Anonymous Mom: I Like One Of My Daughters More Than The Other

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favorite kidAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

A cardinal rule of parenting is not to compare your children.  Every child is an individual and needs to be accepted and loved for who they are – not judged against one another.  As a parent, you should never say, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?’  And I never say that. But sometimes, I think it.

My children are the lights of my life (cheesy but true) and I would do anything for any of them. I love both my daughters and my son equally and intensely.

But I definitely get along better with one of my daughters than the other.

My older daughter is a tough cookie and has been from conception.  My pregnancy with her was difficult and her delivery was very long and painful.  When she was a baby, she was horrible sleeper and was cranky and miserable during her many hours awake.

My second pregnancy was easy. I delivered her in four hours (no pushing, just a cough and she was out). She slept a 10-hour night at six weeks.  For my older daughter, I would dance and sing and put on puppet shows and she would look at me unimpressed.  For the younger one, I would say “hello baby” and she would burst into a smile and belly laugh like I was the funniest person on the planet.

With my older daughter, I felt like a failure.  I tried so hard and she was never happy.  Every place she went – relatives, Mommy and Me, the park – people would see her crying and say, “poor baby.” And I would think, “poor baby?” – how about “poor mommy!” In contrast, everywhere I went with my younger daughter she delighted audiences with her cheerful disposition.  People would say, “What a good baby!” and inside I heard, “What a good mommy!”

As the years passed, my older daughter became an interesting, eclectic, intelligent person.  I love her intensity and creativity.  Her interests are not those of an average teen (she reads about Darwin for fun). She sees things like no one else and is one of the most compassionate people I know.

She is also really hard to get along with, especially for me. She is stubborn and only wants things her way. She wants everyone to accept her for the individual she is and yet she is very judgmental of others.

I try to encourage her uniqueness and support her passions. But her passions are not my passions and I have difficulty connecting with her.  Some days, when I don’t think there is a cloud in the sky, she seems to bring them. She is not depressed – she is just not a happy-go-lucky person.

Conversely, my younger daughter is happy a lot. Her interests are more typical and more inline with my own.  We laugh a lot and almost always have a good time together.  She doesn’t expect everything to be perfect.  When I give her advice, she doesn’t always take it, but she does really listen.

I hardly ever argue with my younger daughter but I often argue with my older daughter.  I wish my relationship with my older daughter had the easy flow that I have with my younger daughter. I worry sometimes that my older daughter is jealous of the relationship I have with her sister.

The funny part is that my older daughter is a lot like me – especially when I was younger.  She is creative and compassionate, just like me.  But she also has a lot of the personality traits that I really dislike in myself. Looking at her is like looking in a mirror (ironically we also look alike) and that may be why it is hard for me to get along with her.

I love my daughters equally – but there are days where I like one of them more.

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(photo: jannoon028 / Shutterstock)