For those who are neither, maybe they have imagined at one point how different their lives would have turned out if they were in either shoes. I’m sure there are others who are comfortable with being in the middle. Less pressure from parents to be the responsible one. Less strict. Not pampered too much. Just comfortable.
Being the oldest sibling is tough, I can say that for a fact. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the parents’ first attempt of raising a child, they can get pretty overprotective and extra critical. Maybe they want their first ‘human project’ to turn out ‘perfect’ so they try to control almost every aspect of the first-born’s life. And this can feel suffocating. But their firm grip begin to loosen a bit with the second and third. And by the time the last born is born, the grip would be virtually non-existent and it kind of falls on the first to ensure the last stays in line.
Could it be the society judges the parenting skills of a couple based on how ‘well-baked’ the first born turns out to be hence the need to be extra strict on him/her? I guess I’ll find out when I get there. From personal experience, being the oldest sibling requires you act a certain way, think, talk and dress the part: the perfect replica of their values. But when the youngest behaves in total contrast to the oldest, all they say is ‘Ah well, you know how this generation is like. No matter how hard you try, they will always go their way.” Really?!
By the time the last born arrives, the parents would have experienced most of the tantrums the kids throw so nothing really surprises them anymore. They are a bit more understanding if he/she sees the world differently and chooses to go another path. The youngest sibling finds more freedom to explore life and doesn’t feel the pressure to be the ‘role model’ to be looked up to. Her life is hers and hers alone to live!
Being born first means you get to experience the earlier stages of your parents’ marriage where they are still adjusting to each other and heads might knock against each other from time to time. You grow as the marriage grows and you witness how things change. The last born comes to just sweeten the pot.
As much as I can’t help but sometimes envy my youngest sister for how easier her life is compared to how mine was, I am glad I popped out first. The experiences I had shaped me into the person I am now and I am proud of my parents for that. And besides if we had swapped places, she would have made my life a living hell. I’m so sure of that. So I’d rather be the oldest.
Are you the first or last sibling or among the middle ones? Would you have wished your position was swapped with another sibling? Or are you okay with your number, why? Kindly share your thoughts.
© Josephine Amoako 2016