My Baby Acts Worse When I Am Around

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There is power in sharing our stories with each other, and the biggest power is realizing that you are not alone. When moms go through life thinking that they are the only ones who are experiencing these struggles, they end up gaslighting themselves. They may start to question what they are doing, and think that they are doing everything wrong. I can tell you, that is seldom the case, and that is why I love to share my stories and journeys with the world.

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If I can help even just one mom realize that she is not alone and that there are others who struggle with the same things as she does, then it will all be worth it. I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this. I have faced a problem with all of my children when they were infants and young toddlers, and even though my oldest is now 6, I still struggle with it sometimes with her, and that is the phenomenon that they act the worst, and behave the worst when they are with me.


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This behavior ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ‘behavior that my infants all did had me looking like a fool to a lot of people. I would talk to my parents or my in-laws, and I would vent about the day I was having and how much trouble my child was giving me. Then, the next time they babysat, they would think I was absolutely insane or just really sensitive. That is because my children were suddenly “perfect angels” when they were with anyone else.

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After any sleepover or babysitting event, I would get met with how great my baby / toddler was with them, and how they didn’t have any issues. This was always surprising because I am pretty sure I deal with at least 50 tantrums every day. Half the time I wasn’t even sure that we were talking about the same baby.

Any complaint on my end would be met with the argument that my children were perfect, and they never acted this way when they were with someone else. If we stopped and thought about how this sentence can make a mom feel, we may never say it anymore. I am sure I am guilty of doing it as well after minding someone’s child, but maybe we need to stop. I heard it so much that I started to think I was doing something wrong, and even worse, I started to think that my baby didn’t like me. I thought they liked their grandparents more because they never gave them a hard time. What was I doing wrong, or differently, to make them act like little devils around me?

The answer is nothing, and I read something one day that made me completely change my mind, and not I take it as a compliment that my babies were also worse when they were with me. I am their safe space.

When my babies were with me, they didn’t even have to worry about “being on their best behavior,” and they could completely be vulnerable. They could express their big feelings, and they felt safe doing so. They felt safe because I was there, and they knew on some instinctual level that I was a safe space for them to be who they were. This completely changed how I felt, and I am hoping that it helps some other moms to hear it.

Does it still frustrate me that my baby and toddler act worse for me? Absolutely, but I at least understand it now. I know that they are not doing it because they don’t like me, or because they like their grandparents more, they are doing it because they trust me.

For any who thinks that an infant is not old enough to think like this, you are right. An infant cannot put these pieces together, but it doesn’t stop them from feeling it inside. They feel at ease when they are with me, their mom, and this feeling of ease is what allows them to be open and vulnerable.

If you are a mom who has a baby that seems like a perfect doll to anyone but you, you are definitely not alone. This is something that is felt by a lot of moms out there, and hopefully, you can start taking this as a compliment and a testament to the love you are showing your little one. Next time they press your buttons, remember that and this can help you empathize with them, even in the middle of their worst tantrum.

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