Being a middle child can be tough. But it turns out parenting a middle child also comes with its challenges.
Claire Treacy, of the blog Mammysbrightside, has three children ― a 3-year-old son and two daughters, ages 5 and 8.
During a moment of extreme mom guilt, she shared an emotional post about her middle child on Facebook.
Treacy explained that her second child won “player of the week” for her camogie team and even received a little trophy, but the mom missed it because she was in the emergency room with her youngest child.
In that moment, Treacy wrote that she felt like “the worst mother in the entire universe” because not only did she have no idea how or when her son had hurt himself, she missed another important moment for her daughter. Luckily, the toddler was fine, but that made the mom feel even worse for missing her daughter’s trophy moment.
“This happens quite frequently, more than I care to admit. You see child two, well, she’s pretty much perfect. You would think that’s a good thing, I mean it is, it’s just in between her sister’s ever growing list of after school activities, playdates and general stroppy cow syndrome, and her brother’s ability to lose his mind along with copious amounts of shit throughout the day because of such things as: His pasta not being ‘long enough’ or his socks not being ‘short enough’ ― I’m not even joking.”
Meanwhile, her second child is happy-to-lucky and gets the least of the mom’s attention, which leaves Treacy riddled with guilt.
Addressing her second child, she wrote:
“I see you. I see you in the mornings, your big smile as you go with the flow, humming and without complaint completely oblivious to the other two scalds who by 8 a.m. have usually been the cause of me cursing under my breath 465,000 times... I see you never fighting over what’s on the television ― always just happy if their happy,
I see you share every single thing you own without question, I see you always thinking of your brother and sister, no matter what you get you always make sure your not empty handed for them coming home, I see you sometimes get anxious before school or in crowds, I see you breathing with me and taking me in, I see you watch me wipe your tears, I see you then bravely walking in.
I see you worry when your sister once again slams her door, I see you negotiate with your brother when he’s mid shit-losing and crying and kicking on the floor, I see you dance and sing... you actually have no idea of the joy you bring
I see your eyes widen with enthusiasm everyday at dinner when everyone’s talking about their day, you have such an amazing little way. I see you blossom when it’s just me and you, I know it’s not nearly often enough and sometimes it goes long over due. But yes my sweet, sensitive, funny, caring beauty... I see you.”
Treacy’s post received a lot of positive feedback from her followers, and many parents sent her messages to thank her for sharing her thoughts.
She told HuffPost she’s been blown away by the response, particularly from her fellow moms. “It’s the one thing we all have in common ― we beat ourselves up over the littlest of things, but at the end of the day our children are happy and loved. And we are all just finding our way and doing our best,” she said.
“Motherhood comes with no manual. It’s magical and beautiful, but it’s also tough,” she added. “I once read somewhere in relation to motherhood that, ‘If you’re finding it easy, then you’re probably not doing it right.’”
Treacy said that her middle daughter is in an “in-between” stage, while the mom is dealing with a troublesome toddler and busy older sister with lots of after-school activities.
“But she never complains ― she’s always smiling and happy,” the mom said. “And I just wanted her to know that in between all the craziness, I see her. Always.”