Circle of Mom member Mary F. wonders whether it's common for moms to have a favorite among their children. "Of course not!," is the swift, public response. But secretly, doesn't the question touch a nerve? Or make you feel a tad shameful when you realize that you could actually answer it with a "yes?" Or at least that at times, you've had a favorite among your brood?
Her question certainly gave me pause.
Earlier this week I was at a local book store with one of my three children and I reached/lurched for Time magazine because the cover story was, Why Mom Liked You Best: The Science of Favoritism. My youngest daughter immediately asked, "I'm your favorite, right mom?"
Uh oh! How does a mom answer that one? Anything I said would incriminate me and bite back big time. So I took the fifth, telling her that yes, in many ways, she had learned from her elder siblings and was a "less challenging teenager." Then I sealed my lips. Don't go there, don't go there, don't go there, I said to myself.
According to Jeffrey Kluger, who is quoted in the Time cover story and is the author of The Sibling Effect, most moms do have favorites. In the article this father of two says: "It is my belief that 95 percent of the parents in the world have a favorite child, and the other percent are lying. He adds that what drives favoritism in many cases our unconscious desire for mini-me's with traits that remind us most of ourselves. In many other cases, we simply tend to feel close to our first born.
This is definitely not something we moms want to talk about. But even if we hate to admit it, Kluger maintains that favoritism is alive and well in most families. He reveals that most moms try not to play favorites, but deep down, there's usually one kid in the bunch who mom loves best.
Could that be really true? Some brave Circle of Moms members have revealed that they have favorites. Helen J., who is mom to four (ages 5, 3, 1 and 1), says, "My oldest is very special because we shared two years, just me and her, and she is my rock that kept me going through a rough time."
But most insist that the #1 spot changes from day to day. As Jackie F. explains, "I liken my children to chocolates: [they are all] always wanted but some days I prefer one [kind] over another. No point in having all strawberry creams. Sometimes you need a fudge."
In the end, I think we all agree that exhibiting any preference for one of your children is strictly taboo. As Krista S. warns, "Never express anything about this to any of your children, ever, please."
Mum's the word.
Do you think most moms have favorites and just won't admit it?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.