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My Toddler Acts Completely Different Around Me

Image Source: Lauren Jimeson

“Mama, mama, mama, mama.”

That’s all I hear from him all day. I love hearing those squeaky words come from his little mouth, but after the hundredth time in an hour, I start to go a bit crazy.

I’ve always known that my son Macks was needier than my other kids. He’s been that way since day one. He nursed longer, always wanted to be held, and slept much better when he was right next to me. At 18 months, he still likes to be right by my side and gets fussy the second that I turn my back away from him.

Yesterday, I returned home from lunch with my two girls. It was Macks’ nap time, so I had decided to leave him home with my in-laws so he could rest and I could get some quality time with the big kids. The second I walked in the door, Macks ran up to me and started crying (as if he just realized I was gone for a couple of hours). He grabbed onto my leg and wouldn’t let go. The rest of the afternoon was spent with him following me around and then crying every time I tried to do something.

My mother-in-law laughed because she insisted he wasn’t at all fussy while I was gone. He played when he woke up and was as happy as could be. But the second I walked in the door, it was like there was a different little boy that ran into my arms.

I wasn’t surprised because I’ve been told the same thing numerous times by babysitters. I’ll be talking to them about the kids and while I’m trying to speak, Macks becomes fussy and insists on being in my arms. But even when I hold him it’s not enough, he has to take it a step further and fuss for something else.

Honestly, his neediness is starting to wear my patience thin.

He’s the third child in our family, and he gets more of my attention than my other kids by far. My girls are so independent and like to do their own thing most of the time. Because Macks is still so young, he’s the one that needs most of my attention. And while he gets it, it’s never enough for him. Even when people offer to help with him while I am in the room, he doesn’t want to leave my side.

Yet he doesn’t have a problem with separation. Every time I have to leave him with someone, I always make sure to say goodbye and he usually waves back and says, “bye!” with a smile on his face.

This parenting thing never ceases to surprise me. Just when I feel like I have the bull by the horns, it takes a turn and throws me off. I’m trying to figure out why he’s an angel for the sitters and then a completely different kid when I get home. I understand he missed me, but why be so difficult?

Friends and family tell me, like most things with Macks, it’s just a phase and it’s something I have to get through the best I can. But what happens when me doing my best is wearing my patience thin and turning me into a mom I don’t want to be?

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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