Natasha’s entire day revolves around Darsh, her three-year old, and his needs. Darsh, too, dotes on her. Except during Diwali, that is the time when her parents, in-laws or her sisters come visiting. Both the parents take a backseat for Darsh then, who wants to be with the relatives more than with his parents. Needless to say, all the discipline taught to him over the months goes down the drain. Natasha feels quite sad then, she feels like crying at times.
Is This Normal?
Well, it’s a bit natural to feel left out or even a little jealous when, all of a sudden, your two to four year old prefers his grandma, or aunt to give him a bath, or to go out with him to the park, instead of you. Many mothers tend to feel unimportant; it breaks their hearts to see that their child is ignoring them completely.
This scenario is common with working mothers as well, who have to leave their children with the elders, or at a daycare. The child might later feel more attached to the caregivers, and might not want to leave their side. Even a mom, who works all day to fulfill her toddler’s needs, would sometimes feel a little let down, when the child totally forgets about her the moment the father returns from work.
As with most other behavior, this is also a phase in your child’s life. Take heart, you are still the most important part of his world, it’s just that his horizons are expanding, and he’s learning to be independent, and connecting with others in his small social circle.
He stays with you all the time, so these kinds of interactions bring a kind of novelty in his life. This doesn’t mean he loves you any lesser. In fact, you could view this as a positive response for all your upbringing. He trusts you to the extent that he feels secure, even when he’s with others, to know that you will always be there when he needs you.
f you feel he’s becoming undisciplined, be firm. Tell him in a non-confrontational way, that ‘You can hear grandma’s story when you have finished your dinner and changed into your night-dress.’ That way he’ll know some rules are meant to be followed at all times.
Also, you could enlist your family’s help, by making them understand your plight. They could reinforce your presence, when your child is with them with subtle hints like, ‘Sonu, look your mom’s calling you. Finish your milk and then we’ll have a nice game.’
Request your daycare to make going home times more pleasant for your child.
Finally, take the matter with some humor. Instead of cringing and pining for his attention, treat yourself to some me-time, read that magazine you wanted to, or get yourself that pedicure you couldn’t take out time for.