If I buy child B a new toy, does child A get one of equal value? What about if child A needs a new coat while child B has a perfectly decent hand-me-down from child A?
And then there are birthday party invites, sports, activities, fun things that come up while the oldest is in school but the youngest can go to.
And you want to be fair, not accused of favoring one child over another.
But, being fair doesn’t mean being equal. It’s near-impossible to keep everything completely equal.
All we can do is to be sure that each child is getting what they need. And maybe a little of things that they want. But, completely equal? Not going to happen.
If one of your children has special needs, this becomes even more difficult. Well, in my experience. If any of you have figured out how to do this better, please share. Or actually, please come show me exactly how you do it so I can take notes.
I’ve admitted before that I’m not a fair mom. Not if your definition of fair is giving each child the exact same thing.
My 5 year-old suffered from lead poisoning for years. He’s still dealing with the after effects, which include sensory issues along with aggression issues. He was recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS and ADHD.
Often, we have to consider his needs and how he will react in a situation when we are planning outings or even deciding on meals. My other two boys are easy-going and go-with-the-flow.
Even though they still end up enjoying whatever we do(for the most part, anyway), those choices do tend to take their brother into consideration more than them.
And that’s not fair.
And then I immediately think that it’s not fair that our middle son has to struggle so much.
And then my head pretty much starts to spin with the thoughts of what is fair and what is not.
Last week was another rough week AND Hubs was out of town for five days.
Saturday was especially rough and I could see my bookends(oldest and youngest) getting a little disappointed that we weren’t going to head to the movies as we planned because their brother was having a meltdown. Even though he calmed down, he was still too unpredictable to attempt taking him to a theater full of people, where he might get upset because the movie is too loud or someone was sitting too close to him or his clothes felt weird or whatever it is that would be his trigger at that point.
But, instead of letting his brothers down again, I arranged for Bear to go to his grandma’s house.
And the bookends and I chowed down on popcorn and sour watermelon gummies, shared a tub of Sprite, and giggled our way through The Lorax. “That was awesome!” declared my three year-old as we were leaving the theater.
It was awesome. Even with my pang of guilt thinking that Bear would have liked the movie, too.
But, being at Grandma’s house is hardly a punishment: all of the kids love going there and especially love it if they get to go alone and be spoiled rotten.
And I don’t even want to add up all the times that my bookends haven’t gotten exactly what they would have chosen because we had to take their brother into consideration.
Every once in a while, they need to be shown that what they can come first, too.
Do you struggle with keeping things fair in your family?