The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Sibling Rivalry Runs in the Family

Sibling rivalry runs in my family.  

After I was born a baby nurse came to help out for a couple of weeks.  When she walked down the hall to leave, my two-year-old brother chased her while yelling, “Lady, lady! You forgot your baby!”

Six years later, my baby sister, Liz, was born.  My friends loved her as much as I hated her, and every time one of my friends admired her -- I suggested they take her home.

So it should come as no surprise when my two sons want to kill each other.

I go overboard trying to cut off the bickering before blood is shed but it often can’t be stopped.  

I can prepare for any situation -- but shit happens. 

I will plan the perfect outing, play-date, excursion, whatever, with every intention of keeping them enriched, challenged, and or entertained, but above all: separated.  This may involve two different plans with a parent for each boy or a group play-date involving playmates for each. 

I have tried groups where they are supposed to all play together, but based on past painful experiences: this rarely works.  Someone always ends up picked on, left out, tortured, and ultimately crying. 

Even if I do manage to find a family activity where we can all be happy -- it is hard to get out the door.  I can guarantee that as soon as I am ready to go, I will find both of them engaged in solitary play on opposite sides of the house.  So I try to make the best of the moment.  I sneak off to my computer to record the moment; a literal snapshot of this slice of my life.

Then, as I settle down to recall expressions and remarks and record how wonderful my children are, their little antennas go up.

“Mommy!  He’s looking at me!”

“No I’m not!”

“He’s lying!”

Inspiration extinguished, I take my deep breaths and count to ten.  I wait to see if I need to investigate further.

Now, why did I have two kids again?

By Cathy Burke

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