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AIBU to be hurt by my mums comments?

(11 Posts)
JandOsmummy Thu 23-Jun-16 14:05:28

My mum is the youngest of two girls. I was the oldest of two girls.

When my second child was born my mum told me that I will always feel closer to / more empathetic to the older one as I was the oldest.

This hurt me on two levels, first it suggests she feels she favours my younger sister and second implies I would treat my boys differently.

my youngest is 6 months now and I can honestly say I don't feel any preferences or stronger sympathy to one than the other. I try my absolute best with each of them and adore them both. I see how the younger one loses out sometimes (hand me downs etc) But then I also feel bad I am always having to tell the older one tof be careful near the baby!

AIBU to still be bothered by her comment? does anyone else feel the same way as her?

CaoNiMao Thu 23-Jun-16 14:11:49

I'm not sure it's worth being hurt over. Just an observation on her part, really.

OptimisticSix Thu 23-Jun-16 14:16:42

I always worry about my eldest more than the others, but not because I am the oldest but because there's more to worry about. He's more sensitive, has a biological dad who treats him shockingly and an inability to relate well to his peers, oh and he's my guinea pig... it keeps me up at night. The other DC just don't worry me as much. Love all my DC as much as each other though and have no favourites... unless you count "the one who is arguing least in that moment" which changes constantly:D I wouldn't worry about it at all tbh.

SpinnakerInTheEther Thu 23-Jun-16 14:16:52

Ignore. It was an unthinking comment. Perhaps your mum was trying to convey a commonality of experience but that is all it is. I am an elder and my younger sibling experienced very different parenting to myself. I accept this, my parents grew older and more experienced. My own mother's emotions when her grandchildren were small seemed all over the place. It surprised me really. I think elder children can be quite pioneering in this respect, no one to observe going before them.

Witchend Thu 23-Jun-16 14:26:05

I think though she has a certain amount of right on her side. It's not so much favouritism, so much as you can empathise due to your own experiences.

I'm not necessarily thinking about favouritism, more that you can see the irritating younger sister side if you're the older and the bossy older one if you're the younger.

At 6 months you're not really at that point, but it's something I've noticed among many people. I'll give a few examples:

A friend who had 2 x dd. She commented to me that dd1 and dd2 liked a different type of summer dress for school. So dd2 had to put up with it because she wasn't going to buy 2 sets of new clothes. She as the oldest child thought that was fine. I'm the second girl and I immediately said that I did agree with not buying whole new uniform, however it would be fairer if she bought one of each type so they each had one they liked and one they didn't, as the dd2 already didn't get them new. Hadn't occurred to her.

Years back on a parents discussion group someone said that their oldest went to bed at 9:15 and the two younger ones went to bed at 8:30. The middle one was closer in age to the older one. When asked why she said she didn't think it was fair on the youngest to go to bed on her own as she then felt she was missing out. When questioned it turned out that she had been the youngest and really resented being sent upstairs when the others were still downstairs.

I find myself sometimes sympathising rather too much with dd2, as she's exactly the same position in the family as me. She probably gets fewer hand-me-downs if I had been the oldest. And I never pass her stuff on to the younger one without checking with her and compensating-I used to find things passed down that still fitted/were regularly used.

It's basically not making the same errors as you felt your parents made... you will just make different ones. wink

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 23-Jun-16 14:29:03

I'm the youngest of many.

I have two DSs. I love them equally, I worry about them equally and I treat them equally. I don't always to all of those things the same at any given time though.

I enjoy spending time with them both but they have different personalities so I enjoy them in a different way and it can depend on moods to an extent as well. DS1 is quiet, very even tempered but it can be a struggle to have a conversation with him sometimes as you get very little back. Ds2 has highs and lows but is usually always interesting (and sometimes frustrating) to be with.

You can love/like/care equally but not always the same.

maybe your mum just meant that she can appreciate the impact of birth order on your sister's personality more as she understands it better. Or maybe your sister just has a more similar personality to her. I don't think in any way it means that she loves you any less.

Just try to put it out of your mind and enjoy your DC for who they are.

Obeliskherder Thu 23-Jun-16 14:38:25

I think you're inventing the implication that you would treat them differently or adore one more than the other.

If you rephrase her words as "identify more strongly with" one than the other, there is no implication of favouritism IMO. I identify more strongly with my daughter than my son - I just get where she's coming from, whereas my son's thought process is more of a mystery. It doesn't mean I love or favour one over the other.

I'd like to gently suggest, too, that with one still a baby you haven't yet got into the full complexities of their personalities yet. You may not identify with older child's view over baby's view, but at some point you will identify with the more passionate one if you're passionate yourself, or with the shyer on if you're shy etc. It's the same kind of thing.

shovetheholly Thu 23-Jun-16 14:53:49

It's not just the empathy, though, is it? It's the 'feel closer to'. It does imply a difference in the quantity of love.

I think many parents have a favourite. Often that speaks to the insecurities of the person and the particular nature of the family dynamic. It is, of course, really wrong and unfair in most cases!

All you can do is to be more equal in your own family - and relish the fact that both of your own boys love you with their heart and soul.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Thu 23-Jun-16 14:54:50


My mum has projected her own ideas about older kids being pushed aside when the younger ones are born onto me and my kids, as a result so over compensates by giving my eldest lots more attention than the younger one and it's extremely damaging for them, also hurtful to me to imply that I don't love the eldest enough - which isn't based on any observation of my parenting its all about her own issues and projections

it's not normal and it's not okay, my MIL would never say such a thing

ZippyNeedsFeeding Thu 23-Jun-16 15:03:14

My mother told me once that children are like pancakes and the first of the batch always turns out rubbish. She was looking at my oldest child when she said it.

I may have mentioned before that she is going into a home asap.

crankyblob Thu 23-Jun-16 15:03:46

I agree with her! I am a middle child and we always laugh at the little things our middle DC do that we view as a result of their being middle children!

I have an idea how my DD1 feels being the eldest. But have never experienced it so can't emphasise with her in that sense.

Nothing to do with favouritism at all. As your mum says I am just more emphatically in tune with my middle children in that sense.

Trust me the eldest has other qualities which I am more in tune with compared to my other DC which evens it out.

As your children get older and your second DD develops her own personality you will start to see exactly what your mum means.

You will also find that all your children are your favourites but for different reasons. I frequently change my favourite child depending on how they please me on that given day. It's fun watching them try wink

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