Middle Child Syndrome…..does it really exist?

Middle child syndrome. People say it’s just a myth and maybe it is. Maybe it doesn’t exist in every household, but it certainly does in ours!

Meet my middle child….Sienna Lynette Trew!

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When Sienna was born she was everything everyone in our family longed for! After having 3 rowdy boys, my sister who lives in Melbourne had twins – a boy and a girl….finally a granddaughter! But we still had all these boys in Brisbane, but at 11.57am, on the 30th of June, weighing in at a whopping 10 pound 2, our little Sie Sie girl was born and everyone was over the moon that a second little granddaughter was to join our family! She was a beautiful baby:) When I gave birth to her I pulled her out and she was placed on my chest and there she stayed with her eyes wide open, not crying, just looking around and checking out the world and the life she was about to embark on!

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Bailey and Sienna were inseparable from the minute she was born. There is two years and four months between them but that gap has always felt much closer! Their personalities complimented one another for a while there, as Bailey was always so highly strung and Sienna so placid and easy going. Sienna was seriously the best toddler that you could come across and many a times while Bailey was having a moment, I would turn to Sie Sie and her beautiful beaming smile would let me know that everything would be ok….she was my shining light in a moment of darkness!

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I always wanted three children, but when Sienna started having all her ear problems like Bailey and then when she turned 2 life started to become easier, our thoughts suddenly turned to – do we really want to upset the apple cart?? Then unbeknown to us I was actually pregnant at Sienna’s 2nd birthday party! I was never worried about middle child syndrome, it was Sienna the most carefree child, how could she ever be affected by anything?? Didn’t things change….! Sienna and I have always shared a special bond right from the minute she was born and one of the first thoughts I had when I found out I was pregnant, was “Sie Sie won’t be my baby anymore:(!” Being a parent feels like a constant guilt trip and this was one of those moments!

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During my pregnancy, Sienna loved being involved with my growing belly and was always so fascinated by the whole baby thing and never seemed jealous at all! I made sure I included both the kids in everything as I didn’t want them to feel left out! Bailey was verbally disappointed when we found out we were having a girl, but Sienna was happy to be getting a little sister. I was about 35 weeks pregnant when Bailey started prep and this was the day that my quiet, placid, easy going girl disappeared and even though she is still in there and comes out every now and again, her heart from the day her little mate went to school, was left with a hole in it! Then if that wasn’t big enough, a few weeks later she became a big sister to Mia! That’s a lot for a little person to process and deal with! This is where middle child syndrome started to come out in our house!

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In my opinion when you have 3 children middle child syndrome seems somehow unavoidable! I’m very conscious of it and tried everything in my power to eliminate it from happening, but somewhere along the way, when I was dealing with a reflux baby and a tired prep student, Sienna become lost in it all! Everything became all about Bailey starting school and along with that came special performances and fetes, homework and awards….Bailey, Bailey, Bailey! Then of course everything is about the baby because they are the most dependent child in the house….Mia, Mia, Mia! No wonder Sienna would just sit and scream at us if she didn’t get her own way! My placid girl who had never chucked a tantrum before the age of 2 and a half, turned into tantrum city, attitude plus and this affected everything then – including her sleep! It was just a spiral of events for a while there!

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These days my little Sie Sie girl still suffers from middle child syndrome. She idolises her big brother and little sister and tries so hard to impress them both all day! She often gets her heart broken by both of them which breaks my heart to see! And we still deal with some behaviour issues, but in general she is a pretty good girl and has improved since starting preschool at the beginning of the year. I make a point of spending one on one time with her, as out of the three of my children, she has missed out on the one on one time that Bailey had before she was born and Mia will get when Sienna goes to prep next year!

Next year is Sienna’s year! She starts prep and I’m going to let her choose a sport of her choice. She spends all her time supporting her big brother at his school functions and football matches, it will now be her time to shine and shine she will! No matter how being the middle child has affected her, she is still my shining light in a dark moment. When Bailey is having a melt down and I’m cleaning up something of Mia’s for the 100th time, my middle child is always right behind me telling me “I’m being a good girl for you mummy!”…..god bless her cotton socks:)!

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4 thoughts on “Middle Child Syndrome…..does it really exist?

  1. Great post…. Middle child syndrome is very much alive in our house too…. I’m not sure exactly what impact my eldest child’s autism has had on his younger two siblings but I do know that my middle son struggles at times to feel heard. As a middle child myself I understand this and do my best to compensate. I know middle child syndrome is real.

    • It’s so hard isn’t it! My eldest is very much on the spectrum and this impacts hugely on our household! I’m a special Ed teacher and know how hard kids with autism can be so I sympathise with how challenging things are! I relish in the great times and do the best I can in the difficult times! Im grateful that my middle child has a pretty strong personality that will come in handy as she gets older!

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