h2>Dating : How can I believe my son loves me?
My son is 13 months old. He is a very happy, expressive baby. I am his primary caretaker. I’d say my husband and I split duties 60/40 or on a busy day for husband, 70/30. I play, feed, clean, put to bed for naps. Husband gives a bath and will get up with the baby at night if he loses his pacifier.
I am not sure if because my husband feels like a ‘limited time offer’ or something, but baby goes ga ga when he sees daddy. He squeals more, points, and the bit that hurts me most is constantly going to dad to be picked up. Dad does a lot of the fun stuff like taking him to the fridge to open it, to the window to see the cars, etc. We joke and say dad is his personal chariot.
I really want to believe my son loves me because once I left him in dad’s care alone for 5 hours recently and the baby freaked out. I went to the front door a dozen times and kept pointing. He only calmed down when he saw me on FaceTime and heard my voice.
But I just feel like the less fun person. You know how we talk about attachment styles, as in our kids being attached to *us* as parents? If we flip that and look at *my attachment to him*, it would be an insecure anxious attachment.
I can’t stop feeling like I have to perform for his love. I have to be happy, expressive, full of energy! I have to sing all the time, smile until my face hurts. Now I’ve even started giving in to little behaviors I shouldn’t. He cries if he sees the remote control and I don’t hand it over. I want to be liked by him, so I give it to him even though he could break it.
I am struggling to:
1. Enforce boundaries and say NO and mean it. I give in to little things such as the remote in order to be liked. Children need healthy boundaries and I recognize being totally permissive is not a good thing in the long run!
2. Not always be counting every micro-interaction and making it a competition between me and my husband. “Oh. He looked at dad longer than me. Does he love dad more?”
3. Be myself. I feel like a performer, like an exaggerated version of super-happy-go-lucky mom.
4. AND most importantly… I struggle with the fear that one day he will be old enough to know something is up with me, and feel like my adult feelings are his problem, as a child. I don’t want him growing up with this idea that he needs to perform for MY love too.
How do I accept he loves me? Are there signs that they love you? He can’t hug or kiss yet. And dad seems like the shiny, new thing in this house. I just want to feel comfortable with his love.