Parental guilt is an absolute bitch. It doesn’t matter what you do, nobody gives a shit. You will be made to feel guilty from the moment you push that little sucker out your front bum or from the moment they cut you to pull them out. You will feel guilty if you adopt, you will feel guilty if you had a surrogate. Parental guilt is overwhelming and a real pain in the life.
So here’s a hot tip on one less thing to feel guilty about. I’m going to scream this loud and proud – It is COMPLETELY acceptable to have a favourite child.
I say this because I have three children and at various times they are all my favourite.
My oldest is my favourite. She is wonderful and kind. She is also the one I like taking shopping. She is patient and thoroughly enjoys the shopping experience. She loves clothes and shoes. She is pleasant and friendly to shop assistants and loves to give her ‘expert’ opinion on whichever outfit I try on. She will happily sit in the car for three hours while we travel to Sydney just to get a bargain at the end of financial year sales. She is my favourite child for shopping with.
The middle born is my favourite. Whenever I go somewhere new I want her by my side. She is approachable and outgoing. She is the first to introduce herself and break the ice. Nothing is too hard and she will dive in head first. At a party she will remember to say thank you and move around the room sidling up to everyone from the baby to the grandpa just to say g’day. During her first swimming lesson she didn’t hesitate and I didn’t have to negotiate with her to climb into the pool, she just jumped and I only just managed to peel her shoes off her feet before she bounded in. She is my favourite child in new situations.
The youngest is my favourite. She is the most charming of all my children and loves to help out. Whenever I cook she plonks herself on the bench (hello parental guilt alert because she will probably fall off) and enjoys passing ingredients and mixing our concoctions in the kitchen. She will spend hours helping me roll dough for school lunch scrolls, she will gently pour milk into the mixing bowl when we make custard or help peel carrots. She loves nothing more than helping me pack and unload the dishwasher and carrying laundry out to the line. She is my favourite helper.
My oldest is my favourite. She is caring. She will bound out of bed on a Sunday morning and look after the younger two by preparing their breakfast and turning on the television so mummy and daddy can have a sleep in.
My middle child is my favourite because she takes pleasure in feeding the dogs everyday and that means I don’t have to.
My youngest is my favourite because she doesn’t rip tissues anymore.
My oldest is my favourite because she loves going to cafes.
My middle child is my favourite because she eats just about everything and isn’t fussy.
My youngest is my favourite because she sings twinkle twinkle little star with more gusto than Pavarotti.
See, you don’t need to feel guilty about having a favourite child because they aren’t your favourite ALL of the time.
Think of it this way, you have a circle of friends and you enjoy doing certain things with specific friends. Like I have one friend who I love a coffee and a gossip with, another who I could call night or day for any reason, another for drunken nights and another for parenting chats.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for realising that each one of your children are your favourite for different reasons. The moment you realise that, is the exact time that you will feel a little less parental guilt burden. Guaranteed.