Tag Archives: baby

Is “Middle Child Syndrome” Really a Thing?


As we get closer and closer to meeting our new baby boy, I look at my other two sons and I wonder…

How is the introduction of a new baby brother going to change them? How will the dynamic of our family change?

Only time will tell, I know, but I can’t imagine there will be any drastic changes. When our second came along, he sort of just fit in with what we were already doing. There will be a learning curve of having a new baby in the house, sure, but I think that we’ll adapt to a routine that he sort of just…fits into.

But I wonder how his introduction to our family will change his brothers.

Our oldest will be a few weeks away from turning seven when the baby arrives. He’s gregarious, outspoken, dramatic, and has the most sensitive heart for people.

Our current youngest will be four in June. He’s all mischief. He’s our little “evil genius,” as we call him. He tends toward shyness in public, more so than his brother, but once he’s comfortable, he turns into the class clown.

And both of them are 100% boy. Daredevils who imagine themselves to be superheros or Ninja Turtles all the time.

So when their baby brother comes, how will they change?

I haven’t done a ton of study on birth order, but I do know a little bit. Enough to know that I’m most curious (and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit a little nervous) about my soon-to-be middle child. The one who’s full of mischief.

I wonder if he’ll spend the rest of his years suffering from “middle child syndrome.” According to this article from MSNBC, middle children spend their lives vying for attention and resentful of their siblings and parents.

But I wonder if that has as much to do with parenting style as it does with the actual birth order.

On the flip-side, this article from NPR talks about perks of being a middle child– that the lack of pressure on the child from the parent allows the child to discover their own talents and excel. They can become expert listeners and negotiators and develop keen skills in the business world.

Perhaps middle child syndrome isn’t a real thing at all.

Perhaps it is. Anyone watch this past week’s episode of Downton Abbey? Poor Edith and her horrible case of middle child syndrome. She does seem desperate for attention and resentful of her siblings. She’s also made some pretty poor choices in her life and hasn’t always been the most loving sister…

I’m the oldest child of three in my family. My husband is the oldest child of three in his family.

I suppose I ought to do an unofficial survey of our middle siblings and see what they think.

For now, I’ll leave it to you.

Share with me: What do you think about Middle Child Syndrome? As a parent or a middle child yourself, how does middle child syndrome affect that child, the family, and how can parents be better aware of it?

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Filed under Parenting

Log This Under “Pregnancy–What Not to Say”

We recently announced that the baby we are expecting in March is a baby BOY!! 

And I gotta tell you, we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve named him and are already talking about what his personality might be like, who he is going to look more like, what his interests are going to be… I’m daydreaming about this little man whom we won’t meet for ages, it feels like.

In case you are keeping count, this is baby #3 for us, and our third boy.

As we’ve let our friends and family know, most people have been wonderful– sharing our excitement and offering hearty congratulations and for that, we are most appreciative.

But there has been some weirdness.

It’s because of this weirdness that I want to offer some advice on what NOT to say to a pregnant woman. Especially one who is expecting her third son. (This also applies to any woman expecting her third daughter. Or perhaps tenth.)

What not to say:

“Another boy?”

Yes, another. But I’m not using that word “another” when we talk about our son-to-be. He’s not just another. He’s an individual who has been perfectly designed by a mighty God. He might be our third son, but he’s more than just another.

“Awww, I wish it was a girl.”

Then perhaps, my friend, you should have your own daughter, because we do not wish it was a girl. Would I like to have a daughter? Sure. But God has blessed me with sons and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My first two are so adorable and awesome that I am beyond excited to have son number three. So how about you just say, “Congrats”?

“Are you disappointed?”

Are you kidding me? We prayed for a baby forever. God answered our prayer. How could we be disappointed when God is giving us a miracle?? What in the world is there to be disappointed about?

“Wow. Three boys. Do you think you can do it?”

Do I have a choice? Of course I can do it. I think the first two are pretty incredible and I’m so grateful that God has given me a third boy to attempt to raise into a godly man. The world needs more godly men. I’m up for the challenge.

And my least favorite response we’ve gotten so far… (from several people, believe it or not)

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

Are you serious? Sorry for what? We are THRILLED. See, here’s the thing: God has designed this baby, just as he is, to bless our family as part of HIS perfect plan. Don’t be sorry. Be excited. Be thankful. Be praying for this child as he grows. The only thing you have to be sorry about is not realizing the majesty and miracle that has gone in to creating this beautiful child.

Okay, so whether a woman is having her second, third, or twelfth son (or daughter), please keep in mind what NOT to say so that you don’t end up hurting her feelings, or worse, making yourself look insensitive to her joy.

A simple “congratulations” is always appropriate.

Share with me: Anyone ever say anything weird to you while you (or your wife) were expecting?


Filed under Family

To Find Out or Not to Find Out– That Is the Question

It’s a mere three weeks or so until we get to find out our coming baby’s gender.

I’m super excited, especially because we’ve never found out ahead of time before.

That’s right– both of our boys were surprises.

Most people thought we were crazy– I remember when we told the ultrasound techs and the doctor that we didn’t want to know, they said, “Nobody does that anymore!”

But we did. And it was awesome.

When I was pregnant with my first I waffled a bit between finding out the gender or not, and a woman in the church choir gave me an excellent piece of advice. She said that both of her daughter’s-in-law were expecting at the same time and one found out the gender and one didn’t. The one that found out the gender was showered with clothes. The one that didn’t find out was showered with the practical baby needs she had registered for.

I knew we’d get clothes once the baby was born, but it was the baby “stuff” we desperately needed. So, that helped us in the decision not to find out. And we got a lot of great “stuff” that was a huge help to us.

Of course, everything I bought in preparation for both kids was yellow and green. But that was okay with me. I decorated the nursery in teddy bears, and I have to say, I thought it was precious.

I’m a planner, too, so it’s kind of weird that I was able to be so relaxed about not knowing the gender while I was pregnant.

But there’s something magical about that surprise. It’s one of the few genuine surprises left in life, so I wanted to take advantage of it up until the moment that little one entered the world and the doctor said, “It’s a ….!” Boy, in both cases.

There was nothing more exciting than introducing our little ones to our surprised and excited families.

But this time hubby and I are chomping at the bit to find out if Baby Hale #3 is a boy or a girl as soon as we can.

Is it because there’s a chance we’ll get a daughter? Sure. I think so.

But let me be clear– if God gives us another son, We. are. going. to. be. thrilled!

Boy, girl–it doesn’t matter to us a bit.

This time the planning matters. We have re-arranging of bedrooms to do. We have painting to do. We have some serious planning to do be it boy or girl.

So why do I feel like I’m cheating?

As the day of the ultrasound grows closer, I almost feel like I should just chill out and take advantage of this surprise while I can.

After all, it’s a really, really great surprise!

Share with me: Did you find out the gender of your unborn child(ren) or did you wait? Which do you think is more fun?


Filed under Family, Parenting