Do you secretly prefer one of your children over the others?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This has been bugging me for a while and I want to see how other people feel.

    I consider myself the mother of four, since Scott is no longer a part of our lives. Out of the four other children, I have one biological son in Missouri, a daughter from Korea, Sonic and Jumper.

    I love all of them dearly, but feel far more disconnected from Sports Fan (biological son) than the other three kids. Not only does he live in Missouri, but he isn't much on calling, he doesn't try to make an effort to see us (and some of that is money and his work schedule), and he really has some personality flaws that bother me and. He is nice and respectful to me when we do talk, but that isn't very often. It is very hard to get him on his phone and he rarely calls back.

    I feel close to Sonic, Pastry Chef and Jumper and it is a total joy to be with my two girls so I wonder if I favor my girls over my boys. Sonic, with his autism, is hard to get to know, but I have a real soft spot in my heart for him. So I feel very close to all three of these kids.

    But, if I'm telling myself the truth, I really really really consider Jumper just a little more special than the other kids. I don't know if I love her more. I don't really think so. But she is such a rewarding and fun kid. She is so mature and so free of drama and sometimes...I feel guilty about feeling this way. The time we spend together is always so much fun. We just REALLY get along well.

    Is all this normal? Also, is it common to not feel as connected to kids who live far away and don't call that much? I guess it would be better if I called his wife, because she could tell me more about my grandson and fill me in on what they have been doing, but I have never been close to her. That makes it even harder to stay in close touch.

    Thoughts? Do you feel the same way? Am I just stange? LOL, well, I KNOW I"m strange...
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Honestly? no.

    1) none of mine is grown up yet
    2) I only have two... and that's one of each, so comparisons aren't fair anyway
    3) while one definitely got an overdose of GFGness... its not like the other got off scott free. And unfortunately, the "tough parts" come from both sides of the family, so I'm partly looking in the mirror.
    4) they are both teenagers right now... which means that there are days when it feels like I'm not exactly sure whether I love either of them... (In reality I do... but lots of days when I don't particularily LIKE either one!)
    5) at 18 months apart... I really had to be insane to do that... and esp. to have a M first, followed by a F... because they end up hitting the hormone cycles at exactly the same time. Silly me.

    Ask me this question in another 20 years or so... and it could be interesting.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I can honestly say that I love both my boys the same. However, difficult child 1 is a lot of "work" where difficult child 2 is less so. There are days when it is hard to like difficult child 1 but I wouldn't say I love him any less. I would go to the ends of the earth and give my life for either of them. I "prefer" less drama and stress but wouldn't give it up for the world if it meant losing difficult child 1.

    Not sure if that answers your question but yes, I have thought these exact same thoughts before and always come to the above conclusion. As far as kids that live away from home, I'm not there yet so can't help you there.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    I think it's normal and no you are not strange. I think you're struggling with the difference between like and love. I love all of my kids, but I like each of them to varying degrees at different times. This may change as they get older. One may become a standout. I don't know.

    Generally, I think I like son the most, just not today. DD1 is the most difficult for me to like, but there are times that I can't get enough of her. And DD2, well, she's my baby, and cute as a button - what's not to like about her?

    Hmmmmmmmmm not sure what I'm saying, but I do think it is normal to like some,or one, of your own kids more than the others.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I guess I do mean like more.
    One thing that helps with Sonic and Jumper is that I have a great husband and there have been no divorces during their lives so they obviously feel more stable. But I adore Pastry Chef too. We have been through a lot together and grown very close.

    SportsFan has inherited a lot of my problems. I"m sure I had borderline traits (probably still do, but under good control). I think he probably has a personality disorder too of some sort...maybe mild narcisism? He is hard to connect with. Don't get me wrong...I'd lay down my life for any of them, including the grandchild I have only been able to see about five times...he is still my beloved grandchild. But I do like Pastry Chef, Sonic and especially Jumper more than him. LIKE not love. I do love him.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I can't say that I have a favorite, but someone once asked me, if I could only keep 2, which 2 would it be (this was ore-Cgfg). They were certain I would say my two bio's.
    They were shocked at my response.
    I would do anything for any of them. easy child 1 is just an awesome young person. He is quietly influencing people by his very being. difficult child 1 is, as well, but his influence is less subtle - the boy could move mountains if he choose to do so.

    easy child 1's 'solid and steady' gave their teens years a good 'grounding'. On the same note, difficult child 1's tendency towards 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat' kept it interesting. They made a good pair and I enjoy their memories often.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I love all my kids the same. Although I'll say katie has been majorly testing it.

    But that has nothing to do with closeness, and that closeness has nothing to do with favoritism either.

    What I mean to say is, each child will have their own distinct personalities and interests. If those "click" with yours, you're going to find that spending time with them ect is easier......just as you would with another person for the same reason. It doesn't mean you favor them, just means you have more in common with them.

    Like Nichole and I are very alike, I mean.....very alike. Now most of the time that usually drives a parent and child nuts. But not us. (I'm not counting when she was a teen and it annoyed her lol )

    easy child and I are very close too, but in different ways.

    And Travis being autistic.......well, even we have interests in common although he's not quite as social as his sisters.

    Katie? Well, in all these years I've not found one thing in common with her yet.......and not for lack of trying either. Normally she's not open and social which just makes it all the harder to spend time with her. So, as a result, I don't spend much time with her. Having to literally attempt to drag a conversation out of her gets exhausting after a while and tedious. Then when I do, I wish I didn't because it's one long drawn out whine that to me is like someone dragging their nails down a chalkboard. I have issues with whining in young kids, in adults I find it intolerable. So that doesn't help either.

    So I don't think it's having a favorite per se, not that some parents don't because they do.......I think it's more of how much you have in common with the child and whether or not the child puts any effort into the relationship as well.
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I love both my children the same, but I have different relationships with them. easy child is older and a female so naturally the things we talk about and do are totally different than the things I discuss or do with my 16 year old boy difficult child!

    easy child and I are extraordinarily close - always have been. Certainly I am her mother first, but as she has matured and become independent, we are also friends. We share many of the same likes and love doing things together. I am very fortunate that my daughter likes spending time with her mother!

    difficult child and I are also close, but in a different way. I know that boy inside and out! He has a piece of my heart because of the struggles he has been through, overcome, and continues to deal with. I have a piece of his because he has grown to trust and depend on my support and guidance. I love spending time with him when he is tuned in and love talking to him! There aren't a lot of things we enjoy the same insofar as things to do outside the house. But I have found we can enjoy the journey!

    Having said all that, I will tell you that Monday night we had "family night", which we do once a week. One night a week when easy child doesn't have to work or work late, we get together to share a meal and share the evening. So we were talking about the holidays and that got us talking about years past, which got us talking about Christmas when they were little, which led to looking at all the Santa photos (which I actually had close at hand because I wanted to do some kind of montage project for them as a Christmas gift), which led to me talking about how much they mean to me. Honestly, I told the children that they really have been the blessings of my life and, from the moment I held them in my arms, I knew being a mom was part of my destiny.

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My first thought was, "It depends on the day...the mood...their mood"

    Seriously, I love them both the same (I think). However, I do enjoy certain times/things with one over the other and those things have changed over the years and it really does depend on their mood, my mood, what's going on, etc. easy child and I have a very similar sense of humor. But so do difficult child and I.

    I love going to eat or get drinks with difficult child - she's just a lot of fun and her stories entertain me. We have good times just chatting it up and I can sneak cigarettes with her, lol. I enjoy road trips with difficult child more than with easy child, but easy child and I had a fabulous time in PR this past August. difficult child is more kick back and relaxed on some levels - high maintenance on others. difficult child has become a great shopping companion. When she was little I hated bringing her along to the mall or school shopping because she whined and cried the entire time, wanted nothing and everything, hid from me, got lost, ran away, ugh. Now, she's awesome, she's helpful, a frugal shopper and all around fun to be with at the mall.

    I like going to the mall with easy child, we're good shoppers together, we laugh our behinds off and enjoy people watching together. We have similar taste in clothes and respect the other's opinion when out clothes shopping. She's a bad influence on me, however, as I always spend more when she's there! I am the person easy child calls to bounce ideas off of and I love discussing her topics of interest and future plans with her. Since we're both in school, we can share lots of good conversation that evolves around our school and classes. And her stories from work crack me up. I love listening to her dreams. She keeps her feelings very close to her heart, so because of that, I often have to tread a bit carefully around her emotions - she can be incredibly MOODY, but when she opens up, it's like "Wow!".

    They can both be very helpful or not helpful at all. There isn't one thing that stands out between them that would make me love one more over the other. I get along great with both of them. I miss difficult child being around more and spending the time we used to spend together, but even with easy child home, she and I aren't spending more time than normal anyway - we all have our adult lives now. Because difficult child isn't home, I'm guessing we actually get along better than ever. Sometimes I wish easy child would/could move out into her own place and then her moodiness wouldn't bother me so much, but I've learned to detach from it.

    I love them both the same.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  10. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Mine are grown so maybe that makes a difference. This idea has been in the news a lot lately and I've been thinking about it. I think I've tried to love them both the same but they are not the same so I love them differently, but not one more than the other. Through the years one or the other may have been my "favorite" for awhile but it hasn't always been the same one. Sometimes one child needs you more. Sometimes you have different things going on that makes your reaction to them different. I'm not sure that "same" with each kid is worth striving for. You just love them all and try to do the best you can for each one with their different need, personalities, and situations.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I love both the kids. I adore them both to bits.

    But you all know the garbage Onyxx has put me through. And honestly, that really hurt, and as for liking her... Well. Mostly, I don't.

    So, yeah, I guess I prefer Jett. on the other hand... He doesn't get a lot of stuff Onyxx does. And I can do "girly" things with her... Though I'm not much for shopping!

    But there's nothing wrong with that, nothing at all. It's NORMAL. In fact I read an article on it. The fact is, different people are - DIFFERENT. I do love them - but in different ways - just like I love my parents and husband differently. That's just the way it works.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Each of our six adult children are different from one another. Depending on the circumstances I would choose to be with one over another based on their personalities and the type of activity involved. Yes, I even love GFGmom but I don't like her lifestyle choices. Understatement, lol.

    Someone asked me twenty years ago "if you had to spend a month alone with one of your kids, who would it be?" I gave it some thought and answered truthfully. That "child" and I shared the same sense of humor, curiosity etc. He turned out to be the one who distanced himself himself from the family. At different ages I guess I've been more drawn to one over another. All of them know where I am and that they can count on me to cover their back. In 2011 there are two who would cover mine. Weird. DDD

    Obviously husband and I are really attached to difficult child#1 who has lived most of his life with us. We've shared so many wonderful times with him and yet he is the one who has caused the most stress. Life deals the deck in surprising ways.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    At different times my answer to this question would have been different kids. When the kids were toddlers, Billy was my favorite because you could tell him to go play quietly and he would do it while I chased his brothers all over heck and back. When Jamie got into elementary school and started playing sports, Jamie really became my favorite because he was just so darned cute and so good at sports. Then when the kids hit the teen years, Jamie just dropped me for his father and Cory loved going shopping with me so we became best buddies.

    This is not to say that I didnt love them all. I have never felt that close to Billy because my mom basically took him from me as often as she could and he lived with her from 7th grade till 12 th. Bad decision on our part but I didnt know I could force the schools to put him in a different school in our district. She even taught him to call me Janet instead of Mommy or Mom because that is what she called me.

    Now that they are older, with Jamie in VA, he is much less attached to me even though when he first left for the military he became very close again. Now he is closer again to his dad. Im just mom. Cory is my baby. Also will be. Billy is different but he tries in different ways to show his affection and we are much closer now.
  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My kids are like the 4 points of the compass - never ceases to amaze me how 4 kids from same parents, in same house, could be so completely different. thank you is thank you (by the way, a pleasure these days), Weeburt is stoic and quiet, Boo is Boo, and Diva is a teenage girl :)tearinghair:). They have each always had their own individual quirks and personalities - impossible to love them the "same" because they are not the same people. Each has a special place in my heart, all their own. I don't prefer one more than the others, just prefer each for who they are. (Okay, well Diva is giving me a run for my money right now, but I know that this too shall pass.... in about 7 or so years.)
  15. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I love both my children equally but easy child is just so sweet and easy to deal with so I will admit she gives me more joy then difficult child ...
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Very hard and painful to answer the question.
    We really do see the good qualities in our child who is a difficult child.
    Our easy child spent one year in difficult child world. And he wasn't too popular around that time.
    Fortunately, he has changed and is super easy child these days (Thank Goodness!).
    We do love our child who is a difficult child, but are very much aware of the difficulties and that makes things difficult and strained. For years, awareness of difficult child's attributes actually made it more confusing and painful for me. We are still aware of them...combined with the gfgness. There is no getting around it.
    Can't totally answer your question....for me, it's just a matter of awareness, acceptance and practicality.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I jsut spoke to my son who I feel less close to, but he melted my heart when he said he would always look after Sonic. His wife was sweet as pie too.

    I loved with all my heart when we spoke. I guess distance makes us not as close, but does not change the love.
    Thanks you all for your comments. I guess we love all of our kids equally, but definitely for different reasons and in different ways :) It is touching that he is so connected to his disabled brother and so willing to embrace him. So, for all his flaws (which we all have) he does have a loving heart.And so does his wife, my daughter-in-law.
  18. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    This is a very unique question for me. I love them all equally and would lay my life at each of their feet equally so if that meant they had the best life possible and I had to make that choice.

    However, I'm closest with my youngest. The first born I didn't get the bonding experience I had hoped for as a first time mother. He was 3 months premature, in NICU for a long time and we were separated immediately after birth (what a bonding killer huh). I've spent his entire life (almost 11 yrs) searching and seeking for that deep bond as a mother and son relationship has. Not to say I am not bonded to him or he to I but it's not as deep as it could be. I don't think the insensitive hospital staff who stuck me in a maternity ward without my baby and with 5 other mothers who had theirs helped at all with the situation. Not one bit. I spent that first 24 hours of his life crying non stop and having to listen to 5 other women and their families coo over their healthy full term babies while mine was downtown, miles away from me. The most helpless, painful experience of my life as a parent. It even goes far beyond and above the difficult child'ness he has now.

    My second, I'm well bonded. She's a joy but she tends to insert herself as my assumed second in command (she's a mama hen all the way almost to a fault). She is very mature for her 9 yrs of age (turning 10 soon) to the point I swear she's a 30 something stuck in a 9 yr old body...My own version of Invasion of The Body Snatchers in the flesh some days.

    The next two and previous two I failed so miserably and horribly at breastfeeding with a strong desire to accomplish that said breastfeeding. It's still a painful scar and wound - really a thorn in my side. I had no support, was told I would never accomplish it and was pushed to bottle feed instead against my wishes. I never did have a problem with supply just a problem getting that supply into the baby in a normal capacity and form of function. I felt like a failure to the point where my forth I refused to even try because of the shame of failure and the fear of being once again broken by that sense of shamed failure. I lost out on that breastfeeding bond, that part of what motherhood should have been.

    The fifth, I owe my 18 months of success to another lady (since gone our separate ways in life) who pushed me past my fear, my sense of shame, sense of broken-ness and told me "yes you can". I have a very deep bond with my youngest and I really do think that it was because of the extended breastfeeding relationship. I truly believe in that relationship bonding mother and child in a way that bottle feeding cannot and will not. If that offends some - remember I bottle fed too, I don't look down on it at all. To each their own.

    As for guilt. I have tremendous amounts of it. More than I think I can handle at times because of this "difference" between the kids. Again, I would lay my life at any of their feet if that's what it took to save them. I would steal for them, kill for them, lie and die for them. They are my immortality, my past, present and future. They are a piece of me I'll leave with the next generation and the one after and so forth as my mother, her mother and much more before them did.

    That's the true definition of human immortality - our children. We live on in them as they pass a piece of us forward as we have those before us.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing and your honesty.

    Even though most of my kids were adopted, I also feel that we live through them. It transcends is a bond that is hard to explain. When I gave birth to my one biological son I was suffering from a terrible depression. Although I kept him in bed beside me and fed him, I was incapable of caring for him the way a mother should. I never did try to nurse...I was on medication. And, thankfully, I did form a strong bond with him anyway. Still, I did not ENJOY him because I couldn't enjoy ANYTHING. I was far too ill.

    My adopted children had a far better early experience with me as I was mentally healthy and able to meet their needs and Jumper was adopted right from the hospital...I watched her, what a bonding experience THAT is. Also, I have so much intense love for her birthmother...I would lay down my life for her as well as my children, and she is young enough still to be another child of mine. She is such a good person and I see this goodness reflected in Jumper. Plus her birthmother and me got along great, just like me and Jumper do. In a way, her birth experience bonded us more closely than my biological son's. I was already very depressed when he was born and did not want to watch his birth, although I did hold him in my arms and cry as soon as he was handed to me.

    My daughter from Korea came to us at five months and the moment the big soldier who had been holding her on the airplane handed her to me explaining she'd been crying the entire flight, I fell instantly in love and this crying baby smiled at me. I felt an elation I can never explain and have never felt again. I felt we were meant to be together.

    As for Sonic, we met him in his foster home at two and the first thing he did was hold up his little arms so I could pick him up and I will never ever forget the look in his eyes or the pounding of my heart.

    I actually believe biological son got the worst of the early bonding experience because I was so sick.

    So, although I didn't nurse any of my kids, each one brought a new and wonderful moment into my heart. I understand how important those first moments together can be in the boding process. Do not feel guilty,please. Easier said than done, I know, but we can not always choose our children's beginning experiences in relation to our own. I adopted a six year old too. By the time we got him, I felt all the love I felt for my other kids, but he could not return it. It was simply too late in HIS life to acquire parents.
  20. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    easy child and I used to be closer before she left for college, I miss her but also am glad that I have time with difficult child. difficult child and I are more alike and have a lot of the same interests. I love them both dearly, sometimes it creeps in about how much difficult child has done but I understand it being a former difficult child. I am close to both, just closer at different times. There is 6 years difference, so while easy child was small I had six years alone with her, and now that she has gone off to college I have alone time with difficult child. I love them both and am so glad that I can say that and mean it, really mean it. There was a time when I couldn't stand difficult child and really wondered about the love part but nowI can see that do and it's clear. Not that she doesn't drive me crazy at times, but it's better.