You see, for the first 15 months (give or take) of his life, it was mommy time. I nursed my son for 13 months and since he used a bottle at daycare, we did not bottle feed him at home. The time we spent together while I gave him nourishment was beautiful and the highlight of my day. Although I do admit that when he was especially clingy and wanted to nurse frequently during the day, I longed for my body back. When I decided to wean him it was fairly easy but once he was completely weaned I questioned if I'd made the right decision. Our quiet nursing moments were over and I was unsure of what to expect next. As he gradually gained the confidence and independence to strike out on his own, it became clear that he wanted Daddy.
Daddy is more of a free spirit that believes children should be allowed to develop on their on terms, with boundaries of course. When I wanted to use the Ferber method to put my son to sleep my husband flat out refused. He feels the "cry it out" breaks a child's will and that goes against everything that he believes in. Generally my son and I have a bedtime ritual of reading, prayer, lullabies and rocking in our chair. After about 10 minutes of rocking I usually put him in his bed even when he is still awake. If my son decides to start screaming like a banshee, my husband will come in like a white knight and save the day. This irritates me to no end because there are periods when my husband travels 3 out of 4 weeks a month and I am stuck with the task of trying to balance my son's need to fall asleep in my arms and my need for time alone.
This is becoming less and less of an issue because my husband has been home for a stretch; he puts my son to sleep 4 out of 5 days a week. I quietly sit on the sidelines observing and let the bedtime games begin. I think that this practice has endeared my husband to my son and lately he spends as much time as humanly possible with Daddy. I admit, I am making excuses, my son's desire to spend time with is father is perfectly normal and I am sure to be expected at this age. It is just that as my dream of more "me time" has finally been realized, I miss the time with my son.
And this is my bittersweet reality - I want a momma's boy but love that he bonds with his father and gives me time to myself. To be perfectly honest, I think this is a nice balance. My son certainly spends time with me, we go on our our adventures and while at home we do activities while daddy is working. Today was a perfect day. I had time to myself to complete long neglected household chores while my son spent time with daddy. When he missed me he would barrel up the stairs and we did artwork and played together. This new phase in my life as a parent takes some adjustment but with a little time I think I will appreciate this even more.
Cross posted on BlogHer