I gave birth to them. I gave up my career to look after them. I spend my life running around after them. I cook for them and clean for them. I wipe their bottoms and tend to them when they are sick. All of which I happily do as their mother, of course. Do they appreciate it?
No I think is the resounding answer to that question. They love me of course they do and on the rare occasion that I do go away for a day or even an afternoon, they are always pleased to see me, but the one they always want is daddy!
When A wakes up in the morning, she calls for her dad. Actually, she screams for him. It's the same if she wakes up in the night. Now he is back at work, he has often gone by the time she wakes up in the morning and when I go in to get her out of bed, she is usually very disappointed that it's me and not daddy. We have the same old conversation;
"I want Daddy!"
"Daddy has gone to work!"
"I want Daddy!"
"He's at work!!", through gritted teeth.
"I don't want you!"
"Yes I know that, but it's me or nobody."
Usually this is followed by a dramatic sigh as if to say "well you'll have to do then!", and off we go.
The boys are the same. They are thrilled when he comes though the door at night and whatever they are doing, they want their dad's company rather than mine. R often accompanies his request for daddy with a "but I do love you mummy!" but bed times are now a game of "I want daddy I don't want mummy to take me to bed." Mummy is always the consolation prize!
I don't mind really. I am lucky that my husband is a very hands on dad. He is much more fun and lively than me. When Daddy is around, it is all fun and frolics. Daddy doesn't worry about mess or rules or housework. When Daddy is in charge, I come home to a house reminiscent of a World War Two bomb site, but they have always had the most brilliant time. I also console myself with the fact that part of this adoration stems form the fact that he is also a lot softer which is why they always ask him for things first or say that they wish he was there when I am telling them off or saying no.
My husband takes it all in his size ten stride and when I moan about the fact that they never want me, he always says the same thing; " kids take for granted the parent they love the most." This is probably true. I am their constant, I have been here 99.9 per cent of the time since each of them were born. Daddy is here a lot less than me, so it is natural for them to be excited to see him and to want to spend time with him. I know that they love me really. Although it would be nice if they were a little bit more vocal about it from time to time.