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I am finding my friend's obvious favoritism hard to watch

(17 Posts)
BumpyGrindy Sun 02-Mar-14 22:19:20

She's my best friend and to put things in context, we're more like sisters owing to the fact that from the age of 13 she essentially lived with my family...she only went "home" at weekends to visit. She had no Mother and was brought up by her older Dad and Aunt.

We're still very close...see one another at least once a week for a full day...she has two children, a baby of 11 months and a little boy of 5.

Her son is blatantly her favourite but it's becoming embarrassing and upsetting the way she seems to favour him so strongly. Her little girl is still essentially a baby but she picks up her 4 year old, cuddles him and carries him around the house and leaves the baby to crawl about after her.

She admits that she doesn't pick her up a lot as "she's fine"...it becomes more obvious when she constantly discusses her son, his gifts and his talents..his charm and never her DD...and in how she insists things are "just so" for the boy but not the girl. She always gets her son to sing songs or to do "tricks" for us and though I constantly try to include her DD it's as though she has rejected her....and oddly, it's turning me "off" her little boy which is terrible as he;s innocent in all this. He gets given more materially as well.

I feel like saying something but don't know what to say...

BookABooSue Sun 02-Mar-14 22:34:28

It's difficult to know what you could say as there could be different causes for her behaviour. She could have PND and hasn't bonded yet with her dd. She could be a parent that just enjoys older children more because they are more entertaining. It could also be because she doesn't know how to relate to a dd.

I remember reading a book that said we relate to our dcs depending on our relationship with our same sex parent ie you relate to a ds based on your relationship with your df; and you relate to a dd based on your relationship with your dm. Since your friend didn't have a relationship with her dm then maybe she is unconsciously struggling with how to build one with her dd?

Perhaps you could offer to watch her ds and give her time with her dd on her own? Or start a casual chat about bonding, mirroring other relationships, identifying pnd? I would be very careful and supportive. I don't think being critical would help at all.

BumpyGrindy Sun 02-Mar-14 22:44:35

Well I don't think enjoying older children is any excuse for ignoring your younger ones...she was not like this with her son when he was this age at all!

However...I agree that the lack of a Mum must have impacted somewhere...it's very sensitive...but also very hard to watch.

Sortyourmakeupout Mon 03-Mar-14 00:32:21

Just come out with it and call her on it.

Pussy footing around is pointless.

TheXxed Mon 03-Mar-14 00:36:07

I second calling her out on it.

Finola1step Mon 03-Mar-14 01:22:41

No expert but, could this all be tied up with growing up without a mum? Could she just be terrified about being a mum to a girl because of her own experiences? If so, she may be really struggling to bond with the baby.

You do need to find a way to talk to her.

dunsborough Mon 03-Mar-14 13:48:39

Watching with interest as I am in a similar situation...

When my friend starts talking about her amazing DS, I always ask about her DD.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 03-Mar-14 18:21:53

sad
Heart breaking. Personally I'd call her out on it.

The little girl needs someone in her corner!

TheNewSchmoo Mon 03-Mar-14 20:25:37

You really need to speak to her. I've been the little girl. I'm now 44 and it stuck with me all these years, being ignored while my older brother was the golden child. One of my aunts used to notice and was always more attentive to me as a result.

She may not know she is doing it but the damage it does to your self esteem takes years to recover from. Sorry, lot of projecting going on I know, but it breaks my heart to think of anyone else having to go through what I did.

curiousgeorgie Mon 03-Mar-14 20:34:51

Are you sure it's not PND? I felt awful everytime I picked up my baby and just wanted to be with my 2 year old.. It was like a physical need to just be with her and my heart would race / I would have a panic attack about changing / feeding / picking up my baby...

lillybloom Mon 03-Mar-14 22:58:33

I agree this is tied up with not having her mum as she grew up. The son she can cope with as she has a bond with her male parent but a daughter in those circumstances can cause lots of problems. Please encourage her to get help for everyone's sake. Try not to judge her, it's a form of pnd

mercibucket Mon 03-Mar-14 23:36:22

the baby is still tiny though, not much exciting to say about achievements. certainly doesnt need any money spending on gifts etc. the lack of cuddles is more of a worry but the rest of it could be ok.

MyFirstName Mon 03-Mar-14 23:47:17

Please, please if you call her on it (and I am not saying this is the right thing to do) be very, very gentle with her. If she has not bonded with her Dd and is feeling as fucking awful about this as I do about my favouritism issues (which I am dealing with BTW) then a battering may not help.
OP have you got DCs?

BookABooSue Tue 04-Mar-14 10:03:15

Of course enjoying older children isn't an excuse for ignoring younger ones hmm but your original op mentions that she talks about the older child's achievements more and gets him to entertain you, you didn't say she ignored her dd and you didn't say she neglected her dd. Being a parent doesn't come naturally to everyone and creating a parental template from scratch (as your friend is having to do with her relationship with her dd) is difficult. It sounds as though your friend needs support and if you're very angry about this then you might not be the best person to give her that support but you can definitely help her to access it from other people.

MrsMarigold Tue 04-Mar-14 10:12:35

I also felt I preferred my DS but I had PND after DD was born and now my daughter has won me over and I adore her.

mercibucket Tue 04-Mar-14 10:57:37

of course she wasnt like that with the first one! she wasnt running round after an older child then! maybe she hasnt bonded so much yet with the younger one. plenty of time for that so long as the baby is warm, fed, clothed, cuddled.

MyFirstName Tue 04-Mar-14 11:07:39

Also have you thought about the fact she may be trying to make sure her DS does not feel excluded/pushed out by the arrival of a younger sibling. Trying to make sure he feels appreciated whilst everyone is cooing over the baby?

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