Parents aren’t suppose to have a favourite child, but one mother has found herself stuck in the middle of sibling rivalry. The mother wrote anonymously to The Washington Post‘s advice columnist Carolyn Hax, explaining how both her adult children have moved back home, but only one contributes to household expenses.
“Our daughter ‘Annie’ has moved back home at age 33 to save some money while doing postdoc work and teaching college courses. She works hard and studies for gruelling hours, and she contributes to household expenses,” the mother explained.
“Our daughter ‘Bonnie’ has moved back home at 29 after a sudden breakup, bringing our 15-month-old grandchild with her.”
She said her youngest doesn’t earn much money, adding, “we are encouraging her to save it instead of giving it to us because we know she wants to live independently with her child as soon as possible.”
The mother added that neither daughter “really” contributes to housework, “but they are good housemates and we are really happy to have them both home”.
Annie, however is “resentful” that Bonnie does not pay rent, the mother revealed, adding, “[Annie] feels she has been given a pass simply because she has a child”.
Meanwhile “Bonnie feels judged and looked down on by her sister. My husband and I are often caught in the middle, and the tension sometimes leads us to regret opening our home to both kids.”
Hax replied to the anxious mother advising that Annie is being unfair, and if she has a problem with the arrangements she should take it up her mother or simply move out.
“So, time to sit down with Annie. State your policy clearly: Different kids, different needs, same commitment to meeting needs,” she wrote. “If she’s not willing to trust that your home is a supportive one and that your judgment is good and that things will even out in the end, then she can take her complaints to you.”
While most mothers and fathers would say that they love all their children equally, there’s sometimes a special place in their heart for one child over the other.
Whether it’s forming a special bond with a kid or another child driving them absolutely bonkers, you’d imagine there’s a logical reason why parents lean towards a particular individual, but a new study conducted by parenting and grandparenting forums Mumsnet and Gransnet found that it’s actually all in the birth order.
Parents typically favour their youngest child over their eldest, with 56 per cent of the 1,185 parents surveyed saying that their youngest child was their favourite. In contrast, just 26 per cent said that their eldest was their favourite. There were no questions asked about the middle child – which would no doubt confirm the suspicions of middle children everywhere that they are overlooked in the family pecking order!