I gather that it’s pretty common for anyone with two kids to try and keep them as “even” as possible — treats, toys, attention, whatever. With one kid, it’s not an issue, and with much more than two, it becomes somewhere between stupid and impossible to even try.
Mom has tried to keep Chad and I “even” as much as she could, but has always known that you never really can. However, circumstances in the last year or so have made her worry about this considerably more. Mom loves to worry, and obsess, and then talk about worrying and obsessing. To me. Oy vey.
I do my best to listen and help her process and defuse when necessary, but sometimes I get really tired of it, especially the obsessing. Especially when it’s not necessary.
Which is why a while ago I pretty much told her to LET IT GO. She and Dad can’t NOT help one of us if we need it, and the simple facts of who my brother and I are mean that he is always going to need more than I do. Emotionally, organizationally, financially, what have you. Always has, always will. Some of the things that have happened to my brother simply could not happen to me, because of the nature of my personality. And some of the things, I fully admit, fall into “There but for the grace of God…” territory. Right back to the circumstances of our respective conceptions, I’ve been luckier.
As for me, I only have myself to take care of, I make enough money to do so, and I am very, very good at organizing and managing things. (Heh, thanks to my brother my skillz are fucking 1337 in that area now.) Human nature being what it is, the partners I end up with mostly tend to be the same, so much the better. And yes, if anything really bad ever does happen to me, I know my parents will step up as they always have for my brother.
Once I explained this to my mother, along with the fact that I am okay with all that, she mellowed out somewhat. And a bloody good thing, too, because since we had that conversation, my brother has needed (and will continue to need) as much or more support as he ever has, and we’re well past the point where they ever could even us out anymore.
Which is cool. Given the option between being “even” and being able to take care of myself, I know which one I’d pick. And hey, slowly but surely I’m even getting better at giving myself at least some of the same degree of priority I give to the people I end up taking care of. 🙂
Besides that, thank the Baby Jesus for the nie-phew, because said fetus gives us a collective focus for making sure that things are taken care of. Now that my brother is fine, I once again have limits to what I will do for him. The nie-phew? No such limits. And from my parents’ perspective, making sure a baby is well provided for (first grandchild nonetheless…) is an entirely different thing from trying to balance out support for your adult children.