Dear Middle Child: Your Milestones Matter To Us Too

Dear Middle Child,

On the days when you’re sandwiched in between the chaos, that’s when I see you for who you truly are. You were born into the role of the little sister. Then two short years later, you gained the title of big sister. You weren’t the first one to make me a mama and you weren’t the last one. No, you were born in the middle to hold our family together and keep everyone in balance. Without you, our peacekeeper, we’d all fall apart.

Do you know what research says about middle children?

It says that you learn a special skill set that makes you a strong and resilient leader. You are already a master at negotiating with your bossy older sister. Plus, you seamlessly navigate the constant demands of your little brother. You are a true support system for them, full of enough sass and sweetness to keep everyone on their toes.

Dear Middle Child: You Matter Most

But do you know what else research says about middle children? It says you may end up feeling more distanced from us, your parents, than your siblings do. And that, my dear middle child, is one birth order trait I’m determined to not let come true. Just because you weren’t the first to do things doesn’t make your own firsts any less exciting. And just because you won’t be the last one to experience some of life’s bigger moments, it doesn’t make your own firsts any less sentimental.

As your first day of preschool is quickly approaching, I initially had the mindset of “been there, done that!” But after going school supply shopping with you, and seeing the excitement and nervousness in your eyes, I had a stark realization. It dawned on me that YOU haven’t been there or done that yet. Even though your big sister paved the way for you, that road is now yours to explore and navigate. This is a new journey for you, which makes it new for me too. So this is the start of a whole new journey for us together. I’m sure you’ll add a few detours of your own along the way. In fact, I hope you do! I can’t wait to see all of the beautiful views you discover on your own.

Between you and me, you have the best of both worlds by being a younger and older sibling.

You may not know it now, but both of these roles will inevitably teach you and mold you in so many ways! It will be in unique ways that neither your sister nor brother will ever experience. By being tucked in the middle, you’ll experience the fullness of our family longer than either of your siblings. As you all grow, they’ll leave earlier and arrive later than you. From your unique spot in the middle, you’re continually discovering the joys of life in a whole new way. Lucky for us, that means we’re rediscovering them all over again, too!

Your baby book might have more blank pages than your big sister’s book and you might not get as much of my undivided attention as your little brother.

But you are not either of them. You are not any less a big part of my heart and the light of my world simply because of the order in which you were born. I hope you never find yourself questioning your place in our family. You are your own unique, amazing, and wonderful little person. Much like the middle of an Oreo, you’re the best part and our family wouldn’t be the same without you. And that, my sweet middle child, is a title only you can claim.

So as I send you off to your first day of preschool, I know you will be brave, helpful, and kind to others. That’s just the way you are. I also know that I will walk out of school with tears in my eyes. Because this is YOUR first day and the beginning of your school years. And what a big milestone it is!

Never forget, whether it’s something big or small, while you’re in the middle of it all, my marvelous middle child, that you matter, and so does everything you do.

All my love,
Mama
Katie is a born and raised Iowa Hawkeye who moved from a small town to Iowa City to attend college at the University of Iowa. There she met her husband, Jordan, while they were both active leadership members in Dance Marathon. Once they graduated, they got married and planted roots in Cedar Rapids. Together they are raising the trifecta of three little ones: Everly (5), Elsie (3), and Emmett (1). They keep her busy by constantly going from one activity and snack to the next! Katie is a firm believer that leggings are real pants and popcorn with M&Ms is its own food category. When she has a spare minute, she documents her mamahood journey, family activities, DIY crafts, and favorite products over on her personal blog Mama E Plus Three.