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Does Your Mom Treat You Harshly Compared To Your Sister?

QueenofLeavesQueenofLeaves USAPosts: 44Member
edited July 2009 in love & relationships
This is something I've been wondering for a long time. When I was a child, I had a great relationship with my mother. But as I grew up, I started to notice big differences in the way she treated me versus my older sister. At first, I thought I was imaging things and that it was teenage hormones, but now that I'm older it's become more clear than ever. She treats me as if I'm a step-daughter when the three of us are all together. For example, I remember there was an incident when we got into a minor car accident. My sister, who is an extremely nervous driver, was driving. I was in the back seat and my mom in the front, but my mother somehow managed put the whole blame on me - for "talking too loudly" to my sister when it happened. Whenever we go on vacations and shop/eat out, she always always makes sure my sister gets what she wants first even if she tells it way later than I did and will "forget" something I wanted to do. Sometimes, I feel like she purposely leaves me out of "family" activities as well. When I go somewhere over the weekend like visit a friend in a city, she 'suddenly' decides to do something with the rest of the family. Sometimes, I come back to an empty house with just a note on the kitchen table, and it makes me feel so sad because this has happened not once, or twice, but almost every summer/break there has been throughout my life. Not only that, but she'll buy a ton of nice stuff [designer bags, clothes] for my sister but to me will say "Oh, you won't like it anyway." [what kind of girl doesn't?] My sister and I can usually get along if my mom isn't around, but I admit my jealously makes me dislike my sister a lot. We borrow each other's stuff all the time, but when I wear something of my sister's my mom will get all bean pie and say, "hey, that's not yours! why are you taking your sister's things?! put it back!" While she'll actually GO through my stuff and actually give it to my sister, saying I have "too much" or I'm too "selfish" with my things. If I confront her about it, she'll say "there's no such thing as yours or mine's." The IRONY.

It's gotten a little better now but when I was a teen, it was really bad. She intentionally went out of her way to degrade me. She would tell me I wasn't tall enough or smart enough or active enough. [both my sister and her are 2 inches shorter than me] If I had one pimple on my forehead, she would make snide remarks about how "dirty" my skin was. [compared to my sister who spent thousands of dollars curing her back acne] She would also tell me I looked like I dried up anchovy (nice, right?) and tell me to gain a lot of weight b/c I looked bad. My weight was perfectly fine and healthy. I was always happy with it, but then I would try to please her b/c I felt like there was something I was doing wrong. She was SO nice to my sister. And when I a little gained weight, she would call me fat and laughingly tell me to lose it. If I got one B on my report card, she would call me stupid and a failure and act like I gave her so much stress. . She degrades me in front of friends and family members whenever they try to compliment me, telling them I'm actually "lazy" and gossips about our fights and how I have a huge "attitude problem" or if she's realllyyyy nice she'll just ignore what that person said. I thought she was joking at that time. And the thing that REALLY disturbs me above everything else is that she seems like she doesn't like when my dad and I get along. He always takes my side on fights. And I remember talking to my dad outside of the house one day and coming in, I could immediately tell she was eavesdropping on us. And she had a discomforting look on her face.

It's just...I don't get it. I felt bad about myself all the time when I was a teenager, and I had no idea why. I'm now in college and try to avoid my mom as much as possible because I didn't realize how bad it was until I got out and was able to be happy on my own, but now she actually calls me, tells me how much she misses me and when I don't return her phone calls, threatens to visit me. But she still comes to my sister's defense about everything, I see her constantly trying to raise my sister's self-esteem and jumping over hurdles to do everything for her, and still goes out of her way to tell me how much better/prettier/taller/smarter/nicer my sister is compared to me. If not directly, than indirectly. My sister just graduated from college and is jobless/barely makes the effort, yet my mother yells at ME for not getting a summer job fast enough. And something I found really funny a couple days ago is that when I got my financial award letter, I got a ton more scholarships and when my mom told me she actually patted my sister while telling me "good job." It's almost like she wanted to transfer the affection to my sister. And how could I forget, she once told me straight to my face that she didn't like me. That was a big shock at the time, but not anymore. I just don't understand why she loves her so much more than me. I'm not saying love should be conditional or based on accomplishments, but I just don't understand why her behavior is SO different. She's like two different mothers. I know she'll never change, and no matter what I do it won't change the way she treats me, but I just can't let go of the hollow feeling I get whenever I think about it.


  • AngelAngel Posts: 1,061Member
    Okay sorry but I didn't read the whole thing, but it just sounds like a typical family to me. I have a older sister too and when we get into arguments, it always seems like my mom takes sides, especially with her. But, now that I'm more grown up, I realized that I'm just being too paranoid. If I were you, just talk to your mom and tell her how you feel, tell her that you feel neglected and that you feel the way she treats you is a bit harsh.
  • bombb_bombb_ BOMbb_ california, usaPosts: 1,283Member
    edited July 2009
    ah. that..could have been written by me..especially the part about "oh she/you wont like it anyways" when she buys things. haha except im still in high school and my dad doesnt take my side. he isnt home too often.

    but uhh. my mom isnt at the extent of yours, where everything is my fault or everything is against me. but about 90% of the time it is.
    and i's just..even though youre her daughter, it doesnt mean she has to like you..
    'cause my personality, really it conflicts with my mothers, whereas my sisters personality is like almost like my moms, just a bit different. but same enough.

    hmm..idk if of any help to you though..haha.
    but just like vent it out whenever you need to, it's better and for me it helps me deal with my mom.
    and one thing i dont do err try not to do, is tell my mom how i feel about what she does.
    idk..i find it makes her lecture me less. and if i do tell her, like for one day she might treat me differently, but it really doesnt seem to impact her mind.

    (points below) emphasis on "should love."
  • flyxme.flyxme. ???????? Posts: 6,750Member


    QUOTE (bombb_ @ Jul 3 2009, 03:15 PM) »
    and i's just..even though youre her daughter, it doesnt mean she has to like you..

    a mother should love her daughter, its the child she gave birth to...

    my parents are divorced and i live with my dad and stepmom
    and i can kinda understand your feeling
    i dont have much advice, but if i were in your situation
    i would avoid her and continue with life....

  • ny-sw / ny_sw.ny-sw / ny_sw. no more regrets. (: Houston, TEXAS.Posts: 1,894Member
    AH. my little sister is stuck in that situation and I'm stuck in that situation with my dad.
    It's not nearly as extreme as yours - we notice that we're the favorites, but.. they try to not let it show, for the most part.

    I'm sorry that you have to go through that though..
    Just.. yeah, you know what to do already.
    Get closer with your dad if you aren't already - it's nice to have some support.
    "Pain is temporary, but PRIDE is forever EXCLAMATIONPOINT!"
  • j0annuuhj0annuuh CaliforniaPosts: 239Member
    I'm stuck in the same situation as you. Accept, it's my dad that favors my sister more. I understand how you feel. *gives virtual hug* I'm a teenager right now but I'm going through the same things you are. I guess parents favor a certain child more than the other. I think my dad loves my sister more because she was "supposedly" born one month premature, had problems learning how to walk, total daddy's girl, and she looks like him the most. My mom and my other sister is the only one that would stand up for me...sometimes. I just pretend that it's not true and live on with my life because soon I'll move out and won't have to deal with any of these stuff anymore. This taught me how to be independent. Take it as if they're doing it for your own good. xp I do and I'm still living happily. Just bring up the subject with your mom again and tell her that you think you're being treated unfairly. Also, you deserve as much love as your sister. That should give her a guilt stab. lol jk but maybe she would come to her senses?
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  • GaeasXGaeasX LVPosts: 382Member
    edited July 2009
    I know how you feel. My mum is still like that now with my older brother. She bought him a BMW when he was a sophomore in college and I'm a college senior now (without a car) and she gets SO mad if I ask her if I can get a ride somewhere (which is hardly even once a week). I don't have a car because my parents keep buying whatever crap my bro wants (Mac laptop, pays his credit card bills, portable a/c, pays his gas and car insurance and car payments, clothes, etc) and so never has enough money (and I wouldn't want to get a car from them anyway, I'm earning mine).

    Although people will say that mothers SHOULD love their children, it doesn't always work that way. My cousins's mother LOVED her youngest because he looked just like her. She'd take him to Korea everytime she went and buy him all sorts of toys. But my older cousin, she HATED him because he looked like his grandpa. She'd never take him anywhere with her and always verbally abused him. Both kids are her REAL kids from the same father, so there are mothers out there who can dislike their own children for whatever reason.

    The only thing there is to do is to talk to her, your dad, AND your sister about how you feel about how you're treated. Mothers are important to the family so it's best to at least talk individually with them. Since you're in college, you should be regarded as mature enough to have an "adult" conversation with your parents. If your mom denies treating you differently or gets defensive, she's not likely to see what she's doing and all you can hope for is things to get better over time. Don't go over the top and start yelling (it's really hard not to though.....) because it would just make things worse and make your mum think that she's even more right to do whatever. Whenever she mistreats you, you could always remind her who you are by saying, "Love you, Mom" in a calm voice. Maybe if you say it enough, she'll backpedal someday and have a look at how she treats you. And if she doesn't change, don't let that stop you from being the best you. image If you don't believe that there's anything there for you, don't give yourself any illusions. Treat your mom respectfully but keep your expectations of her affections at a reasonable level. It's your life so you should do the things that will make yourself feel happy and accomplished because even if your mother doesn't think you do, you deserve the best. image Although it might not help much, see it this way: even if one person doesn't love you, there are 10 others who love you very much. If you can't find love at home, surround yourself with good friends. It helps the emptiness.
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  • li-meili-mei Posts: 82Member
    I'm in a little bit less extreme situation with my mom and older brother too. But I think my case is based on the fact that we're an Asian family, and my brother is the older child and carries the y-chromosome.

    Either way, I can relate to you on feeling like your older sibling is the favorite child of your mother. I ignored it for the majority of my life, and realized it later in high school. But while I'm in college, I just try to stay away from her. She's just too demanding with me, and so lenient on my brother. There is absolutely no way I can ever talk to her about how I feel, because she'll just say that I'm being ungrateful and selfish.

    I know my mom isn't perfect and even though I do find it to be almost impossible to find peace and be near her for more than 10 minutes, I've just decided to just leave it be. I already know that she's not going to change, she's always going to have that double-standard for me and no matter how much more successful I become compared to my brother, she'll always favor him over me. But if I move out, visit once in a while, and leave before she gets moody, then it's good enough for me.
  • _ATELIER_ATELIER ♥ ♥ ♥ ATELIERPosts: 3,963Member


    my mum thinks i'm fat.

    that's only because my sisters are sticks.
  • MaliceInWonderlandxMaliceInWonderlandx Konoha VillagePosts: 239Member
    QUOTE (_ATELIER @ Jul 3 2009, 10:36 PM) »
    my mum thinks i'm fat.

    that's only because my sisters are sticks.

    me too image
    and strangely, she now thinks i'm too skinny because i lost weight from dieting.

    well... my younger sis gets more slack because she is the younger. if i did something wrong, i would get in trouble... but if she did the same thing, they wouldn't say much to her because they don't want to deal with her fits image

  • lovesicleslovesicles Posts: 2,825Member
    wow. that's absolutely terrible.
    if talking to her about this situation doesn't help, i would write her a letter.
    spill out like you did here.
    and if she denies it or just calls you a name, i don't really understand what your mom's problem is.
    maybe it has to do with her own past experiences?
    who knows. :/

    my parents treat my sister and i differently because of our age.
    she gets off the hook more and is able to do more things than me.
    i guess i was my parent's guinea pig. seeing as i grew up properly, i guess they just let my younger sister do more things. lols.

    but yeah. anywho. uhm.
    it's good that you have support from your dad. (:
    oh hi.
  • pandasRcutepandasRcute =] USAPosts: 311Member
    edited July 2009
    I'm in a similar situation, only my parents treat my sister harsher. They expect more out of her as the older sibling and sometimes blames her when i do something wrong. The tell her that they gave up on her and are always putting her down. Though it also often happens to me, it is to a lesser extent. When I get a bad grade, I get lectured but my parents completely all out yell at my sister and make her feel terrible when she does. I know that it's unfair but neither of us can do anything about it. My parents do however do more for my sister like pay for activities she does. They do love us equally, but are harsher because they want my sister to be a good role model and do well in life, because I admit she does some stupid stuff to Richard Simmons them off.

    What i find to be helpful is to stay on ur mom's good side. try to act like friend with her by complimenting her clothing or her cooking. also, do little things around the house that they may notice. be optimistic toward ur parents and maybe ur good attitude will rub off on them. or if none of these work, stay clear of them since u'll be out of the house soon (i think this is my sister's approach xD)
  • Alias1234everAlias1234ever Cerritos, CaliPosts: 220Member
    I know how you feel. It's opposite for me; my mom favors my younger sister (I'm oldest) because I look and behave alot like my dad (they're divorced) and my sister is a replica of my mom. My mom told me straight to my face once that she wished she never gave birth to me and that I will "turn out exactly like my no-good dad". I know how all the little events add up to the point you can't take it anymore. I always look at other people's families and selfishly wish I had a better one... I'm not sure why your mom is behving that way, but perhaps there's a chance at improving your relationship with her? If it's really important to you, you should make an effort to talk to her about it... never hurts to try! Good luck :]
  • kuroimisakuroimisa Wizard of Darkness SydneyPosts: 942Member
    I'm not surprised and if I were you, I'd try to love myself a bit more since I won't be getting the affection from my mother.

    I have no siblings, but I can tell you that back in high school I knew a pair of twins in the grade above. By twins I really mean they were identical - both girls, both were hard to tell apart. It was easy though because one was more popular than the other - always let her hair down. The other was more studious, conservative, tied her hair up and wore glasses. Their mother has openly expressed in the past that she likes the popular twin more than the other, even though her grades were worse and she was less hard working. She'd take that twin to sales and buy her clothes (I saw them recently, actually, which is why I remembered about them), and always made the other one work and do housework. The reason? That twin knows how to make her happy. In other words, is good at sucking up.

    In this scenario, which can be a little more extreme in yours, we ask ourselves, how can you like one more than the other even though they're the same? It's a strange thought, isn't it?

    There are several elements in this, and if you're Asian, I can't help but think your mother wished you were born a boy or something along those lines (sorry if it sounded a bit insensitive, but I know my parents feel that way about me sometimes). The reason is never clear and I understand the feeling of working hard and getting no credit for it.

    The only advice I can give you is to make your own achievements for YOURSELF and to do things to make YOURSELF happy.
    Mothers can be strange, and in this case, I have a feeling it's just a mindset she has - and she most likely wouldn't have a change of heart any time soon, especially if she explicitly told you she doesn't like you. Perhaps she feels that your older sister resembles her a bit more. But I hope you don't take her to heart and just do things for yourself. It's your life, live it your way.
    But I agree you should talk to her. I'd probably just ask why and she what kind of answers she gives. If I'm not mistaken, the biggest possibility why is because your older sister is better at sucking up, like in the previous example.
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  • jpnoroe3jpnoroe3 Posts: 176Member
    wow.. good luck i'm sure you've gotten 389382 better advice than i could give
    but i'm on your side too!
    i can't believe you're actually happier outside than with family though.. :/
  • mintcrackermintcracker Posts: 7,301Member


    wow that sucks =( my sibling's ALOT younger than me so it's alittle different, parents don't play favourites but dad does ignore me lol =(

    I suggest writing her a letter, and see her reaction? I guess nothing can be helped, it's sad really =(
  • simplicitsimplicit Posts: 117Member
    yeah, i get a bit of that problem too. sometimes i think that my mom's jealous of how my dad favours me sometimes (or used to, at least). cuz i was supposedly the 'daddy's girl', so it seemed like my mom treated me less lovingly(?) than my siblings at times.
  • Genevie-chanGenevie-chan CanadaPosts: 154Member
    There are some reason that came into my head
    1) You're not her real daughter
    2) She KNOWS that your sister isn't as good as you, and think you don't need as much support as your sister. So she tries to make her feel better while degrading you

    Have you ever thought of just confronting her about it? Like just say it all out. And if she totally explodes, just live your own life. You say you're in uni right? You'll still have your dad and you can make your own money and live in your dorm.
    That's not very acceptable as your mother in my opinion. Stand your ground, if she tries to lend one of your stuff to your sister say that you're not going to lend it unless you can borrow your sister's too. If she says you have more, actually physically count it as hard evidence and retort with that. Or things like that. Better yet, sometimes subtly joke around with your sister and go beside her and say 'Omg, you're so short, LOL' playfully, and see how your mom reacts. She can't argue with what she sees, right? Or go like 'Oh, what scholarships did you get again? Oh really, I thought you got more then that! Lol, that's ok.' Subtly self brag, she can't really argue when the facts are there right? And if she says something like 'Your sister is much smarter!' go like, 'Uh really? My marks are better, though.' and just walk off to your room.

    If you're really really wondering if she loves you, make your friend or someone tearfully say 'sob* sob*, I don't know what happened but *name* got into an accident...I don't know....sob*' on the phone and see how your mom reacts. There are parents who act totally hateful, but inside they really love you.

    Though if I were you I would have done the 'You never loved me! *List all her faults here while sobbing*' and run out leaving her stunned already.

    Just believe in your abilities and know that your better for tolerating this maturely. You seem to be a good daughter, it's your mom that needs to learn. But I'm sure she loves you, she just doesn't show it.
  • wowastylewowastyle Austin, TXPosts: 2,956Member


    im in the same situation... only its not too bad anymore. unfortunately, i get compared to my older sister & my younger brother both of which are treated like genius and i'm the pathetic stupid one. I didnt care for my grades back then, since it got to the point where it's like im so dumb, why even try? I know, it should have motivated me to do better... but it didn't. It's hard to bounce back from all of that. I remember being thin in hs & my sister & my mom would be like oh you're getting so fat... and nitpick me about everything. Now, its gotten to the point where I try not to let what they say bug me when it hurts, oh it hurts a lot... but what can I do? In high school, I was treated like the maid... I had to make sure my mom got up for work (she worked the night shift as a nurse), made her lunch & ironed her clothes. I had to do dishes even if I had a major exam to study for and my brother never had to do anything, because "oh he's tired from band practice" or whatever bs my parents would say. There was a point in my life, where I had gotten a job... I worked from about 10am - 9pm... and I'd come home and guess what? No one did dishes. I'd have to do the dishes, and if I didn't do the dishes, I'd get in trouble. Life sucks... but it's just a better motivation to move on with my life and away from them.
  • CandyismylifeCandyismylife Posts: 2New Member


    I really really really know your feelings!!! Even though I am the youngest in the family, I feel like I am treated unlike a mom will treat youngest kids. On my birthday, my mom gave me things that were in the garage and that were old like perfume, and chap stick. She also gave a really small an old ugly tshirt and forty bucks.(why not fifty? Why forty?) On my sisters birthday, she gave her a cd of me and my sisters favorite band!!! It is really ex pensive!! I am filled with tears.
  • Babybug82Babybug82 Posts: 35Member


    I totally feel the same way. My mom treats her children differently. I frankly want to get married and move out of the house.
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