I Don’t See Why Sophie’s Choice Was So Tough

by Marinka on March 16, 2011

(This post was inspired by a conversation I had with Kelcey and Wendi. But the views herein are my own. As is the use of the word herein.)
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I’m sort of reeling today.

I read a post that I will not link to written by a woman who basically said that she loved her son more than her daughter. Oh, she admits that she is not a perfect parent, but there it is.

She can imagine her daughter being taken away from her (in a custody battle, she explains in the update to her post, not by DEATH, silly) but she cannot imagine letting go of her son.

She also hopes that the baby that she’s carrying now is a girl, so that she can have a great start with her and maybe through that learn to better parent her daughter.

Fucking hell.

I admit to skimming the post in parts, so it’s entirely possible that I missed a gem, but I bet that if she were asked why the hell she wrote this for the world to read, as opposed to sharing it with her therapist, for example, she’d say something along the lines of “so others who feel the same way wouldn’t feel so alone.”

And having put those words into her mouth, let me call bullshit on it.

Because in my opinion, it isn’t helpful. If someone feels like they are not attached enough to one of their children, that’s a signal to get help, not to bask in the comfort of knowing that they’re not alone. Admittedly, my knowledge of attachment disorders is limited to General Hospital, but hopefully there is help available.

I love blogging, I really do. I’m all for exposing children’s foibles and laughing at so many situations that I find myself in as a parent. I post and tweet a lot about the misunderstandings and the annoyances and, Sweet Lord, the exhaustion of being a mother.

But this is something else.

What the post helped me realize is that I have very strong limits about what I will blog about. That despite my “I made you, I can write about you” approach to my children, their emotional well-being is very important to me.

Even more important than pageviews.

One year ago ...

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Polish Mama on the Prairie
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm

She SAID that?! Ummm, no she needs to see a therapist. And I’m not saying it to make fun of her. I don’t joke about mental health issues, of any kind. Poor kids! All of them! No, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed and I agree with you.

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colleen March 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

This is an incredibly sad thing to read about. I agree with you, that isn’t the sort of thing you seek comfort for, it’s the sort of thing you actively seek help for. I also believe strongly there are limits to what is appropriate to blog/ talk/ etc. but I think too many of those lines are blurred in a lot of cases because of how indiscreet our culture is.

Really interesting post though and I genuinely hope that this woman actually wants to be helped and finds the help she needs to bond with her daughter.

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Wendi
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I think it’s shameless and nothing but attention whoring to write a post like she did. It’s okay to be imperfect, but we don’t have to vomit every deep, controversial thought all over the internet just for the sake of controversy.

Now please excuse me while I go finish my post entitled, “I Hate My 7-Year-Old’s Nose & Want Him To Get Rhinoplasty.”

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Issa
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I’d like to agree with Wendi. Well on the first part. My kid isn’t 7, so I have a bit longer on the nose.

I can’t imagine saying that, or thinking that about one of my kids…but saying it online for the world to see? Not cool.

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Tam
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 6:47 am

I pray with every ounce of my being that her daughter (and son, for that matter) NEVER read or hear about this. Utterly selfish.

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Roxanne March 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Well now every one who ever felt as a child that their parent loved one kid over the other has validation. Maybe that was her point?

I haven’t read the article, but it sounds like this shouldn’t have been something you post for the world to read. We should have SOME discretion on what we blog about, no?

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emily @ the happy home March 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

i’ve gotten the impression that my parents liked one sibling more than me, or that that sibling needed more attention/parenting/handholding, but i’ve never gotten the impression that they loved one over the other…

it’s confusing, emotionally, for kids, but to write it down? i hope that girl never finds out OR finds an environment that cares about her.

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alexandra
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm

My first thought?

The disgusting things people do to get traffic.

Never, never,never, never NEVEr, Nev-ER, would I put my child’s feelings up for grabs like that.

NEVER.

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Stasha
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I was an only child and I only have one. So I can’t relate to her feelings. But I know one thing. Recently I found a random photo of me at an event 5years ago. Just proof that once on the web always on the web. I truly hope this bloggers daughter never reads mom’s old posts. No child should ever cope with that kind of burden. That’s selfish. Period!

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Phoenix Rising
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Is it a teen daughter? Because I have a teen daughter and they can be really, really mean. She called me a “freaking psycho bi — I mean, MEAN PERSON!” yesterday after she got her phone taken away for sneaking off after school and not being home when she was supposed to. That being said, I can only imagine my teen daughter being sent to a very expensive, elite boarding school where she will learn that she misses and loves her mommy very much. Also, that being said, I still love her. It’s just a frustrating point in our relationship right now and I’m ADULT and MATURE enough to recognize that and not announce to the interworld that I love one child more than the other. That poor child. 🙁 I can’t imagine how she feels every single day of her life. (The child in the post. Not mine. Mine is REALLY GOOD at expressing her feelings. Really good.)

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Lorry
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 5:17 am

She’s 3.

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Leigh Ann
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm

With my first children being twins, I was so afraid that I would have those feelings. How was I supposed to love 2 children the same? Would not being able to choose cause me to love both of them less? Pregnancy thoughts are hell when you’re terrified.

My mom gave me some (rare) sound advice: That I won’t love one more than the other — I would love them differently. And it’s so true. Do I sometimes relate to one more than the other? Yes, and it changes with age and is totally normal. Would I be able to choose between them? Hell no. And then I feared the same with their [surprise] little sister. But again, my fears were wiped away.

This is one of the reasons “mommy bloggers” get a bad rap.

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Recklesshonesty March 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Oh. That. Is. Bad.

I heard from a colleague that her mother confessed during a wine-induced evening that she had never expected much of her daughters. That way she wouldn’t be disappointed if they didn’t amount to anything. I thought that was bad..

I’m in lack of words. How can she NOT see how this is going to backfire? I would think it’s bad enough to admit having such thoughts to her husband, let alone sharing it with the whole world, including her mother-in-law… Wow, can you imagine their first family dinner after her MIL reads that post?

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Fairly Odd Mother
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Wow, just wow. I can’t even freaking think about Sophie’s Choice without spending a night crying myself to sleep. So, um, thanks for reminding me!

No, seriously, my kids are getting older and I watch SO MUCH what I write now because I don’t want to hurt them. Why do people feel the need to expose SO MUCH!?!

I hope her daughter grows up and writes a post about why she likes her father more than her mother.

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From Belgium March 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm

she said WHAT!

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elizabeth-flourish in progress
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm

i hope her son grows up to be a nice man. otherwise, she’s def going into a nursing home….and not one of those posh ones with crafts and whipped jello every afternoon.

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Neil
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I just read the article. To be devil’s advocate, I’m sure what she was saying — at least in her own heart — was not as evil as it reads. But like you said, it was the public writing of it that is the issue . There are millions of ways to write this article, and many of them would have been perfectly acceptable. I’m sure mothers frequently bond with their sons in different ways than their daughters, just as fathers do with “daddy’s little girl” and their “mirror-image son.” But in typical online writing style, this author went for the punch in the face, as if to say, “I’m gonna be really really honest here, and that’s why Babble is such a cool site.” That is why people are upset. She chose the marketing of her post over the feelings of her own family.

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christy March 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I think it’s pathetic and sad and I haven’t read the post. Ugh.

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Alexandria
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Ugh. I haven’t read the article yet, but I have heard about it and WOW. I can’t believe she is saying that. From how you are relaying it seems like she’s so nonchalant about it.

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hokgardner
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I’m willing to bet her daughter already senses that mommy doesn’t love her as much as she does her brother. If this mom is willing to post it for the world to read, she’s probably said it within earshot of the girl.

Therapy bills for years for sure for the girl.

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anna see March 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

I certainly thought my mother SHOULD have loved me the most, but no such luck. Now I’m glad she didn’t play favorites.

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K-Line March 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I’m with Neil – I do think the woman would be better to seek therapy than blog support. The problem is that these momentary “emotional unburdenings” stay on the internet forever. I would hate for her daughter to see this before she has the maturity to contextualize it. I understand the pain of not bonding with your child – it’s the comparison between “easy” boy and “challenging” girl that I find difficult. And the “if one kid had to die” argument is really hard to get with.

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Lady Mama
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Well if nothing else, that woman has now ensured that hundreds of people she’s never met (and probably some she has) are talking on the Internet about how she doesn’t love her daughter as much as her son. It just seems so dumb. And so heartbreaking for her daughter.

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Yuliya
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Okay, don’t stone me, would your opinion be different if she had written this anonymously?

(Speaking as an only child and only having one child I have no context for this love one child more business)

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Tam
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 6:52 am

Yes. Because it’s one thing to admit you have those feelings (however wrong they are), it’s another to publicly advertise them under your name, and expose the children you are talking about to that potential heartbreak.

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Kimberly March 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Sounds like a custody battle is coming for her? As Charlie would say… “duh”.

ps: I’m glad you kept the blogger anonymous because the only thing I hate to read more than people abusing their kids in a blog is bloggers who call out and pass judgement on other bloggers. I’ve seen that, a lot. It is nice how you just wrote about the concept and I love you for that. Thank you for making me think about things from your perspective every day. I never miss your posts.

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Kimberly March 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I meant, the thing I hate almost as much 🙂

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Jen March 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Not to be all “Won’t someone please think of the children!” but won’t someone plesae think of the children! I hope this poor kid never finds out what her mother wrote. That would be a real kick in the teeth. I’m not sure I understand what this woman was trying to accomplish by writing that. Out loud. On the internet.

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Ann's Rants
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Hurting for that daughter, as those words can never be scrubbed clean from the internet.

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Magpie March 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I like you when you’re funny, but I love you when you’re serious.

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Melanie
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Wow. I believe wholeheartedly in honesty and vulnerability but there’s also something called tact and making wise choices on what to share in one’s blog and on what not to share. Oiy!

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Jenn @ Juggling Life March 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I googled it–I read both that piece and the follow up. This will definitely come back to haunt her and her poor daughter some day. I think she’s an idiot. There’s a reason people don’t say things like that out loud–and certainly on the internet.

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Jill
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm

woah … that makes me really sad … I’m so glad I didn’t read this. I’m really emotional this week and that would have added to my tears.

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annie March 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

A-freaking-men Marinka! That post disgusted me! And made me so very sad for her little girl. Never could I do that to one of my girls. Words cannot be taken back especially when shared with the world.

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Jessica
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm

In the future when her children read her post how are they going to feel about what their mom wrote. It is one thing to have those feelings and to tell a therapist about them but I think it is completely different to post that information on the internet for everyone to read and for your children to see when the get older. I believe in the case of this woman it was too much information for the internet and I hope that she found some help in the comments of her post.

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Peajaye
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 1:22 am

I know a woman whose father once said to her: Child A & Child B are my favorites, and Child C & Child D are your mom’s favorites. But you’re lucky, you’re nobody’s favorite.

Oh, parents. They say the craziest things. And now they say them online.

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calliope March 17, 2011 at 1:47 am

That’s pretty f’d up right there. I can’t imagine what she thought she’d accomplish (aside from garnering attention for her blog) by writing those feelings in a public forum, nor can I see how she thought it would benefit anyone, especially her daughter.
And what about her motivation to have a third child then? I mean, from what I gather she’s basically hoping for a “do over” on kid number three? Doesn’t that already demean kid 3’s value quite a bit?
I mean, most parents just live their dreams through their kids, but she’s planning on living her “how I wish I felt about my first daughter” dream through a second daughter?
Screw therapy for the blogger, someone line up therapy for the kids.

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Scary Mommy
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 6:09 am

A-freaking-men. I’m all for honesty, but this was way, way too much.

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Donna March 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

Ouch. I hope she’s writing under a pen name, at least. Just this morning, I was reading someone’s blog, and she posted a picture of her son that was truly awful and demeaning. I don’t know why she did it. But she blogs under her real name, so that picture will be out there for her son’s friends to find in a few years. She’s a good mom – all I can think is that she had a brain cramp and din’t realize what she was doing. It’s been bothering me ever since.

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Lorry
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 5:19 am

She put her daughter’s picture right in the article. I don’t think she uses a pen name, but even if she does, there’s enough info about her between Babble and her personal blog (easy to find if you google her name).

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tracy
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 7:31 am

This was swirling around in my head all day yesterday. I held my daughter’s all a little closer yesterday and hoped they knew how much I loved them all.

Just so sad this was public – and also that it was published where it was published.

Thank you for putting words around limits. Perfectly said.
xoxo

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Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up)
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 7:43 am

I realize that i’m late to the party as per usual but here’s my two cents. My kids are always asking which one i love more. The truth is that there have been times when i’ve liked them all more and liked them all less, depending on the developmental stage they are going through. I tell them i love them all differently every day and there’s no way that you could put any tangible label on that. With three, there has always been one bright spot at any given time.

It’s unfortunately NOT that she feels that way but that she would air it in public and not really figure out, hopefully in therapy, why she feels that way.

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K March 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

Somethings should not be posted! I’m always mindful that someday my kid might read the posts – so I’ll laugh at the silliness, but I’d never post anything hurtful about them EVER.

I’m thankful I love both of my little ones. There are days when one or the other is easier to be around, but it pretty much evens up on the long haul. They are both pain in the rear and I love them both fiercely.

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Annie @ PhD in Parenting
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

I completely agree that she shouldn’t have posted it and that this is something to discuss with her therapist rather than with the whole world. There are reasons why therapists have to keep their discussions with their clients and one of those is to protect the innocent.

This mom had a lapse of judgment, which we all do sometimes and which people especially do when they are going through a mental health crisis (as she may be right now). But what I want to know, is why no one at Babble stopped to think that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to not only post this article, but also promote the heck out of it by e-mailing prominent bloggers to say “hey, did you see this??????”. I think Babble should have suggested edits to the post and/or refused to post it. The fact that page views are more important to them than ethics or human beings has been demonstrated once again.

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Loukia March 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Good point, Annie.

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IzzyMom
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

We all have thoughts we would never even consider saying out loud. Declaring one’s love for one child over another falls squarely into that category.

The parent-child relationship is one that has the ability to uplift OR torture us for the rest of our lives and, in some cases, pay for a therapist’s summer home. This woman may well have insured the latter two will happen.

The sad part is it was unnecessary. Why is she more interested in supporting strangers with similar feelings? Why are her daughter’s feelings (and future) not more important than people she will likely never even set eyes on?

I just don’t understand.

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Nina March 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

Oh dear. I think I’m going to be the lone voice of dissent on this, which makes me all hand-wringey since I dislike both dissent and drawing attention to myself.

When I read your post, my intial reaction was ‘ay ay ay, what a trainwreck’ and then I read her post and found it thoughtful and honest and brave. As far as I see, she’s not saying ‘i prefer my son because my daughter is an awful person and deserves everything she gets’ but ‘i prefer my son because I have an easier relationship with him, but I recognise that this is my issue and I am doing and will keep doing to make sure that I am as fair to my daughter as possible because I recognise several areas of possible shortfall in our relating’. Nor is she saying ‘I like my son more than my daughter and I’m not going to change it because it’s just the way I like it’, but ‘yes I recognise that I may not be as fair to her or as patient with her and I will keep working to remedy the situation and have positive hopes for our relationship’.

I would have used different language to Katie to describe similar circumstances – I love my children the same, but I enjoy my daughter more and find it easier to separate from my son, because to me more enjoyment & easier relationship does not = more love. Ultimately though, what it boils down to is favourites, and they seem to be usual in parenting and taboo in the blogosphere.

I work as a family therapist, and my experience suggests that:

*even if a parent does not outright SAY that they have a favourite child, the children themselves will pick up on the different words/actions/approaches/relationships and believe themselves/another to be the favourite.

*favourites can be a complicated business, and unless handled carefully can cause grief/stress/anxiety for both the favourite/not favourite child. Having said that, it needn’t be the end of the world.

*claiming that there are no favourites can be MORE damaging actually, because by contradicting something htat the child perceives as self-evident, they are made to feel stupid/crazy which undermines the whole thing further.

*children might be born to the same parents and into the same socioeconomic circumstances, but they may end up with very different perceptions of their parents/childhood. FOr starters, even if the gender is the same- the context surrounding each child, their meaning and their arrival into the world is different- which in turn will lay the groundwork for there being different relationships.

Keeping things silent, keeping them secret – all of that helps nurture shame, and shame (on the whole) is not helpful to anyone, nor does it promote positive change. In families, shame can be a very destructive dynamic and it’s also destructive in therapy (generally speaking) because the emotional charge of it is an obstacle to getting work done.

I favour my daughter, my husband favours the son. Our son loves us both, but prefers his dad. My husband loves our daughter, but sometimes isn’t sure what to do with her or how to read her signals (she’s a baby), so he prefers the company of our very verbal son, whereas I find my son’s non-stop talking and barrage of questions absolutely exhausting. The children adore each other, and prefer each other’s company to anyone else’s. The grandparents prefer my son because he was first, and is delightful and active and verbal and they feel less aggravated than I do when he plots to wreck stuff. My daughter is growing on them as they get to know her better. No relationship is completely equal, but everyone is looked after even if it’s not all done by one person.

I’ve been reading a lot of people saying that the daughter is going to be so damaged by the mother’s revelation, and perhaps she will, who knows? However, what I’ve seen in my line of work, over and over, is that children can have remarkable resilience actually, when they understand that things are not personal.

So saying “I prefer child X because he is wonderful and perfect and you are an awful person” is not at all the same as “I have an easier relationship with Child X, because of my own issues and social circumstances.” I mean she might not like it, she might not think it’s fair – but by itself it should not be a terrible, terrible thing.

I think when we censor a topic, we are saying ‘this is too awful to be talked about’ which places quite an emotional charge on the whole thing, which doesn’t make it vanish but only drives it underground – and there, out of sight, it becomes a much more volatile and dangerous beast.

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Melissa T March 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

Consider this: My mother’s parents each had a clear favorite: mom favored son, dad favored daughter. Which was great for them all until the dad had the poor taste to DIE and leave a teenage daughter in a house where she had no real relationship with the remaining parent – the parent she KNEW did not favor her in any way, shape or form.

Therapy, anyone?

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Annie @ PhD in Parenting
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 10:02 am

As a child, I did often feel like my mom favoured my brother. As a mom myself, in retrospect, I can understand that my brother was a high needs child and that my mother didn’t necessarily favour him, but instead recognized that he needed more “mothering” than I did to get through the day. I think we can all understand that there are circumstances where a parent may have to or want to spend more time with or be nicer to one child over another. But if I had found an article my mom wrote that confirmed that she liked my brother more than me, I would have been DEVASTATED. It completely removes the possibility of any other explanation.

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Renee March 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I kind of agree with you and with Marinka. See – I sometimes secretly feel this way about my son. There just seems to be a connection, an ease of relating between him and me that isn’t there with my daughter. That doesn’t mean I love him more – not at all – but I can relate more easily to him and sometimes enjoy his company more. So, when I read her article, a part of me totally understood where she was coming from. But, sometimes, you just have to write it anonymously, you know? It’s fair enough to say that many parents might feel that way at times, but you have to think about how the children will perceive it. So, I agree with you that what she said wasn’t that horrible in the sense that it may be normal to FEEL that way. But, feeling something and saying it over the Internet are different. That is why my future blog (ha!) will be anonymous – that way, I can dish all the dirt and not feel guilty!

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Jaci March 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

I read it.

I think she’s missing the glaringly obvious fact of age difference. 2nd babies are going to seem more laid back, cuddly, “easy”, whatever just because mom is a few years older, wiser, and she’s done this before. And the oldest is going to seem “challenging” and difficult because mom is butting her head against brand new parenting issues: talking back, defiance, questioning authority, etc.

#2 isn’t the Better Child–mom is just More Experienced. (I know. I’m battling the same issues myself.)

But instead of acknowledging this and understanding how SHE is playing a role–she’s more interesting in justifying her feelings by blaming her daughter. “I was sick and didn’t have a chance to bond after birth!” “She’s always been a challenge!” “She’s too much like me!”

She dumped her Mom Angst online and shrugged, like, “Meh. It is what it is. Damn that lack of bonding that screwed everything up! Grrr! Oh, well. Lost cause. Next kid.” And even worse–she did it as some sort of Parenting/Pregnancy Expert.

Horrifying.

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deborah l quinn
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 10:11 am

What a fascinating string of comments. You got yourself some smarty-pants readers, Madam Marinka, yes you do. I wonder how “favorites” works if there are more than two kids, which automatically thrusts the parents into a “zone defense” rather than person-to-person. What happens to kid #3, or 5, or 8? Or to #1, who occupies a place in the sun until s/he is displaced by adorable babykins who slides in at birth spot #3 but rockets to favored spot #1? My other thought, along with what Nina says, is to remember that no kid is born into the same family. I grew up in a different family than did my two younger siblings, even though we all have the same parents and grew up within the same four walls: I perceive my sister to have been daddy’s little girl & my brother to have had an easier relationship w/my mother…while they see me as being “queen” and etc etc. I’m hoping that the mother who wrote this original post doesn’t show the post to her daughter (no one needs that) but I have to say that thinking about “favorites” made me reflect on my relationships with my kids and how, or if, they see me as having a “favorite.” (Of course, the child who brings me drinks and rubs my feet on a regular basis will always have a leg up on the other in terms of the “favored” sweepstakes.)

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Redneck Mommy March 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

Ugh. I missed this and I’m glad I did. I don’t have anything nice to say about it, so I’ll just keep my mouth shut.

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Mel Gallant March 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

What happens when her daughter finds out her mother said that about her? Which she will…eventually. Things live on in perpetuity on the web. Talk about feeling crushed and unloved. What a mess.

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Ilana @ mommyshorts
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 10:59 am

Now, clearly I have to read the original post. Although that would be feeding the beast. So I will refrain.

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anymommy March 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hmmmmm. I’m. This is hard. I didn’t like the original article. I didn’t like that I got an email from Babble intentionally promoting it’s controversy.

And then again. I have written extensively on line about my family’s failed adoption and subsequent disruption, so this, “if someone feels like they are not attached enough to one of their children, that’s a signal to get help, not to bask in the comfort of knowing that they’re not alone.” Well, that hurts a little.

I also have boundaries on line. I protect my children. I feel that all of my writing has been appropriate for several reasons that differ from this article. First and foremost, our son is anonymous. There is no way to know who the child is that didn’t stay in our home. But he could certainly find my writings some day, detailing our struggle and his successful second placement.

Also, our situation was over and resolved, so I write in retrospect about emotions and incidences that are past. I would not have blogged about bonding and attachment if we still struggled. On the other hand, I have written about the bonding and attachment process with my daughter – and I have written that it was hard (beautiful and joyful and hard) – also in retrospect.

I’ve had people tell me that I’m brave for writing about my story because they feel less alone. I’m not saying I agree, but I often say that I write about adoption difficulty because it’s taboo and silenced.

I say that knowing that you and many other commenters here have written incredibly supportive comments about my adoption attachment writing.

So, is the only difference between me and this woman who is receiving all of this vitriol writing skill? A certain sensibility about what will offend people?

Or is it that I was more cognizant of all of my children as I wrote?

I don’t know. I (however unfairly) thought her article was in poor taste and aimed at controversy as well. That feels like hypocrisy from me. It’s clearly a very fine line.

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mosey March 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

You were braver than me, saying this out loud. I felt shocked too, not that she said it but that she said it in a public forum. Which is what blogs are, unless you password protect ’em.

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Loukia March 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Oh, Lordy. Do I ever feel sorry for this woman’s daughter. That is the most awful thing I believe a mom can admit about her children and I’d like to believe that most moms don’t feel like this. I know I love my children equally, even though some days I have a harder time with one child, or the other. And of course there are certain characteristics in each child of mine that I sometimes say: “Be more like your brother!” But really. In my mind? They’re perfect the way there, I love their differences, I love their similarities, I love them with all my heart and soul and I’d rather put a bullet in my head than choose one or the other. They’re equal parts of my heart.
ANYWAY. This mom will likely regret this post and it sucks that she was so dumb as to write this for the world to see.
I love blogging and I’m always honest on my blog, but I also don’t blab about every single emotion I have. I never hit publish on any of my posts without thinking of how my children would feel about reading it when they’re older.

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Mary Sue March 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I write about food on my blog, so rarely can it ruin someone’s life. Unless, of course, you are pancakes in which I have tore you a new one. (Pointless food, pancakes). But, I don’t think this lady realizes how much this could hurt her daughter one day. Even as she grows up, it is much better to SUSPECT that your parents like one child better as opposed to to knowing it. I would be crushed, even as an adult, to read that. Seriously, self-esteem ruining, crushed.

Besides the fact that she blogged about it, I do hope she gets help from a therapist and tries to bond with her daughter better. Not only for her daughter, but for her. No one wants to feel that way.

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Heather March 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I don’t know the answer. I’m sometimes not sure where this altogether vague and fine line is drawn. I’ve written some eloquent things. I’ve written things without thinking on it from every angle and then regretted it. Perhaps I showed my humanness (meaning my ability to do something wonderful, but then completely fuck something else up) to the world a bit too much.

What I do know is this latest round of blogging drama makes me want to stop blogging even more.

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Polish Mama on the Prairie
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I ended up reading another article on Babble about a mother talking how horribly difficult girls are. I am wondering if Babble is just full of self-hating women who are having kids, when they should instead GET HELP.

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Awesome dude March 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Deep, deep thoughts.

Very simple matter indeed.

My mother was not loved by my grandmother and felt very free to express herself about it.

It did not prevent her from caring her body on the sled for good 15 miles when the woman died in sieged Leningrad.

For love is not an assignment, it either there or not.

As a matter of civility we proclaim that we love everybody the same way.

At it is holding as much truth as “Love your neighbor” stuff.

World is a sad place and it is our task to make it more tolerable to ourselves and our families.

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Maravonda March 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

I usually see your point Marinka, but not today…assuming that she didn’t write it in some way to try and turn it into entertainment (if so, we are into other issues)….maybe talking to the masses was the only way she could express the mess that is their relationship. I hope she gets therapy, too…there is way more going on there than a simple “I don’t like her as much as him.” Does she have an in-law who is poisoning her daughter against her and the writer can’t figure out WHY they aren’t close? Trust me…a filthy nasty mother-in-law can wreak havoc with a family, and if she’s good at it, the mom will be sitting there 20 years later thinking “Why didn’t I see what was happening?”. I could never understand how I could be attached to my daughter at the hip, and scarcely know who her older brother was. Well, now I understand. Let’s hope this woman gets help before she her daughter is lost to her and she is wondering why.

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Alex@LateEnough
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

I don’t care about the public part because that daughter already knows what is up. She may not know why but within the next couple of years the mom will slip and use the ‘but your father favors you’ excuse like she did in the post or something along those lines and it will confirm what the girl already feels. Maybe reading it will even help her to understand better that it’s not her fault but her grown-up mom’s fault for not getting the help she desparately needs.
My issue is that the mom seems to think that it’s normal and acceptable and she ‘is considering’ getting help but seems to blame her child as much as herself. It’s one thing to have day-to-day annoyances or swells of love for each of your children. It’s quite another thing to systematically favor one over the other. That mom is ill and acting like a child herself. And that is what is going to screw her daughter more than the Internet knowing. This is this little girl’s life.

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erin o. March 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

this might have been said…i don’t know, because i haven’t read through all the comments….but the thing that struck me most about this post was NOT the feelings themselves. it was the lack of compassion for her daughter. i’m not saying that she DOESN’T HAVE COMPASSION for her, i’m just saying that she didn’t show that. my daughter is definitely more challenging thus far than my son and we battle sometimes, but SERIOUSLY!! to say that you hope that your next child is a girl so that you can basically have a re-do is just unnerving to me! i’m sorry; we have to remember as writers that our words have consequences….consequences that our own children might bear. it’s simply unfortunate.

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mom101
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I adore your conclusion Marinka. I will fight for a mother’s right right to tell her story. But I think we have the obligation not to deeply hurt our children in the process.

Especially with a post that isn’t particularly good, insightful, or useful.

Besides, Ayelet Waldman already Went There six years ago. Maybe this chick was gunning for an Oprah appearance?

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Lady Jennie March 21, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hear hear! (It is hear hear and not here here, isn’t it? Because I always write hear hear as in I hear you). (And how’s that for lack of punctuation).

Anyway. I could not have said it better myself.

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Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
Twitter:
March 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

This makes me sad. I hope that girl keeps her head above water. I feel so lucky to have enjoyed an uncomplicated relationship with my mother and, GOD, I hope I am providing mine with the same.

I had a therapist friend once say that you can ‘like’ one of your children more than another because if you strip away the mother-child veneer, you’re still a person who has a personality that might jive better with the personality of one of your kids. BUT the instinct to love, protect, and support them must be equivalent – that’s the basic mother instinct. Feeling as though you could still be whole without one of your kids constitutes a failure in that natural urge.

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