Mom always Liked you Best

***Anecdotes and advice from a Supermom of 12 children

Love in their hearts

Many mothers claim they don't have a favorite among their children. I think there is some truth to the idea that mothers have equal amounts of love in their hearts for all their children. Still, I remember as a young girl egging my mother on with statements such as, "You hate me. I know you hate me."

"I may not always like you but I always love you."

Mom always answered, "I may not always like you but I always love you."

And that had the ring of truth.

Now I'm a mother, and I see it with my own kids. I love all 12 of my children with tremendous love, but not all of my children are by nature, pleasant. I find some of my children a pleasure to be with, and others are more difficult.

Named after my late father

My kids see how much I enjoy being with my eldest son and they try to incite a disclaimer from me, much as I did my mother at their age. My son offers his help when he sees me in need. In fact, he doesn't always offer, he just pitches in as he sees fit. He does well in his studies and in any job he takes on. He makes a good name for himself and for our family wherever he goes. He's also named after my late father.

All of this creates tremendous jealousy among my other children, some of whom display less than angelic tendencies. I find myself telling my children that instead of being jealous of their brother, they might try to take his very good example. It's tempting to say, "Buck up and shut up," but that seems a bit harsh, so I bite my tongue.

Instead, I try to depersonalize the issue. I tell my children that I love them all, and I try to emphasize their good qualities at that point. Sibling rivalry never ends and I take a deep breath, knowing I haven't seen the last of this discussion. I give them hugs and kisses and we start the whole cycle again.