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Mommy is for love, Daddy is for play, how can we share roles?
Q: How can we balance parenting so that our 7-month-old daughter doesn't identify each parent for a different purpose? Our daughter sees me, the mummy, as the source of love and comfort. Whenever she needs love, food or comfort, she immediately comes to me. If she wants to play, she goes to her daddy. As parents, we are frustrated because I want to play and daddy wants to be able to comfort. I am a stay-at-home mum and dad works two jobs and is gone quite a bit. How do we strike a balance?
A: Young children almost always will choose their mothers for love and comfort. This is natural. Mothers have a special bond with their children. Of course, this often makes fathers feel left out or rejected. I understand your desire to balance things out more, but your husband is not around very much. I suggest that over the next few months your husband start taking care of her as well as playing with her. As her father starts to spend time feeding her, changing her, giving her baths and putting her to bed, your daughter’s relationship with dad will begin to change. This may take some time because, as I said, young children often go to mummy first. You should consider leaving the house to visit a friend or going shopping when dad is home so your daughter will have an easier time seeking out her father. By the way, I can’t see any reason why you can’t play with your daughter during the day. In fact, this is one of the best ways for mums to enjoy their children and express their love.