Guilty of Playing Favourites….Who Else but Me!

Lately, I received comments that claimed I was bias towards certain groups of people. Ah bother! This had been the most disheartening comment for me as I had always viewed myself as an objective individual, who is able to treat each and every individual as just and impartial as possible.

It was mostly true until…….I became a mother. With three kids, many like to come up to me and ask who is my favourite child. Why does it matter to you who my favourite child is? Then, they will like to speculate and inform me through their observations, who they think my favourite child is. This went on for quite a while and it reached a point where I was convinced my emotions had betrayed me and I was playing favourites. It haunted me so much I pressed Miao for answers. He agrees and disagrees to a certain extent, which bothers me even further for someone so close to me to make such an observation. It created such emotional turmoil to me that I started to play making up.

I was convinced I am bias and I do have a logical explanation for that. It has nothing to do with their personality or their degree of compliance. Instead, it has every bit to do with mama’s guilt. I guess it is universal to all, how with more kids you try to compensate those born later with a bit more love and tenderness. So yes, if this holds true, I am guilty of playing favourites, guilty to the core and unless I can banish these thoughts, the biasness will always be there deep in my heart because I have failed to devote more of myself for them.

However, does this mean I shower one with more kindness than the other? I don’t think so. I do think I am still pretty constant in meting out punishments and praises accordingly. Then, why do people say that I am bias? I peform something called situational biasness.

For example, a family member favours Xmm more because his personality reaches out to them. During such times,  he or she may unintentionally be less understanding towards Xxm whose personality traits differ vastly and he is still incapable of playing to other’s heart. Times like these, I am bias towards Xxm because I feel a need to protect him. I cannot control other’s emotions towards him and I will act in my capacity as his mother to understand his behaviour and put a stop to whoever who is passing on hurtful remarks to him.

For Xmm, the biasness comes when I am coaching him in his academic skills. He does not take to books like Xxm and is pretty much free-spirited in this area. This is when I tend to be less harsh on him when it comes to learning because I needed to sustain his interest. On the other hand, Xxm is an introvert and by nature, devours information from books. He however is a bit of a drifter which is something I come down pretty hard on him.

Lastly, Xmx….they say the last child is always the parent’s favourites. And they press you for answers to confirm that it is true. Indeed, I don’t push him to know his ABCs and 123s. He can make more mess and get away with it. However, this stems from parenting through experience. I have observed how the older two has grown with all my trial and error and seriously with children, you do not sweat the small stuff. So yes, I am less harsh with him, not because he is more adorable although he really does have the sweetest voice of the three. And honestly, with him at slightly under 2 years of age, what’s more could I expect of him except for my last baby to not grow up too quickly and lose his innocence? That is all I asked from him these days. Yes, the standards have dropped and the adoration for him is at 100%. I call on others to cut me some slack on this.

Parenting, in the last 5 years, had nothing to do with moulding the boys’ characters. Each of them is beautiful in their own way and all one really need to do is to appreciate their gifts and work on their misgivings. Parenting had in fact been a road of self-discovery for me and the person who really needs some moulding or shaping up in character is yours truly. For them, I needed to walk out of my comfort zone and be the mum each needed. This is a lifelong journey for me and one that I have not entirely master. In fact, it has one of the steepest learning curves. But as their biological mother, this commitment is sealed with blood ties, which runs deep and long.

So to the people who thinks that I am bias, it is inevitable because I act on my vision of my best interests for you. Of course, you have your own vision of what is best for yourself and what I am doing seems contrary to your belief. Does mummy knows best? Sometimes, sometimes not. However, it’s the best that I can do for now. I like to quote my mother’s words or rather her exasperations, “You won’t understand now but wait till you are in my shoes, until you become a parent yourself then you shall know.”


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