I'm Not The Favorite Child And I Know It

I'm Not The Favorite Child And I Know It

I may not have been my mom's favorite child but it's okay because I know that I am loved, no matter what.
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Growing up, I never felt less loved than my brother but I knew he was my mom's favorite. It was never said but it was just a feeling I had. We were treated differently and my mom would give excuses saying that it was because "I was a girl" that I couldn't do the things my brother did. I would get in trouble for doing the same EXACT thing as my brother but I would get punished, where he wouldn't even get punished at all.

The thing is, they were close. There was a bond they had that my mom and I didn't have. There was this tangible connection they had. She had my brother first for three years and then I came along. A complete accident. I was never supposed to happen and sometimes, I felt that. I knew that I was not a planned child. My mom was happy with one son, whom she loved more than life itself. He caused her to want better for herself, not me. He was the golden ticket and I was an "Oh, shit."

I was dubbed the bad child because when I was young I made up stories. My imagination got me into trouble and though most of the time my stories weren't true, sometimes they were and I got accused of lying. The girl who cried wolf and I was the girl who cried wolf. Despite doing everything in my power from age 12 and higher to remove that image of myself, I failed. Even now as a grown adult, who believes in telling the truth (even if it hurts someone), gets blamed for childhood mistakes that my brother does not get blamed for. It's a double standard because "boys will be boys right?"

But girls who are mischievous and intelligent, oh boy, do they get a bad rep. It's healthy for boys but wrong for girls and I hate that hypocrisy. Fun fact about me: I never used drugs, I don't drink (even though I'm of age), and I never committed a crime but I'm the bad child. My brother, whom I love and respect, has done some "bad" things. But that was just what boys did and even though I didn't do what he did, I got blamed for innocent childhood mistakes that all kids make, where he did not.

It hurts knowing that you aren't number one but I know my mom loved me. I just wasn't my brother. I don't resent my brother, though some would think I do. If anything, I am happy that he was showed love and affection in more profound ways than me. No one ever said that my mom's favorite was my brother but it was just something I could see. It was not blatant but I was more observant than anyone thought. I saw the difference. I felt the difference.

My brother's needs were always more important than mine but that's because he was older. "He was first so he came first," is what she said. I knew better though. My brother was perfect in my mother's eyes and if he did something wrong then he was just "being a boy." If I was caught doing something wrong, I was terrible and had ulterior motives, instead of just innocent childhood mischief. I was a bad child who only wanted the worst things to happen. My mom said I was untrustworthy and a liar. The rumors spread though my family and soon I was the delinquent. The dumbest thing was when I was being accused I would just cop to doing whatever I was being blamed for instead of being yelled at. I would say anything to get my mom to stop accusing me. The truth is, I only did about a quarter of the things I was accused of. Did I cut the cats whiskers when I was like 6? Yeah, but I was just a child and it gets thrown up to me all the time, even to this day. Did I give the dog blue juice? Sure, but it wasn't out of malice, instead it was me (as a child) trying to give the dog variety. I didn't know it was bad for him, I just thought it must suck to only ever drink water.

I am a favorite to someone though. I am my Nan's favorite. It may be wrong but I just know I hold a special place in her heart. She helped me, trusted me and loved me, when no one else would. Even when my mom had skewed my brother's opinion about me, casting the shadow of a liar onto me that I still haven't escaped. Nan was the only one who truly listened to me and knew the truth. All I wanted was someone to hear me and the things I had to say. Nan did, she listened to my mundane stories about school and my boring life. She listened to me complain about my mom casting me as a terrible person and how badly I really was being bullied at school. She knew I wasn't a liar. She cared about my words. I always knew my Nan cared, without a doubt. So while I wasn't my mom's favorite, I am my Nan's and honestly, that works so much better for me because Nan is my favorite person too. I love her more than anyone can understand. I may not have been my mom's favorite child but it's okay because I know that I am loved, no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Thank You Letter To The Father Of My Child

We Do The Best We Can With What We Have
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Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I know I don't have to thank you for loving our child but still thank you from the bottom of my heart. We were young, really young, too young but stepping up, especially for a guy, is rare, so I'd like to give you a little praise. We didn't do it 'the right way' but we do the best we can with what he have and I wouldn't change a thing.

You didn't have to, I mean you did but then again you didn't. There are days when I really don't like you and Vice Versa but at the end of the day, I am still raising half of you. I'm raising a 5-year-old who thinks that his daddy put the stars in the sky and his mommy made them shine and for that, I couldn't thank you enough.

You're doing the best you can (and that is more than enough). We have a unique situation but we made the absolute best out of what we have and I am so grateful for that. You help me facilitate a circle of respect and our child is well aware of that. We argue, we fight and we really disagree but when all is said and done, I'm so thankful to co-parent with you. We are by no means perfect (or remotely close) but I thank God (and you) that we aren't because how unrealistic is that.

Thank you for working so hard for our child. I realize that it's extremely hard when you don't see him often, especially since you think your day to day work goes unnoticed and unappreciated, but how wrong you are. Our son and I speak often of your hard work and I pray that he works harder than we ever do but what a good model he has to refer to.

Thank you for your grace. I never thought that I would be writing this letter, much less thanking you for this one thing in particular but I must. I fail often as a mother and a co-parent but you never let me believe for one second that I am any less of a great mother because of those failures. Your grace and support helped me become the awesome (if I don't say so myself) mom that I am today!

Thank you for crushing statistics with me (we never liked that subject anyways). We weren't 'supposed' to amount to much, we weren't 'supposed' to be happy and we weren't 'supposed' to be great parents but like I said we always hated math anyways so take that stats!!

Thank you for never allowing our son to believe that he is already at a loss because his parents aren't married. Thank you for being on the same team as me and thank you for learning and growing with me in this parenting thing that no one has the answers to. It takes a village and I am convinced that we have the best village out there, so thank you for helping me create and uphold it.

"The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other." - Jane Blaustone

Love Always,

Your Thankful Co-Parenting Partner

Cover Image Credit: Tori Buddenhagen

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I've Been Going through college without A Mom

I am about to graduate, and she won't be there to see it.

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I was barely 17 when my biological mother passed away. I had rarely seen her the last six or so years of her life. She was severely mentally ill, and with a lot of mental illnesses, she kept going off her meds which only made her symptoms much worse. When I was about 12 years old, I had to stop inviting her to my school functions because she no longer realized when her behavior was inappropriate for the time and place. Her pride for her children outweighed her better judgment.

Everyone knows someone with a parent who is completely over the top yelling and cheering on their kids. Well, that was mine. Anything she came to, people knew exactly where she was. I even have a recording of a program I was in 6th grade, quite possibly the last one she was invited to, where her hearty laugh can be heard clearly in the background.

She had a beautiful soul, it just was hidden from view for most of her later life.

I wish I remembered more of who she was, things she would say, things she would do.

I wish I had been able to push past everyone and everything telling me to keep my distance. I was young. I didn't know what I know now.

Each year seems like it gets harder and harder not knowing her. I am one year away from graduating college with my bachelor's degree in psychology, and she won't even be there to watch me walk across the stage. I know if she could make it, she would be one of the people to cause a ruckus in between names called. She had a way of disregarding authority, something else we have in common.

There are so many times when I will see a girl talking to their mom or going shopping with their mom or eating dinner with their mom or just doing anything with their mom, and I break down internally because I will never fully have that mother-daughter bond that they have.

Cover Image Credit:

Roseanne Jarrett

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