To wish I was 'the favourite'

(18 Posts)
Oreganoooo Sat 30-Jan-16 16:52:44

I'm a married mother of one (gorgeous DS) and I have a life I'm overall pretty pleased with. One thing keeps niggling at me and I can't seem to shake it. It feels like I'm being unreasonable but I wish I was the 'favourite' child in my family.

I know it sounds silly for an almost 30 year old woman to say something so childish but I consistently feel pushed out by my own family. I have 3 siblings (2 brothers 1 sister) and I'm the least favourite child.

I once overheard my father say he found me "irritating". I remind him of his mother and his ex wife. My own mother is not very maternal and I go months without hearing from her.

I often hear about my other siblings getting favours and special treatment. My sister is the golden child and likes to funnel all information about the family.

It drives me mad.

CaptainCrunch Sat 30-Jan-16 17:01:33

Sometimes families don't love and support each other the way you would want them to. The best thing to do is switch your focus and loyalty to your own family and stop looking back, they won't change and have some kind of epiphany which involves making you feel better. Focus on what you have, not what you don't have.

MrsBobDylan Sat 30-Jan-16 17:58:40

Don't make the mistake of believing there is a golden child. Ime, parents who have failed often work on the divide and rule principle, making out one child gets better treatment and is nicer, when in fact they are shit parents to all their kids.

Sorry your parents have let you down, but I would doubt from your description that they are very good parents to any of your siblings.

Katenka Sat 30-Jan-16 18:11:03

Dbro is definitely my mums favourite.

Showcased this week as dbro and sil are putting their son in a nursery that sil can not pick him up from. Dbro will drop him on the way to work. Sil is a sahp and they only have one car and she doesn't want to have to drop dh off every day.

So mum is picking their son up from nursery 3 days a week. Even though there are 2 great nurseries within walking distance.

She recently told me she wouldn't be helping either of us put aside from odd babysitting as it was too much X I thought fair enough. But she will not spend 1.5 hours picking up dnephew.

Honestly I just let it go. It hurts but then I manage to push it away. I don't want it to effect my relationship with my parents.

TheExMotherInLaw Sat 30-Jan-16 18:11:57

and there is often immense pressure put on the golden child to conform, or lose that status. I do agree, tho, it still sucks to be bottom of the pile

FattyFishwife Sat 30-Jan-16 18:23:42

my mum was the black sheep in her family for getting pregnant when she was 16 and having the baby when she was 17, my nan (her mum) had digs at my mum all throughout her life, up until she (nan) died last year (mums now 67) Nan never let my mum forget what had happened.

so you would think that by definition, that my mum would be uber careful about never ever making one of her kids feel the same as she has done for the last 50 years, but no...for reasons that I wont go into, i became the black sheep, and now she has a little sly dig at me every now and again.
Ive even said to her on occasions....'i know im the black sheep of the family but....' and she never corrects me or denies it.

It sucks o/p, and you have my full sympathy...im 44 and it bloody well needles me too, the fact that she knows how much it hurts, yet she still does it. I have 3 siblings, one older and 2 younger, and tehy can do no worng (love them all to absolute bits BTW) but them and their kids always seem to get the best of her.

have some virual hugs (((oregano))) and some flowers wine cake and chocolate from me...and i certainly dont think you sound childish at all...they say a mums 'love' is forever, and I deffo think that how you perceive it is forever too!

NoCanDosVilleBabyDoll Sat 30-Jan-16 19:03:21

I'm pretty sure that my mum loves me and my sister the same but I think she likes my sister better. I can't really blame her as she gets on better with my sister as my sister isn't as intolerant with her as I am. I get irritated quickly. I'm not sure if it's the fact that my sister is closer to her in age as my mum was a lot older when she had me.

I'm not too bothered about this.

MIL also has a favourite. DH is one of 3 and the middle child is her favourite. It's soooo obvious. DH doesn't care a bit but you can tell that the youngest is really hurt by it and she's always scrambling to get into her mothers affections. Because of this she's a proper attention seeker.

Anyway, what really boils my piss is MIL's treatment of the Grandchildren. My mum, tbf, always treats them really fairly although it pisses me off that she seems to favour my DC2 over my DC1. MIL however is ridiculously obvious. Only DH and the "favourite" have children, the youngest doesn't yet. Favourite child has one child and is a lone parent so maybe MIL is trying to compensate for the fact that her grandchild only has one parent. My oldest and DH's sibling's child fawn over MIL and tell her how beautiful she is. My youngest is painfully painfully shy so doesn't. If we visit DC2 will stick with me or DH and was reluctant to give hugs or kisses as a baby/toddler. I think this has made mil feel a bit rejected and although I don't think she "dislikes" DC2 because of this she doesn't make a fuss of her like she does my DC1 and DN. She makes a fuss of DN much more than DC1 too. For eg. She came to see the Christmas play, which all the GC were in. My DC walked in and got a quick wave. When DN walked in she was all "oh there's X. Hi baby! Love you!"

We went to a party. All the GC had new party clothes. To my DC1: "you look nice. Is that new?" To DN: (Excitedly) "helloooo baby! Oh you look gorgeous. I love what you're wearing! And look at your shoes." To DC2: nothing except hello angry.

On their Christmas cards she wrote: To our lovely Gc1, have a fabulous Christmas darling, love from Grandma and Grandad xxx

To lovely Gc3 (my youngest) love from Grandma and Grandad xxx

To our beautiful Angel darling GC2 (DN)
Have a fabulous Christmas, sweetheart. You deserve it so much. Love you forever and always will. Love always, Grandma and Grandad xxxxx

I'm not exaggerating either. I only read DN's card because they brought it to me saying "look at my card from Granny" btw. I wasn't being nosy, I wouldn't have known otherwise but I was already a bit cross at the difference in my own DC's cards. DC2 is still very little so doesn't care/notice yet but I'm wondering if they will in the future.

Sorry that this turned into a bit of a rant but YANBU. There should be no favourites.

BadgersNadgers Sat 30-Jan-16 19:37:45

Sometimes families don't love and support each other the way you would want them to. The best thing to do is switch your focus and loyalty to your own family and stop looking back, they won't change and have some kind of epiphany which involves making you feel better. Focus on what you have, not what you don't have

This is the most insightful, balanced and intelligent comment I've read on MN. Sadly it's true that some parents don't do their job properly. The failure is with them, not you.

Oreganoooo Sat 30-Jan-16 19:57:08

It just feels doubly unfair when I consider the way they treat DS. He's a lovely little boy and yet they dish out the same treatment. For Xmas my sisters DC had cards and gifts. DS got nothing. Not even a card or a cheap toy from the pound shop. My heart breaks for him. He won't understand why Grannie and Grandad don't like him and prefer his cousins.

It's infuriating to see my own child being treated the way I have been. I just wish for once they could see that I have something to offer.

I have no idea how to stop approval seeking. It must be irritating but the little kid inside me just wants to be accepted sad

shinynewusername Sat 30-Jan-16 20:16:16

I'm my mother's least favourite by a mile, so I feel your pain, OP. But the only way of dealing with it is to accept it and move on. By allowing yourself to feel hurt and resentment (totally understandable though that is), you are handing your parents the power to continue hurting you. Until I accepted that my DM would never change and - more importantly - that nothing I could do would ever change her, I was always subconsciously seeking her approval. Accepting that I will never have it is incredibly liberating.

Stanky Sat 30-Jan-16 21:20:10

It is painful. Dh has 2 sisters, youngest sister is the favourite, then other sister, and dh is the bottom of the pile. It doesn't bother him at all, but it makes me sad that they make it so obvious, with mil always talking about "her girls". She says things like "A son is yours until he marries a wife, but a daughter is yours for life.", or something like that. She means it as well. It makes me especially sad, as we have 2 ds s.

When we had ds s, I used to ask her if she'd like to babysit them sometimes. She would say no, which is fair enough, but the reasons she'd come out with were a bit strange. Like Oh we're painting the fence that day, and Oh, we're going to the beach, and it will be much too hot for them.

Sil had a dd, and they babysit her at least 3 times a week.

I don't think that they mean to hurt me, but it causes me pain. I worry about when my dc will notice that they're second best. sad

kawliga Sat 30-Jan-16 23:49:41

None of the dc come off well in a family that has favourites. All the dc are damaged. 'favourites' pay a huge price to retain 'favourite' status. They can never be themselves - they must be what the parents want and never find out who they are. They are 'forced' to slag off their own sibling, joining up with the parents in oppressing the one that's not favourite. I came from a family like that. We all ended up damaged: favourite and non-favourite.

Stanky Sun 31-Jan-16 08:36:04

Yes Kawliga, it does no one any favours. My siblings and I all think that the other one is the favourite, so maybe our parents dislike us all equally. grin

But seriously, I was a favoured grandchild when I was little, because I was the youngest. It didn't do me any favours, because it meant that all of my cousins hated me. My gp's sadly died years ago, but my cousins still hate me. It can do so much damage to have favourites.

kawliga Sun 31-Jan-16 19:50:11

stanky maybe you are rolling favourites, taking it in turns to be the favourite. Equal opportunities favouritism. Everyone gets a chance to be the golden child for a while before the parents call time. 'Next!'. And so it goes, round and round. You'd need a spreadsheet to keep up with who is in favour and who has fallen out of favour.

Parents like these (I have parents like these) don't care if all the dc hate each other, as long as THEY are loved. In fact they play the dc off against each other. Divide and rule. Meanwhile they cling like limpets to the idea that we are a loving and close family.

My mother will swear blind how close and loving we all are, yet she'll happily pass on news to me about my brother that she knows I have not spoken to in about 5 years. In fact she likes having the role of passing family news around, so it's better for her if the dc are not speaking to each other as she gets to play the matriarch role (and choosing her successive favourites).

I don't mean to make my mother sound like a witch, she's not. Everyone loves her and she's a pillar of her community, will do anything for anyone, etc.

MrsJayy Sun 31-Jan-16 19:55:58

My sister is the favourite it really hurts yes I am a grown woman blah blah. But when your mother goes out for lunches and whatnot with her and won't pop into mine for coffee it really grates she does a lot more for sister than she ever did for me I could go on but it just riles and I'd rant

MrsJayy Sun 31-Jan-16 19:58:53

My sister takes advantage of mum as she knows she can't say no to her mum has no problem saying no to me

Stanky Sun 31-Jan-16 20:07:47

Kawliga, that does sound really difficult. I really love my 2 older brothers, and I have been very lucky in that our parents have never played us off against each other. We are just naturally very different, and that could definitely make it seem as though there were favourites.

Mrsjayy, I'm sorry to hear that your mum favours your sister over you. I don't think that it matters how old you are, it's still painful. Do you think that they realise that they are hurting you?

MrsJayy Sun 31-Jan-16 23:29:45

Oh my post seems indulgent sorry op just wanted to sympathise. Yes I think mum know s sister is oblivious I do love my family there is a large gap and I had left home before she was out of primary she is like a pfb iyswim

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