Mummy and/or Daddy?

Feeling: Is he growing too fast?  stay small forever!

After a well deserved break over the last week what with the holidays and the anniversaries, here I am, back to blog and record my life again.

I’ve actually been thinking quite long and hard on whether or not to post this blog post because of its sensitive nature – who does baby like more.

Recently the bub has been going through a growth spurt, or so we think. Because he’s horribly fussy and he’s just not been the chirpiest champion around. It’s hard enough to find a moment when he’s not crying to be picked up or entertained much less to go to the toilet, eat or take a shower..

no time

That in itself isn’t much of an issue, we’ve been through fussy periods before. It’s what we’ve realised has been happening in the evenings when the hubs comes home.

In the evenings, after a long day at work, I know just how excited the hubs is to play with the baby that he rushes home to be with us. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t get the time that I do with our son because he works to bring home the bacon for us. So coming home is really something that he looks forward to all day, if just to spend a bit of time with me and bond with the baby.

I’ve been diligently having a daily pump to make sure that there’s a bottle of freshly expressed milk for him to feed the baby for the evening feeds and it’s also daddy’s responsibility to take care of the sleepy-time routine. That includes bub’s bath and story-reading and etcetera.

Sounds like quite a good arrangement so far right?

We thought so too. When we started introducing the bottle to the bub, the great internet said to make sure I was far, far, far away so that the bub can’t smell me while we were trying to get fed by the bottle and we successfully got the bottle into his mouth.

bottlefeeding

You should’ve seen the look of pure joy on the hubs’ face when he found that he could feed the bub.

Unfortunately, the happiness was short-lived because we realised he was preferential. The bub had his moods. He had to be held in a specific position. Perhaps he was looking for comfort or security in the way he’s held to feed?

Anyway, for some reason, after some time, he decided that he just did not want to be fed by anyone but me. And once the fussiness kicks in and the cries and waterworks switch on, the bub would wail and wail and wail and no matter what my husband does, the bub would keep wailing until I come to hug and carry him. Maybe it’s a bit of separation anxiety?

The hubs has been very upset about it because he wants to do his best with the bub and interact and play, but it was an issue that just refused to go away.

The most obvious of all reasons for is was because after all I’m at home all the time with the bub, so it would be the most natural that he would find me familiar. And because I breastfeed him, it would come naturally to me on how to hold him the right way when he’s ready to eat.

I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like my hubs would see how I held him and copy the angle and the stance and everything, but the baby would just fuss with him and not with me. Go figure.

That’s not to say that he doesn’t find daddy familiar though. The hubs does get good hours playing with the bub. The bub also clearly recognizes who’s his daddy and gives the hubs the brightest smiles when his gaze locks in on my hubs’ scruffy, a little bit worse for the wear, but still pleased to see you, I’m-home face.

daddy's home

It’s just that while he finds daddy familiar, mummy is more.

It’s not entirely a horrible experience for the hubs though. He has definitely been able to quell the fussy monster quite well in his own way too. It’s just that it takes quite a bit longer and the bub seems to quieten only for a while before he starts up again.

Now I know that this is the worst thing to be doing, but I have a feeling that I’ve been encouraging the behaviour in a way because I automatically reach out for the bub to be passed to me. I know that I can calm the baby down in my way, but what I really should be doing is letting my husband take care of it.

After all, shouldn’t I be glad that I can finally have some time to myself while there’s someone looking after the bub. Albeit the screaming of course.

I don’t quite know what it is. It’s just as upsetting for either of us to hear the bub wailing his head off but perhaps even more so for me when I know that I can calm him down.

In all honesty, it probably is much more horrible for the hubs because he knows I can calm the bub down quicker but he want to keep trying..

let me try

Is it bad that in a way, I’m secretly happy that the bub wants me. And perhaps eventually I’ll have jealous twinges when the bub starts to reach for daddy instead of me but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. It’s just me that has to learn to let go and allow others to take their turn with the bub so that he can be allowed to be independent and to learn.

I don’t think I have too much of a problem with that either, or at least I hope that I won’t have too much of a problem with it. I value my alone time and I’m happy when people are offering to carry the bub.

A week or two ago, I had an aunty carry my bub for a bit and one of my friends remarked that I’m actually a pretty chillax momma because lots of her friends refused to let people carry their babies and here I am offering people and asking around if anybody wants to carry my bub.

In any case, I’m pretty resigned to the face that when my bubs gets older, he’s most likely going to end up doing an about-face because daddy’s the one who is flying him in the sky and tossing him up and down.

Or I’m gonna have to grow some seriously big muscles to compete 😉

muscles

For now, I know how much it means to my husband for him to have a robust and active relationship with the bubs so I will take that step back and give him the time that he needs to create that bond with the bub.

If I don’t, I know that I truly won’t have any time to myself anymore because the bub will be so dependent on me. It will entirely defeat the purpose of expressing milk for someone else to feed him if the bub is only going to be used to me feeding him, whether bottle or breast right?

At the end of the day, it’ll only be a matter of time for things to settle in and for the bub to get used to the way that things are done. It’s all about doing things regularly and creating a sense of system for the bub to get familiar with.

I don’t think it’s like there’s a big issue anyway, just a little bit of the bub getting used to somebody else who loves him just as much if not more. And I know that we can really solve the problem by having the hubs take over more feeds and spending more time with the bub as much as he can.

But besides the weekends, there are only so many hours in the day left after work, and I don’t know if I’d be willing to give up my precious bonding time with the bub while breastfeeding.

mine

I’ve been asking the hubs to cradle baby when he sleeps so the bub sleeps enveloped in his smell.  Again because I’m with the bub for the whole day, the bub probably knows my smell inside out. We need to do something so that the bub recognizes daddy’s smell inside out too.

And I’m holding my tongue when the baby cries as long as I can before I offer to take over soothing him from the hubs.

We’ll try our best to make it work. After all, we love him so much that we’ll do what it takes to take care of him. It’s not about playing favourites anyway. The bub was created by the both of us together and we are both doing what we can do give him the best – keep him happy and healthy. It doesn’t matter who is doing it and more is better than one of course 🙂

All that said and done, I think I don’t think that it would be all that bad for me to still want to take the opportunity to enjoy my bonding time with the bub while I can but remind myself that there will come a time where I’ll need to let go. And that I shouldn’t be too upset when that happens. We’ll each have our turn.

let it go

After all, the bond between mother and child is never really broken 🙂

Letting go,
Jess

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3 thoughts on “Mummy and/or Daddy?

  1. I think the key thing to remember is that baby is just like us. Some people we like to shop with. Some people we like to have fancy meals with. Some people we like to work with but can’t live with, and vice versa. Bub naturally will always prefer to drink milk fresh from the source. It doesn’t mean he loves or wants one more than the other… I think that’s a road we don’t wanna go down because it’s not beneficial to your relationship with hubby either to compete for bubba’s attentions… Especially when they get older and have clear preferences. Sometimes when I carry her she screams and holds out arms for papa. Sometimes it’s the other way round. No point feeling upset cuz just like sometimes we wanna spend time with other people, sometimes James will want either parent… Might be easier if you take feeding as your area, John takes another area? Emma gets annoyed when I change her diaper because she wants papa. Haha. Anyway I’m the same la. Baby cry, just do whatever to soothe first. Sometimes when I come home after a long day and Emma is still clingy to my mom and dad, I also feel damn sian. So I get what John feels…

  2. Also wait for 6 months when James starts on solids. John will be able to feed him then, something that isn’t associated with the boob!

  3. Yup. We just need to make sure we manage our expectations. It goes without saying that we’re never going to be equally weighted against each other. We’ve had the talk before about how we’re going to play good cop-bad cop sometime eventually and that will obviously affect who the bub prefers more.

    I think what’s the most important now is that we treasure what time that we get with our bubs while they are small, whether it’s for John having time after work or me during the day. It doesn’t have to be scheduled to a T either.

    Plus it’s more important to work together in other to balance the time we spend individually and together with the bub AND give the other person a bit of time off too.

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