5. now he goes to dad as much as me. but marty did have to start spending more time with him. if you take her to the store with you. that is a great time for them to spend time together.leave her at home with him. they can do something like watch cartoons together. and when she comes to you for something tell her she needs to ask daddybecause you are busy right now. that's how we did it. you are there for her for is just a matter of time. tell daddy it takes time but once she kicks it in to gear he will not son loves to get help from dad all the time now.



answers from Wheeling on

please reinforce your husbands concerns by telling him that it will only take a little bit of bondong time to start your daughter wanting him as well.( not to say that he should only give a little effort but that it wont take long to see a result) our youngest was about 10 montha when my husband was deployed to iraq and i was so worried that when he returned 15 months later that our baby would not know him. i had shown her pics and occasionally she saw him on the web cam but not the same. well to my surprise he was home for less than a week and she was always like i want daddy. he made a great effort to bond with our 3 kids and made them each feel special. he didnt do anything extraordinary...he was just a dad. he would watch a tv show with them or read a book or all of the little things that mean so much to kids...even a game of peek a boo or hide n seek . so tell your husband to let his guard down and be a kid from time to time...i have yet to see a man who doesnt have his inner child just roaring to come out ,lol. godd luck.



answers from Evansville on

That is a tough situation with feelings being hurt. My 3 year old would go through phases where he would prefer myself or daddy at times. Mainly now it is during the day me, and at night I don't is all about daddy, which is fine by me. We do different things with our son. Daddy plays different games and he associates that with Daddy now.
If you want to avoid a talk with your husband, how about going out once a week for mommy time so your daughter can have alone time with Daddy and also give you a break?


For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions