I have two siblings who are both significantly older than me so that makes me the baby (by a lot). Like most first-born children, my oldest sibling got the kind of discipline all new parents are encouraged to enforce. She had a curfew, her school work was regulated, and the type of people she hung out with had to be approved by my parents.
A few years later my brother was born. This time, my parents lacked some of the stern mentality that raised my older sister and they became a bit more lenient. That curfew was extended by a few hours and the friends he hung out with were up to him. At the same time, they still had similar rules in place, they made him attend religious school, they were on top of his work, and regulated his after school schedule.
Then came me.
At the time I was born, my brother was 4 years old and my sister was 9 years old. Both my mom and dad had a lot on their plate and decided to take a new route that they haven't before. My parents raised me in a way that forced me to be accountable for my own actions as they would let me choose my own path. I was rarely forced into activities that I didn't want to do and when I wanted to succeed, it was up to me to make it happen.
Despite the added accountability, I am so thankful I was able to figure out my path on my own because it made me the person I am today. I am the independent, mature girl who rarely relies on her parents for things she knows she is capable of doing herself.
When I got to high school, the workload started to get heavier and the responsibilities became more serious. Tests started to pile up and my stress levels went higher than I had ever experienced. When I was sleep deprived, I would shoot a text to my mom asking if I could skip first period.
The answer would always be yes.
When I had two tests on the same day and I was overwhelmed with studying, I would just skip a day of school.
No big deal.
Although my parents only had my best interests at hand, by being the lenient and easygoing parents they were, they installed the idea that I could run away from my problems.
Maybe in high school that was true.
But in the real world, I shrink under pressure when there is no way out which is an obvious result of my previous habits. That is what I am used to. I always get those comments saying how "jealous" people are that my parents are so "chill" but in reality, I've always wished I had some structure in my life.
Being the baby in my family is the best; it comes with some perks and lots of attention, but the mentality of leniency comes with some implications. I don't discredit the way my parents raised me for one second, I honestly feel lucky to be trusted to the extent that I am. I just have to work a little harder because whether I like it or not, my success is up to me.