Favoritism With Twins? Is It Possible? Acceptance, Handling The Guilt, & Being Smart About It! One Honest Mommy.
Favoritism With Twins. YES, It Can Happen & Handling The Guilt.
I will say, with all complete and total honesty, that I love all of my children 150% equally. I told my husband, he wouldn’t understand this insane ability, to instantly love again so strongly, until he had another child of his own, and then God came and gave him two!
He never imagined when I was pregnant, that he’d ever love anybody close to his 1st little princess, but will now admit, that he does, and all I can say is ‘I told you so!’
I knew it all ahead of time, and while we love our children all the same, no doubts there, do we ever show favoritism, or at least harbour a bit of it, in our hearts at times? What do you think?
It seems like if you are bragging about your oldest child’s achievements or babying the smallest in the family, that that is ‘Ok’ and more normal, then having any favoritism involving a twin duo. To do that seems more sinister, but is it really? Actually no, because it’s still two siblings, 2 human beings, with emotions, and feelings, inside the same family. It’s easy to forget that!
People can deny any favoritism, but yet it still exists, even if not constant, and fluctuates. It happens in most every home whether admitted or kept in the closet. When my son was sick, it seemed like everything and every body was forced to take a backseat, and I was of course drawn to him, in a way that could never be matched, but how could that NOT be normal? I can’t feel guilty about that, it didn’t make me love my other son any less, and he knows it, thankfully.
That of course is a very dramatic and understandable situation of course, but what about twins? Now, I don’t know how many moms can actually say some form of favoritism exists in their own families, or would admit to it, if it did or does, but I don’t think it’s any more of an abnormal or normal circumstance, then favoring one different aged sibling over another. I just think it may be harder to admit to, and it shouldn’t be, because it has zero to do with love, and can even change over time!
With my twins, my girls are completely equal in sharing my heart. Nothing I wouldn’t do for both of them. I’d lay down and die for them, for any of my children, however, there are times, where I do maybe show a hint of favoritism. It’s never done on purpose if so, and it’s just more that I guess, especially after my son, I find myself sort of rooting for the underdog if you will.
My Allie, has always been the easy going baby, whose personality often reminds me of my 1st son, and she’s definitely the underdog in the duo. The other baby, definitely picks on her, wins most every battle, makes her cry, and is much more headstrong, not to mention she is much more whiny, and cries A LOT of the day, while the other one, is by far more passive.
If you put the two of them together, and they were crying, whom might I run to first? I’d say both, but my husband will tell a different tale. He says there are times, I run for Allie first, and I think if that is the case, which I never realized before recently, there is a simple reason, aside from what my husband would call favoritism, it’s I feel sorry for her.
If she is crying, you know there is a reason, and it’s a bit more sad, then a baby who cries so often, for any reason at all. Does that make sense? Could that still be some form of favoritism? Maybe, but it’s definitely non-intentional, but now, admittedly, I do feel guilty for it though I shouldn’t, and I think that this post is some therapy for getting over that.
I may be drawn to Allie a bit more because she connects with me more, and has many more tender moments with me, due to her overall sweet nature, while the other, is a constant juggling act, of pleasing and appeasing all day long, and the sweet moments of gazing into each other’s eyes, smiling, and hearing coos, have been fewer and further between with this twin, just because of her hyper & very cranky, personality. I wish It wasn’t like that, and I can’t wait for some change there, but that can’t be denied, it’s just fact!
I love her to death, she just is completely different then any of my other children. Her smile melts me. Her ‘Mamas’, make me want to cry, but have I ever seemingly favored the other? Maybe, but again, it’s never, EVER, done intentionally.
Of course, I think it’s normal, if say you have new twins, one with colic and one very sweet, that you will have more tender moments, in quiet, with one twin, over the screaming, needy baby, that doesn’t share as much mommy and me time. (Quality wise anyway). It’s easier to be drawn to the quote un quote ‘Good one’, at the time, and it shouldn’t be something to feel guilty for, because like with all kids, the ‘Good one’, will change throughout life. It will go back, and forth, and back again.
If one were to say, ‘I love this child more’, well then that I’d find physically repulsive, but having an internal favoritism issue, very mildly, and never making it known, or evident enough for the children themselves to notice, I think it’s completely normal, in any pair of siblings! (Twins included.) Doesn’t mean you might not feel guilty, God help me, just thinking about it, is making me feel guilty, but you aren’t alone.
The most important thing, is to NEVER express this. Some parents are vocal, and think nothing of this, and as the kids grow older, they feel sub-par against their sibling, because it’s constantly being expressed in words and actions, that mom or dad, or both, are boasting more about baby A then baby B, as an example. It’s important, to keep your thoughts, as just that…thoughts! Words can hurt or even scar a child for life, so watch what you say, as your children grow.
Always praise both of your children, or all, if you have more then just your twins, for all of their OWN personal accomplishments. As easy as it is to be drawn to a really good, passive baby, as they grow, I would never, even if the other throws tantrums, (Which is pretty much a guarantee seeing her now personality, but God bless her, she’s so darned cute, thankfully ).
I wouldn’t ever leave her out, try and compare her to her sister verbally, like ‘Why can’t you be more like your sister? She’s so good?’ etc. etc., because my parents had their favorite, and it was very hard on us, and when it changed it was made known, yet neither of us, ever felt like we measured up. We felt like disappointments to our parents. Even at 35 I still do. I would NEVER do that to my own.
We even took separate vacations, as my parents started growing apart, which was very awkward, though no one ever felt favorite enough, I remember the feeling well. That isn’t pretty, so what’s innocent in babyhood, can be detrimental to self esteem come later on if it went further then a fleeting thought, that is.
So though it’s hard to juggle the needs of two or more kids, you got to be sure, and I always try, and give ample and equal attention, to all involved children, and of course if somebody is ill, it’s normal to give them most of what you have, but to never leave anybody out, feeling alone and neglected, and that is what motherhood is really all about. Showing love, praising our children, and Lord helps us, juggling our kids and their crazy, busy lives, as best as we possibly can. Mom’s should be featured acts in the circus, I sware!
Another thing with twins, is that favoritism can start early, because you and your spouse, are splitting up babies, and needs sometimes. An example is: He may put baby A to sleep every night, and you may put baby B to sleep every night, and so naturally you are spending more time with one, more one on one time anyhow, which is very important, and may possibly feel more bonded because of that.
Again, it’s natural and normal. You are NOT a bad mommy, or daddy, and me and my husband often switched babies when I noticed this, because of the guilty feeling I started to get, towards poor baby B. I needed to take turns, because I obviously felt like that was starting to occur, and was feeling nearly ill over it. I was in denial nevertheless, until this post!
Also baby B was in the NICU for the first 2 days of life, and they say sometimes, you can feel more drawn to the baby that you had those precious first moments with. Those first days, though I did feel drawn to baby B in the way of her being weaker, I was only able to visit her in the NICU, (Nothing serious, just blood sugar levels, they were straightening out, from my GD), but I was not able to hold her, and caress her, and have her as long.
(At the time she was weaker, but like I said above, they change, because that sure quickly reversed itself!)
No matter the situation, if you ever have or do now, feel this way, you aren’t alone, and you are NOT a horrible person! You are normal, and shouldn’t feel guilt, because it’s only a problem, if you allow it to become one.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO TAKE NOTE OF:
1) Never bash one twin over the other, not just in social situations, but in the home..AT ALL!
Don’t compare twins. They are two different individuals with different personalities and talents, accomplishments, and successes, and one should never be praised over the other, nor one put down over the other, in front of people or just in the home, it isn’t healthy, nor fair, and will take it’s toll.
2) Keep them individual and always express love and admiration to both twins.
YOU help shape your child’s entire future! (It’s true!)
There can be intense jealousy among any two siblings, much less twins, and they need your parental support and your love, so always show them, your love has no bounds, and is equal, despite any small amount of favoritism that ever enters your heart, because that never affects the amount of love you feel for your child vs. the other. If it does, that is a whole other issue.
3) Take twins out separately, sometimes.
One on one bonding between mother and child, and father and child, is so very important, in my opinion.
This is a BIG must do, in my home. Life with new twins can be crazy, but as they grow, and things settle down, indiviual time with you, and your husband, will become very important. A strong sense of security in the family unit, is so important to a child at any age, and the effects will show, one way or the other.
4) Do not feel guilty for your feelings, UNLESS, you find that your feelings for one twin, are particularly negative.
Even if you have twins and feel drawn to one at times, more then the other, you love the other equally and have no bad feelings towards him or her, but if this is not the case, that is where deep concern would be involved. That could devastate a child’s self worth, so if you have continuous negative feelings towards a twin or any child, seek some immediate help. The damage done could be irreparable.
5) Watch your words!
Tongues are like swords, and can cause wounds that never heal. As an abuse survivor (No longer a victim), I know all about this, and how words, can hurt worse then fists, for sure. It’s easy to have an innocent slip of the tongue, but watch yourself, and try and stop yourself, before a major slip up occurs.
I once caught myself telling people, that the twins together were easier then 1 Mikayla, which was true for awhile there, I won’t lie, she was one tough baby, and still one tough cookie, but I was stupid, and I turned around, and noticed she had heard me, and that was enough to remind me…OPPS…even something like that, is a big no-no, and I have never done anything like that again. She didn’t seem to care about the comment at all, but it just made me really THINK. Ears are always opened and listening. Don’t forget that!
It’s hard because something like that seems so innocent, but small kids are especially fragile, and she has been so bonded to her mommy, that just using words like ‘Cutie’ or ‘Pretty baby’, while talking to the twins, hurts her, and she’ll say, ‘I don’t like you saying that mommy. I’m your cutie pie. I’m your pretty baby’. I watch my mouth with the girls while around her. It’s hard but for HER own good. This will pass, but for now, I comply.
So you have to walk on egg shells a bit. Watch your tongues, keep your thoughts private, and remember, the twins are two separate people, and need positive reinforcement every day of their lives, to become strong and successful individuals, who will be there for you until the day that you die.
SO in closing…YES, it’s normal to be at times, ‘Drawn to’ (I like that phrase better then favoring), but yes, favor one child, ever so slightly, over another, for various reasons, as mentioned above, and that can even switch, from time to time, throughout life, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it, unless feelings get hurt, from words being expressed. So forgive yourself, as you are human, and enjoy being a mom.
Every child is wonderful, unique, special, and incredible. Make sure your kids know you feel this way about them, every day of their lives, and you have produced some amazing offspring, who will go far in the world, that lies ahead of them.
Take care & enjoy your beautiful, multiple blessings! I sure do
PS- This post will be altered when the twins come of reading age!