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AIBU not to 'love' one of my DC as much as the others?

(119 Posts)
Smashingzucchini Sun 26-Mar-17 15:55:47

Name changed for this as such a taboo topic....I have 3 DC and just don't feel the same about one as I do about the others. I never felt the same rush of love for him when he was a little baby, and although I do feel affection for him a lot of the time and appreciate when he's being sweet or funny, it feels more like the emotion I feel for my nephews and nieces, or my friends' kids, than my own child. I have been waiting for things to change but he's three now so it seems unlikely. He was actually my easiest birth and I I didn't have PND or anything so no idea really why this is. He is slightly unusual looking (not in a bad way) and not an easy child, but that shouldn't matter to me surely? Of course I do everything for him just like I do for the others and I hope he never has any inkling of how I feel. But I often feel quite sad and guilty about it, especially as I've never heard of anyone else who has this issue. Am I really alone? Don't shoot me down in flames please.

armpitz Sun 26-Mar-17 15:56:40

In what way is he not easy? flowers

ReginaGeorgeinSheepsClothing Sun 26-Mar-17 15:58:13

Is he your youngest?

Astoria7974 Sun 26-Mar-17 15:58:25

What do you mean by unusual looking? Does he have a genetic illness?

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Sun 26-Mar-17 16:01:26

flowers oh OP this must be so hard, I really feel for you.

One of DM's friends recently admitted the same thing, she has 7 DC and just like you doesn't feel the same love for one of them as she does for the others.

I suspect it's more common than society would have us believe.

It took me a few months to bond with DD after she was born and although I talk about it quite freely now (DD is nearly 6) , I have regretted telling some people who looked at me with either disgust or condescension. Society cannot accept that sometimes motherly love isn't automatic.

booksandcoffee Sun 26-Mar-17 16:02:10

I am pretty sure that you are not the first parent to feel this way. You can not help how you feel and you are doing your best not to let him know, which is all anyone can do. For what it is worth, my mother was like this about me, but grew to love me more when I was in my thirties. We get on really well now.

Crumbs1 Sun 26-Mar-17 16:05:20

You are going to have to make more of an effort with him. Love doesn't just happen, does it? We work at it every day. Maybe spend a bit more one to one time with him - cuddling and reading not expensive stuff others will,become jealous of. I tell mine I love them all the same but differently.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 26-Mar-17 16:05:29

I can't understand how you feel as I only have 1 DD who I would die for but flowers for you.

Trifleorbust Sun 26-Mar-17 16:12:08

This isn't something you can help, so I would try to stop worrying about it and hope those feelings grow in time. flowers

Oblomov17 Sun 26-Mar-17 16:13:20

I too believe it's more common than you think. Not on MN, obviously!! Because to admit such a thing is deplorable. But actually, I've heard it a few times.

Astoria7974 Sun 26-Mar-17 16:19:48

What do you mean by unusual looking? Does he have a genetic illness?

knackeredinyorkshire Sun 26-Mar-17 16:22:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WheresTheEvidence Sun 26-Mar-17 16:23:28

How old is he? What dc is he - maybe it played a change in the dynamic of the family causing this issue. .

HeteronormativeHaybales Sun 26-Mar-17 16:27:03

You should get help, as a priority. Preferably proper psychotherapy.

I don't want to 'shoot [you] down in flames', but this has the potential to do a lot of damage to your poor little boy.

You're not alone in feeling this, but this isn't 'normal', nor is it desirable.

In the meantime, do as a PP suggests and work on it. Spend time with him. Appreciate him. Think of how you would feel if something happened to him. Imagine it. (I know that sounds harsh but it might shock you into realising you do indeed love him).

You must do something about this, because if you don't it has the potential to grow/become established and cause a lot of damage. These feelings will work their way out and he will notice. Don't be lulled into doing nothing by people telling you you can't help it and you're not alone.

I really don't mean to be harsh, but I do believe this really isn't good.

BarbarianMum Sun 26-Mar-17 16:31:00

I agree with Haybales It's not your fault it's happened but you do need to address it.

Astoria7974 Sun 26-Mar-17 16:33:44

@muhajaba - oh really? I was taught that the ka'aba (and in particular the stone) is the only reason why muslims face Mecca to pray. If it was thrown again to another city then all Muslims would face that city instead. Mecca's importance as the birthplace of Mohammed does not supercede it's relevance as the site of the ka'aba to many Muslim sects.

Astoria7974 Sun 26-Mar-17 16:34:18

Oops wrong thread

armpitz Sun 26-Mar-17 16:38:25

The problem with psychotherapy is that it's not necessarily something that can be fixed.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Sun 26-Mar-17 16:48:08

My brother always realised my mum didn't love him as much as her other children. He has had severe psychological his whole life partly attributable to this fact, and he is now in his 40s.

You need to address it somehow. I can't be a person who says "flowers OP this is really common and you can't help it" because I've seen the damage it can do if it's not dealt with. You need to make more of an effort with him and find his good points, and love and praise those. Children are clever, and he will pick up on your feelings.

ahamsternest Sun 26-Mar-17 16:52:38

What is difficult about him, as he is only 3? Are you sure you mean "not in a bad way", as the unusual nature of his looks was significant enough for you to comment on it?

Is there a chance you had PND but it just manifested in a different way - i.e. inhibited the bonding process?

Aeroflotgirl Sun 26-Mar-17 16:52:54

Op massive hugs, I think you should go for counselling to help you through this, as somebody has pointed out, he will eventually realise you don't love him as much and could affect him as an adult. My daughter who is 10 has ASD and learning difficulties, and can be emotionally distant, not as loving or caring as her brother who is 5 without these issues. As a result, I do feel closer to him.

1horatio Sun 26-Mar-17 16:56:47

My brother always realised my mum didn't love him as much as her other children. He has had severe psychological his whole life partly attributable to this fact, and he is now in his 40s.

This. Sorry, but saying... "oh, I'm so sorry OP, that has to be horrible" doesn't cut it for me either.

First of all, "he is difficult and unusual looking"? Well, I wonder why he may be difficult, children are perceptive.

What else? This isn't because of any quality of his. This is you. You don't just love him "somewhat less"/have a favourite child, you actually don't love him like your son at all, but like a nephew.

This is horrible and I fear it could harm all of your children.

Please get therapy asap.
And if you can't "fix this"... Gosh, I don't know the answer. I wish there was an easy one. Or maybe not even an easy one, but a "good one".

But I genuinely believe that all 3 of your children deserve to be loved and deserve loved and cherished siblings. I genuinely think you should love him for his own sake but also for the sake of his siblings...

And I believe that you need to do your best to fix this. But feeling sad and guilty helps nobody, least of all your son...

I'm not sure what to say. Is it a taboo subject? yes. Because I firmly believe that children need love... and I hope you're able to give this love to all of your children.

1horatio Sun 26-Mar-17 16:57:46

I wish the best to all of you.


itsallcrap Sun 26-Mar-17 17:01:11

I have this too, with my eldest. It's awful as I feel completely differently towards him as the others, but don't know how to change it sad.

I didn't realise how I felt about him until I had the others, and it was just so different sad

NavyandWhite Sun 26-Mar-17 17:01:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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