Join the next Smart Parenting Giveaway and get a chance to win exciting prizes!

Join Now
  • As A Mom, I Realized My Parents Were Not Lying When They Said They Had No Favorite Child

    ‘I thought parents say they don't play favorites just to please the kids. I proved myself wrong.'
    by Esper Abrajano-Bitare .
As A Mom, I Realized My Parents Were Not Lying When They Said They Had No Favorite Child
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Growing up with four siblings, I've always thought that my parents had a favorite child. Of course, they insist they didn't, but I thought that was impossible.

    My son, Khalel, was an only child for almost seven years before my daughter, Miza, came into the picture. Just recently, my firstborn asked me a question I did not expect. He asked me: "If I had to choose between him and his sister, who would be my favorite child, and why?"

    My response came out naturally. "None. Because I love you both equally," I replied. But at that moment, I realized that I've turned into my parents. I said almost the exact same thing my parents told me when I asked them who among my siblings is their favorite child.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
    "A parent's love does not split in half — it grows," this mom writes.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Esper Abrajano-Bitare

    Do parents have a favorite child? 

    When I was young, I honestly thought declaring that they have no favorite child was just how parents should respond so as not to disappoint any of their kids. No parent would intentionally want to make their child feel bad. But now that I had to answer the same question, I know it's not a template answer. I responded with all honesty; I did not just want him to feel better. It was my truth.

    More from Smart Parenting

    Before I had Miza, I always wanted to have another child, so Khalel wouldn't grow up alone. He also has a congenital blood condition that requires regular blood transfusions for life. My husband and I thought he would be sad if he had to surpass it all by himself as he grows up.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    But the idea of having another child also bothered me. I often asked myself questions: "Can I love my second child as much as the first?" "How can I love another human being knowing that my son has special needs?" I felt scared and guilty. But when Miza was born, my fears and worries went away. I did not have to pretend that I loved Miza as much as his kuya. Everything fell into place.

    Parents have enough love to give

    I was once told that having only two kids does not qualify me to authentically say I don't have a favorite child. That person said it's easy for me to say I don't play favorites because I have one boy and one girl — I have everything I could ever ask for. She said a parent should first have five kids or more to pin down which one is her favorite truly, and it would always turn out to be the child whose personality is almost the same as mine.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
    More from Smart Parenting

    I don't believe that. Indeed, a parent's love does not split in half — it grows. No matter how many children I bring into this world, may it be more than what I have now, I already know in my heart that I would love them just the same.

    I realize now that I'm a mom that my parents did not really have their favorite kid after all. The reason I've always felt that way was that I thought they never liked or agreed with me on almost everything. Growing up, maybe my life decisions were not that smart, which was part of the reasons why my parents always disagreed with me.

    There are indeed a lot of things you will never know until you become a parent yourself. You'll never know that you can love your second child, or all of your children as much as you love your first unless you become a parent of two or more. But equally loving your kids is natural — you don't have to force it.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Sometimes, parents might play favorites with their children without being aware of it. Click here to learn more.

    More from Smart Parenting

View More Stories About
Recommended Videos
View more articles