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Do You Love One Child More? You Aren't Alone, But Would You Openly Admit It?

By Monica Bielanko |

Do you feel guilty for favoring one child over the other?

A fairly recent survey shows one in six mothers has a favorite child – but would never admit to it.  That’s according to Netmums, one of the most popular parenting websites in the UK.

More than 1,000 mothers responded to the survey, with 16 per cent admitting that they love one child more than the others. One third said that they love their children in exactly the same way, while just over half said they love their children differently – but equally.

The survey interests be because a post over on Being Pregnant, Mom Confession: I Think I Love My Son A Little Bit More is getting a lot of attention.

In the article, Kate writes with unblinking honesty about how a difficult birth and recovery left her little time to bond with her daughter who has grown into the more challenging of her children.  An ideal birth allowed her to bond immediately with her son who is the cuddlier of the two.  Although I’ve only had two children for three weeks now, feeling drawn toward the sweeter child is understandable.  Natural, even.  I think it’s when Kate discusses the possibility of losing a child that has readers/commenters up in arms:

There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son (assuming crazy, dire, insane circumstances that would never actually occur in real life). I know that sounds completely awful and truly crazy.

Then I feel terrible and ashamed for ever having thought such a thing, because I really love my daughter and I would never want to lose her at all.

While the survey tells us Kate most certainly isn’t alone in her predilection toward one child over another, one look at the more than one hundred comments shows that a lot of people are outraged she’s being so public about her feelings. In other words, it’s not necessarily that Kate has a favorite child, it’s that she admitted it so publicly. The thought of that little girl stumbling across that bit of writing some day is pretty painful.

My mom has often told me she could never love one kid over the other, just “differently”. I personally think my mom secretly does have favorites (and it ain’t me!) but she would deny it to her dying day. Even though I’m certain my mom loves my youngest brother best it would devastate me if she were to admit this.

As for my own mothering approach, I would rather claw my eyes out than admit to loving one child over the other. Which is why I’m not sure how I feel about Kate’s honesty. On the one hand, I feel nothing but compassion toward Kate and completely understand that perhaps she’s unburdening herself as an attempt to move past these feelings.  But I wonder if, in the long run, such a public forum is more damaging than healing to the mother-daughter relationship she’s trying so hard to forge.

Photo:  flickr.com/photosavvy

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About Monica Bielanko

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Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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61 thoughts on “Do You Love One Child More? You Aren't Alone, But Would You Openly Admit It?

  1. Linda, the original one says:

    I find it’s weird how you’re equating “having a favorite” with “loving one child more.” I have a a favorite child, but it does not mean I love the others LESS. People are up in arms because this woman said publicly not that she had a favorite, but that she doesn’t think it would be “so bad” if her daughter died. That’s a horrid, horrid thing to say, and her daughter will be able to read it one day. I lost one of my children soon after birth and anyone who posits that the death of one of her children is EVER “not so bad” is completely heartless, not to mention insensitive toward all the people for whom this horror is real.

  2. Monica Bielanko says:

    I dunno. Doesn’t having a favorite mean you have stronger feelings for that child?

  3. Linda, the original one says:

    No. Sometimes it means that you have more in common with that child or that you’re a better match temperamentally or you have similar personalities which mean you have better understanding of that child or… or… or… I find attempting to quantify love in that manner to be an unusual perspective. I can think of a dozen people I love just off the top of my head and I don’t have a ranking system. Thanks for your thoughtful response though. I love it when professional writers go out of ther way to type “I dunno” to me upon hearing about the death of my child.

  4. Kikiriki says:

    Yeeeeeeah… I may have a favorite, but I’m sure as heck not going to admit it. To anyone. Maybe not even to myself. I love my children for their differences, but if I truly preferred one over the other, truly loved one more than the other, I would never say so, and I would especially never say it in print. That may be “honest,” but it’s kind of like saying “You’re really ugly, you know – sorry! I’m just being honest.” Sometimes honesty is not the best policy. There are things that just need to be left unsaid.

  5. Linda, the original one says:

    I bet if you asked my kids they would each say they though they were my favorite.

  6. Regyna says:

    It’s more about respect, privacy and humility. Openly blogging about a 3-year old who cannot defend herself from an emotionally unstable mother is just abusive. And before people deny that it “counts” as abuse, consider WHY you all think her mother should have the power to talk down to her for the entire world to read and critique?? Is it because she is an innocent little girl? That’s just BS. She also deserves respect and anonymity just like any other human being!!! Why doesn’t anyone care about her feelings? Don’t think for a minute that she doesn’t realize it. Her mom’s self-serving blog is just adding insult to injury.

  7. Claire says:

    I am completely at a loss to understand how you could love one child more than another or have a favourite. I have two young boys and love them both so much I couldn’t begin to explain. They are completely different in looks, temprament and personality but why should this mean I love one more or less than the other?? I love them both BECAUSE they are individuals who have their own opinions, interests and temprements regrdless of anyone else. The wole issue of one child being loved less has deeply upst me. As for the issue of having a favourite child due to having more in comon with them, well, there’s a lot we can learn from our children………………………………………………

  8. Chris says:

    I admire Kate’s honesty, honestly. I haven’t had the same fantasies as her, but I certainly have had plenty of dark, I-would-never-admit-them-in-public thoughts, so I can see where she’s coming from. I think humans are messy and contradictory and all that; I don’t expect emotions to be nice or make sense, and I think more people harbor such feelings without admitting them even to themselves. That said, Kate’s feelings do seem more appropriately explored with a therapist or as a late-night discussion with a spouse than spread out on a blog.

  9. anonymom says:

    I agree with KIKIRIKI… some things are best left unsaid. What is this obsession with baring our souls online? It’s bizarre… this child will be able to read these words someday.

    There are absolutely times when I think “man, my life would be SO much easier without the kiddo around.” And there are moments when I wonder if having a child at all was a terrible mistake. But these are the thoughts I whisper to my wife as we lay in bed at night so she can reassure me, “it was just a rough day, tomorrow will be better” or remind me of the three million ways he’s made our lives better… I get the need for reassurance, I’m just not sure writing an essay is the best format.

  10. Monica Bielanko says:

    @Linda – I read your comment while approving a bunch of other comments late last night and missed the part about you losing a child. The backside of the website only shows the beginning of comments. Obviously that’s completely devastating – in a way someone who’s never lost a child can even imagine. I’m sorry for your loss.

  11. Gretchen Powers says:

    Oh man….this is one of many reasons why I am having just one. I know that nobody could compare to my first, my only…I am with KIKI, though, in that if I *did* have more than one “I may have a favorite, but I’m sure as heck not going to admit it. To anyone. Maybe not even to myself.”

  12. Gretchen Powers says:

    Wow…for someone to day she doesn’t think it’s so bad if one of her children died…yuck. I don’t have the words.

  13. Manjari says:

    I’m pretty sickened by what I read. She ignores her daughter’s needs. She actually parents her son more attentively while refusing to get things for her daughter for no reason. That’s a lot worse than secretly having a favorite. That’s actually being a bad parent. I seriously feel like crying when I think about that little girl. :(

  14. Gretchen Powers says:

    …aaaaaand….she’s having a third? what a champ!

  15. LogicalMama says:

    Oh my… yes, I only have one and that is how it will stay. I love him immensely. If I had more, I’m pretty sure I’d love each of them immensely. I hope I’d make each one of them to feel as if THEY were all my favorites. I can’t believe this woman even “spoke aloud” the thought that losing a child wouldn’t be so bad…. I can’t even speak on that. My aunt just lost her son. He was 38 and died suddenly. Even though he was an adult, this is a life changer for them and she is severely affected. I couldn’t imagine being anything less than devastated!!

  16. goddess says:

    I have favorites! I have my favorite oldest kid, my favorite daughter, and my favorite baby of the family. Yup, covers them all! That said, there is one that is so different, moody, temperamental,contrary compared to the other two, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that relationship is more work.

  17. Nanci says:

    Ahh, but Moms sometimes dads have their favorites too. Yet which ever parents may or may not have a favorite child does not imply that you MAY treats your others children differently, or that the other children will not know and become envious of such. Thus to the one who stated “YEEEEEEEAH-I can have a favorite” I find your response frightening for your other children. YES THEY WILL KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep in mind that sibling rivilry is very real and can eventually be immensely devastating to your favorite child for many years to come. Yes I was a favorite of my dad; we had a special bond that began when I was under 5. Although he treated, loved and gave to each of us equally, he and I could practically read each others thoughts, and envy developed by my siblings. I felt it in brotherly beating, little sisterly comments and whispers, yet I really did think that as we grew up and aged that this childish envy would disperse. BUT IT DIDN’T!

    In fact just before my parents passing (within 6 months of each other) my siblings pathetically played with numbers, bennie forms, and the lists of who was to get what. Basically they finally a way to get back at me, by literally throwing me out of the family upon the deaths of my parents.
    At the time I was in my early 40′s, and trust it took me several years to heal from their cruelity. Fortunately I have healed, but will never forget. And because I have felt the painful consequences of being a favorite child, I do not wish for another child/sibling to ever go through the pain and heart ache I felt, just because I had a special bond/a favorite child with my dad.

    Thus as you glee with happiness that yes most parent(s) do have a favorite, keep it in your heart and not in your words, actions, eyes, smiles and decisions!

  18. Kikiriki says:

    Nanci, that was PRECISELY my point. If I did have a favorite I would certainly keep it to myself. I wouldn’t entertain the notion in deeds or words because there’s no point to it. And I said “I MAY have a favorite,” btw. Actually, I don’t. I love my children both immensely, am annoyed at them sometimes, proud of them often, and overall just incredibly happy to be their mother. Having a favorite (and thus a “not favorite”) would be like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Why on earth would I want to do that?

  19. Linda, the original one says:

    Thank you, Monica, and I’m sorry I assumed the worst.

  20. Katie says:

    As a daughter who was not the favorite, I can pretty much guarantee that her daughter won’t be self actualized enough to appreciate the honesty, or whatever. It will hurt and give her a complex. Guaranteed.

  21. jeneria says:

    I always suspected that my brother was my parent’s favorite. I asked them once when I was in my mid-20′s and my mom responded that when she was growing up, sons were preferred so that was the parenting model she had. Then she went on to say that I was so independent that it was hard to not favor my needier brother. While I was pissed, I appreciated hearing it.
    .
    Then my brother died in 2002 and suddenly all that energy that my parents put into him was focused on me. I couldn’t handle all the attention of being the only child. Luckily, I moved away from Montana to Louisiana and the distance helped all of us properly grieve and develop more mature relationships.

  22. Carol says:

    There are times when it’s better to keep your mouth shut than to be “honest.” Kate is a fool & needs to keep such feelings to herself.

  23. Maureen says:

    Yeah, I have a habit of running my mouth but I hope that I keep it under control when it comes to things that may really impact my kids later on. This story is a good reminder to me that the things I write online stay forever! ah, bit scary that.

  24. tracie d says:

    here’s why i think this mom is garbage:
    she ALMOST took the post down, but said on her facebook page that her boss wanted her to keep it up. of course THE BOSS wanted it up- it was getting 4000 hits an hour. she’s profiting from this- she’s GARBAGE.

    ***YOU’RE THE MOM****

    i have 3 kids and can understand SOME of what she was TRYING to say. but she crossed a line. for money. her poor POOR daughter (who is adorable and pictured in the freakin post).

    i would have respected her if she took it down. got rid of it before it went viral on the internet. instead she posted a new blog post about how she’s not perfect (WHO IS?) and then another about how girls are so much harder than boys (give me a freakin break). she has misogynistic issues.

  25. Amber says:

    Let me say that my husband is favored over my sister in law by my mother in law big time. It was obvious to me when we started dating 20 years ago. While my MIL may never has admitted to this, it is obvious. Today, My SIL and MIL do not speak to one another.

    If Kate thinks this and writes it in a public place, she’ll have a hard time hiding it from her kids. Even if her daughter nevers reads the blog entry, her daughter will know her mother’s true feelings.

    I certainly like one of my kids more than the others, but that also changes with their age/stage/difficultly. Each kid has been my favorite at some point in their lives. I love them equally and would never do anything to hurt them. I think Kate’s post crossed the line. Her daughter will be hurt by the words she wrote whenever she reads them.

  26. Melissa says:

    You know, I’m all about being upfront and honest in a blog setting -, BUT – this totally went tooo far. I read it the other day and couldn’t comment as it literally made me sick to my stomach. I am the oldest of four, and my mother (who has a ton of issues anyway) outright prefers the 3rd of four kids – and has outright said that she loves him more than the other 3. She doesn’t even try to hide it. She most recently said this over the summer as she was discussing who was going to inherit her home – obviously it would be sibling #3, Duh! I SO wish I was kidding. I cannot tell you – that now, even as an adult – how much that freakin’ hurts. While us other kids were not neglected by any means – just knowing that nothing we could do, say, achieve or say could make my mom love us as much as she loved the 3rd is extremely painful and very hurtful. So long as I live – I will NEVER, EVER. EVER even hint to loving one of my four children more than the other, EVER. Shame on Kate for putting that out there for the world to see.

  27. Cristin says:

    It’s the line “wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter” that is brutal. I hope she never has to experience such a loss because I don’t think she has any idea.

  28. Gina says:

    so I guess baby girl’s well on her way to the middle child complex. You know, you just can’t mess with the family dynamic. It is what it is! We grow up and get over it, hopefully.

  29. katherine says:

    I think I am going to have to go with a Brene Brown thought here about shame. We all have really dark thoughts that roll through our heads from time to time. When we are seeking honest connection with people in our lives and to live wholeheartedly, sometimes we need to share our shame with someone to help diminish it. BUUUUUUUUUUTTT, we have to sit in shame and share with someone who deserves to hear our story. The whole world (and in the future, her daughter) don’t deserve, or need to hear this. This is self-centered attention mongering which is the worst thing mommy blogging can be. It takes away connection and leaves us with the distaste I am currently not enjoying in my mouth and heart.

  30. Kel Scott says:

    My stomach hurts right now. I just read her post while sitting here in my family room with my 5 year old daughter, and 2 year old son. My chest hurts, and my eyes are burning with tears. I am not going to say anything about this woman, but I will comment on my own experience with a girl and a boy. I worked for the first year of Ele’s life. She stayed home with my husband or my mother. My heart hurt every time I saw her reach for one of them over me. I cried at my desk everyday, and spent EVERY single second I could with her. I quit my job when she was 10 months old. I spent every single day after I quit bonding and making up for not being with her. We were two peas in a pod, and still are! I had Phin when Ele was 3. My whole life flipped upside down, twisted, and then upside down again. TOTALLY DIFFERENT experience in every way possible. Phin is my little man. He has been attached to me since the minute he emerged from my VA JAY JAY! IT IS DIFFERENT WITH A BOY AND A GIRL! That is true! BUT Ele is my sweetheart! I cry when she cries and doesn’t want to go to school, I still kiss her boo boo’s, I miss her when she is gone and I THINK ABOUT HER NON STOP!! I do the EXACT same thing with Phin. Yes, I can see the difference in him with me. BUT, I think it is because I was home with him from the beginning. Ele has expressed to me and my husband that she feels I love Phin more than her. Can I tell you how hard I cried when I heard her say that. Its a hard fact of life that we all learn when we have a younger sibling. Especially for the first born. Mommy now has a baby to take care of. Ele has struggled ,and STILL struggles with this. I try and do my best to not play favorites or EVER let her feel I love Phin more than her. I think we love our children differently, but I don’t understand this post and some of the comments at all. I just can’t.
    You want to see the result of this Woman’s loving her son more than her daughter? It was my mom and her brother. My Nana had a favorite and it was very apparent my mothers whole life. Up to the minute until my Nana passed away, my Uncle was the golden child.
    My mother is the most loving, courageous, strongest, adoring womanmother I know. She has been in counseling and still questions things in her life because of how my Nana treated her. I grew up with two sisters. I am the “baby”. I have NEVER felt more loved in any way what so ever, nor have I ever felt my mom or dad loved either of my sisters more.
    So, in closing this LONG comment, I think it is very very sad for this WOMAN. I agree with a lot of the comments that she needs therapy. I think we all need therapy. I look forward to my sessions that’s for damn sure. But, in all seriousness, it is the saddest thing I’ve read in a long time, and that poor poor sweet little girl. I just hope she can find a way to not be too screwed up from her up brining. Or, hopefully this woman will get some help or learn to love her daughter in the same light she does her son.

  31. Gina says:

    pass it on to the next generation. PS. In my own family, I was (ahem) mom’s favorite, on accounta trying to get attention at age 2 by making the beds etc. When my older sister was about 8, we were playing in the basement and hear my mom whipping herself up into a frenzy over some spilled sugar. Wanting to avert a beating my sister offered me 5 bucks to take the shame. “She won’t hit you, G. You never get hit!” She was right. They all thought she loved me more, but the truth was she just appreciated me more. That’s all. I took the punishment for my sister… for 7 bucks. Didn’t hurt at all.

  32. Steph says:

    It’s bugging me that people are stuck on the original article saying the author would prefer one child dying over the other. She later responded to commenters saying she never said that and would never think of it in those terms. It wasn’t about about imagining her daughter dying, but rather gone from her everyday life. That being said, when I read it I did think it was too much. As you say Monica, not because of what it is she thinks and feels, but because of what it may do to her future relationship with her daughter if her daughter were to ever read it.

  33. Elissa says:

    Yeah… some things are better left unsaid. I generally get where she was coming from in the posts, but as you and numerous others point out, it’s now out there – potentially forever… for her daughter to find. One of the points she makes in her second post that I really struggle with is that she indicates that she felt her own mother felt the same about her and she would have liked to have known. Well, that’s all well and good for her, but her daughter is not her and she really has no idea what her daughter will be like/ will want as she gets older. I think it really is just very selfish on her part and definitely not well thought out.

  34. Shannon says:

    No. Just, no. I cannot get behind this going out there in the slightest. I get it, the author is battling with her own personal demons. That’s fine, and she’s entitled. There’s not a woman out there who would say that she’s a perfect mum, and she shouldn’t do. But the words she’s written can tear her daughter to bits.

    I know. I grew up knowing – being told, no less – that I was not the favourite, that my sister was. It is one of many factors that helped send me down a path of self-hatred, abuse, and then therapy. Knowing that you come second to the one person in the world who shouldn’t work that way tears your heart to pieces.

    I have two children today. I can say without a moment’s hesitation that I do not have a favourite. It does not make me perfect (I mess up in many other ways). It just means I want my kids to grow up feeling equally loved and taken care of.

  35. judy says:

    Hi there!
    First of all, I’m a mother of 3 boys, 13, 8 and 2 and all I can say is yes, love is different for each of them because they are unique. I remember having one kid, and thinking when I was pregnant, how can I possibly love anther being this much, and then, he arrived, and I did, but loving him for being him, in his own way. But the thing that stands out most to me about her posting, is that her kids are still so young. Having been through several phases through the years, there are definitely times where things are up and down, and for this other lady with her son who is only 20 months old, who knows, she may be saying the reverse in a few years. I think parenting is the hardest job ever created. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I think talking about stuff is important, but I do agree the internet can be a forever beast and it might really hurt her daughter’s feelings one day, and would that be worth it? I would vote talking it over with a bunch of girlfriends over a bottle of wine instead.
    my 2 cents’ worth!

  36. J says:

    I don’t think her honesty is commendable. If she has no problem admitting it to the world, her daughter probably feels it too. and how insulting to the poor child to want to “start over” with a new daughter. as though the first one was the trial, an expendable child. Good Lord, lady. These are issues for a therapists couch, not a public blog to be read by people who KNOW you and your child. and it almost feels like she’s justifying her feelings by blaming it on her daughter’s behaviour. Maybe poor child feels the difference already and is resentful. You don’t HAVE to treat them differently, you know. If you already recognize that you do, why don’t you make a conscious effort to STOP instead of justifying it. (Sorry Monica – not intending to direct these comments to you.)

  37. Gina says:

    well it certainly got a load of attention here. a whole lotta hits. When you grow up in a home where one moment your mother is threatening to rip off your leg and hit you with the bloody end, and the next telling you she loves you, you learn quickly that words are cheap, and people can often say things while in the midst of a hormonal storm which ought not be said.

  38. Shelly says:

    I tell all 3 of my kids they are my favorite (and I wonder if they ever say “hey I am mom’s favorite” and then realize I told the other that too) but I have no favorites really. I love each of my kids in a different way. There are different stages they go through growing up and in those times I might not like them and their actions very much but I would never let them know that they were not any more loved then the others…EVER!

    Her post really, really, upsets me!

  39. J says:

    It’s just sad because home should be a soft place to fall where you feel safe and warm – not a place where you compete for attention and love and always feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick.
    And I understand that the youngest always seems more vulnerable and is easiest to “baby.” In her follow-up post she sort of defends herself by saying that she loves them differently. But that wasn’t the gist of the original post – even the title says she loves the boy MORE. And she is so baffled by peoples’ poor reactions. She even says that we took her words poorly. But they were HER words. Why on earth would you blog about that and NOT expect people to be horrified. Blogging about your kids – telling about their funny antics in good natured ways – well, that’s one thing. But does this woman forget that her child is a human being and deserves more respect than to recount her bad behavior and admit to loving her less because of it – to the entire internet world, no less? The kid may be 3 but she’ll hear of all this someday. Some kid’s older brother or sister will remember hearing their mom talk about it and in grade school, someone will tell her. and while the blogger might appreciate her own mother’s honesty as an adult, that’s a far cry from explaining to a 7 or 8 year old why mommy wrote that she loves baby brother more – “you were so disobedient and rude, how could I help it?” wow.

  40. ChrissyD says:

    I can’t imagine why anyone would come away from reading her post and think she was brave in any way. That was a very hurtful post and one day her daughter will be old enough to read it and I think her words will crush that sweet girl. I agree that some things are better left unsaid.

  41. Karen says:

    Katie’s essay was disturbing to me, no doubt. If she felt compelled to express this situation in her life, she would have been better off writing something to the effect that she definitely bonded much, much easier with her son for different reasons.

    I thought that one of the comments on Katie’s page was interesting… ‘misogyny internalized’. That may have a part in it. My opinion is: if she feels compelled to share these feelings, THE ONLY PERSON SHE SHOULD TELL (it should not be publicized) IS HER THERAPIST.

  42. Amber says:

    They are addressing this issue on what would you do tonight…addicted to that tv show

  43. Gina says:

    psst…is this topic over yet, and can we get back to pictures of your kids?

  44. Sabrina says:

    I hope they have a therapist fund right along with that college fund. That’s all I’m sayin’.

  45. Amy says:

    Comments seem to be turned off on that post, but I just had to say something…

    I hope she comes to her senses and removes that post. I am the ‘not favourite’ child. All parents have them. The kid knows. But to post something like that so publicly? My god, I would be absolutely crushed if my mother had written that… Absolutely destroyed.

    One day, her kid won’t be a little kid anymore… she’ll jump on google, find mom’s blog, and die a little inside.

    In one of her replies to a comment with similar thoughts to my own, she says that people just aren’t getting her COURAGE and that she would like her daughter to read the post so that the poor kid could realize that mommy was just wanted to try harder to be better. Seriously? Reality check! No kid is going to read that post and see courage and the want for a better relationship. The kid is just going to feel unloved and rejected.

    This problem – which I don’t deny that many mothers face – should be discussed. In private. Or anonymously. To protect the kid.

    Sorry for dumping on your comments. I just couldn’t get this out of my head without saying something… somewhere.

  46. Dayna says:

    Anyone who would write something like that (and then continue to rationalize it)… is an idiot. I have four kids and one of them is a pre-teen and ahem..difficult, two others are 9 year old twins who were born prematurely and with whom I didn’t bond for a long time and the last one is a sweet, delicious terror of a toddler. I love them all differently. Currently, I probably delight most in the delicious terror but LOVE her more? NO. Can’t imagine losing one hair on any of their precious heads, even when I’m the one contemplating strangling them. Monstrous is the mother who would publish that she’d rather LOSE one kid over the other. TF, seriously?

  47. gina says:

    For various reasons this mother was unable to bond with the first baby as she did with the second, and is feeling it, as her first strong willed child pushes for independence ( normal for her age), The older child is sitting on her last nerve and I suppose the limited bonding becomes more evident.
    To this day my mother seems to delight in the lives of my 2 youngest Lamaze born and breast fed siblings while I preferred my bottle propped, thank you. That’s okay….she’ll be FINE.

  48. Saffoula says:

    Where’s the father in all of this? He can’t stop what she thinks or stop what does when he’ s not there, but he can certainly insist that she not post such things or remove them immediately if she does. As others have said, by the time the poor girl reads this, the damage already has been or will have been done. The dad needs to divorce her and get the kids away from her as much as possible. I don’t think she’s so unique, just dumb or opportunistic for making it so public on top of an already ugly situation.

  49. Maggie says:

    I agree that it was completely inappropriate for her to over-share those feelings about her daughter. I also agree that the first thing that popped into my mind was the fact that she was favoring male over female – that she was favoring the sweet little “momma’s boy” (even promoting that) over the girl who was “just like her” and therefore frustrating and challenging. The misogyny internalized comment really rings true with me and I can’t help but wonder what she was so sick with and what unhealthy patterns she’s displaying to this poor daughter when it comes to being a woman and growing up strong and proud. Maybe inappropriate of me to go there, but that was my immediate gut feeling – there are some major gender issues tangled up in there.

  50. Heidi says:

    My Dad is now deceased. When he was very ill in the hospital for months on end, me and my 3 sisters would pamper him, and jokingly argue over who would get him a blanket or fluff his pillow. When one of us would say ‘am I your favorite dad?”, he would point to all of us and smile (he couldn’t speak well) to tell us we each were his favorite. Now that he’s gone, it’s the best feeling in the world that he loved us all differently, but that we each were his favorite, each in a special way. :) It’s sad that this mom took that away from her daughter.

  51. gina says:

    what’s kind of ironic about this is that regardless of the various ‘Terms of Endearment’ daughtering styles out there, girls tend to remain connected and involved throughout their mothers lives, while sons tend to grow up, move on, and forget your damn birthday…

  52. gina says:

    PS. I’m still annoyed at my dad for not calling his sister on the 17th!

  53. Katy E says:

    I feel like Kate posted her article in order to convey what she deems some sort of universal but unspoken “I have a favorite child” mothering experience. But I don’t think it’s universal at all. I could not relate in any way. In fact, it wasn’t my perception growing up with two brothers that either of my parents had a favorite. Nor is it my experience now that I’m a mother with multiple children and multiple dogs.

    I love each of my dogs the exact same and appreciate their differences. I love both of my sons more than anything in this world and would be absolutely devastated should anything happen. Yes, they have different personalities and qualities and faults but they’re mine and they’re both equally treasured. I think this mom needs to take down her post, stop trying to be a “Everyone experiences this and I’m just brave enough to say it out loud” type of martyr and seek therapy to work through the snakes in her head.

  54. JenC says:

    I read those two posts last week. On one hand, a lot of bloggers talk about intimate or revealing things, it is the nature of the beast. She was upfront about how her birth experience and daughters personality had made it more difficult to enjoy her, while the relative ease of her son made her feel more attached to him. I do however think it is an awful thing to post in such a public forum, in such detail, and I felt badly for her daughter who will likely read it some day. She lost me though with her histrionic responses to her comments, especially the weird explanation of how when she wrote about “losing” her daughter she didn’t mean death she meant actually misplacing her. I think you can not blog about something that emotionally charged, use the words she did, and expect that readers with access to a comment box will not have something to say about it.

  55. novemberjuliet says:

    I wish for more tolerance. Some will find solace and comfort knowing that there are other parents out there like Kate who struggle to connect with any or each of their children. Isn’t that why we love to read blogs – to feel a bit less alone. I do appreciate a good debate, but one that descends into caddy judgment just seems to cheapen the forum. None of us is walking in Kate’s shoes, and I really believe if you read her words more cautiously, you will discern the many clarifications and caveats she inserted – perhaps she should have anticipated some would read “dead” into “lost”, but she didn’t and doesn’t need it rammed down her throat via pointed and hurtful comments. In due time, I think she’ll express her sentiments differently, or she may not. It’s her journey and her story to tell. I think it’s really too bad we can’t separate the storyteller from the story, or the person from the experience being shared sometimes. Life is hard enough without having to deal with the tomatoes being thrown at us when we write something that makes someone uncomfortable. Motherhood is hard enough – why can’t we just be more tolerant of each other’s experience.

  56. GastorSpain says:

    I think it’s far harder on innocent children to grow up and read how their mother denigrated their father and heaped scorn on him, just for a few blog hits worth of notoriety.

    And maybe this woman was only writing that essay about her parenting problems because she thinks there are so many people out there pretending. Pretending their kids are amazing, pretending they’re happier than Charlie Sheen after a brick of coke and a hooker, pretending they have more money than they do. She hates that.

    I bet she just wants you to know parenting sucks sometimes. She want you to know that she’s gone in the bathroom, turned on the shower and scream-cried into a towel. And she just want to know that about you, too. Because as you said Monica, it helps us all feel a little less lonely in an increasingly isolating world when we’re all riding the crazy train, right?

  57. Juli says:

    I feel Kate could have written that post in a manner which more appropriately conveyed how some parents get along better with one child than another without going to such dark places with her thoughts. I know lots of parents who refer to one particular child as “the good one” but would never say they prefer or love that child more, much less being okay if they lost the less preferred child over the favored child. Feelings that dark and deep need to be related to and addressed by a therapist not a blog audience.

  58. Carol says:

    If Kate has an ounce of feeling for her daughter, she’ll defy her boss & take down that post. It’s grossly unfair to the child she is now & to the adult she’s going to become. There’s absolutely no good that will come of it.

  59. JenH says:

    I don’t have kids, but I never felt my parents favored any of us over the others. Now my siblings would tell you I was the favorite one, but I was the youngest, of course they feel that way. Did they forget that when we were young it was them against me, 2 against 1, I had to fight harder!
    But I would die if my parents ever vocalized it.
    It is sort of sad all around that we are even talking about, that it was even said, and in such a public forum.

  60. Hanni says:

    I think it’s unfortunate that she aired her feelings in such a public “place”. But after spending a brief bit of time on her blog to learn a little bit more about her, I was struck by learning that she’s only 26 years old! When I was 26, the only thing I was thinking about was running my three-year old business and playing with my new husband. She’s soon going to have three very young children to care for! I know that many, many people have multiple children by the time they’re in their mid-20′s, but it’s SO young. I didn’t have my first child until I was in my mid-30′s and while I wish I’d have started a little sooner, I was incredibly thankful for the emotional stability and self-awareness that I had by that time. Without that stability, I think I’d have gone insane with all that went on in my daughter’s first year (health issues, etc). I just hope that in time, Kate will gain some self-awareness and emotional maturity and that will help her deal with these feelings (I think therapy would be a great place to start…). My heart breaks for this little girl — my daughter is a strong, independent character, and it’s these kids in particular who need SO MUCH emotional reinforcement and love!

  61. Theresa says:

    I think we just love our kids differently. They are different people and we become different ourselves as each child comes along. Here is my response to Kate’s entry:
    You Have Been Broken-In Baby

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