Life of a Middle Child and the Middle Child Syndrome.
What’s the one thing Princess Diana and I have in common, you ask? If the title already didn’t give it away. Apart from the obvious good looks and charm, we both are Middle Children.
Although, I must confess that in course of writing this article and doing research, I found her But somewhere deep down, I always felt a connection with her. I could always empathise with her. She is probably the most relatable celebrity middle child.
Then there are the lesser known, more common one’s. ME. And I am sure many of you.
One can clearly assess from Princess Diana’s life graph what it had done to her. Famously neglected, unloved and detached. She passed her life seeking the one thing she always longed for – Love.
Don’t worry, my life is nowhere as tragic and melancholic as hers. I just suffer from the MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME. Yes, it is an actual term. Many middle children go through this syndrome. It often happens that their existence is overshadowed by their other siblings. And many become introverted and quiet, often developing many behavioural issues. But the good thing is, it doesn’t last.
Read through to know more.
Also, a minute’s silence for those still suffering.
The middle child is probably the most underrated and under loved of all the kids. The first child always gets all the love and attention(for obvious reasons), its your parents first baby, their first born, their first love, their entrance into the bliss of parenthood.
The youngest child is again the eye candy(wait till it turns Sour Candy), its a reminder to the parents that THIS IS IT. Their joy of being a parent ends with this one so naturally showers of love are more that way.
And then there is this special category, the often ignored, often forgotten, rarely talked about – the MIDDLE child. If you are one, you will understand the pain in the previous sentence.
Everything that comes their way is usually shared or rejected from the older one. Not to blame anyone, when they are born there is already a kid in the house and parents have to divide their love and attention between both.
If you are lucky like me, you’ll get a few years to play the youngest child card and get away with a lot of shit before the next one arrives.
Seven years to be precise and then comes the third one. The apple of their eyes, the child they were waiting for, the heir apparent.
This one instantly grabs everyone’s attention including mine to be honest. It took me a few days to decipher where did this new creature suddenly appear from. I had withdrawal issues at first. I was no longer the youngest child and neither was I allowed to sleep next to my mother. I got a bad case of diarrhoea, cold and whatnot. A bout of tantrums later, I was back to normal again.
Getting used to all these new equations in life was tough but I did end up learning them all. And in between all this learning and unlearning, you grow and mature beyond your age.
While the others run to their mom for every little thing, you try to resolve it yourself until you can’t. (don’t oversell it, you are just a child). Problem solving is inbuilt though.
As a middle child, you always look upto your older sibling for guidance and protection. And as an older sibling yourself, you become that guide to the younger one.
As far as expectations go, no one has much from you anyway. So chill. You are not the hardworking, overachieving, ideal first born nor are you the extroverted, outspoken, confident youngest one.
So take that leverage and decide what you want in life. Go with the flow(until life happens and you end up taking science and then engineering and then a corporate job).
And since you are not the older ideal child, rebellion is your second nature. You will tread murky waters and fall into a lot of holes. Absolutely your fault. And you will learn to get out of it too all by yourself(or sometimes with some help).
Friends become family to you. You value your friendships more than you value your family sometimes. And if you are lucky enough, those friends turn into family over the years. They play an important role in shaping and guiding you.
All those years of “being your own boss” teaches you about independence; independence of thoughts, beliefs, mindset and value system. You detest societal norms, you are not a rule follower. You make your own path.
Middle children are known to be more independent, rebellious, impulsive but they are also the peacemakers, more empathetic and open-minded. I guess it comes with the territory.
As I mentioned, I googled famous celebrity middle children(yes, I did) and I found Princess Diana, one of my favourites since childhood. Deemed as the Black Sheep of the family, she found her way through all that conflict and chaos to the hearts of millions of people. And she is still one of the most loved Royals, I adore her personally and having seen all the possible movies and documentaries about her, I can vouch for that love surely.
The only commonality between both of us is that we are the Middle children who fought our way through life and the same is the biggest difference, she died seeking the love and affection she longed for but I found mine which did include some fighting though. Guess, I am the black sheep of my family too.
P.S – No regrets yet.
Here are a few famous celebrities to make you feel good about yourself and re-instill hope.
1. Warren Buffet – No better way to start a list eh! Now who doesn’t know Warren Buffet, the entrepreneur, business guru, philanthropist. He has two sisters and he is the middle child.
2. Bill gates – He needs no introduction. Founder and former CEO of Microsoft, he is the second child among 3 siblings. Both sisters again.
3. Mark Zuckerberg – The guy who invented Social Media, quite literally. He is the only brother to three sisters, one older and two younger than him.
Huge shoutout to all the Middle children out there who have made it through life successfully.