Like a true middle child, I did not find out that August 12th is National Middle Child Day until August 13th. This is not the first time, nor the last, I will find myself late to the party, realizing something that everyone else has known for days. Being the last one to find out about something is not a new experience for me.
You fellow middle kids out there know exactly what I am talking about, am I right? In my opinion, middle children have an unspoken mutual understanding with one another, whether or not the person is the only middle child, or somewhere in the middle of ten siblings. There are some particular experiences that are universal to middles, that the first born and last born don’t understand in the quite the same way. I could talk about all the less-than-ideal parts about being a middle child. I could talk about finding out significant family information days after everyone else, or how the first born can do no wrong even when they actually do wrong, because they are the first and had no one to model themselves after. I could talk about how the baby is the special one because they are the last and parents always feel more sad when their baby grows up. I could talk about being ignored, or feeling like you can never live up to the oldest sibling, or having to learn to take care of things for yourself the way the baby of the family never does. I could talk about how everyone assumes that you don’t need help, or how you will always be known as so-an-so’s sister or brother, instead of just yourself. I could, but I won’t. Because I am so not bitter.
I am hoping right about now that I am coming off as funny and a little sarcastic, and not actually bitter. In reality, I am actually not bitter most of the time. I have always loved my siblings and have pretty good relationships with them, but no matter how wonderful your childhood is, the effects of birth order are inevitable. So that is why I am going to list some of the things that make being a middle child AWESOME.
1. Most of the time you got to fly under the radar, because a lot of attention was going to your older or younger sibling(s). You got some privacy, some freedom, and some time out of the spotlight.
2. Because you flew under the radar, you learned how to be independent and resourceful. Those skills you learned as a middle child growing up would prove to serve you at the work place, in relationships, and in difficult and unfamiliar situations. Your super power is adaptability.
3. You probably have a good sense of your particular family dynamics and individual roles, but you also learned how to develop a good sense of the dynamics and roles of your friend groups, your coworkers, and out in society.
4. With all that experience understanding the different roles and dynamics of your family, you probably are pretty observant and empathetic. Middles are good mediators, not only because they are good at understanding people, but also because they dislike conflict and confrontation for the most part. Keep the peace!
5. I think that a lot of middle children end up being extremely creative types, or great thinkers, or the kind of people who think about problems and ideas a little differently than the average person. Middles are often misunderstood, but that’s because people don’t take the time to understand. Middles have awesome and valuable ideas, if you will hear them out and try to follow their creative and unique logic.
If you are a middle, hopefully you can relate. Also, I get you.
If you are not a middle, take my advice: don’t ever make the mistake of underestimating a middle child. Pay attention and you might be surprised. We are quiet but mighty!
Also, I will just leave this here:
Are you a middle child? Or are you an older or a younger sibling who now realizes they should probably offer their middle sibling an apology? (Just kidding! Kind of…) Message us in the comments, on Facebook, or by email!