Dad Terence Mentor, who blogs at AfroDaddy, opened-up about a very real, but painful-to-talk-about topic – and other parents are so relieved he did.
Something magical happened last night.But before I tell you what it was, you need a bit of background:Ever since my…
“It made me jealous”
Terence revealed that his second child, a little boy called Eli, had a strong bond with his wife Julie. In fact, much to Terence’s chagrin, 2-year-old Eli would almost always default to Mum.
Terence said he envied the “immediate and intense connection” Julie and Eli had, and wished that his son would reach for daddy a little more.
“Ever since my youngest, Boy 2.0, was born, he was totally his mother’s child. I honestly found their immediate and intense connection beautiful, but even more honestly… it made me jealous.”
Many, many dads will find Terence’s situation familiar, and we love it that he’s piped up about these very real and very difficult to navigate feelings.
“It is quite a thing to be a dad who can’t comfort his child, who is constantly told ‘No, I go to mommy’, who never seems to have a real, relational moment with his own son. I know, I know. It’s silly and childish but the jealousy was real and disheartening.”
Fortunately, some deep breaths, time and patience has seen the tide turn a little bit for this obviously devoted dad.
“Something started to change over the last few months. Boy 2.0 started not just being okay being with me, but occasionally would actually choose me over mommy! Maybe this shouldn’t have made me as happy as it did,” Terence admits.
STOP BEING SO DAMN CUTE, BOY2.0!It's tough to be grumpy when this is the face you come home to.#parenting #kids #toddler #fatherhood #pram #cutesmile
Bolstered, he explained that things are on the improve and he’s feeling his role in Eli’s life is expanding – and more meaningful.
It was enough to bring the relieved dad to tears.
“This trend has continued – and then last night, while he was asleep on his mother’s chest (the only place he has always found comfort for the last two years), he got up and, still asleep, cuddled into me,” Terence wrote.
“This child, who would cry when I so much as looked his way, came to me for his comfort and calm. Not going to lie… I got a little teary-eyed.”
Commenters on Terence’s post sought to confirm the ebb and flow of parenting favour – and deeply related to its challenges.
“Wow, this is so special and I’m sure everybody can relate. These stages fluctuate all the time. You stay in that love-hate relationship for most of their young lives,” one follower posted.
“I can so relate, my 14 year old teenager has also always been her Daddy’s girl. However lately, I go from being a “weird and uncool” Mommy to a “I need a cuddle in your bed and just BE”. And I can honestly say that it makes my heart smile broadly and I shed a tear silently,” another posted.
“I can relate my baby, who is also 2 sometimes prefers his dad and sometimes I feel a bit used that he only comes to me for “booba”. But then when he’s ill or very upset all he wants is his mama,” a tired mum explained.
Share the struggle
Terence wanted to share his story – and his progress with Eli – in the hope that it would help other dads cope with their own complex feelings, and help them find their feet with their own mum-adoring kids.
“Is there a lesson here? Yeah – being a dad is hard, but every bit of emotional and physically energy that you use can be repaid to you in an instant.”
“Maybe you are a parent going through what I have been going through. Keep going. Keep pushing. It will be worth it,” Terence promised.
Nothing like a bit of dad-to-dad advice to bolster the struggling papas!
Excellent share, Terence.