son doesn't want mommy

Jason - posted on 05/16/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am actually the daddy, but who better to ask this question to then the moms of today.
My wife is a manager at a restraunt and works quite a lot of hours each week. when she is actually going to be home i tell my son that mommy is coming home and he lights up with excitement and even wants to go out into the front yard and wait for her to come home. BUT when she gets there he screams and doesn't want to go anywhere near her or give her a hug. after about 30 minutes or so he will finally give her a hug and kiss.
I have told her that she needs to spend more mommyson time with him and without me, but she usually just sits on the couch and plays her internet games instead. what can i do to get her off her butt and get her to play with our child more.

I know she's tired but this really depresses her even though she doesn't act like it does.
any suggestions from the moms out there

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Louise - posted on 05/16/2012

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This is just role reversal. If it was you out all day your child would be the same. If your wife does not voluntarily want to play with her son then she should at least do bath time for him or story time before bed. My husband always had the kids at bathtime as this was his time to bond and play and get to know the kids. Your wife should do the same. Your son is just unsure of her and you are right she needs to spend time with him.

Suggest a picnic in the park and take a ball and play all three of you. Let your wife get him an icecream and sit with him whilst he eats it. He has to recognise that Mummy loves him too and that he can go to her if he is hurt or just needs a cuddle.

This must bother your wife and she is probably taking this really personally but your son does not see this that way. Whoever looked after him the most would be his number one security blanket. If you wife is not forth coming to spend time with her son then force the issue with leaving her with him whilst you make up an errand to do. This phase does not last long but it is hard to watch as a parent.

As for the internet games bin them! Your child comes first and if she wants to play games do it when he is in bed. Selfish mare!

Daisy - posted on 05/17/2012

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It could be a phase he is going through - they all do that from time to time. It seems to me that your child gets excited mommy is coming home because you get excited. Your attitude influences his behavior at this point, the going to the door, going outside, "looking" for mommy, etc. As a mother of 4, and step mom to an additional 4, who works full time I UNDERSTAND of all people how tired she is BUT she must make time to spend with your child. My youngest is 16 months old. He runs to me when he sees me and gives me a hug whenever I come home. He spends all day with Daddy but when I get home I sit with him as he eats dinner, I give him baths, I read him a book and/or watch one of his silly cartoons (when I'm too tired to do anything and just sit there at least I'm SITTING WITH him watching his shows) and I put him to bed. It's all part of his routine but at least he is spending time with me and knows how much I want to spend time with him. As a parent she needs to make the initiative and show him how much she wants to spend time with him. Once he starts seeing that Mommy wants to pay attention to him and spend time with him he will look forward to her coming home and be delighted to spend time with her. Save the "me" time (internet or movies or whatever) for after he goes to bed. I understand the need for unwinding after work but it only takes a 10 to 15 minute breather from everything to unwind. All of the kids know that once I get home after the hi, hugs and kisses to give me 20 minutes to kick off my shoes and sit down for a second in quiet so I can be refreshed and tend to them and whatever else needs tending to. It's not easy, parenting never is, some days I keep reminding oh so and so only has x amount of years before they're headed off to college or out on their own LOL but most days I'm rewarded by their silly antics, smiles and love. Good luck!

Krista - posted on 05/16/2012

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Part of it might be that your son has a hard time with transitions. Mine is like that. He's excited about daddy getting home, but when daddy DOES get home, just that small change is enough to freak him out a bit, and he hides behind me, cries, or avoids his dad. After 10 minutes or so, he's okay, and will go give my husband a hug and kiss.

Being a manager at a restaurant, she's probably so overwhelmed with people in her face all day long that an internet game is a good way for her to "escape" -- and it can become a habit. But I agree with you that her timing sucks. What if the three of you go for a 20 minute walk when she gets home? It'll be a good way for all of you to unwind, and for your son to spend time with mommy, and she probably won't be in as much of a habit playing games -- or will at least wait until your son has gone to bed.

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Keri - posted on 05/31/2012

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My son isn't in the exact same boat as you, but he has gotten used to me and my new work schedule - two 12 hour days and two 8 hours days all in a row - he hates when I leave. Then when my 3 days off comes, he asks me why I don't go to work. He's been talking lately about how he loves his Daddy and Dolley (dog) but not Mommy. When he and I spend time without my hubby around, he is better, but he has been a daddy's boy for a long time (before I got this job) and my hubby had the kind of job that he wasn't around every day.

I play the internet games and stuff, but that is just a little unwind for maybe half an hour each day or while our son is sleeping or away.

Good luck :-)

Rachel - posted on 05/20/2012

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I've seen this a lot. He is excited to see her, but is mad at her for leaving. And yes, your wife does need to wind down. Ive seen it enough that you cant take it personally. Let the child work through his resentment, and make sure mom is emotionally available when son is ready.

Jessica - posted on 05/19/2012

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Sounds like your son really wants his 'mummy' which means a mummy who is pleased and excited that shes home to see her son and husband. Does she greet u both with a big kiss and cuddle? I know u said he takes time to warm up to her but have u tried holding him when she arrives and she kisses u first and then maybe a nice big group hug and kiss to welcome mummy home. Sounds like he sees her as some vistor that comes to the house and sits on the couch for a catchup. Totally agree that she should play her games after your son is asleep. Did she suffer from any PND? And yes having just some mummy/son time is a great idea. Even if its just a play in the backyard with a picnic. As long as your son sees himself as being her priority then he will be more willing to be more emotionally involved with her. Hard situation, but sounds like you two need to have a much needed conversation that results in a win win outcome especially for your son. All the best!

Natalie - posted on 05/18/2012

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Time to train an assistant manager with older or no children. You could always try arranging a playdate for them away from the house,without her laptop and only her phone for the "come and pick us up" call.

Find something that he really wants to do with mommy and help make it happen. He seems to be reacting to mommy in that manner, because he is genuinely distressed that he doesn't get to have more of her attention. He knows that shell be gone again and that you (daddy) are the more consistent parent.

It's obvious that you see this happening and know it, so not to make you feel uninvolved. You may need to make a clear definition. To your wife that when she gets home while she is entitled to some unwind time, she needs to remember that her son needs her to be involved in his life and you need it from her too. Good luck. :)

Joy - posted on 05/17/2012

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I agree with someone else who said its a role reversal. My husband works a full-time job and owns a store so he comes home very stressed. Sometimes he also sits and plays internet games, like your wife does. For awhile we were having a similar problem with our daughter too who didn't want much to do with her daddy when he came home.

What we did was set aside some special activities for Daddy/daughter. When she was old enough to take them (6 months here) he took her to swim lessons, gave her baths (until she requested me for them) and sometimes he takes her out on special trips to parks or for ice cream. He did get discouraged often because she would still prefer me, but the last few months she's been much more receptive to him.

Its an ongoing thing too. My husband's had to leave for business trips over the weekend and she'll be colder to him when he returns so they have to reestablish the relationship. That takes a couple of days.

Jason - posted on 05/16/2012

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thanks for all of your suggestions i will try them all and hope something gets through to her...

Thanks

Heather - posted on 05/16/2012

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Disconnect the internet once in a while! Fix it so it won't work. Pray she can't fix it herself. She shouldn't be going online when she gets home, she should be spending what little time before her son goes to bed, with him. Tell her that after he goes to bed, that you have no issues with her playing games online.

I am sorry that your wife is like this. It can't be fun for you either not seeing her or spending much time with her. :(

Amy - posted on 05/16/2012

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First of all it's completely normal for a child to prefer one parent over the other. My daughter has been glued to her father for the last 4 months. Although she comes to me to read stories and play games, daddy has to put to bed and wherever daddy goes she's right there.

I would talk to your wife again and explain to her what you're observing when she's not tired. You could try and schedule stuff for them to do together or as a family so she can see how you interact with him. The other thing you could do is when she gets home give her an hour to unwind and then she needs to shut the computer off till he's in bed. I really think your best bet is to plan stuff as a family like going to the park or hiking so she starts spending quality time with him.

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