It’s getting near to dinner time and my youngest child has just fallen over, the tears are flowing and in he comes. I reach out my arms to hug him but all I can hear is “mummy, mummy!” My heart sinks, this happens every time someone is hurt. “What’s the matter, how can I make it better?” I ask but of course “I want mummy!” The fact that I want to help seems to make things worse as his shrieks and frustrations rise along with my stress levels. Why, seriously am I passed over?
Mummy swoops in, kisses it (his knee) better and all is right with the world. Hang on, why do I feel frustrated and rejected? I could have done that, and I was closer. It’s not just in times of pain this happens I can be sitting right in the line of fire and they will walk straight past me, “mum where’s the …..”, “he hit me”, “Do you know ….”. It’s not just me that has noticed this and I hear my wife say “seriously have you just walked past dad to come to me, go and ask him” the emphasis on “him” as in help me out, put some effort in. It’s just not that simple when they don’t want you, sometimes it just makes things worse. I totally understand as with 5 children I am sure she would just like a few minutes peace.
I would love it to be me that they came to and they do, about 10% of the time. I love the affection of my children and the feeling of being wanted and needed, as surely as a dad that’s what you signed up for. I would love to take 50% or no all of the “mummy” call from my wife and there have been times when only I would do to read bedtime books (and that felt great), but it seems to be a default reaction for the children to track down mum.
So how do you stop being invisible? I have not quite figured it out. You can’t force yourself into being the nurse as that just makes things worse. I try to cuddle it out, sort the fights before I get the dreaded “dad” with the emphasis on “DAD” from mum! Sometimes though only a mummy will do, and to be honest you can’t really argue with that. As for being invisible, it can be advantageous as I get to see the love of my life and mother of my children being completely awesome.