Wednesday, May 12, 2010



It is interesting to think about how one feels about our siblings now and how we felt when we were growing up. Did you read an article in the USA TODAY about how children feel about their mother on Mother’s Day and how all mothers say they love their children equally, but they really do not. Mothers love each child differently would perhaps put it more truly.

How many of you feel that you were your mother’s favorite? Or how many of you feel that your mom loved one of you more than the others. In my birth family, we all knew my mom loved my oldest brother the best but it didn’t seem to bother us. She seemed to have enough love left for the rest of us. There were five. Three boys and two girls. I was the baby and came long after what was supposed to be the last. I only remember being spanked just once on my bottom. When I was four I had run away from home across 13 railroad tracks and my dad felt he should make it memorable and so I got my spanks and then was placed in the corner behind the door. The furnace controls were there (the old chain ones) and I broke 'em.

If you knew your mom loved one of you the most, did it bother you? Or did it bother you when you were growing up and does not now. Or does it still rankle you even yet.

Did you feel perhaps that you were loved by your dad more than your mom? If there were two of you, did you feel that one was loved by mom and the other by dad?

It seems the problem does not arise so much in large families as it does in small ones. And of course in a one child household, there was no problem at all.

Think about your present family. Do you prefer one child over another? Do you really feel that you give more attention to one than another? Do you prefer boys to girls or visa versa. Are you still remembering what it was like to be the less loved one and trying to overcompensate with your own children to make sure one does not feel the same way? .Or is history repeating itself and whatever went on in your growing-up years is still going on. Does anyone honestly believe anyone can be completely even in their distribution of affection so that things were really quite perfect in your household ?

What about single parent families? Now that is a whole new balliwick. With only one parent the rivalry for her attention is even greater. And her ability to be fair with each one is even harder. If one seems to be the easiest to raise and get along with, she may very well favor him or her.
And what about all the blended families--his kids, my kids, and our kids? Now there must be a lot of interesting ways that this could go.
I thought this was a human condition that is something all of us have experienced. It is an intriguing subject and can evoke a lot of thought.


Rusty said...

Somehow I could never stand those two whining - even though it was supposed to be funny. That said, I have to admit I was an only child. Lots of cousins - always wanted a brother or a sister - but it was not to be.

Helena Halme said...

this question was a hornet's nest in my family. My father took a dislike to his first daughter but loved me from the first moment I was born. My mother decided to compensate by favouring my sister. Something she admitted later. This didn't make a happy family. But then those days were different.

I have and do love both my children equally and cannot understand how my parents could 'divide and rule' so. But then I have a son and a daughter, whereas my father had to cope with three women in his family, something which in the end became too much for him. But that's another story.

California Girl said...

For a number of years, I was more focused on and favored my younger son. He was and still is the needier of the two. I never felt I loved him more but he was definitely my favorite and I knew it and felt very guilty about it.

Those feelings have long since passed. I love and like them equally and have no sense of favoritism left. I believe it started when they were both out of the house and I no longer worried so much about the younger one. He's temporarily back but I realize I have no control over his life and have to let go. Plus, the older one delights me with his independence!

Von said...

It is a hornet's nest Bernie.I was an only, but an adoptee so a whole other set of questions come into play then.

Bernie said...

I was the youngest of six and always knew I was loved and I thought the others felt they were loved as well.....when we all became adults the others told me I was spoiled and that both mom and dad favoured me....I honestly hadn't realized it growing up. We are all cool now but I didn't know how much they resented me as kids. I think I lived in my own little world thinking everything was perfect.....I still love my childhood, it was a good one...Hugs

yaya said...

Growing up I was 3 in the family of 6 kiddos. The oldest girl. I have 2 older bros. and my sis, then 2 younger bros. My Mom said she made sure we each had a partner! We used to feel my youngest bro. was favored. I felt my Sis was fav over me. My older bros. and my Sis feel and joke about #4 child (bro.)is the "golden" child. I never felt that way. What's funny is we love each other to death and love Mom to death and felt her love and Dad's love growing up in a happy, crazy household..all of us turned out good. My children (4 boys) thought #2 son was the fav. That wasn't true though. I could name something in each of my kids that made them lovable and unique. I truly love all my kids for their individuality and I think as adults they realize that. They all get along good and have fun when we all get together. Family dynamics are so interesting aren't they?

Robin said...

My parents had three girls and I am the middle. I was our dad's favorite. As for my mom, she loved my younger sister more than my older sister and I. My older sister was favored by an Aunt that we were close to, so we all felt special by someone. At the same time we all felt some animosity to each other for not getting a big enough slice of love from the adults. Oddly, we didn't blame the adults until we were adults.

I now have two teenage boys and I can say that I don't love them the same way. They are so different from each other that I end up not distributing the love equally. They have both accused me of favoring the other and I have pointed out to both that I favor certain traits over others in each of them.

And the biggest thing I've learned from being a parent is that although I love my boys from the very depths of my soul, I don't always like parts of their personalities.

June said...

I have one sister, who was Dad's buddy. Mom and I had more personality traits in common. My poor sister . . . "her" parent died when we were too young to lose him, and I think she always felt left on the outside. There was too much dysfunction in our childhoods for us to form a real bond; we rarely speak now.

When my nephew was born, I didn't know until two days later and that only by accident. He was her chance to shine, and she did a good job with him. He's a great kid. Or was, when I saw him last a couple of years ago.

Nezzy said...

I never felt loved more or less than my younger sis. I sat pretty hard standards for her to live up to though and my parent's were always sayin' why can't ya be more like...... I always felt bad for her because of that.

Great post to ponder about!

Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed week!!!

Wanda said...

I'm the oldest of three girls. 15 mos. older than one and 7 years older than the youngest. I thought the youngest was the favorite and they thought I was, but none of it was ever actually a problem. My daughter and 2 sons all read my blog, so I feel as a parent...I didn't do too much wrong!

Ash said...

i can't believe you remember of memories when you were 4!! i can hardly remember the things i did 4 years ago. hehehehe.

i'm the youngest out of 5 and i never thought about this before. i better call my parents up and ask them. :)

~ ash's mum

Kat Weaver said...

My Dad loved me best. But I didn't realize this until later in my life. (Because for most of my young life I was too scared of my Dad to feel anything else.)

I am the oldest of 7 children and our Mom loved and favored the oldest of my brothers best. This I knew even as a small child. She always took his side, even when she knew he was wrong. She is still doing it today!

But I never felt neglected by my Mom. I knew she loved me. I knew she loved all of us. She had a lot to deal with!

As for me...I have 2 children (grown now). Our daughter was easy to raise, so full of sunshine and eager to please. Our son, on the other hand presented some challenges! Strong-willed, stubborn, and he hated restrictions of any kind!

I loved them both with all my heart. But I think I spent more time on our Son, simply because he needed me more. I worried about him so much! Yet our daughter was my constant joy. So filled with light and so easy to parent.

So how do I know who I loved best? I don't. I just loved them because they both needed me to.

Jules said...

Being the oldest of three I never felt one of us more loved than the other but in saying that I think we each felt equal when it came to blame.

Was wondering if you could be so kind as to check out my blog and give me an opinion?

Thanks if you can. Keep up the good thoughts.

becky said...

I think my mom loved my brother I equally. That said, we're best friends, mom & i ... and my brother & her don't seem to have that same connection. my parents were divorced when i was young, and my dad went off & started a new family and had another daughter. i always felt like that was his "real" daughter... and his love went there. i feel like he is just now getting to know a bit more about me... he has been recently reading my blog!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Favorites? Changes on a daily basis for mine. Whoever provides the least angst is my favorite for the day - or week.

Interesting comments. Interesting topic.

Deb Shucka said...

What an interesting and philosophical conversation here. My mom definitely had a favorite and a least favorite, but those changed regularly among the four of us. The goal was to stay out of her sights altogether.

Teachers are supposed to like all their kids equally as well, and we always say we do. And we try really hard.

Oz Girl said...

There were 3 of us kids, me being the oldest... to this day, I am closest to Mom. And I do agree with you, she has a different relationship with all 3 of us, esp my brother who is the middle child. I don't really know if she has a favorite? She has always said she does not, but we know that is probably not true, LOL.

As for me, I had only one child, a boy, and a single parent most of my life. So I love him with all my heart!! :)

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LaraAnn said...

My brother always says that our parents loved me more than him but I don't think that's true. I think that he just has low self esteem.


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