Thursday, April 28, 2011

{The Middle}

Being the middle child is rough at times. Dragged to your baby brother's doctor appointments or to your older sister's school and extracurricular functions gets old fast.

Knowing we only wanted 3 kids I knew that Mailee would need that extra effort from us as her parents to make sure she knew that she was important and that she mattered.Lately I've tried to make sure she has play dates scheduled with her own friends. I'm sure she's fine tagging along with Ella's friends but I think having a play date solely for her with a kid her age has been great!Instead of repeating over and over something to the older girls or asking them to listen to her, I have found that when it's her play date her strong and silly personality shines. She's independent and almost a completely different person.

I don't have to play "referee", making sure the older girls include her or don't ignore her. It's fabulous...for her and for me.I realize having play dates isn't a novel idea, but trying to do them more lately for Mailee has been a good reminder that it's something that is needed. Sibling play, or tagging along with older siblings and their friends is nice, but I really see the benefits of play dates just for her.

Every night before I go to bed and review the day I get that sense of needing to improve or do more for one kid or all the kids. It's a constant inner battle I have with feeling adequate enough as a mother for these little human beings that I have been given stewardship over.

I am sure I am not alone in this regard.

Many nights Bret and I discuss and review together what we need to do for one child or as parents in general. We laugh at how we gage how we are doing as parents by two phrases - "This is the best day ever!" and "You're the meanest person ever!". Both phrases let us know we must be doing something right. HA!

Though sometimes these nightly discussions leave me feeling guilty, most times it just gives me a more solid reserve to do better for them. If it means giving up my morning of errands and my own plans I have for the day so Mailee can feel important and have her own special time with friends then I'll do it.


Pattersons said...

friends are so important for that reason-and many others:) and yes, mason & i have those same discussions in bed about how we're doing as's a constant struggle for me especially because i too feel like i'll never measure up to what i should be or what my children deserve. i guess we just do the best we can, work hard, and pray it all turns out!:)

Cristy said...

Seriously! I've been thinking a lot about this lately with Natalie. She often gets the short end of the stick because of her place, and because of her easy going nature. Thanks for the reminder! This job doesn't get easier!!!!