Can you have a favourite child?
Last spring I started to feel that I may have a favourite child. It may sound terrible, but realizing it, and then understanding why it’s so, have made me more in peace with myself, and with my kids. I think that actually it has made me a better mother.
I used to repress this thought though, telling myself that I can’t have this feeling, because I love them both, and because it’s only bad mothers who choose one child over another. So I tried to push it far away, but I couldn’t.
Because sometimes I really felt that I had a favourite child. The one that was always smiling at me, and was calling me with excitement. The one that even when crying and upset was still really cute and adorable. The one that needed me and always listened to me. The one that didn’t say no as often ( nor repeat it over and over again).
And there was my intelligent, demanding and stubborn terrible three turning to f** four. Who was saying “no” a hundred times a day. Who when upset screamed and cried, but not in a cute and adorable way. The one that was testing my limits all the time.
So obviously the one that validated my parenting skills was my younger one. I felt like I’m doing a great job around her. She was happy, cute and easy to sooth.
And with my big girl around, at least once a day I was asking myself: am I a terrible mother? Am I doing it right? What could I do better? How should I react? I struggled. A lot.
So you might think that indeed, I was a terrible mother for picking a favorite kid. But I didn’t pick any. I love them both, and equally strong.
My challenging daughter used to be the cutest, nicest baby ever. I know that soon she’ll grow up, and become a smart, funny and kind young lady. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of fun.
And I’m pretty sure that my adorable baby will become a terrible two soon enough. And that I’ll struggle with her as well.
I realized that they are at different developmental stages, and that I have more ease with one stage than the other. So I understood that in fact, I have a favourite age, not a favourite child. And I think that they have different temperaments, and obviously I’m better at dealing with one, than the other.
So now I think that it’s ok to deal better with a certain age. It’s ok to like less some stages that they go through. It doesn’t make me a terrible mother, and it doesn’t make me love less my children.
And realizing that has made such a positive change in my approach toward my older daughter’s tantrums! Now, when she’s starting to loose it, I stay calm, and think that it’s just a phase, it’s not really her, she’s still my sweet little girl, and that the screaming and the whining is just a phase that she’s going through.
So here is my mantra now, my five rules to deal with it ( without ruining my kids psychic for life). And what I suggest you to do, if you’re in the same position as I am.
1. Realize that you might have your favourite developmental stage. (Ex. baby vs toddler)
2. Don’t show the preference.
3. Spent equal amount of quality time with each of the kids.
3. Talk about it with a friend or your partner, explain your feelings and don’t let the mommy guilt take over!
4. Realize that this is most likely a temporary preference. It’ll change or disappear.
So instead of felling guilty about my feelings, I try to deal with them. Because mommy guilt have never made a better mom out of anyone!
And I believe that it’s ok to admit to ourselves, that there might be a child with whom sometimes we feel better around. That there is one of our kids who is easier to parent then the other.
[bctt tweet=”It’s ok to admit that there is one of our kids who is easier to parent then the other. “]
I love the two of them like nothing else in the world. I just really prefer one developmental stage more than the other! So I guess that whoever will be in the terrible two / f* four stage will stay my least favourite but not least loved!
Do you have a kid that is easier to deal with then the others? Do you feel like you prefer to spend more time with one of your kid? How do you deal with it?
I don’t have any kids yet, but this is an interesting reflection from a child point of view too. I remember feeling that my parents had a favorite child sometimes, even joking about it with my siblings, but now that I’m an adult, I know it was never so. They just found it easier to put up with one of us at different stages of our lives. I guess they didn’t really did what you did here: think and talk (write) about it, so this is a nice lesson for me for the future. Thought-provoking! Thanks for the tips! Pozdrawiam. 🙂
Thank you Ingrid 🙂 since I’m an only child, I never knew that. I just thought that only bad parents show preferences 😉 ( among other silly things I used to think ) now I think it’s only a meter of a temperamental / age easiness that we may have.. Pozdrawiam rownież 🙂