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2 children same sex - how to not favour the older one

(16 Posts)
nicetomeetyou Sun 12-Jul-09 08:32:08


I have a 16 mo daughter and an 8 week old daughter and I know it is early but I am concerned that husband is favouring and will always favour older daughter. He was not excited at birth and didn't telephone his sister to let her know all was well (she was very cross as she thought something awful had happened). He has said to people who have a son and daughter "the perfect family" and says he is joking. I feel really protective towards my dd2 as I felt no one was that bothered when she was born. His mom and dad were staying with us and it was all DD1 and it made me feel quite upset.
I am BF DD2 so I do spend most time with her - I did snap at DH on Friday night as I started to talk of DD2 and when he did respond it was about DD1.I don;t want to cause an issue out of it but I don't want DD2 to be second best, to always get the castoff toys and clothes etc and just not get treated fairly.

I am on my own with the 2 each day so have to juggle my time and maybe over time DH will learn to do the same.

I just want advice from people who have 2 children of the same sex of close age and reassurance that it will be ok.

ben5 Sun 12-Jul-09 08:38:25

i've got 2 boys who are 2 years apart. to begin with ds1 did get most attention but now they are 3@ 5 there isn't much inbetween them. good luck

posiedullardparker Sun 12-Jul-09 08:41:05

I think as you're so devoted, because of BF, to dd2 it's probably a good thing that dh is 'favouring' dd1. This will change as dd2 becomes more of a person, atm dh gets far more from dd1. My DH was the same our oldest boys are 14 months apart. It changes as they get older, don't worry.

savoycabbage Sun 12-Jul-09 08:44:08

It is early days. It is less of an event when you have your second I think. I have two dds too. They are 2 and 5 now and are very different personality wise. My dd did get all my oldest ones hand-me-down clothes when she was a baby but it was more because I loved the things I had bought and I wanted to use them again. There is nothing to hand down any more really as when they get older the stuff is too raggy to hand down!

My dh is a bit sad I think that our second was another girl. He knew that he was in for even more playing tea parties rather than boys things. I think that he favours our dd2. She is more outgoing and less girly. If I had to choose, I would rather he favoured our oldest as she is more aware of things than her sister. I have pulled him up on it before - he definitely doesn't know that he does it.

It is lovely having two girls I think. Not that I know any different! They are really close and love to play with each other.

runnyhabbit Sun 12-Jul-09 08:47:55

I agree with posie - at this stage it's not that bad that dh is spending a lot of time with dd1

I have 2 ds, 23mths apart, and I used to think that dh wasn't that interested in ds2. But, like you, I was bf and tbh it was lovely that ds1 got to spend so much time with dh. What used to hurt me (at the time) was that if all of us were out, ds1 would want daddy before me.

Fast forward 2 years, and everything has equalled out. (although ds2 does have ds1 castoffsgrin)

I know it's hard, but please try not to worry about itsmile

nicetomeetyou Sun 12-Jul-09 08:48:57

Thank you. I am really happy to have 2 girls and I already love DD2 to bits and I guess I want others to feel the same but he does spend so little time with her.

It is of course perfectly possible he will favour dd2 in time.

I know I am guilty of making more of things than i should and i must not say anything to him again as it will create what i most fear.

runnyhabbit Sun 12-Jul-09 08:50:42

Also agree with savoy cabbage that having this sort of age gap (although sometimes hard) is lovely. The boys are now 4 and 2, and play really well together.

ABetaDad Sun 12-Jul-09 08:53:10

We have DS1 (age 9) and DS2 (age 7) and we are really scrupulous about not favouring one over another. We make great efforts to recognise their individual talents and they get exactly equal treatment and resources. We buy new clothes for each child rather than hand me downs except things like wellies.

However, despite all that, I DO think children 'choose' a favourite parent especially when it comes to getting comfort or extracting favours. DS1 is very close to DW and DS2 is very close to me. We always say DS1 is the boy of the family, high energy, intellectually intelligent but has no idea how to deal with people at all, a bit aspergers spectrum, intense, and sport mad. Meanwhile DS2 can read people like a book, knows exactly how to extract what he wants with a wink and smile, is a complete devil with women, cries off at the slightest opportunity if he cannot instantly win at sport, artistic, quite girly in his interests, needs to be pushed to do anything intellectual.

When they were very young it was hard to handle them but as the two of them have got older they have become best friends and play well together. They do not argue much. We absolutely will not tolerate fighting at all. They actually cry and get upset if separated now. They really are good copanions and compliment each other - they are a killer combination of skills and aptitudes.

The only thing I really wish they would stop doing and which is a great concern right now is that they 'compete' with each other - especially DS2 who is intensely and jealously aware of what his brother achieves. He does this even though he achieves very well and in fact better tan his older brother did at the same age in many areas. Meanwhile DS1 tries to boss DS2 around which DS2 finds very annoying.

In short, DD2 wil always favour you and DD1 wil always favour DH. However, be aware of it and treat them eqally and make sure they are best friends with each other not competing enemies. That hapened to my mother and her sister and they still hate each other 60 years later.

runnyhabbit Sun 12-Jul-09 08:58:54

ABetaDed - you've hit the nail on the head. I think if it really came down to it, then ds1 would favour dh, and ds2 for me. But I've found that has the boys have got older, the obvious favouritism(sp) has dwindled
(btw good to here that your boys are still such good friends. I'm hoping mine will still be good friends in years to comesmile)

saintmaybe Sun 12-Jul-09 09:01:10

It's early early,

You're in hormonal, bfing, protective tigress mode

DD1 is likely to feel left out, she is a BABY too, she just doesn't look like it to you, but you'll look back at 16month-olds in the future with incredulity that you thought she was such a 'big girl'. She doesn't have you in the same way that she did 2 months ago, and it's realy important that her daddy and other people are making a fuss of her. Not just for her sake, but also for the sake of her future relationship with her sister.

Do you have siblings? What's your family position/ relationship like with them?

It's also really common for men to find it easier to connect with toddlers than newborns, as posie said, thank goodness they do, because you can focus on the new baby for a while.

Just enjoy your baby, knowing that your dh is looking out for dd1, and have a think about why this is such a worry for you.

ilikesunshine Sun 12-Jul-09 14:59:22

Have only read op so don't know what replies have been given. I have 2 ds 4 and 2, and I know when ds2 was first born, dh definitely favoured ds1 - just because he could do a lot more and was more fun. It definitely evens out over time. You're still in the very early stages, where you're doing most of the caring for dd2, so it's prob hard for your dh to have the same feelings for her as you do yet. It will come! Good luck, and enjoy both your daughters!

Pyrocanthus Sun 12-Jul-09 20:39:47

Same here - DD1 and DH became firm allies while I was endlessly bfing DD2. The division worried me for a whie, but it gradually settled down.

Definitely not a permanent problem.

coppola Sun 12-Jul-09 20:42:20

lovely post from saintmaybe.

herbgarden Sun 12-Jul-09 20:59:38

Mine are now 6 months and 3 years a DS (eldest) and a DD. When you have a newborn and a toddler your situation is common. Your DH probably can't connect in the same way as you can to your newborn yet and the toddler is probably more interesting to your DH. It will pass, my DH wasn't that interested in DD but she gets cuter by the day and more interesting by the day and the dynamics have changed a lot since she was 8 weeks old.

Ronaldinhio Sun 12-Jul-09 21:13:58

You have the same gap between your daughters as I have between mine

I remember worrying terribly about the older one feeling left I seem to flip guiltily between both worrying all the while.
They are happy, happy, happy and because the age gap is so little they are more like'll see what I mean with time.

I madly threw my dh out of the hospital on the day dd2 was born because he didn't seem happy enough...hormones, stress and exhaustion meant that my decision making might have been a bit up the wall.

I'm so glad we have them so close together and they are both amazing and amazingly different.

Enjoy them, congratulations and well done

WhiteRing Sun 12-Jul-09 21:33:39

Is the issue that dh wanted a boy second time? Just wondered from your "perfect family" comment.

FWIW my dh doesn't do so well with babies whereas I think they are the best thing ever - when my ds was born dh was the one who did everything with dd (then 2) - taking her swimming, for walks etc. Hence he was much more fun for her than me at that stage as I was so busy with the baby. dh quite enjoyed the hero worship from dd, and tbh as long as babies are getting what they need there is time for all the fun bonding stuff with daddy later.

I hand down whatever clothes and toys I can without a second thought. Do you really think these things are what children rate the quality of their childhood on? I don't.

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