Everyone’s heard of the infamous Mummy’s Boy and Daddy’s Girl. It’s a well established phenomenon when a child exhibits a greater affinity for one parent over the other. What isn’t always so well discussed, is the way this phenomenon can impact the serenity of a household.
Sometimes it can be a welcomed change of pace. The breastfeeding mother who feels like she has a child literally clinging to her breast most hours of the day, may welcome the day Daddy becomes the centre of the universe.
Other mothers, however, may feel a sense of loss for the exclusive connection they previously enjoyed with their child. Seeing Daddy step into the spotlight may not feel like a relief for every mother.
And in the case of some allergy families, the fact that one parent still hasn’t come into fashion may be a source of parental tension. After all, babies and children experiencing ongoing pain, difficulties sleeping and unpredictability in their lives, as those with allergies often do, can find it hard to let go of their primary carer.
Sadly, in such cases, where help and support are so desperately needed, we often hear about the extended family behaving badly. Suggesting that there isn’t a problem with allergies, so much as a problem with maternal/paternal anxiety. Snarky and ignorant little remarks frequently make their way in conversation like:
“We didn’t have all these allergies in my day!”
“Don’t be so paranoid, a little bit won’t hurt!”
And one of my personal favourites:
“(So and sos’ child has that), do you think it’s something they caught in the hospital?”
Rather than appreciating the immense amounts of difficulty and frustration, as well as the havoc on lifestyle, that allergies can cause, these family members become trapped in cycles of insensitivity. Instead of open their minds, or any relatively recent book about allergies, they cling to their the world is flat point of view.
This sort of behaviour not only undermines and alienates the family, it can also intensify feelings of failure for allergy parents when their children take longer to become interested in their other parent.
The silver lining for parents who are still waiting for their allergy baby to reach out them? Well, the day will be all the sweeter and the attention all the more intense for the extra wait. I can’t think of a single child I know, allergies or not, who has grown up without being both a Mummy and a Daddy’s girl or boy at some point. Yours probably won’t be the exception to that rule…
Children grow at their own pace and allergy babies are no exception. Your day in the parental spotlight will come!
Xx Allergy Mama