I have three amazing children. We’re in the early elementary years of parenting and I absolutely love watching their unique personalities blossom and grow. Their dad and I love and cherish all of them equally but their personalities demand a unique parenting style that is fun and overwhelming at the same time.
We have one “easy” child. I think most of us with multiple kids have one child that just makes parenting a breeze.
The Middle Child
Our middle child, our son, is the one that makes parenting a breeze. Our son doesn’t keep us up at night. Yes, children like this do exist! He keeps us smiling and laughing daily. He just flat out enjoys life no matter what is happening around him.
Maybe you have a child like my son, too.
- A child that runs from drama.
- A child that goes to bed easily and loves to sleep in. For real, they exist.
- A child that strives to be a good sibling and friend.
- A child that eats their vegetables. Yep, that exists too.
- A child that plays with others but is also fine playing alone.
- A child that moves right along academically without much assistance at home.
It’s rewarding, and maybe even magical, to parent a child like this. Here’s the problem.
I find myself worrying that he isn’t receiving enough attention. I fear the classic “middle child syndrome” that everyone has always talked about long before I was even on this earth, let alone a mother. I don’t want to raise a child that feels unseen and starving for attention.
I find myself worrying that he’ll start to act out for attention. That he’ll one day wake up and realize that if his grades slip mom or dad will sit at the kitchen table with him every evening giving him undivided attention.
I find myself worrying that he’ll grow up more quickly than any of my other kids because he doesn’t require my constant attention. I don’t want to wake up to a grown boy that I hardly recognize and miss the beauty of his childhood. I DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!
All of these fears can easily make me start to strive to be a better mom, which usually leads to exhaustion and more guilt. None of my kids need an exhausted mother with a heap of guilt piled on top of her.
The reality is that my son needs a mother that loves him. A mother that worries about whether or not he feels seen and loved just like his siblings. And that is absolutely real.
As parents, it’s easy to allow our fears and worries to guide the way we act towards our children. We overcompensate. We live with guilt-ridden thoughts. We are SO hard on ourselves.
The fact that we give thought to a specific child’s needs and personality is an incredible act of love. In fact, my brain thinks about my middle son and his siblings in equal proportion. While my physical presence may not always be equal, my thoughts and love always are.
So, I take the special moments of one-on-one time with my easy, middle child and make the absolute most out of every single moment. Sometimes it’s about quality and not quantity.
The reality is that he does feel my love in his own, unique way. A way that fits his personality.
The problem with easy, middle children is not the child. It’s us and our crazy fears.