I think I will begin with the response I started to leave on the post:
I'm not a mom, so I can't say for sure how I feel about this from the perspective of a parent. I see that other mom's have felt the same way, and honestly that does give me some peace.I stopped there. I decided at that point that this woman didn't need such a comment on her post. My words, I feared, would hurt her, and really, they have nothing to do with her. They are more about my feelings, my experiences. And that is why they belong on my blog (and that is also why I didn't name or link to the other blog).
What I am, though, is the daughter of a mom who often said to me 'I love you, but I don't like you very much right now.' The granddaughter of a woman who said 'Oh, L (my mom), you are so blessed, you finally have your boy,' when my brother was born. And, when I pressed my mom about my brother being her favorite, she quickly looked away and then said 'I just love your brother differently than I love you.' And finally, when, as a married adult being introduced to someone at my mom's parish was greeted with 'Oh, I didn't know you had a daughter, I only knew you had a son.'
So, while I find your honesty beautiful, my heart is breaking as I read these words. Breaking for the child who asks 'do you love him/her more than me?' and is greeted with an answer similar to the ones I got. No matter how many times I'm told that I'm loved as much as my brother, in my heart I know it to not be true. I saw and heard the truth.
It's interesting that this topic comes up now, as I just had a conversation with a friend on the phone about fears I had/have related to having children. One of those fears is just this; that I would have a favorite child and his/her siblings would know it. I'm not talking a little fear, but suffocating, paralyzing fear. A fear that paralyzed so that for quite a while I had no desire to have children. I truly believed in my heart that it was better for me to not have children than to risk having a favorite.
One of the biggest struggles of my life is my desire to be accepted, to 'fit in.' My parents' divorce tore apart my family; and the parent I lived with preferred her other child. While my Dad tried to compensate, I know it caused pain for my brother, and that only adds guilt. I know I have come a long way to learning to be comfortable in my own skin, but there are times I'm thrust back to that teenager whose mom doesn't like her and loves her brother 'differently.'
And lately, it is in these times that I wonder if God doesn't know what he's doing after all? When all of my fears are as strong as they ever were, when I am paralyzed by them, that I think obviously God is right in not giving us a child. I mean how can I possibly raise stable, well-adjusted, secure children when I am such a mess? I am scared of my own shadow and I think I can care for an infant, toddler, child, teenager, etc? Please don't leave comments telling me that every woman feels this way. Please. I've tried to tell myself that my fears are normal, but when I sit here, barely able to breathe as I think about passing this feeling of not being enough on to someone else I just have to wonder if maybe I'm not getting my answer to the question of 'why?'
Finally, my mom is a good mom, and while my dad was always involved in our lives, for every 12 out of 14 days, she was a single mom. I know it wasn't easy and I wasn't always the easiest kid to raise, while my brother was much easier. I know that in the times that I saw the truth in her eyes, it was immediately followed with the pain in her eyes that I was hurt. I don't want it to sound like I'm bashing my mom here, I'm not. Just as this was not something about the other blogger, this is not really about my mom. It's about me. How I feel. My fears. My insecurities. It would have been easy to hit 'publish' without this last paragraph, to leave this sense of 'woe is me, my mother was horrible' but that is not fair to her. At the same time, while I've accepted that she does indeed love me 'differently,' the fear of passing that on is almost too much to bear at times.