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As a middle child, I gave up my favorite things for my siblings

As a middle child, I gave up my favorite things for my siblings

I never thought I’d have a problem with me being in this position among the siblings. The middle child, the only girl, and the eldest daughter in our family. Even in the extended ones. Middle child syndrome tends to make the middle sibling be excluded and neglected. That’s probably the case for me.

As the unfavored one, I had to give way to my brothers. Being the only girl, I can’t afford to have a bad impression from others because of my gender. And, as the eldest daughter, I have to be an example to our youngest. I got the attention, just different from my siblings.

My siblings are better than me. It’s okay, right?

It wasn’t a big sacrifice. I don’t want to view it that way. But, I just realized how I stopped many things for my siblings.

Sports

I considered myself sporty just because I enjoy outdoor activities. In particular, I found fun in swimming and basketball. I enrolled myself in swimming as my extracurricular subject and played basketball with most of my friends.

I enjoyed it and fell in love with it. Until I bragged to my parents about it. They weren’t against it nor were they supportive of it. It’s just that my brother is better than me at it. So, when I bring it up, my brother would always shine nevertheless.

It’s fine. As long as I enjoy it, right? It doesn’t matter if I won 3-point shootouts, my brother won trophies. He’s the eldest after all. I just stopped telling them about it. Then, I stopped it completely. I should be studying well.

It’s okay. I’ll make them proud with my studies, right?

Dancing

Dancing has been something to me, too. My mom performs and teaches dance during her college days. Not that I wanted to be like her, but I was passionate about it. I know I was. I once got home after a dance competition at school.

My group was a champion at that. I wanted to brag to them about it. But, I guess my eldest brother dances better. I would hear, “Nagsasayaw dati yan si kuya mo sa mga birthday.” I never heard them brag about me teaching dances or dancing in general before, though.

It’s okay. I can dance in my room, right?

Writing

Although I took journalism, I don’t think my parents know I write poetries. I don’t plan on telling them. Why? My brother utilizes words in his raps well more than I can use them in my poems about love.  

It’s okay. I can be a closeted writer, right?

Being playful

I didn’t realize this until recently. I had to stop being too reckless and playful. They would always say that a middle child can be reckless because they can get away with everything. Because parents don’t pay them enough attention. I guess it’s different with me. They would give remarks about things I do. The clothes I wear, my actions, and what I should or should be, given as an only girl, I guess.

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It’s okay. It’s for me to mature, right?

School

I had to be the one to switch schools in favor of my brothers. I was set to study in Mater Ecclesiae School until I graduate high school. My older brother requested to study at a different school just so he can be a varsity. They supported him. I had to leave my friends in my previous school. It was okay. I coped well in my new school. I was doing so well until my younger brother chose to study in Mater because of his friends. Of course, I had to accompany him. So, again, I had to give up what me and my friends newfound friends have and start at the new school.

It’s okay, I can start again, right?  

My friends from Jesus the Risen Savior School wear their green uniforms while I wear the blue uniform from Mater Ecclesiae School. I rarely get to hang out with them due to the conflict of schedules. Regardless, it was always a good day when I’m with them.

Middle Child Syndrome While Being The Eldest Daughter

“You should have better grades. Your brother is like that because he’s a guy.”
“Be an example to your youngest. You can’t expect the eldest to be the example.”
“You’re a girl. You should do this”
You should be doing that”

It’s frustrating. Tiring. They have expectations. But, at the same time, don’t pay attention. I think I can relate to the middle child syndrome. While my mother favors the youngest, my father favors the oldest. The middle one is just expected to… just be there. I had to master “It’s okay” until I can convince myself that it is okay.  

The thing is, I know that parents tend to do this without realizing they’re doing it. They want to have fair treatment no matter what. But favoritism will always be evident to those that aren’t the favorite. I guess that’s what middle children are feeling.

But, hey, you could always choose for yourself. Be reckless, playful, and sporty as much as you like. You can be your own favorite, too. My siblings, I do love them. But sometimes, I wish I could have what they have too. I just hope that I’d have a name too other than the sister of my brothers.

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