Mom Confessions: I Favor My Older Child

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hushIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

"I favor my 8 year old over my 6 year old. My 8 year old is much easier to deal with. My 6 year old throws constant tantrums. Even though I feel that way, they get treated equally. I think a lot of mothers secretly favor one child over the other, either because one is easier to deal with, sweeter, smarter, cuter, whatever the reason. You can't help what you feel inside." --anonymous

"But it should never be shown to the kids," the mom continues. "I know that I love them both the same. I just feel that one is easier to deal with and I'd rather be around (shopping, movies outings) that one. I don't pay my "favorite" more attention. If anything, the other one gets more attention because I feel guilty for favoring one."


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Do you think it's perfectly natural for a mother to favor one child over another, either due to personality or a medical issue the child is going through?

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Total Votes: 391

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Does favoring a child translate into loving them more than another -- even though you might not think so on a conscious level?

We all have secrets -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

activities, discipline, siblings, tantrums

49 Comments

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Lil_M... Lil_Mom_Of_3

I'm in a similar situation.  I have problems with my oldest (4). He just started to see his bio dad for the first time.  He comes home and is a different child all together.  He is mean, back talks, and picks on his little sister. At times, I find myself enjoying the time he is gone w/ bio.  I've felt so bad for  looking at my 2 youngest and feeling a relief that he is gone for the weekend.

three... threeBoysMommy

I sometimes find that I like one child more over the other at different times. I cant say I favor one over the other all of the time but find that some-days are better with one child over another. Sometimes my oldest can be so helpful while the other two are being out of control. OR when my middle child wants to help me bake or cook. I find that he likes doing that more then my oldest. I think if someone really stops to think about it... there are days you like one child more then the other.... at that time for whatever reason. Doesn't mean you love them more then the others.... just at that time you like one more then the others.... JMO

3eart... 3earthangels

I have the problem that I feel like my middle child is left out. My oldest has some social issues and just started school and my youngest is only 12 months a still demands a lot of my time. So my middle child is left to fend for herself a lot of the time. I do my best to give her her own time and attention but lately it's not been an everyday thing. Sometimes I feel it would just be easier if I just had 2 no matter which 2 it was. I love them all equally and couldn't imagine my life without any of them. But some days I prefer one over the other b/c of their mood.

salex... salexander

I understand how you feel.  But I try to tell myself that most times the ones that are hardest to love and deal with are often times the ones who need it the most.  I love all my children..I have 5, but I love them differently because they are different people.  Not that I love one more than the other...just differently.  Who knows, your hard to deal with child may be the mild teen and the mild one now the nightmare?  Life with kids...never a dull moment!

MAyers MAyers

I favor my oldest more then my 2nd. She was my first born, she acts just like me, looks like me, and weve been through a lot together. I only had my 2nd to please my husband, I knew I wasn't ready to have another yet. I had post partum depression until she was 7 months old (she's now 1 on sunday) There was soooo much going on while I was pregnat with my 2nd. Between family drama, getting custody of my sister's kids, just getting married, not having time for myself etc I just didn't like her, I'd feed her and but her back to bed. I now feel horrible about this b/c I dont' remember her as a tiny baby. So now when I go shopping I always take the baby b/c I feel bad about it. I would never tell them though.

calaid calaid

I have a hard time understanding how anyone could favor one child over the other...They may have differences and on maybe easier to handle, but that is what makes each child unique....This is very disturbing to know how many mothers actually favor one child over the other......both of my children are equal little angels in my eyes....One may be more stubborn than the other but that is what makes him him......

MNMom... MNMom247365

Some days I favor my ds(2) and some days I favor my dd(5). I guess it all really boils down to their mood that day. If my dd is being emotional I tend to cuddle and "favor" her more... if my ds is being snuggly then I favor him more. It all depends. In the end I don't think I really favor one more than the other just more than the other on certain days. However I do find that I pay more attention to my 2 year old than I do my 5 year old at times but that is simply because she can do soooo much more than he can.


Oh this sound so horrible but I am glad I am not alone.

foxym... foxymama21

i was just curious if you saw the non judgemental part at the top??  I think it is rude of you to say that to her.  She was being honest. 


now too the top... i think at times i feel i pay more attention to one or the other it is never equal.  I think i play and spend time with my little girl more because my son entertains himself and always has plus i find it easier to paly girl things then boy things.  But i love my chidlren equally.

mum2g... mum2gr8byz

You know, I worried about feeling this way a lot when I was TTC my second baby.  But I can honestly say that I do not favor either of my boys over the other.  I am sitting here trying hard to examine my "inner-self" (haha!) to see if I can find any feelings of inequality there, but I honestly can't. 


Maybe the closeness in their ages (they are 19 months apart) helps me to see them in a similar light.  I am not dealing with one school-aged child and one infant...I have two toddlers that both come with toddler joys and toddler troubles! :) 

MamaC... MamaCatCat

I'm not sure that the "Please keep your comments non-judgemental" rule meant "If you disagree you are not allowed to post"


I disagree that it's okay to favor children. I think people assume that kids are supposed to be automatic, you aren't supposed to have to invest your whole life into them.


But you ARE. We are just a selfish generation. You hope for a happy, healthy, easy baby, so when you get a sick baby or a difficult baby or a stubborn, hard-to-raise child you are disappointed, as if somebody promised you being a parent is a piece of cake. So when your first child is easy and your second isn't, or even vice versa, you are disappointed, as if it's the child's fault. It's not fair at ALL to the 'non-favorite' child, just because they have needs that aren't as easy to meet or are more difficult to discipline.

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