11 Reasons Middle Kids Make Better Adults, In Celebration Of National Middle Child Day
For everyone who is hung up on the idea of "adulting," consider this: Millennials are redefining what it means to be an adult. The standard for what made someone an "adult" ten or twenty years ago is completely different from what it is now. We live in a universe where magic fairies in our phones pay the electric bill for us at the touch of a button, where we are close enough to Netflix to make it a bridesmaid at our weddings, where we emerged awkward and bullheaded butterflies into a world where there were no jobs to anticipate us. If I had typed out that sentence in 2005, nobody would even know half of what I was saying. We're past old school "adulthood," y'all, because adulthood is what we make of it — and in this new landscape of what it means to "adult," I feel pretty confident in say that middle kids are the best at it.
You're probably wondering why I'm rubbing this in your face, non-middle kids, and that's fair. But it's National Middle Child Day today, and you're just going to have to take it. This is a day for the kids who were almost left at Arby's on road trips, a day for the kids who perpetually sat in the b*tch seat of the van, the kids whose names growing up were "(First kid's name), I mean (other kid's name), I mean (dog's name), I MEAN (YOUR NAME)!" So let us have this ONE THING, OK? Without any further ado, all the reasons why middle kids rock adulthood so hard that adulthood never saw us coming:
We Adjusted Easily To The New Definition Of "Adult"
Or, at the very least, we adjusted more easily than the older/younger/only child set. Being a middle child means you're constantly going with the flow, whether the flow is your older sister's tuba concert on your birthday or your little brother's blowout diaper in the middle of I-66. So yeah — the times are definitely a changin'. Things that "made someone an adult" in the old days are defunct and non-points now, and while our whole generation is floundering in a beautiful way together, it's the middle kids who are coming to terms with it the fastest, IMHO.
We Are Self Advocates In All Things
Low self-esteem? Ain't no middle kids got time for that. If you wanted something as a kid, whether it was more space, more attention, or the credit for something you did, you said it loud and proud. Was it obnoxious as a kid? Probably. Did it get the job done? You bet your middle kid ass it did. While other people might second guess themselves asking for a raise or standing up for themselves in an argument, middle kids are not here for that brand of self-doubt.
We Are Extremely Patient About Getting What We Want
We live in a climate where you are lucky to get a job after graduation, let alone ~the~ job of your dreams. But middle kids rarely got what they wanted the first time around. They learned to be patient waiting for someone else to finish with that toy, they learned to compromise when someone else got what they wanted first, and they also learned that in this patience that they could trust the universe to get them wherever they needed to be. Back then it was a grab at the Polly Pocket treehouse set, but now it's the big, scary looming thing called our whole lives. But that patience in the short run paid off into patience in the long run, and we're not intimidated by having to wait.
We Don't Even Need Sleep To Be Bosses At Life
Middle kids were the perpetual bedroom sharers, the ones who slept on the floor in hotel rooms, the ones who got wedged between the snoring kids on road trips. You best BELIEVE we didn't get as much sleep as everyone else growing up (I have some very distinct memories of one sister waking up in the middle of the night and vomiting into my hair), but in adulthood, this became an invaluable life skill. We're killin' it 24/7/365, and have time for Netflix to spare.
We Remember All The Tiny Details Other People Forget
Nobody score keeps quite like a middle kid — because he got that and she got the other thing, so obviously we should be allowed to watch a PG-13 movie just this ONCE, dad. But in adulthood this extreme attention to detail manifests in other, less annoying ways. We remember all the birthdays, the name of that bar with the killer tater tots, what you were wearing that one day you ran into [insert B-level celebrity here]. We were paying attention in that meeting you were super hungover in, and we are Here For You and whatever you did at Leila's housewarming party last night. We are basically human encyclopedias of miscellaneous knowledge, and we are plenty happy to share.
We Know How To ~Feel The Room~
In true survival of the fittest fashion, middle kids learn one thing right off the bat, and that is keeping the peace. The moment the next youngest kid came out of the womb, a middle kid was also born; and that middle kid was #blessed with the ability to figure out which family members were on their last nerve at all times. As grown ups it basically means we can walk into any kind of weirdness and figure out some approximation of what's going on in five seconds — and lend an empathetic ear when people need it most.
We Never Back Down From A Challenge
Middle kids have the unique situation of trying to live up to an older sibling's reputation while also having a little sibling nipping at their heels. And when that wasn't happening, we were constantly pushing ourselves to outshine the oh-so-perfect older kids and the oh-so-adorable bb ones by doing whatever tricks we had up our sleeves. This pretty much prepared us for anything life could throw at us — "failure" has always been a synonym for "opportunity" for us middle kids. If at first we don't succeed, we try, try (and get some damn attention for it, #thankyouverymuch) again.
We Don't Put Unnecessary Pressure On Relationships
Middle kids are the fastest to accept the old truth: People don't change. Rather than resent humanity for it, though, middle kids are the ones who accept people for their flaws, and learn how to love them for it. How else would they have survived sandwiched between all their weird sibs? We are natural compromise makers, and because of that, we are able to understand and empathize with a whole beautiful range of human beings, both in friendships and romantic relationships.
We Prioritize Like Champions
I haven't lived with all four of my siblings in years, and I can still shower, get dressed, and brush my teeth in less than six minutes. When you're semi-sharing a much larger portion of what your domain than an older or younger sibling would, you learn a thing or two (read: eight zillion) about time management. And that kind of eagle focus serves all middle kids well in adulthood, because we get sh*t done.
We Are Not Afraid To Fail
We are motivated by two things: one is that we saw our older siblings try and fail before we took a shot at it, and we know from watching them not to spread ourselves too thin or chase after things that won't make us happy. The other is that we want to set an example for our younger siblings so that by the time all the trying and failing applies to them, they know that failing doesn't have to be some knock-down, drag-out, end-all situation. And when you're a middle kid, you have the advantage of getting your ego picked up by siblings on either side of this rainbow any time you fall flat on your face. Nobody is more prepared to fail than a middle kid, or luckier to have such an awesome support system to help pick themselves back up.
We Have Literally No Shame At All
I mean ... for every awkward stage we weren't going through, someone in the family was. And it's not like middle kids were ever in a position to be like, "Nah, I don't feel like going in on this colossally embarrassing family outing, catch ya later." So middle kids vicariously lived through everyone's embarrassments and slowly became totally numb to the concept of shame — meaning in adulthood, we were always the first to seize opportunities, face our fears, and disregard what the rest of the world thought of us. We live our best lives, one potentially awkward, incredibly worthwhile experience at a time.
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