Favouring one child over another is a difficult topic that many parents try to avoid. However one mother has now admitted to loving her adopted daughter less than her biological little girl, revealing she feels differently about her two children.
The woman revealed that she and her husband, who have been married for seven years, decided to expand their family and adopt a baby girl three years ago, two-years after they welcomed their biological daughter June. Excited to have another child, the couple were involved throughout the pregnancy and were even present at the birth.
However, despite three years having passed since the couple first adopted Charlie into their brood, the anonymous woman admitted that she still feels as if she is “holding a friend’s child” rather than her own when she spends time with her youngest daughter.
Penning an anonymous post on forum site Reddit, the troubled mum-of-two asked for advice from other users about whether she was “an a**hole” for feeling this way.
“From the beginning, I felt a difference between my love for my daughters,” she said. “When I held Charlie, I adored her, but it felt more like holding a friend’s kid than my own. I expressed this to my husband and he said that he felt the same awkwardness, but he was sure it would pass as we spent more time with her.”
The woman admitted that her husband initially agreed with her when she struggled to bond with Charlie, believing it would be a temporary issue, but she went on to say that he has since developed a close relationship with the “wonderful little girl”, while she is still having difficulties.
She added: “Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my adopted daughter. But not in the same way I love my biological daughter. I can’t get over the feeling that she’s not my kid or that I’m taking care of my friend or family member’s child and not my own.
“I don’t act on my feelings or show favoritism (sic) toward June. I treat both my girls as if they were biological children.”
The woman’s post sparked debate online with one user describing her as “broken”, while others pledged their support for the woman and told her what she was feeling was “absolutely normal”, revealing they have experienced something similar themselves.
One wrote: “This is not normal and it’s not okay. It doesn’t make you a bad person generally but something in you is broken. You need to get treatment.”
Another said: “It actually is pretty normal. Not all love comes naturally, and sometimes requires some kind of facilitation or help. Lots of mothers and fathers don’t bond with their children (adopted or birth children) immediately, and creating this kind of stigma (that they are BROKEN or ABNORMAL or as someone said above, VILE) actually prevents people from seeking help, not encourages them.”
While another commented: “Adopted here too – I always knew my father felt differently towards me than my sister (who is their bio-kid) though he would never admit it. Kids always know…we may not let on that we do, but we do. My father didn’t purposely treat us differently, but it was little things I noticed that have shaped how I feel about my father as an adult. We aren’t as close as my sister and he are, which kinda sucks to be honest.”
While many women would not be as open about their feelings of favouritism towards their children, one mother previously opened up to Starts at 60 about the fact that one of her six children is closer to her heart due to a series of heartbreaking moments in her life – but confessed she’d never tell the others as it would leave them “heartbroken”.
Speaking in an exclusive chat, the 77-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have six children who assume the eldest, the only boy, is the favourite. So l must have disguised it well as it was only last week that I told my favourite daughter. She is sufficiently discreet to not tell the others.”
While the loving mum knows all of her other children would be seriously hurt if they ever knew, she has found herself feeling closer to one of her daughters throughout her life all the same, “due to circumstantial reasons, rather than behavioural issues”.
Looking back, the mum admitted she’s always favoured one child – her second to last daughter – simply because she came into the world after she had overcome all of her health issues and was finally feeling well again, ready this time to embrace motherhood once more.
“They were all good, happy babies. All were healthy and ‘good doers’,” she insisted. “But the second to last held a special place. She marked my achieving good health again. The actual birth was well-supported professionally, and maybe these things enable the special bond to develop very early. My children all assume they know which of them is my favourite, but they are wrong – and I’m not telling.”