Should we still be talking about daddy's girls and mama's boys?

I've noticed since the littlest Inspiration made her way into the world that so many stereotypes are coming to the fore and some of them are downright infuriating.

I'm the first to admit that I adore seeing the Carnivore with our baby girl, making her smile, cuddling her when she's upset and especially now as she's that bit older, getting excited about daddy coming home. I say all the time 'where's daddy?' so there's no wonder that 'dadda' was her first word and her grin is so wide when she sees him.

So far so good, but here's where the issues begin. Everyone, from friends to family, constantly make a big deal about her being a daddy's girl, even based on seeing them for only two minutes. Yes she loves her daddy, naturally so, but she does spend pretty much all her time with mummy but somehow I end up feeling ignored and pushed aside.

It's not that our little Milkivore clearly loves both her parents and has a close bond with us both, that I LOVE, it's that there's this unwritten rule that baby girls are only for their daddies. It somehow diminishes and marginalises the unbelievably strong bond I have with my baby girl. Also the sheer amount of love, time and attention I put in to being a mummy.

Mums do so much work behind the scenes. Caring, feeding, nurturing, rocking, loving. We give mind, body and soul to our babies. Literally. We take ALL the photos and rarely does anyone offer to take one in return. We are the one's making the effort to keep them connected to families, grandparents and teaching them about the world. Yet somehow all anyone sees when we get together with them is how wonderful daddy is and how much baby girl loves him.

In fact I'd go as far to say that I have often felt like a bit of a hindrance. Like I'm in the way and the fact that the littlest Inspiration CHOOSES to come to me or cries for me if she's unsure, or hungry or misses my cuddles, is seen as me smothering her or stopping her from being with them.

After all the Milkivore is still a very young baby and she clearly does need her mummy but there have been times when I've had to be quite assertive to wrestle her back from someone who refuses to accept she's hungry, for example, and I am far from alone, as I have heard other new mamas say similar things.

There have been times when I've been left feeling like I need to move aside, almost apologetic for the littlest Inspiration's close bond with me, and I have never felt more unpopular at times. Has anyone else ever felt that people would prefer you out of the way to spend time alone with baby?

I haven't experienced having a baby boy but I've certainly heard the saying 'mamma's boy' bandied around, so I assume the same goes the other way. I'd love to know if it does or if in fact mamas are still invisible to outsiders and again Daddy gets the compliments, the glory and the admiration for our wonderful little bundles.

Having experienced gender discrimination in the workforce, where men are notoriously seen and treated more favourably. When unscrupulous male bosses have taken my ideas or been better rewarded for the same amount (or less) work, I just can't help wondering if there are parallels in the parenting world.

To be clear, this is not something the Carnivore is perpetuating and he gives me constant credit for how wonderful our little human is, but it does seem that mums are expected to be hard working, selfless, good mothers and wives, but ANYTHING daddies do, no matter how little time they may get to spend with bubba, is rewarded with a constant stream of compliments.

I'd love to change the narrative and hear more equal, gender neutral observations. To be told that we are both doing a wonderful job parenting the Milkivore, that she clearly adores us both, that it has obviously taken a lot of dedication from us both to achieve the kind of bond the littlest Inspiration has with mummy AND daddy.

To realise that giving her the strong foundations with her parents will actually serve her better for building relationships with others. That there isn't a time limit to establishing a bond with baby and there is plenty of time for other people to have their moments with her.

Perhaps then both of our efforts can be fully seen and neither parent has to feel sidelined. After all co-parenting is a team sport. Let's cheer for both sides.


  1. I get the same, but equally I turn it around and call my daughter a mummy's girl! #itsok

    1. Absolutely fair enough. :) It's one of those funny old sayings that has been around since the dawn of time but I'm not sure what it really means. The sentiment is more that both parents should be equally recognised for their contribution to raising our tiny humans and the close bond they have with them.

  2. This is such a beautifully written post... I cannot agree more! It used to infuriate me no end as well when everyone used to talk about how great my son and husband are together and what a hands-on dad he is etc etc. No doubt he is and I love their father-son bond, but as you rightly said, it is us mothers who do all the dirty/ boring work (feeding/ bum-washing/ putting to bed) day in and day out, and it's just 'expected' of us, rather than us being appreciated... so not fair!!! Thanks for linking this up with us at #itsok

    1. Yes.This! I think the caregiver that is with them all the time can get a bit overlooked. I think I'm just not a fan of stereotypes in general and though it may be harmless (I genuinely don't know) I don't know why daughters have to be 'daddy's girl'and sons 'mama's boy'. In fact why do they have to favour one parent at all. Let's just be equal. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I can't help feeling you are exaggerating a bit: I think this is a stage thing: trust me, as a Dad, daughters grow out of this worshipping Dad thing .... with a vengeance. And normality sinks in. The good and the bad #itsok

    1. I think as new parents everything is a learning curve and you don't know what 'normal' is. I hope it isn't a phase. I want my baby girl to worship daddy and she does, but I also would love someone to acknowledge the bond I have with her too. It sometimes feels that it's seen as a hindrance that she often wants mummy. It's more that mum's are just a bit invisible and everything we do is just expected. As I say, co-parenting is a team sport so surely the whole team should be acknowledged? Even aside from this, I'm not sure promoting the whole daddy's girl and mama's boy stereotype is helpful. Thanks for your comment.


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