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Can You Have a Favorite Kid?

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: When I had my daughter, I fell in love. We did everything together and I learned everything about being a mom with her. I remember telling her that no matter how many kids I had, she would always be my favorite. There was a bond I would neverhave again with another child. She was the only one -- the center of my universe.

mom and kids
When I got pregnant with my second child, I got scared that I would not be able to love two kids. I loved my dog until my daughter came, and now I am not that into the dog. My girlfriend without kids said, "But you love your Gucci bag as much as your Marc Jacobs bag" ... but it wasn't quite the same thing. I only wanted my daughter's pictures on the wall, my daughter snuggling in bed. How would I find room to love two? 

When I was pregnant with my first child, I kept a detailed pregnancy journal, and I still keep one for her wherein I profess my love for her. With the second, I barely remember to write in the journal, let alone talk to the baby in my belly. I confided my fears to my mom. I told her that I was obsessed with my daughter and I feared that I would never love another child the same -- she was my favorite. My mom told me that it was a fear every parent faced. And the truth is, there is a special bond with your first. You learn love in a whole new way when you have a child, and it is that first child who teaches you that. 
I am the oldest, and I know I am my mom's favorite (mostly because my sister and my mom do not get along as well). I represented a really good time in my mom's life, and she often tells me she should have stopped after me. It isn't really a secret. My sister recently told me, "You're mom's favorite." She wasn't upset over it; it was just a fact to her. Every relationship with a parent in unique and some bonds are stronger than others. We have favorite parents and grandparents, so why shouldn't they have favorite kids? 

As long as a parent is not overtly favoring a child and ignoring another, there really isn't a problem. You can't control that you don't have the same time and attention to give to a second or third child as your first. You jumped at every whimper with your first baby, but by the fourth, you don't even hear them scream. It happens to the best of us. But as long as you love your children -- favorite or not -- everything will be OK.

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27 comments so far | Post a comment now
Dee November 17, 2010, 4:48 PM

This article is appalling. I agree that many mothers have this fear. I had it with my second pregnancy. I became pregnant 5 years after my first son was born. I was a little scared that I would show a preference to my oldest son that would be evident to my new child. I was scared to death that I would cause my new child to feel that he was not loved as much as his brother. But, the second I looked into my new little boy’s eyes, I fell in love…hopelessly and completely in love. The same way I felt when my first was born and when my daughter was born as well. I cannot imagine not loving my two sons, or my little girl equally. I could never choose whom I love the most. It is impossible. They are all different and wonderful in their own special ways, yet I love them all with my entire heart and soul.

How can you possibly be okay with your mother admitting that she basically wishes your sister was never born?? Shouldn’t that crush your heart? Especially now that you are a mother? My mother and my father put me through that as a child. I was told by each of my parents how much they regretted my being born. I was told how much I ruined their chances for a good life and that they were forced to get married because of me. I never complained to anyone about it, no matter how much it hurt and destroyed me. A child will do anything and everything for his or her parent’s love and acceptance, even keeping silent. To be told, from the ones who are supposed to love you more than anything in the world and protect you, that you should never have been born, or that you are not loved as much as another, is verbal and emotional abuse. Simple. It is wrong. You are just as wrong for posting such an an article. I pray for your children and hope they never read this article.

Di December 1, 2010, 7:00 PM

I can agree with the favorite thing. I’m not saying its fair. I don’t agree that its automatically the first child, though.
My oldest is difficult. She’s been that way since she was about 9 years old. I really don’t enjoy spending time with her because I never know when she’s going to have one of her moments (she’s 17 now) and that usually ends up with an argument where she blames me for any and all of her own shortcomings.
My second child has a sweeter disposition. He’s easier to get along with and we share a lot of interests. I have no problem admitting that he’s my favorite because the time I spend with him is enjoyable and not filled with tension.
If I were given a choice to spend a couple of hours with one or the other, I’d gladly spend it with my son.
I’m sorry if people think that makes me a bad mother.
I love them both but I enjoy the company of one more than the other.

~ME~ December 3, 2010, 12:29 PM

There is something terribly wrong with this story as well as both mother and daughter! Absurd!

Tawnie February 2, 2011, 6:35 PM

I agree with the posters in that I think it is natural to initially be scared that you won’t love a second child as much as a first, but once you’re second gets here, I highly doubt you’ll feel that way. I have two boys—12 & 7—and I am expecting a third child in a few months. I don’t even worry about loving this one equally this time around because I now know that love multiples not divides. That said, there is one thing that I do, right or wrong, and that is to tell each of my children that they’re my favorites. For example, my oldest is quote, “My favorite 12 year old” and my yongest is quote, “My favorite 7 year old.” You guessed it, at each birthday I get a new favorite age. It sounds silly, but even my oldest still gets a kick out of hearing me say it—I guess we all wan’t to be the favorite something or other. Anyways, my boys never fight about who I love more because they know the other would just say, “nu-uh…I’m her favorite too.”

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Nita Muran April 5, 2011, 12:14 AM

I cant say Im in complete accordance, props to you for having the initiave to come up with it

Uk 106 April 9, 2011, 11:33 PM

Lovely ideas, many thanks for taking the time to put it up

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