motherhood, side effects of motherhood, stuff best described as not safe for parents

Yes darling, you’re the apple of my eye too

Here’s a thought. Are parents allowed to have favorites? The politically correct answer is probably no because every kid is special and favoritism is BAD. But really, do parents have a secret preference that nobody else knows about?

I used to look at parents with multiple kids and one of them is often way cuter, funnier and smarter than the rest. He knows exactly how to make your heart melt into a gooey mush and then twirls it around his little fingers. When he grows up, he’s the classic overachiever – valedictorian, captain of the swim team, and the most popular kid everywhere he goes.

Then there’s the other kid. All whiny and screamy as a kid, then angsty and sullen later on and you’re like “OMG can this get any worse?” I mean, it’s normal to have more positive feelings towards someone who doesn’t scream at you all the time or makes you so crazy you want to eat your own spleen.

So, politically correctness aside, can parents have favorites?

After all, kids have their favorites. “I love daddy more because he lets me play computer games all day.” Or “I like mommy, she makes the best snacks.” We don’t expect kids to be unbiased and objective because it’s human nature to have preferences. When it comes to parents though, we are expected to love them EXACTLY the same. Is that even possible?

With two kids of my own, I constantly remind myself to be fair, even though I’m not sure what that really means. I try to divide my time equally between both kids and give them enough quality time with momma. I measure out equal scoops of ice-cream and give them equal portions of my affection, just to make sure neither one feels left out.

I try to love them with the same amount of love but I’ve come to realize that they’re as different as carrots and peas. Along the way, I find myself loving them differently. Not in quantity but in method. Tru is like an all-action boy. His hugs are intense but short. He grabs my face and kisses me but JUST ONCE IS ENOUGH, MOMMA. Truth be told, I really enjoy doing crazy stuff with him. Truett-time is like hanging out with the badass kid in class who makes everyone laugh all the time. And you know how much I like the badass kid. I married one.

Baby girl is the complete opposite. She’s the sweet girly girl who has tea parties with dolls. She loves snuggling and gazing into my eyes and leaning her head on my chest. Her hugs are generous and they often turn into long kissy sessions. Being with her takes less effort. I don’t have to worry that she’ll stab her eye with a fork “to see if jelly comes out“. She’s low maintenance and the epitome of chill, which I also really love.

Maybe when they’re a little older, and I have 5 kids to choose from, I may find myself closer to one of the kids. If I ever end up with that pickle, we’ve agreed that the kids must never know about it. We’ll have to be more careful in treating them just the same, even the angsty, sullen one. That being said, I really hope I don’t get an angsty one that drives me crazy. I’d like to keep my spleen, thankyouverymuch.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply chocklitmom June 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I’m really glad u brought up this topic as it is pretty much taboo. I think about this a lot, esp since i have 2 boys and I do try to treat them equally but I’m beginning to realise (just like yourself) that because they are so different, it is actually not possible.

    I think that because we’re humans we’re bound to have favourites. Sad but true. I’ve observed many families and can usually tell which parent favours which child.

    I guess the least (or most) we can do is to try very hard to treat all the kids the same so that they never find out the truth. :)
    chocklitmom´s last post ..bbox review on The Little Red Bus

    • Reply Daphne June 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      @chocklitmom, Agreed, the sad but true fact is that some families are so blatant about their favoritism, especially very traditional Chinese ones where the eldest son is the 宝 and they get the choicest parts of the chicken or whatever selected delicacy while us girls get the leftover vegetables. It’s the 21st century and we’re still being marginalized! Haha.

      my hope is that no one can ever tell by observation which kid we favour. It’s going be quite a challenge keeping score in that sense, especially if I’m seriously gonna go for four, I might need an excel sheet or something.

  • Reply Francesca June 14, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Your photos are awesome!!!

  • Reply Jean June 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I’ve concluded that mothers love all their children equally. We just LIKE them differently.

    • Reply Daphne June 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      @Jean, I couldn’t have put it better, Jean. It’s going to be one heck of a challenge showing them the same love though if one is a lot more likable-but I think it’s possible!

  • Reply sunflower June 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    But really, do parents have a secret preference that nobody else knows about? <<< To me, I think yes.

    But I do agree with Jean, we love our child equally but we treat & like them differently.

    It's easier said than done. The is one of the reason some parents stop at one.
    sunflower´s last post ..Yvette: 2 yrs 1 mth (25 mths)

    • Reply Daphne June 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      @sunflower, as much as possible I think we try to treat them the same, no?

      Because I think to the child, if you were to treat them differently even if you love them the same, they might not actually see it that way.

      For our generation, I think all our parents do love us but many of them don’t really express it really well, and the relationship is estranged as a result.

      • Reply sunflower June 17, 2010 at 11:54 am

        @Daphne, I can reply no for your question but I do grow up in the family where I know my parents love my brother more than the girls.

        However, I manage myself well in this situation.

        Of course, I wont want to let Yvette know she wont be the apple of my eye if there is another one coming!
        sunflower´s last post ..I have a Super Long Day

  • Reply jaime June 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I guess we both have it easy as we both have a girl and a boy and its easy to love them differently. But I have been told by the husband that I have a clear favourite already and though I try to deny it, I think it is inevitable that one would resonate better than the other with you, so I agree the trick is to be very fair and just in treating them so that none is the wiser!

    • Reply Daphne June 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm

      @jaime, Haha, if you have a clear favourite at this point maybe you can consider overcompensating the other one (i.e. extra toys, hugs, kisses, the whole works).

      But nice move not mentioning here exactly who so that either one won’t be able to track it down in the cyberspace in the far, faraway future..

  • Reply lxlb June 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    tht’s insightful for sure!
    lxlb´s last post ..Guess what?

    • Reply Daphne June 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      @lxlb, I reread the post to make sure we’re talking about the same thing – but thanks again Stella.

  • Reply Jacqueline yeo June 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I try to think that we love them differently at any one time due to their respective ages. I engage with my elder girl so differently and probably derive the same amt of joy ( or angst!) as I did with her when she was her younger sister’s age. No doubt their personalities are world’s apart, but I wld think there r certain ‘cute’ ages that r pretty universal!
    I guess also that’s why we’re stopping at 2.. That way we each get our favorites! :)
    Jacqueline yeo´s last post ..[1st week of school hols]

    • Reply Daphne June 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

      @Jacqueline yeo, I think you absolutely nailed it!! Yes there are certain cute stages that the kids go through and we relate to them differently through those different phases.

      I’m sure you guys can afford to have 2 favorites each, Jac. =)

  • Reply Hendra June 15, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I only have one for now .. still working on the second one .. so my opinion may not be valid. I am sure that deep inside me, I will love them the same, but I agree with you that we may show the love in a different way depending on the kids’ need. But sometimes, this may be perceived differently by an outsider who think we love one more over the other. So, be careful.

    • Reply Daphne June 16, 2010 at 1:17 am

      @Hendra, I think for me as long as the kids are secure knowing they are loved – I don’t care what others think!

      It’s a fine line though, being fair at the same time relating to the child in the way they respond best..

  • Reply sammicheng June 15, 2010 at 1:36 am

    I’m not going to join in the debate. Just wanted to say that your girl’s soooooooooooo cute!
    sammicheng´s last post ..In the Fields

  • Reply San June 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Haha! This is something I’ve always thought about. Being born with three other sisters myself, I am always conscious of this personally :P Haha!
    San´s last post ..Sat In The Hippo!

    • Reply Daphne June 16, 2010 at 1:17 am

      @San, 4 girls??? Wow. I hope you were the favourite one then!

  • Reply leslie June 20, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Hey my boy/girl twins behaved in the same way as your kids did – the boy preferred more action-stuff from me to mushies and kisses, and for the gal, we can lie chest to chest on the floor and spend the afternoon just singing songs and me patting her bottom, just like Best Girlfrens. She’s crazy about kisses too!
    Isn’t it interesting to discover gender differences of the kids as they grow along? i think that’s one pretty interesting part of momhood…

    • Reply leslie June 20, 2010 at 1:36 am

      @leslie, just FYI: i do NOT anyhow pat my galfrens’ bottoms ok… but u get my point :p

  • Reply Bun Bun Makeup Tips May 1, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Awwwww….. this is so cute! I love how you said “And you know how much I like the badass kid. I married one.” I am the eldest of four kids and my parents have done an awesome job in not showing any favoritism. I hope I will be able to do it in the future too.
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips´s last post ..Eyebrow Pencil That Lasts Whole Day – Rimmel London Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge