Dear sweet middle child,

I know you are stuck in the middle. You are stuck between an older, going-into-first-grade, always-doing-new-and-exciting-things brother and a younger, two-year-old, making-mommy-drink-and-cry brother. And then there’s you. Our 4-year old, kind-hearted, always-trying-to make-everyone-happy middle child.

I know it seems like everything is a bigger deal for your older brother. And you are right; it is. Everything is a big deal with him because Mommy and Daddy don’t know what we are doing. He’s our first, our guinea pig kid, our test run. We didn’t know how to take care of a newborn when he first came home from the hospital. And when he was two, we didn’t know how to properly manage his tantrums or stop him from peeing everywhere. And yeah, last year, when he went off to kindergarten, it was a big deal for all of us, especially Mommy. Because Mommy didn’t know how to let her little boy be away from her from 8 a.m. until 3:40 p.m.

And I know it seems like Mommy devotes much of her time and energy to your younger brother. Trust me, she’s pretty much all done with the whole 2-year-old business (if you couldn’t tell by her self-imposed happy hour lately). But that’s the thing about 2-year-olds. They suck out every last tiny drop of energy, sanity, peace, and quiet that’s anywhere in the house. They take it all.

I’m sorry that you’re stuck in the middle. But guess what? Guess which mommy you’re getting? You get the best mommy. When you start kindergarten, you’ll get the benefit of a veteran kindergarten mommy who will have shaken out a lot of her fears. Your mommy will know what the eff she’s doing on a daily basis (mostly… she still is your mommy, so let’s be realistic). Your mommy probably won’t embarrass you and think of completely inane reasons to email your teacher just to have some sort of contact with you during the day. Your mommy may not ugly-blubber-cry on your first day of kindergarten, but rather, she’ll probably shed one or two normal person tears.

And guess who your younger brother is going to get? While your older brother gets Totally Confused and Scared Mommy, your younger brother gets Half-Assed This is My Third Rodeo Mommy. How much s**t do you think she’s going to volunteer for once he’s in school and she finally has the house to herself again? Do you think she’s going to peruse Pinterest at midnight looking for monster cupcakes for the Halloween party? You get Second Time Around Mommy. She might still venture down Pinterest Lane for birthday party craft ideas. (She might. I didn’t say she will.)

And do you know what? I am stuck in the middle too. I am stuck half way between career-driven and completely committed to the SAHM life. I am stuck between mourning the end of my baby-making days and dreaming of the day you are all in school. I am in the middle, exactly half way between my 20s and 40s, which means I am not young but not old either. I am a little bit wrinkled but can still run a few miles. I am usually exhausted, but I can still party late into the night with your daddy if I drink an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon.

See? I am stuck in the middle with you. You and Second Time Around Mommy. In it together. The middle isn’t so bad after all.

This post was originally published on Sammiches and Psych Meds.

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is a freelance writer who is known on social media as The 21st Century SAHM. She is an assistant editor at Sammiches and Psych Meds, staff writer and social media manager for Scary Mommy, and is the author of I Brushed My Hair Today, A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms. Follow Karen on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram