Having a favourite child?

This is appalling and I'm ashamed even typing it, but I have to ask.

My big fear when pg with ds2 was that I wouldn't love him as much as ds1 who I adore. And I swore that I wouldn't have favourites - my dad (I was the favourite) and my gran (my sis was the favourite) both played that game and it's hideous.

So now I'm distraught that I'm going down the same path.

I had a hard time falling in love with ds1 after hard pg, hard labour, illness after labour, difficult bf etc.

No such problems with ds2 (3 months). I fell for him instantly after and easy labour, easy bf, immediate bonding.

Although I love them both, I feel that ds2 is my favourite and I hate myself for feeling that. I can't get enough of my baby; i'm obsessed with him, he's amazing and I miss him even when he's just upstairs asleep.

Ds2 not so much - he's constantly winding me up, he throws tantrums all the time and i just wish someone would take him off my hands so i can spend time with my baby. How wretched am i for even thinking that? I'm trying so hard to hide how I feel from ds1 but I'm not convinced i'm doing a good job.

Is this a temporary thing because of pg hormones? Please tell me it is because i'm scared i'm going to ruin my relationship with ds1 by feeling this. How can I stop it?

Making it worse is dh who seems to be feeling something the same - he's v impatient with ds1 but so affectionate with the baby.

Is this maybe a bit normal - after all a toddler has so many ways of annoying parents whereas a baby is totally innocent and hasn't yet learnt how to wind us up.

Don't get me wrong, if i could only rescue one of them from a burning building, god forbid, i wouldn't be able to chose between them so i guess i love them equally, i just like the baby a lot more at the moment.

Sorry this is a bit of a ramble, i'm feeling very ashamed and my head's all over the place.

Please please help.


  • hi hun, i can totally sympathise (sp).

    My ds1 (3yr) is the 1 who i struggled to bond with at 1st because of bad birth experience and bf etc. Dont get me wrong, i do love him, i just dont like him sometimes, he seems to always push the right buttons at exactly the right time!! He is really awkward and morngy and not easy to get along with. Ds2 (20mnth) is really naughty but so loving and i had a much better birth and bond with him from the start. I have started not to like him as much, (that sounds really bad, but i dont know how to explain it.) Ds3 is 5months so like you say cant really do anything naughty or wrong yet so i have no feelings like this towards him. I think it is just an age thing, but i also think that its not a favourites thing its just a personality thing. You like different children for different things about their personality. No siblings are ever going to have the same personality.

    Really hope that made sense, i get get my words straight today!!!
  • aww sweetie *big hugs*

    there's nothing wrong with how you're feeling! you have a new baby whose only demands are that you provide food and let him eat sleep and poop. it's kind of inevitable that you're going to 'like' him more as he is the 'easier' one to keep entertained/look after/sooth etc.

    a older child who knows how to wind mummy and daddy up is hard at the best of times let alone when you're sleep deprived, are all hormonal and are still getting used to a big change in your life!

    do not feel ashamed at all. you love BOTH your babies lots or you wouldn't be worrying!

    hopefully once you're all in a routine and the holidays are over etc things will calm down a bit and you can fully enjoy having both your babies around you all the time xxxx
  • Hi hun

    DS1 is 3 years 9 months and DS2 is 4 weeks.

    I totally understand how you feel. I wouldn't say I favour DS2 over DS1, however, I do find my patience and tolerance with DS1 is certainly wearing thin and I feel as though I am constantly telling him off and occassionally have thought that maybe I am favouring DS2 over DS1, but like you, if I could only rescue one from a burning building I know I couldn't choose as I love them both so much.

    I had a bad labour (22 hours) with DS1 (mainly due to the epidural) and lost a large amount of blood and didn't really see him for around 4 hours after having him, I didn't get skin to skin time with him and I struggled with BF and had to give up on it which made me feel like the worst mummy in the world and like I had failed him and didn't deserve him, which started the downward spiral to PND, for which I was on medication until approx 4 months before I got PG with DS2. I didn't feel like I bonded with DS1 at all for about 2 years, and although I loved him dearly it fet as though I was just looking after him for someone else.

    My labour with DS2 was far better, lasted less than 6 hours long, I had no pain relief, I had about 40 minutes skin to skin time when he was born (which was the most amazing thing in the whole world ever, bar nothing!) and I had a cuppa and toast then a nice bath while DH and my mum looked after DS2.

    The two labours and births were soooooo different and I honestly believe that the labour and birth have a huge impact on how you bond with your baby and ultimately how you feel about them. I am certain that had my labour and birth been better I wouldn't have developed PND with DS1. This time round I haven't even had so much as a hint of baby blues, I've not had a single day where I've felt down or like I can't cope, I feel on top of the world! It's just that DS1 seems to try annoying me at every single given opportunity.

    I don't think you are favouring DS2 over DS1, I just think that you have bonded better with DS2 and your relationship with him is stronger earlier, and possibly that you feel guilty for not bonding with DS1 in the same way and that is making you feel like you favour DS2.

    I might be totally off the mark so apologise if I am, but it just seems that you love both your boys so much that I really don't think it's possible that you favour one over the other, I think you may be projecting your guilt for not being able to bond due to the dreadful labour/birth? and if you didn't love them it wouldn't bother you so much that you feel like this, I have a lot of admiration for you being able to say it, it must have taken a lot of courage.

    Sorry to ramble, hope this helps.

    Sam, Harrison & Daniel


    Edited to add that I feel like I am projecting my guilt onto DS1, and also that I feel even more guilty that he now has to share his time with me and sometimes has to go without attention for a bit so that I can see to DS2, which again, I feel as though I project that guilt as well, which makes me feel even more guilty, iyswim.
  • You are not alone!!!!!!

    You should not feel ashamed.

    My ds1 is 22 months and ds2 is 15 weeks on Thursday.

    I knew it'd be hard work. I knew it'd be tough and stressful.

    But nobody can warn you how hard it is. Or how your emotions get thrown all over the place.

    I had 2 difficult pregnancies.

    2 horrendous labours in their own ways.

    And now I have 2 polar opposite boys!

    From the times they nap, times they wake, times they eat... ugh, sometimes, there are days I could cry (some days I DO cry :cry: )

    But I know I love my babies.

    They test me in different ways... and sometimes my toddler is boss of the house and I feel myself resenting him.

    Sometimes, ds2 is center of the attention and I feel sorry for ds1 because he is almost "ignored".

    You feeling like you "favour" a child will pass.

    New babies are kind of more straightforward. Their needs are easily met, you don't have to battle with them as much.

    Toddlers have opinions, tantrums, different requirements.

    It will pass though... remember when you looked at your first born, when he was a teeny baby. You felt like nothing would ever come close to that love. Your heart was so full!

    You'd die for them.

    Well I always like to think your heart grows with every child and that they share your love. And love you back.

    It will get easier hun.... ((((((((hugs)))))))) xx
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