Being an older sibling

The Blessing And The Curse Of Being So Much Older Than Your Siblings

I love my brothers and sister, but I'd be lying if I said sometimes I wish I could have been an only child.

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When I was seven years old, a baby boy and a baby girl were both brought into my life. And this same instance happened again when I was eleven years old, except this time it was two more boys. I considered myself truly blessed to have so many adorable and fun little kids running around and looking up to their big sister.

It wasn't until I found myself changing diapers and cutting everything on their dinner plate into micro bite-size pieces that I realized that this was just the beginning. I would be caring for and helping my parents with these kids for the rest of my life just about. And that is where the curse of being such an older sister came in.

I quickly turned into the live-in babysitter. Everywhere I went or turned, there my brother or sister would be. It was like I couldn't get away from these little monsters. There came a point I would cancel my own plans just to babysit. I loved being around them and spending time with them, but they were just about taking over my personal life. I always wondered if my parents waited so long to have more kids so that I would be able to babysit for them all the time.

I learned that everything I said or did was being watched and analyzed very closely by all of them. I became a role model by the age of eight - remind you I was still sneaking juice boxes to bed at this age. I tried to be the best I could be for them, I kept a tidy room, ate all of the food on my plate and never talked back to my parents, or at least tried not to. I felt they forced me to mature early.

I practiced being a mini mom for years. I learned everything I could about caring for a baby in the time that I had with my siblings. I know how to change a diaper at insane human speed and how to make a full three-course meal all while having a child on my hip. I loved learning and getting comfortable with my siblings. It made me more comfortable later on accepting babysitting jobs from people I didn't even know. I have experience and I will forever carry that with me because of my younger siblings.

Being so much older meant I obviously got my license first, which now meant I was promoted from babysitter to taxi driver. Driving them to and from practice and violin lessons or to go visit mom at work, my work as their chauffeur has yet to cease.

The huge gap between our ages was hard to deal with sometimes, but if it really came down to it, I wouldn't want it any other way. I like being a big sister to four crazy kids. It will always be a little bit of a curse, but an even bigger blessing.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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10 Father's Day Quotes To Share With Your Dad

"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad."
— Anne Geddes
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Fathers are peculiar figures in our lives. They lack the frantic affection of mothers, yet display a certain tenderness of their own toward their children. They've done some crazy stunts of their own, yet fuss over their kids' tiniest mishaps. They're there for the ride of child-rearing no shorter than mothers, and yet their emotional experience isn't exactly the same.

Fathers are our parents, teachers, and providers. It only seems right to take a day out of each year to honor all that they do for us. And so in the spirit of the holiday, I've listed ten Father's Day quotes below for you to share with your own dads.

“The power of a dad in a child’s life is unmatched.” —Justin Ricklefs

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It's true: a father's emotional presence in his relationship with his children can make all the difference in how the child turns out as an adult, for better or worse. A dad receives his parenting "report card," so to say, once the child reaches adulthood and either chooses to continue visiting home or stay away.

However, for a large portion of a child's youth, a dad has most of the power over his relationship with his children. The development of the relationship is entirely dependent on how he chooses to treat his children.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” —William Shakespeare

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You can't deny this one, either. Most good fathers know their children better than they know themselves. My own dad frequently knows what I'm feeling before I do. The best fathers are tuned in to their children's emotions, and they certainly try their best to help you when problems arise.

“A father’s smile has been known to light up a child’s entire day.” —Susan Gale

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Remember way back when the most exciting part of your day was when your dad came home from work? It's a magical feeling to reflect on those days and recall that the simplest things our fathers do can bring smiles to our faces. It's healthy to retain a bit of that childlike wonder as an adult, and we can't ever forget that.

“Fathers just have a way of putting everything together.” —Erika Cosby

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Although it may be somewhat begrudgingly, you'll admit that you're almost never disappointed when you seek advice from your dad. Your dad is truly great at piecing together puzzles that you can't solve yourself, and you're grateful for his invaluable input. You wouldn't be where you are now if it weren't for his words.

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” —Steve Martin

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For the father who has what it takes to be a dad, children teach him that there's much more to life than money. Matters of the heart exceed the value of money, and wallet photographs most likely serve as a reminder of the children for whom he must provide.

After having kids, a man no longer works for his own livelihood, but for that of his own family. And for this, your father certainly deserves much more recognition than he may receive at times.

“Dad: A son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love.” —Unknown

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From the moment a child sees his or her father for the first time, a heavy responsibility is placed upon his shoulders. A dad must be a role model for how his son is to behave and a standard to which a daughter sets herself to seek out a partner. Hence, a father is a son's first idol and a daughter's first love, as the saying goes.

“A father doesn’t tell you that he loves you. He shows you.” —Dimitri the Stoneheart

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Oftentimes, a father uses his actions rather than his to show you that he loves you. He works to put food on the table because he loves you. He teaches you how to drive because he wants you to stay safe. He shows you how to change a tire so that you aren't stranded anywhere. Everything he does, he does with love.

“My father didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do—be there.” —Max Lucado

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And what more can you ask of a good dad?

"I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man." —Kevin Arnold

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Every child has a moment when he or she realizes that the sacrifices that a father makes are all for their children's benefit. Every child has a moment at which he or she understands that a father is only human, makes mistakes and has more aspirations than meets the eye. It's eye-opening to comprehend that our father is a normal people like you but somehow makes him all the more of an inspiration.

“A dad is someone who wants to catch you when you fall. Instead he picks you up, brushes you off and lets you try again.” —Unknown

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If there's one thing your fathers teaches you, it's perseverance. And you couldn't love him more so for it.

Father's Day is one of our greatest holidays, so this father's day, remember to thank him for all he's done for you.

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