Don’t hate me but... I have a favourite child
And I reckon, if you’re totally honest, you do too...
Alisha March, 32, Chesterfield
Sitting on the sofa with my arms wrapped around my little girl Kennedie, 2, I tried to ignore my two older daughters, Addison, 9, and Harleigh, 7.
Sprawled out on the floor, the girls were rowing over the remote control.
‘Just be quiet,’ I sighed in frustration.
‘Mum!’ screamed Harleigh. ‘She’s hogging the TV again.’
‘Shut up!’ cried Addison, her face red with rage.
I rolled my eyes as I kissed Kennedie on the head.
She’s always so quiet and sweet – my little shadow.
She’ll follow me everywhere, loves to cuddle.
But with Addison and Harleigh, it’s different.
Not even teens yet, they’re both furiously independent, talk back if they don’t get their way, and the last thing they want is a kiss or cuddle from Mum.
And right now I had a pounding headache…
My son Elijah, 1, was already in bed.
It was 8pm and I couldn’t wait for the older girls to go up as well.
As their angry wails grew louder, I lost my temper.
‘Get up to bed, you two! Now!’ I shouted.
‘What about Kennedie?’ Addison sulked. ‘She can stay up because she’s your favourite!’
‘Yeah, you love her more than you love us,’ frowned Harleigh. ‘That’s not true,’ I groaned, hearing the familiar complaint.
‘I love you all the same, but
My older two resent my bond with Kennedie
Kennedie is being a good girl, you’re being noisy and rude.’
Eventually, the two girls skulked up to bed.
I knew they just wanted their own way, but if I was being completely honest, they did have a point.
I love all my children with all my heart, but I do have a very special bond with Kennedie.
It probably all stemmed back to when I first became a mum aged 22. It was tough. My husband Julius, then 37, was great, but I was young and inexperienced.
The eldest two girls cried a lot as babies, didn’t breastfeed.
When they were both 4 months old, I had to go back to my admin job, so they went to nursery.
But when Kennedie was born in October 2015, it was totally different.
I was older and more experienced. For the first time, I enjoyed being a mum.
She managed to breastfeed, slept through the night from just 3 months.
From the start, Kennedie was my little princess.
Sweet, cuddly, loving and affectionate – everything my older girls are not.
All my kids get the same amount of money spent on them, but the fact I didn’t have to go back to work after Kennedie was born meant that she always had more time with me.
We love going swimming, reading books together in the library.
Elijah’s a lovely little boy, but he hasn’t really developed his own personality yet.
As long as his needs are met, he’s happy, and Julius, now 47, will do boys’ stuff with him when he’s older.
Don’t get me wrong, my older two are amazing girls. Addison is sporty and determined while Harleigh is a talented gymnast. But they’re both so strong-willed, always wanting their own way. It’s a constant battle to get them to do as they’re told. It all boils down to the fact that we all have favourite people in life. We get on better with certain people at work, we choose our friends and our partner. I believe it’s no different with children. I know Addison and Harleigh resent my bond with Kennedie. They use it against me when they don’t get their own way. ‘I do love you all the same,’ I reassure them. It’s just that my bond with Kennedie is much stronger. When I tell people the way I feel, they’re horrified. ‘How can you have a favourite child?’ friends cry. ‘It’s abusive,’ some say. ‘You’re causing them emotional damage.’ ‘Nonsense!’ I reply. ‘My kids are fine.’ Julius sometimes moans that Kennedie and I are too close. ‘You’re joined at the hip!’ he’ll complain. But the two older ones have him wrapped around their little fingers – they’re definitely Daddy’s girls. The truth is, most mums and dads have favourites. I’m just brave enough to admit it. I think it’s important to speak out, so other mums won’t feel so bad about the way they feel. We’re all so judgmental of each other these days, especially as parents. But feelings are feelings. You shouldn’t have to hide them.
A special relationship from the start
I love them all with all my heart