A Letter of Apology To My Middle Child

Dear Curly Mop,

I can recall the exact moment that your fate was sealed. You weren’t even born yet. It was the day of my 19 week scan and your father and I were waiting for our turn. I desperately needed you to be a girl. I suspect he hoped you would be a boy. I remember saying to your daddy I felt sad that this would be the last time we ever saw one of our babies on the ultrasound monitor. He simply said ‘why is this the last time?’

In that exact moment the prospect of a third child became reality, and you became a middle child.

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Two and a half years later, when you were barely two and just beginning to find yourself, you not only became a middle child, but a middle sister. Never the biggest, never the smallest, but always being lumped with one of your sisters as one of either ‘the two big girls’ or ‘the two babies’.

I knew the fraught position you were in, yet was powerless to change it. You were always being told to wait while I fed the baby. Then you were told to hurry up so we could get your oldest sister to preschool on time. You were pushed into bed so I could have a moment’s peace, then woken up again so we could do the afternoon school run.

Now at the age of three you have shown yourself to be independent, strong-willed, imaginative and stubborn. You are also completely immune to any sort of threat or bribe. The prospect of losing dessert or TV or a toy means nothing to you, and as such it can be difficult to control you. The only thing that you seem to want is the one thing I find hardest to give: my complete, undivided attention. Hard because I have three children and a house to run and my writing. Hard because you always want to play imaginary games, but you don’t actually tell me what we’re playing, so I always get it wrong and you tell me off.

Although you will always be surrounded by the blonde bombshells, twins separate by five years, never feel you need to be like your sisters. Never feel you need to be the eldest and never feel you need to be a baby. You are my middle, and just like a ham and salad sandwich, this family would not be complete without the middle. I need you to be yourself, and whatever you are at that point in time is fine with me. I will do my hardest to never compare you with the other girls. I will probably fail, but I promise to do my best.

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I see you trying on different personas, trying to get attention: the naughty girl – baiting your older sister until she hits you in frustration, or deliberately pushing the baby over. I see you trying to be the sweet girl – coming to tell me at all hours of the day and night that you ‘wuv’ me, batting your eyelashes, puckering your mouth. I see you trying to be the baby, refusing to get out of nappies, using a baby voice, copying your baby sister.

Please don’t spend your life trying to be someone you’re not. It’s exhausting. Experience has taught me you should spend your time and energy trying to find out who you are. It is an important lesson: if people really love you, they will accept all of you, and love all of you. If someone says they love you because you are thin or smart or have curly hair, then they don’t really love you. It’s taken me many years to realize that I can be loved despite having flaws.

It’s a liberating realization to be able to relax in your own body and be yourself, and still be loved. You may feel hard done by being the middle, but I believe that in life we are never given any more than we can handle. Don’t look upon it that you are neither the eldest nor the youngest. Instead, see yourself as being both a big sister and a little sister. Your sisters cannot claim such a varied and important role; you will have the protection of your big sister and the opportunity to guide your little sister.

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Some people may claim that the life of a middle is the hardest, always forgotten, overlooked in the drama of the older sibling and the intensity of the baby. But in other regards it could be the easiest; you have someone else to forge the path and fight the battles with your parents, while you have someone else to bring up the rear, and takes the burden of empty-nest concerns. That being said, I do not expect you to coast along. I see the fire within you and know that you will make your own way, despite your place in the middle, or perhaps because of it.

I’ve always said that if money was of no concern, I would ask for two things: Clean sheets and a newly made bed every night (someone else to do the washing, of course) and someone to deliver me beautiful fresh sandwiches every day with a variety of exotic fillings.

Embrace your middle-ness Curly Mop, because every day of your life, you will be surrounded by the fresh sheets of your sisters, protecting you from the world, yet you will also be the exotic filling in our family sandwich, making our life more interesting and exciting.

Perhaps I took those analogies just a little too far, but I hope you understand what I mean.

And now I am hungry.

Thank you for being my daughter Curly Mop. Whatever your place in this family, you are a perfect fit for me, and I will always love you.


Related Post: Yes, You Should Have a Third Child

About the writer

Shannon Meyerkort is a writer, blogger and mother of three girls under seven. Her love of writing isn’t simply because you get to do it sitting down. When she isn't doing the school-run or making vegemite sandwiches, you can probably find her writing at the kitchen table. Follow her blog Relentless or find her on Facebook. You can also buy her book, The Brutal Truth About the Third Child, on Amazon. If you want to know the truth, that is.


Anonymous 2 months ago

As a middle of three sisters, I felt I benefitted from the position because I was given the freedom to be my own person. Benign neglect was my gift.

Pam Stover 2 months ago

I loved this article. I, too, was a middle sister of three. My oldest sister forged the way, my youngest sis brought up the rear. I wasn’t always the forgotten child, but, the one who stayed under the radar when trouble came our way. Both my sisters were strong-welled (I am too), but I decided that ‘towing the line’ was much easier than getting into trouble with my parents. In later years, this type of patience and perseverance has paid off. I’m a happily married lady of 45 yrs to my childhood sweetheart, have two lovely daughters with college degrees with great careers, and three fantastic grandsons. I am a retired first grade teacher, and still sub at my nearby ele. school. I relate my success and content to being raised by great parents and bring the ‘middle sister’!!!!!

winter 9 months ago

I don’t want to be mean but I thought this letter was terrible (I’m an adult middle child). It read like excuses and even disdain for the child for being confused about her position/role in the family. And I’ll assure you – this doesn’t change in adulthood…. I’ve always felt and sensed my mother’s disdain for me and I read yours for your “curly mop”. That’s why your letter brought me to tears.

Cheri 11 months ago

Thanks Mom, I love you too and always did. We lost a lot of years waiting for the rest to let us have time together. :( It never happened but I still love and miss you.

Your oldest daughter and middle child,

Cheri Louise

Yuli 11 months ago

I am a middle child. While growing up it was tough sometimes since I was the one who was supposed to figure out how to adjust to things.. however it made me resilient, well balanced and diplomatic grown up. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Do you know that statistically middle child is the least to need psychology help, because they learn to figure out things on their own early? So, don’t feel sorry for them.. just try to give them love and appreciate the unique skills they will develop in life because of being middle.

Carrie 11 months ago

This is my middle child for sure, and believe me, there are time I feel so heartbroken for her because she is not just the middle child but she is also the middle child with both of her siblings being special needs kids and she is the only “normal” (I hate using that term but don’t know another to use) child. She happens to be the oldest girl in house (meaning not including the step daughter who does not live with us). Her older brother has level 1 CP and her younger sister has level 3 CP and is mentally challenged. Now her, well she is incredibly smart (school wanted her to skip 2 grades smart), independent, strong willed and creative. I know she wants more attention and we try very hard to give her as much 1 on 1 as we can but it is very difficult when you are dealing with the medical and other needs that come with having 2 other kids with special needs. I have ben put on the wait list for respite care for the other 2 kids hoping that it will allow more time to focus on her. There have been many times when she questions why she doesn’t get the same focus that her siblings get, and each time she asks, my heart breaks a little more and I go through the explanation to her about how her siblings are different from her in that they need more help than her and that she is in her own way, my special child because of her independence and her chance at being able to have a better understanding of what life is like living in a family with disabilities than what other people have. I try to remind her all the time that I love her just as much as the others and that even though I may be busy helping the other 2, that I am still thinking of her.

Nicole 11 months ago

I am the middle of 3 girls. My sisters are 2.3 years exactly on either side of me. I can definitely relate to a lot of what you said. Within my family, My older sister was the responsible one, my younger sister was always the cute one who attracted attention without even trying. I was more Tom boy. Loved getting dirty, climbing trees, active in sports, stubborn, independent, and a bit of a hellian

Janice 1 year ago

Thank you so much for this article. As a divorced Mother of 3 boys, I so often worry about the mental well-being and happiness of my children. My middle son, in particular, worries me the most. He’s such a sensitive boy. Today he came home from school with a stomach ache and seemed upset. When I talked with him, he mentioned that a teacher was discussing birth order, and his takeaway was that he was the forgotten child. Needless to say, this thought made me cry so I did the best thing I could and googled forgotten middle child. Luckily, I came across your letter. Hope you don’t mind but I plan on stealing some of this for a letter to my precious middle son. Thank you!!!!

Amy Schanzenbacher Peters 1 year ago

Good to remember for those of us raising middle children. Had tears in my eyes. So true

Erica Hultman 1 year ago

I don’t have a middle child, but my youngest has these same personality traits, maybe she was meant to be a middle child 😉

Barbara Kelley Tillman 1 year ago

I always wanted to be a middle child … in my family, the middle child is their favorite – lol

Kim Trefz 1 year ago

My middle commands the bulk of the attention in my family. Seriously he gets 60%, the other two split the last 40%.

Melissa Combs Kinzer 1 year ago

So true! I have three daughters, and I feel the exact same way about my middle child!

Grace 1 year ago

The first two paragraphs perfectly describe what happened to me in the doctor’s office as well. He said girl, my mom is there saying “good, now you’re done.” And I’m thinking: Doc is wrong, not girl and I am so not done. My middle child is the baby boy so his distinctions were more blurry: technically a middle child, but really the baby boy and the older brother to an annoying baby sister. My husband told me his trials as a middle child (boy-girl-girl-HIM-girl boy) and I vowed his middle child would not have the same tales to tell. All three are in their 20s now and I feel that we managed to recognize and celebrate their own uniqueness. I guess I’ll find out when they each become parents.

Joanna McCawley 1 year ago

Oldest sucks more.

Julie Baker 1 year ago

I’m a middle child, so my favorite is my middle child. Not that I have favorites. LOL

Linda Milisits Paine 1 year ago

It sucks to be the middle child. I always got lost in the shuffle and punished when I rebelled. I’m still referred to as the “black sheep” of the family – a label I’ve worn proudly for years – but not the first 10…

Ciara Fagan 1 year ago

Being the middle child sucks…….

Jessica Hunt Evans 1 year ago

It was

Gina Mattson 1 year ago

I hated being a middle child; my oldest brother always went to sporting events with my dad, and hung out with him all the time, and my little sister got everything she wanted when she wanted (when I had to wait) and was, sorry mom, clearly my mom’s favorite (because she was her last and she had to hold on to her baby)…..I never felt like I fit into my parents lives like they did. That’s why I’m having one more, or staying with one child….I will not create a middle child! …. that being said, curly mop? You may want to change the pet name you gave her; her sisters get to be “bombshells”, and she’s “curly mop”?? You’re going to give her a complex!

BobNat Lee 1 year ago

Being a middle is interesting for sure. This article surely reminds me of my sweet girls- especially my fair, straight-haired beauty sandwiched between dark curly haired twins. There’s never a dull moment with her around! ❤️

Teela King 1 year ago

If only my mother would have seen it that way.

Shari Wippert 1 year ago

My middle daughter is the blonde haired green eyed bombshell between two dark haired dark eyed sisters. She is the funniest little girl I know, she loves frilly clothes and she loves making people laugh! I love singing you are my sunshine to her because she seems to light up any room she goes into and I could never overlook her, even with a spunky older sister and a very cuddly younger sister. :)

Stacy Briggs 1 year ago

This is spot on! I just sent my middle child to kindergarten this year and the guilt of never being able to carve out time just for her makes me ache at times!

Anie Alja 1 year ago

I can relate that…wish my mom could realized that.

Michelle Leifson 1 year ago

I am a middle child and I never felt bad about it. I loved it. I actually have 5 kids so I guess I have 3 middle children. I hope they don’t feel bad about it.

Catherine Owens 1 year ago

I’m a middle child. I hated it at the time but realized I got away with so much because the other two were hellions. I’ve always kinda been a loner :)

Abby Coventry 1 year ago

I feel like my poor eldest is overlooked by the drama from his brother below him !

Melissa De Los Santos 1 year ago

My soon to be middle child was described to the T. And I wouldn’t have her any other way. 😀

Grace Borba 1 year ago

I was the middle of three girls and in a house where my mom was never around to begin with it was rough… It made me a better mom though and is the reason I have 2 kids and not 3.

Terina Schwartz Coffey 1 year ago

Very well said

Lindsey Scribner 1 year ago

This described my Gracelyn so much! She drives me crazy one minute but as soon as she smiles, my heart melts <3

Karen Smith 1 year ago

I am a middle child and I never felt any different than my sisters. We were all loved equally. Don’t apologize, just share your love all the same!

Katie Wylie 1 year ago

As much as I lament about being the middle child, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kristi Cuddy 1 year ago

I tell my middle that he is lucky, he gets to be the big brother and the little brother. He has more roles than his siblings making him a VIP.

Kimberly Demmert Pattison 1 year ago

My curly middle girl has two blonde bombshell sisters too

Inga Collins 1 year ago

I’ve seen so many of these things in my middle child. She struggles to be the most unique kid to stand out. Man I love her <3

Julie 1 year ago

This was a pretty great read. I’m the oldest of 2 and my husband and I stopped at two. 1 girl then 1 boy. I said, before we had kids, I want 2 or 4, not 1 or 3. I wouldn’t want to have an only child and if you have 3 you’d have a middle child. Lol, then I had 1 and 4 was just wayyyyyyyyy to many and honestly kids are freaking expensive!!! So we decided on 2. But if we had just 2 boys or 2 girls, I’d probably want to try for a different gender. I truly believe God gives you what you can handle. And he gave me 2, one girl then one boy.

Kristin Unrein Maiorano 1 year ago

Describes my sweet Emme Loo to a tee. She lights up my world

Donna Hilton 1 year ago

This is exactly how I feel about my dynamo of a middle child – my rainbow princess with curly wild hair <3 her sooooo much :)
(And I’m a middle child myself)

Lisa Orlando-Tucker 1 year ago

This is awesome!

Mel Will 1 year ago

Never going to see one of these…

Glenna Downing DeSouza 1 year ago

Try being the oldest

Bobbie Lawhorn Kirk 1 year ago

I loved being the middle child. I never felt like I suffered at all.

Joe 1 year ago

I only have two children but I can see that I already have a middle child. At 18 months she is stubborn, immune to bribery and certainly full of her very own personality. I love it! Better just get on and have the third I suppose…

Katie 1 year ago

As a middle daughter of three girls – how I wished and idolized our older sister and “failed”… I then decided to follow my own path and become my own person and now as (self proclaimed) black sheep much happier.

Parbleu 1 year ago

How wonderful tht=at you would write from the heart. Perhaps it’s not the words that everyone would like to hear… because you recognize that, being human, you were a bit flawed in your mothering 9who has lessons?) — but you wrote from the heart. As the oldest of 5 I was the one who had to forge ahead, lay the path, warn of obstacles and it was very tiring. I wish i could’ve been a middle child… with all that “laying path stuff” done for me. I didn’t have the extra time to discover who I was, only addded responsibilities in taking care of the four siblings that followed. The expectation for “perfection” from the one that was to “set the example” was too much for me — I left just as soon as I could and made of life a good plac, with time to develop an inquisitve mind. Your “middlet” was lucky to have avoided all that and to have had time to become her own self. being in the middle she may have had more time to do so… I think she was lucky — especially so to have had a mother like you. Flawed and all you’re a person I would love to meet to say “well done, felw traveler”. We who do what we can and marshall on understand that time is a precious commodity. Keep on spreading the love.

Tam 1 year ago

I too have 3 kiddos, and the oldest and the youngest have health problems. I spend a lot of time taking them to doctors, and a lot of time working. The day I realized I HAD to make time for my beautiful, middle, mini me was when I got home from a day with the oldest at the doctor. My perfect, strong, independent, middle child said ‘I wish I was sick so I could have a day with you.’ That killed me! Strength in middle children only grows, it is so important to make sure it grows into loving acceptance, not bitter resentment. Now I have a date with my middle kiddo every time I take one of the others to the doctor, if I don’t have time, I find it.

    Hannah Forsyth Roach 1 year ago

    Thank you for finding time. My daughter, Hadassah is my middle child. She is the one with the medical issues (since she turned 3) now 4.5 years. I had to learn to balance time with the other 2 – oldest and youngest. Because of that, I feel like to some small degree I know how to balance my time with all of my children.

reb 1 year ago

spot on! as a mother and as a mother who recognizes the middle child. I was of sisters. i am a parent of 3 boys. the middle is a tough position. .that was not onlyprofound but beautifully put.so sweet thankyou

Ms. McCroskey 1 year ago

I found one thing the author wrote to be rather disturbing. She said that the middle child wanted the one thing that she found hardest to give – her attention. In mentioning the reasons why this was difficult, the author’s writing was listed. The fact that her writing would take any kind of precedent over giving a child the much needed attention she deserves is extremely alarming to me. You want to know why she’s immune to bribes or threats? It’s because the longer she can keep you trying to find what will work, the longer the focus is on her. Trust me, in the long run she will get your attention one way or another, and you may not like the manner she’s chosen.

As a middle child myself, I was also over looked so that my mother could dote over my youngest sister and attend to the drama that was my older sister. Added to that was a father that was even more needy than those two. She saw that I was independent so she figured it alleviated her from having to deal with me as much as the others. I have a huge amount of resentment towards my mother that I have to work on daily as a result. If she she were to offer me this letter when I was older but not offered the attention I needed, wanted, craved, it would have only been worse. To know that she realized that she could have changed things but maintained the course would be inexcusable.

My advice to you author, would be to erase this entry. Don’t pen hollow words if you have no interest in changing how you engage your middle child or continue to hold her in the same esteem as you do your writing, with your writing taking a slight lead. This is your child and she deserves every bit of attention she is desperately trying to get from you.

I have only one child, by my choice, and it stems from how I was brought up. I didn’t want that for my kid. If he comes to me while I’m working on anything and needs me, I put it down. He needs to know that he’s more important that whatever it is that I’m doing. He’s very patient and secure as a result.

    Amy 1 year ago

    Taking time to write is not selfish. It’s a necessity if you are a writer. You have to make that space to take of yourself, a mother no matter what it is – writing, knitting, wandering the streets. Whatever you have to do to keep yourself sane.

    I’m sure the author give her kids plenty of attention. My children are all close in age and they always wanted more attention. Didn’t matter how much they got, they just wanted ‘more’. Even now, they like to be in the same room with each other and me.

    But the truth is, the kids are going to leave. They have their own lives. We have our lives and we have to cultivate ourselves as people. It sets a good example, too. Mom is important. What mom does counts, it’s not an after-thought to her ‘real’ work of being mom. And learning self-sufficiency is important. Vital.

    The part about not knowing what your supposed to be doing was hilarious to me, btw. We used to call my oldest the Barbie-nazi (not very PC, I know) because she would yell at you if you made Barbie or the others do things the ‘wrong’ way.

    Parenting is hard enough. We need to support each other and realize there are many, many different ways to raise a child or children, and that we will never be ‘perfect’ because there is no such thing. The kids will ALL have bad times, rough patches in live, times where they feel unloved and alone, times when they hate everything including themselves. We can’t protect them from that no matter how much attention we give them.

    So, tl:dr – write, keep writing. Do what you have to to nurture yourself.

Meg 1 year ago

Thank you so much for this. For giving it to your daughter and giving it to the world of mommies to read. I my biological oldest happens to be the middle child among her siblings and step siblings. I hold a lot of guilt for a number of things but mostly for making her a “middle kid”. This letter really puts a fresh, positive spin on it. And highlights something I already knew and as you know as a mother of an odd number of children can be challenging… I need to make the time and effort to make her know that she is special and her place in our family is just as important as each of the others.

Thank you! Your babies are lucky to have a mommy that cares as much as you do!

just me 2 years ago

I’m a middle child, not a big deal to me or my family. Just another mouth to feed! But your obsession with Good Looks (“blonde bombshells”), may have a negative affect on those bombshells. Are you sexualizing them too soon?

PernRider 2 years ago

I need to show this to my middlet when she gets home from school. I know she struggles with that role, and I know that I don’t always make it as easy as I wish I could. Her older sister, as a preteen, is easier to relate to in many ways; plus, because of custody issues, she has always had slightly preferential treatment (she’s half sister, the only child of my first marriage, and lives with her father primarily, due to school). Her little sister … well, she’s the baby, and has always gloried in that role; she’s the quintessential “golden girl”, quite literally, down to the blonde ringlets (now gone, after an ill-conceived and still unexplained hairdressing session in July of 2012). But my middlet … oh, she lives up to her name, pure fire, but with all the stubbornness of those born under the Bull’s sign!

And on the one hand, she’s so fiercely independent that I have to beg her to still hold my hand when we walk, because on those moments we do get solo time (mostly as we rush for a bus so that she can get to her Taekwondo lessons, lessons I insisted that *she* get, just for her very middle-ness), I crave the feeling of her little hand in mine, and knowing that my baby is still my baby, even as I see her shooting up, see her changing into a young woman before my very eyes. And on the other, she sometimes cries at night, because she envisions the future day when she’s finally grown enough to strike out on her own, and she won’t need me anymore, and it terrifies her, the thought of not having me just in the other room for her the minute she needs me.

She’s so dedicated to her sisters that I frequently say that if you offer her a candy or a cookie, she’ll ask for another … just so that she can make sure her sisters also get them. And if she only has one, more often than not, she’ll sacrifice it to her little sister, because she’d rather not see her go without. And I see the little one take advantage of that at times, and then expect it so much that she cries and complains on the rare occasion that “Nene’s not sharing!” I see the bookends gang up on her at times, and she bears it, never fighting back with her hands, even when I *know* her little sister has been getting physical … because she’s her little sister, so she has a duty to protect *her*, in her mind, even when reminded she has a right to defend herself.

I can’t imagine a more perfect her, no matter how frustrating she can be, with dragging out her homework or never cleaning her room, or the neverending battles over brushing her oh-so-long hair (because the length is all that really matters to her, because she’s just not as into her own looks as, say, her little sister). I can’t tell her enough how much I love her, how smart, how funny, how beautiful she is, and in all the ways that matter, not just her face.

This … reading this … it says so much of what I think she will need to hear, carving that place as the middlet in a family of girls.

Danyne 2 years ago

Well, as the middle in 3 girls, that made me tear up a bit. I normally try to avoid middle stereotypes, but that struck a chord. Most stereotypes say we’re forgotten and overlooked, but I realize fought hard to make myself seen and was successful.

But what really got me was the sentence ” Although you will always be surrounded by the blonde bombshells, twins separate by five years, never feel you need to be like your sisters.” I’m 22 and have been struggling for so long watching my sisters be best friends without me and craving that intimate sister-ship, and I’m glad I read this to realize that I’m ok with not needing to be in their circle. Thank you for writing this.

dontblamethekids 2 years ago

Thank you for this. I won’t have a middle, because I am sticking with two, but I am a middle myself. It was so important to me to carve out space that was just mine, that made me something other than just the middle. I found it with horseback riding…I hope your middle finds it with something less expensive! :)

momofeveryone 2 years ago

I cried! My middle is my only girl and this hit home!

Ice scream mama 2 years ago

I’ve got three boys and my middle was a middle even before he was born… strong willed, fiery, needy but strangely independent, sensitive and tough all wrapped in one. i was so focused on not middling him but it made no difference. he is who he is. and he has his own unique strengths and weaknesses that are no better or no worse than his brothers.

Allie Smith 2 years ago

This was beautiful. I have four, but my only girl is in the middle, between her twin older brothers, and the baby. I could relate to so much – but most of all, her need for my “undivided attention.” Oh boy….

Stacy 2 years ago

You describe my middle guy to a T. My oldest was 4 when he was born however my middle guy was just 23months when his baby sister joined us. I stopped nursing him when he was 18mo old and I don’t think he was entirely ready. To make matters worse his sister was born with some unique medical issues drawing attention away from him even more. He is the sweetest most loving child I ever could imagine but cross him and he is the most stubborn, demanding and will cut off his nose to spite his face when he wants what he wants! However people are drawn to him and he makes friends SO easily, everyone wants to be with him.

Emily (OhBoyMom) 2 years ago

I have 3 boys and you just described my middle guy perfectly. I always tell him he has the unique distinction of being both the big and little brother, but the adjectives you used: strong-willed, stubborn, independent, imaginative — that’s ALL him. And yes, what he craves the most is attention from us — we try to give him the one on one time as much as we can, but it’s hard, not just for him, but for all 3.

Debby Lewis 2 years ago

I have a middle one. She is my mini-me. The older one and the younger one seem to be identical molds of each other. But my middle one is strong willed and stubborn just like I was at her age, heck who am I kidding, I still am at this age! I would not trade her for anything in this world and I rest secure in the fact that she is indeed her own person and she knows who she is and while she may not be too sure what she wants to be as of yet, although the list is a mile and a half long, I know that when she finally decides she will be the best that she can be because she is the middle of this insane family!

    Amy 1 year ago

    I could have written the same exact thing. My mini-me is 16. Her sisters are 18 and 14 and much more similar to each other. But it works pretty good now. I think it helps that because of my job that takes me around the world,and a divorce 10 years ago, the don’t always all live together. We have them in different combos. This year, they are all in the same house until the 18 year old moves out next month. But they will be in the same town at least! My middle has said she feels very middle child-ish a lot of the time. I’m the oldest, I’m can’t relate. But she’s the one I can hang with for hours.

Mary 2 years ago

Oh sweetie… RUN to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of “You Can’t Make Me! (But, I Can be Persuaded)”, by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias.

I’ll preface by saying she’s a Christian author, but… She’s very readable and approachable, with a lot of common sense, not all preachy and holier-than-thou or stuffing religion at you every other page. I am not a habitual reader of “Christian” literature for those reasons, but I found her books refreshingly different.

Her books about raising Strong Willed Children, (which, btw, she promotes as a Good Thing!), saved my sanity with my elder, who is most assuredly a SWC.

Best of luck, Mama, especially with celebrating your SWC’s best traits! They can be trying, but those are the kids who are going to run the world one day.

juliasv 2 years ago

Wow. I am a middle sister and wish so badly that I could have heard this from my parents. I wasn’t the pretty one, or the cute one. Never the oldest or the baby. I was the middle one. Or at my best, the “smart” one in a family that physical appearance was the be all and end all.

Cudos and hugs to you for this letter. Your middle one will always treasure it.

I am off to cry now.

    TeaLovingTeen 1 year ago

    I totally agree with you, juliasv.
    I’m the middle one in my family and that’s my title, “the smart one.” Not the pretty one, not the likeable one. No, the “anti-social” weird one, who’d rather read a book than go out. Why? Because I have responsibilities at home, to my parents AND siblings. My older sister is out and about leaving my parents to wring their wrists in worry, and my younger sister cannot be asked to do anything because, “You do it better than me.”
    The middle life isn’t easy, I can admit that.


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