Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?

I learned as a little girl that there is always someone better than you...my older sis was better at helping mom, my younger bro was better at helping dad, friends had better clothes and toys, and others always acted and reacted in a way more pleasing than myself. My childhood was always compared to my older -more perfect- big sis...in every setting. We grew up in a very small town, so every teacher or coach I had already had my big sis. Good or bad, we were always compared. In our family, she picked, teased and tormented, but I would get in trouble for losing my temper or lashing out while she would walk off giggling and delighting in her victory. Since she was always participating and competing in activities before any of us, she was put on a pedestal of greatness by both my immediate and extended family members. All milestones were already achieved and surpassed by the time I reached them. I learned at a young age that I would have to work harder to get noticed, be quieter because other stories were more important, and that being the middle child lacked pizazz, excitement or uniqueness.

Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?

Everyone's teenage years are filled with excitements and disappointments, goals achieved, mistakes made, roller-coaster emotions, first loves and heartaches, dances, slumber parties, bad hair-do's and acne. I was a brainy-nerd yet also a successful athlete...which saved me from "geek" status, most of the time. Growing up in someone's shadow causes an unnatural, guttural desire to be...the...best. Whatever I did, I did with passion, commitment, and focus. I wanted the highest scores in the classroom and in every sport I played. I beat my big sis off the 1600 meter relay team, but couldn't be excited about it because it would hurt her feelings. Although, she was allowed to make snide comments with her friends at school and at home, refuse to talk to or even be civil to me, and not cheer for me when I raced. I was an honor student and received academic scholarships, a top athlete, and a scholarshiped runner for my college track team. But all of that was out shined by big sis's trouble, teenage/college rebellion, and "issues". My goal became "never dissapoint".
Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?

I got pregnant in college-before we were married-with my one and only true love. Together, we have a beautiful family, an amazing home, and a wonderful life. However, I am pretty reserved, very untrusting of others, and don't have many close girl-friends. I pour myself into my home and family...worried that another mother, another wife is doing "it" better than me...always worried that someone is judging how I'm mothering, housekeeping, meal-planning, wife-ing. I am told constantly how good of a mother big-sis is to her only child...never being able to remember a time when I received such a compliment from family. However, when any of my children lose their temper...it's discussed and pointed out; when they are deemed too loud or wild at Grandma's house...they are ridiculed; when they were unnecessarily snapped at this summer....I was told that it was ok. They suffer the fate of being born to the "middle child"...lacking pizazz, excitement, or uniqueness...sandwiched in the center where the shadows are big, dark, and tough to shine through.

6 comments:

Bernadette said...

From one middle child mom to another, you hit the nail on the head.

Vic said...

I rarely think of myself as the middle child because my older sister lacks the role she's supposed to carry out....but after reading this....your so on my level as far as being about ur family and home....i don't trust well either. But I think as much as I've grown, i don't ever think about whether someone is doing a better job than me or not...or if i fit their standards....and you def. shouldn't either:) ur awesome!

Emma B. said...

I'm your newest follower from the Baby Bottom Blog Hop!

Hope you can follow me back at Cheapskate4Life!

Vic said...

Get ur kid linked up. we've got the voting page started so just whip up a quick post about your cute kid....more details on the contest page:) hope to see the cutie:)

and yes....people should be more sensitive when saying things to these kids....gesssshhh:)

Rachel said...

Thanks for the thoughts and comments. I was just thinking about your blog today and actually got the little ones to bed "early" tonight so that I could stop by.
I have been thinking about this same thing in a way...not the middle child shadow but this make- believe competition that started when I became a mom.
Hope you have a wonderful week! :)

blueviolet said...

It's so sad that you still have to feel this way after all these years.

I am the oldest of the four youngest so technically I was middle, but I think I was treated more like an oldest.