I don’t love all my children the same.

I don't love all of my children the same I have  a confession. When I was expecting Little Man, I suffered terrible, unspeakable guilt. You see, I knew that there was no way I could possibly love this new baby as much as I loved Miss M.  Miss M was so beautiful, so clever, so funny. She was my baby girl and I adored her with every cell in my body. Sure I understood, on a logical level, that parents love all their kids the same (hadn’t my own parents told my siblings and I that all the time, like a mantra?) but in my heart…in my gut, I was certain that it simply wouldn’t be possible for me. Miss M was the light of my life and I couldn’t fathom how on earth another child could inspire the love in me that she had. So I cried. I beat myself up. I knew I must be a bad mother. I worried and worried and promised my Bump that I would try my absolute best to love him as much as I could. I apologised daily and repeatedly to my poor Bump for the injustice of bringing him into this family where, try as I might, I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I loved his big sister. I despised myself for this and as much as I desperately wanted to, I just couldn’t see how to get around it. The shame was debilitating. Finally, one day, I confessed. I had a long heart-to-heart with my sister, who is mother to five children herself. If anyone could help me, she was it. Nervously I explained my feelings, red-faced and ashamed, and waited for her to laugh at me or worse – judge me. She did neither. Instead, she asked me a particularly odd question:
“Michelle, if you could go to your favourite restaurant and order your favourite meal, what would it be?”
Weird response to my outpouring of guilt, but okay. I decided to play along (what did I have to lose, after all?) and answered that I adore a good Gnocchi. She nodded, smiled sagely and then asked another question:
“If you could choose any dessert, what would your favourite dessert be?”
Getting weirder. Haltingly, I replied that Sticky Date Pudding is my dessert of choice. She grinned widely and then replied:
“Well then, it’s easy. Miss M is your Gnocchi and the new baby will be your Sticky Date Pudding. You will love them both to distraction, you will want extra super-sized servings of both and both will be your favourites but for completely different reasons.”
And that is how I said goodbye to The Guilt.  Two days later, Little Man was born. The rush of love I felt for him was overpowering. One look at that tiny 6lb4oz, bald baby boy and I was his. My sister was right. I love Gnocchi more with every passing day, Sticky Date Pudding remains as sweet as ever and I’ve since developed a new, all-consuming love for Baby Cupcakes. Sure, I might prefer one over the other at different times, and that’s okay. But, I can say – loudly and proudly – they are all my favourites.

 Do you have a favourite child?

Did you suffer The Guilt when you were expecting your second child? Did anyone give you any special advice or words of wisdom that helped you to get that it’s absolutely possible to love all your children equally? Please share! If you liked this post, please take the time to click the thumbs up button below, and share with your friends. I’d really love to hear your comments, so please don’t be shy. You may also like:  My house is messy. This is what makes it worth it. You suck! A Monster Tale.

About Michelle Lewsen (They Call Me Mummy)

Motherhood is a privilege but sometimes, when we're covered in vegemite/vomit/poo, it's hard to remember just how lucky we mums are. In another life I was an award-winning Copywriter with something to talk about other than the fact that Jason Mraz was on Sesame Street. I moonlighted as a Personal Trainer and Aerobics Instructor just for fun (because I was bored, what with all that annoying free time...) In this life, I'm mum to three entertaining yet exhausting, delightful yet demanding, inspiring yet soul-sucking people I've ever met. I love them intensely and will go Mama Bear on anyone who dares try hurt them. Even on the days they seem bent on my destruction. I am also the lucky winner of Cupid's lottery and somehow landed an incredible husband. The poor guy suffers through my adult ADHD with an admirable generosity of spirit and a wicked sense of humour. I think I'll keep him. This blog captures my life. Sometimes warm & fuzzy, sometimes shriek-out-loud funny. In my spare time (between 1am and 6am) I've been writing a series of children's books. Soon, I'll be publishing them and your kids are going to adore them, so watch this space. WARNING: I'm an oversharer. Working on it. (Not really)

Posted on J September, 2012, in Family, Gratitude, Life, Motherhood, Parenting, sibling rivalry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Our kids all have different personalities so it stands to reason that we will respond to each of them differently, but we love all of them more than our own life. I have 8 favourites ;)

  2. I clearly remember a massive breakdown during my 2nd pregnancy. My oldest was probably around 16 months- and I was pregnant with twins. I was a hormonal mess out of my mind which didn’t help- but I carried around so much doubt and guilt over how could I possibly love anyone (let alone TWO MORE anyones) more than him??? I worried and stressed about it for weeks. Months. Here we are today and the twins are almost 2, my oldest 3.5. My love has tripled (not divided)- and as I do not love them all the same (as in same WAY) I love them each in their OWN way. I can’t imagine my life without any of them- and I treasure every day they spend with me. Your sister has a good analogy- and it’s something that I think every mother fears and wonders about until the moment you meet that #2 (or #3…etc).

  3. What a beautiful tale of how we figure out to double or triple our love! I remember the same feeling. My daughter was so perfect, when I was expecting a son, I thought I would never love him as much as her. Boy was I wrong! I always joke that he’s my favorite. ;) Ooh, THAT’s another blog!

  4. We have our tv hooked up to a computer and run a photo screen saver all the time. I see my babies as babies and miss their little squishiness. I love them for being 12 and 8 but I miss 2 and 3….. I hated it then but I miss it now. I imagine in a few years I’ll miss the simpler times of 12 and 8… I love mine both more than anything. They couldn’t be more different. They teach me stuff everyday. It’s a crazy journey this motherhood thing but I’m glad I chose it. Lucky I guess, I have the pigeon pair so I can have a favourite son and a favourite daughter :) guilt free .

  5. Well hello there. I can understand your guilt. When I was expecting my second baby I sure was overwhelmed with the same internal/maternal questions. I loved my little Noah more than anything in the world and had no idea that I could possibly love another. I talked with my husband and other mother’s with multiple children and they all told me about how I was giving my Noah a friend for life. This is what helped me come to realization that all was going to be well. Today I have 2 sons. They are the best of friends and I love them both more than I could ever have imagined.

  6. I had exactly, precisely the same guilt!! I was positive that it would be impossible to love my son (child number two) as much as a adored my baby girl! Funny how it all turned out, though, huh? And for child number three, I sort of relaxed, and realized that he’d just be one more that I would love more than my next breath!

  7. I love your post Michelle! So cute and very honest.

  8. A great post! It is quite amazing how we can love two (or more) children with the same intensity, but in totally different ways isn’t it??

  9. Thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up! Can’t wait til you’re stateside

  10. I had the same issue going from one to two. I was very worried that I was not going to be able to parent two children with love. It took me a few hours after the birth of my second to figure out what your sister explained to you. Adding the third was not a problem. Thanks for your sister’s analogy. I’ll save that for another mother who might need to hear it!

  11. I was too busy listening to my son’s tantrum to think about it. However, we stopped at two mainly because I was afraid of being too full and not enough to go around. How silly! I love your analogy! That is a neat way to think about it

  1. Pingback: America’s Got Talent. Me? Not so much. « They call me Mummy

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