When I was first told about it, I was shocked. How could anyone actually admit that? I've read her post over a few times now, and each time I get something else out of it. And I think if we put down our judgy side for a moment, we would all relate to some parts of what she says.
Like Tietje's, my first birth and early mothering experience was also a bit of a disaster. My son had a stroke in labour and delivery. The experience of over a week in the NICU, the follow-up appointments and the uncertainty of his future (he's recovered beautifully and I'm very grateful), coupled with the fresh hell that is new motherhood — well, let's just say I wouldn't wish that for anyone.
My daughter's birth, on the other hand, was an incredibly cathartic experience. I felt it healed a lot of me and I embraced her newborn stage with experienced eyes. I didn't pick favourites between them, but I did like myself better as her parent than his at the same stage. Then she became a three-year-old girl.
Are boys easier to raise than girls? I wonder this as my gentle, old soul of a six-year-old patiently puts up with his sister's tantrums and fits of drama and manipulation. But Lucy's dark side is also part of her charm. We're all pretty funny, but she makes us laugh more than anyone. She sings us adorable songs in her raspy voice, completely un-self-conscious. She can also be the sweetest girl in the world, offering the tightest hugs, which is even more appreciated after an episode where she turns into a whiny three-headed monster.
While Nate will mostly go along with whatever is asked of him with little opposition, Lucy feels she must try on the word NO at regular intervals. And maybe because she's three and the second child, she gets her way more when she
Tietje's article begs a deeper question though: do we love one of our children more than the others? The truth is, it depends on the week, and sometimes the hour. One child can charm you more than the other, fill your heart with a bit more love or make you more aware of the present moment. But if you charted it, you'd probably find that it all works out to even-stevens at the end of the day. The key is to never make them aware of those subtle shifts.
"I love you both exactly the same amount," I tell them, pouring water into identical glasses, making sure they're exactly even to illustrate my point. "My heart has exactly the same room in it for both of you." This is 100% true. I may love them differently, but when all is said and done, I love them exactly the same amount.
PS: I think the photo above illustrates it perfectly. There's me, happy in the moment with both of them. L is about to lose her mind, as evident in her face. N is just happy to be having dessert.
What do you think? Do you love one of your children more than the others? Do you think boys are easier to raise than girls? HAve you ever picked favourites publicly?