11 Signs You're The Older Sibling, Yes, But Really You're The Second Mom

11 Signs You're The Older Sibling, Yes, But Really You're The Second Mom

You're the second mother they didn't necessarily ask for, but definitely need.
Livia
Livia
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With a three-and-a-half year age gap between my younger brother and I, I often find myself feeling like a second mother to him that he didn't necessarily ask for, but definitely needs. Lucky for him he has two sets of eyes on him, two people always looking out for his best interest, and two people to keep him in line!

You might find these 10 signs to be true if you're the older sibling in your family.

1. You're probably the guinea pig, for better or worse

2. The rules are less strict with your younger sibling(s)

When you were in high school your curfew was 11 p.m., and now all of the sudden because you turned out OK, your younger sibling can stay out past midnight.

3. You had a real life "doll" to play with and boss around when you were younger

4. You beam with pride and joy when your younger sibling accomplishes something

Just like a mother, I am always so proud when my brother accomplishes major milestones

5. You are your younger brother's or sister's protector

Nobody is messing with my Joe Joe!

6. You make fun of each other like no other

Have you met my brother?

Probably the most sarcastic teenager in SouthWest Florida, but will have you peeing your pants laughing.

7. You play middleman between your mom and siblings

Soooo your sibling tells your mom he's going one place, but in reality, you know that's stretching the truth a little bit.

You learn how to dance around that fine line of keeping him safe and being honest with your mother.

8. You lead by example, so you better get it right!

Since your younger sibling was born all eyes have been on you and you have set the stage for your little brother or sister to follow in your footsteps.

You don't want to let them down!

9. Sibling rivalry never dies

So what if you are both almost full-grown adults?

The teasing, bickering, competition between who is the favorite child, and arm wrestling never dies.

10. You get practice in part-time mom duties

11. There is no one else you would have rather grown up with

Cover Image Credit: Livia Chandler

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It's so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it, but suddenly, there right in front of you is everything you ever need."

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You've taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and, more importantly, adventurous.

You don't realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn't see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can't see my life without you in it. It's funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn't know existed.

I don't even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn't have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the yin to my yang, and I don't care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I've learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It's as if I wished up a best friend, and poof — you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn't trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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The Universe Knew I Needed A Little Brother To Make Me Who I Was Meant To Be

Who knew my biggest annoyance would also be my biggest teacher?

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Everyone has a love/hate relationship with their siblings. And if you say that you don't, you're either crazy or you're lying. Growing up, sometimes I asked myself, "Why aren't I an only child?"

My littlest brother has been bugging me since I was 4. He was born, and at the time I'm sure I thought it was the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Then he started talking. And walking. And figuring out how to push my buttons in ways that no human being ever could. (Don't worry little bro, I'll say nicer things about you later, just keep reading.)

My brother and I fought more than any pair of siblings I'd ever met in my childhood. My friends had little brothers but none of them ever seemed as fed up with theirs as I was with mine. There were times when he didn't even have to speak and I'd be furious with him. Everything set us off. As kids, we used to fight each other (physically), even though I was probably triple his weight. I remember a time when he knocked out one of my teeth, and in return, I hit him so hard he had bruises.

Do we sound certifiably insane yet? No? Just wait, it gets better.

We continued this kind of fighting until I was well into my teens. By that time he was growing, and soon he and I were an even match in terms of strength and height. This made our "wrestling" as my mom liked to call it, all the more crazy.

Once it got so heated during a car ride that we both started yelling ways we would kill the other if we had the chance. (This is the part that makes us really sound crazy.) We went back and forth for what felt like an eternity, but the funny part is that by the time we reached our destination, we were laughing so hard we had tears. We were complimenting the other's creativity and trying so hard to outdo each other coming up with the funniest ways to die.

The point of this is not to make everyone think that all we ever did was scream at each other. He's one of my favorite people on Earth, and a lot of my best childhood memories took place with him next to me.

What really helped was when I went off to college. It caught me by surprise how much I missed him. I checked in with him more than I expected, which probably annoyed him, and I found that I missed being in his company. I even missed our fights.

Now that I'm entering adulthood and he's living out his long-awaited teenage years, our fighting is less frequent and less intense.

I reflect back on my childhood growing up with my little brother, and I realized that if I hadn't had him by my side, I wouldn't be the person I am today and I'd lack a lot of the qualities that I love about myself. Part of the reason I'm tough and independent is that I had to be, growing up with him. Fighting with him taught me that I had to be able to hold my own in the world. He taught me the importance of family.

I'm extremely protective of the people I love, because of him. Growing up my little brother relied on me for a lot, whether he liked it or not. Watching out for him was an inherent part of who I was, it still is. But he also taught me that it's okay to lean on other people because I relied on him a lot too.

The older I got, the more I found myself defending him, trying to help others understand why he did some of the things he did. Maybe it's a sibling thing, or maybe it's all the years we spent harassing each other, but I've always been able to know what he means when he can't quite find the words.

I'm a good arguer. I know how to be patient. I'm good at resolving issues between myself and other people. Because those are all skills I had to develop to survive life growing up with him.

I wouldn't change my relationship with my little brother for anything in the world.

He's one of the best people I know. He is someone who may annoy me to no end but also inspires me every single day. The list of things I admire about him is just as long, if not longer, than the list of ways he annoys me. He thinks in ways no one else does, and he's a constant source of entertainment. He has street smarts I wish I had, and a perspective on life that few others can see. He's funny, creative, stubborn, and everything I'd ever want in a sibling.

I used to wonder why I had a little brother. Why I wasn't able to have the only-child life I thought I wanted. I know now, that the universe knew what it was doing all along. The universe knew I would need a constant pain-in-the-butt, in the form of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired psycho, to push me to be who I was meant to me. To show me all the things I needed to be to have the life I was meant to have. The universe brought my brother and me together in the same life, in the same family, because without him I'd be a very, very different human being.

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