How Could A Mother Claim To ‘never like’ Her Child?

The Today Show has an interview(below) with a mom who wrote an article for Redbook this month revealing that she never liked her first daughter.

In March there was a media firestorm over publishing a story, written by a mom, stating that she liked one of her children more than the other. My stomach turned as I read the post.  I couldn’t understand how someone would think, let alone write, something so destructive.  A part of the piece she says,

“There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son.  I know that sounds completely awful and truly crazy.”

During the interview for the Today’s show, the newest mom to come forward with these thoughts says they happened because she had an ideal of what she wanted her daughter to live up to and she just didn’t.  She didn’t sleep well, she didn’t meet her milestones when all of the parenting books said she would and she didn’t look longingly into her mother’s eyes.  She was awkward socially and didn’t want to play with her peers at school or during playdates. In an article that will appear in this month’s issue of Redbook, this mom says that these issues caused her to want to ‘repel’ her daughter.  When her second child arrived, however, she says ‘she felt what it was like to have 2 hearts beating as one’. Could her expectations have been too high with her first?

After the wedding excitement, the next milestone that friends and family can’t wait for a couple to experience is parenthood.  But many aren’t prepared for the hard work that comes with a new baby and not all babies are perfect.  We all want to do everything perfectly but sometimes that’s not possible.

My son didn’t meet any of his milestones until months after he was supposed to and wasn’t overly loving.  He was born at 24 weeks so I didn’t get to hold him until he was 4 weeks old and as a result of that premature birth he has a LONG list of sensory issues, which have lead to an autism diagnosis. Our parenting road has been difficult and challenging but our son is amazing.  Like memorize the craziest list of facts – amazing.  He says and does the funniest things and keeps us on our toes with his ridiculous demands, which we are now used to.

My entre into parenthood sucked to put it mildly.  After 10+ weeks of heavy bleeding I was admitted into the hospital and put on strict bedrest for 6 weeks.  When my son arrived I had to live apart from my husband for 3 months while I stayed with the baby and he worked to support us.  After we brought him home I had therapy 3 or times a week for the next 3 years. Not the new mom bliss I had dreamed of.

Three years after having my first son I was lucky enough to get pregnant again and go full term.  The second time around everything was different.  I was able to hold the baby minutes after birth, breastfed him right away and he didn’t need any therapy to meet any of his goals.  Both kids are night and day.   Yes, one was easier but in different ways and I identify that both kids are awesome in different ways.

Parenting a child with special needs is not easy.  There are many tearful days around here when I have no idea what to do next or how to tackle a new issue that has popped up.

During the Today’s show piece it was revealed that the little girl has an issue with her growth hormone and has been on injections for the last 2 years to help balance this out.  The mom says that now, she now has a new attitude about her role as the little girl’s mom and is speaking out to help others.

I personally think it’s sad that such small issues deterred this mom from bonding with her child.  It’s all about perspective.  Some of the most amazing moms I know are those to children who have many developmental issues.  And like the Redbook mom they entered parenthood with the hopes of having a healthy, happy baby but ended up with children who either arrived too early or had issues that started in the early stages of development.  The difference?  They stepped up and identified the characteristics that were outstanding about their children and cherished them.  Plus, when you have a child that is non-verbal, can’t eat orally or can’t breathe on their own, hearing a mom complain about her ‘unperfect’ healthy, beautiful baby is a slap in the face.

No parent should ever say these things, let alone write them for a major publication – even if it is anonymously.

You can watch the whole interview here.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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