Due to child care, my husband works on the weekends, and I work on the weekdays.
So my son is with his father for 5 days a week for 24 hours.
The problem is that I have started feeling jealous as my son is more attached to his father than me.
Being a mother this really hurts me. I try not to feel this way, but I am feeling tense.
I even cry when my son turns to his father even if he hears his voice from another room – he keeps searching for him, even when he is with me.
Please help me in this regard. I know this is not good as he is his father, but still, I am unable to control myself.
In this counseling answer:
•Discuss the issue with your husband from the point of view of ways in which you can “share” a bit more.
• It is important for you to accept that it is quite natural for your son to turn towards the sound of his father’s voice.
• You can also learn about your son, and what he has or has not been doing. This will also help keep you in touch with your growing child
•Once you and your husband agree on how you are going to share your son, make aspects a routine that will allow your son to adjust.
As salamu `alaykum sister,
AlhamduliAllah, your son has a parent he can turn to and comfort him. So many children today do not know that comfort and senses of safety that a parent can give.
And alhamduliAllah, you have an understanding husband, who despite his position of responsibility at work is able to balance his commitments between work and home.
This is far better than having a nanny to whom a child will grow attached to, leaving the parents unable to establish the kind of parent-child relationship whereby the child as he/she grows older does not consider them in terms of parental love, or the kind of parents that you seek guidance and support from. You must give thanks to Allah (SWT) for this blessing.
It is never easy for a mother when she has to go out to work whether it is by desire or need. The feeling of separation can cause much anxiety for both the child and the mother, and this places much emphasis on how a mother spends time with her child rather than how much.
We all need to feel emotional security, and this is more so for a child who is coming to term with the world that they have been born into.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was aware of this need for emotional security to the extent that he would pick up a crying child when the mother was praying.
Your son will not understand why you feel anxious, but he will feel discomfort from what you are experiencing as children are sensitive to the emotions of others, but are not equipped to understand those emotions.
Imagine, as a professional woman, at the end of every working day, you are more than likely tired.
You have not had the chance to relax with your son as his father has done, and because of this, you are not privy to the changing needs of your son from moment-to-moment, and from one developmental stage to the next.
Then add to this your anxiety over your relationship with your son all together not leaving much emotional space to relax with one another.
So first of all, discuss the issue with your husband from the point of view of ways in which you can “share” a bit more. It is better to have a common understanding so that there is a joint approach to the problem.
It is natural
Secondly, it is important for you to accept that it is quite natural for your son to turn towards the sound of his father’s voice.
If there is a tendency to prevent your son from doing this, it might cause anxiety/fear in your son, as he will not understand why you are preventing him from getting what he wants; besides it might have the negative impact of making your son stubborn towards anything you ask of him.
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Instead, take a deep breath, put a smile on your face and in your heart, pick your son up and carry him to his father.
This does not mean that you hand him over or leave him with his father, but it does mean that your son gets to experience the both of you in the same space for no matter how short a time.
Keep in touch
Thirdly, after you arrive home and you have put the day behind you, take half-an-hour to discuss your husband’s day.
From that, you can also learn about your son, and what he has or has not been doing. This will also help keep you in touch with your growing child and the needs of your husband – sometimes we can assume too much!
In this way, you help strengthen the ties of relationship between the 3 of you, and be more familiar with your son, as you talk, play and spend time with him.
Make as routine
Fourthly, once you and your husband agree on how you are going to share your son, make aspects a routine that will allow your son to adjust.
For instance, the preparation for bedtime on weekdays (when you are at work) can be your responsibility in terms of feeding, bathing, and putting him to sleep.
On weekends, it can be your husband’s responsibility. As important, there must be times each day when you do things together.
From this, your son gets to experience you as one family, and he will more likely to accept you, as his father has accepted you making both mother and father the significant others in your son’s life.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.