Stuck In The Middle: Why Being The Middle Child Is Secretly A Blessing
Everyone knows the first child is always the favorite, and the last child automatically becomes the "baby" of the family.
All you have left is the middle child, who has to deal with being the middle child.
For years, I have received multiple gifs and articles about how much it sucks to be the child born in the middle.
Well, this post is for all the middle children out there who have had enough.
Speaking from experience, I'm here to tell you how being the middle child actually prepared me for the real world.
The order my parents chose to have me plays a big role in the way I handle things now that I'm left to face the world alone.
You see, the first child is always the guinea pig.
He or she is the "trial and error" child, and therefore, is used to depending on his or her parents. Parents usually feel bad for how often they messed up with their first kid.
So, they will hold his or her hand throughout life, giving him or her everything he or she doesn't need.
The same logic is applied to the last child, the "baby." This is when parents feel like it's their last chance to do all these things for the first time, so they just end up spoiling the kid.
Growing up, when it was anyone's birthday in the house, my younger brother also got to pick out a gift. I guess it was his "I'm still alive too" gift.
Then there was me, with no special title.
Just the kid in-between the first miracle and the last blessing. So, most of my life, I was overlooked and asked to just deal with things on my own.
Obviously, when you are growing up, that kind of sucks.
But now, looking back, it definitely was a blessing.
I was forced to be independent at a young age. My mom was too concerned with making sure my younger brother was signed up for every sport and my older sister got her dream car.
So, I was left to deal with life (homework and cartoons) by myself.
Having no one to fall back on and never truly getting any extra benefits prepared me to better understand how the world works.
The first time I had to pull an all-nighter and was bombarded with stress, I did not call my parents crying. Instead, I put on my big-girl pants and handled the situation like I did the time my goldfish died.
I'm not saying being a middle child prepares you for a life of disappointment. I believe it allows you to be realistic about life.
I'm such an optimist, but when life throws curveballs at me, I do not run home like my older sister does.
I have been conditioned to understand I need to work hard for everything I want in life.
This simple idea is hard for many people to understand. Many first and last borns are so used to having everything handed over to them that their world is destroyed the first time it isn't.
For us middle children, we welcome the challenge and understand hard work is not only a necessity, but a requirement.
Nothing comes easy to the middle child, and that creates a middle adult with tough skin.
It creates skin tough enough to deal with the challenges of being out on your own for the first time.
My "middle-ism" has allowed me to enter the real world, post-college, with the understanding that everything I achieve is a reflection of my hard work.
This is something my younger brother is still trying to process. He does not understand that when you are 23 and on your own, mom and dad can't be there at every interview cheering you on.
They can't hold your hand and lead you to your dream house and dream career.
They can probably still send you "I'm still alive too" gifts, but that is not going to help this time.
The protected bubble the first and last child live in will eventually pop, and that is when they'll begin to live in the world the middle child grew up in.
So, I ask you this: Who is really winning now?