There are pros and cons for everyone within a family system, whether you're the oldest, the middle child, or the youngest. Being the oldest of five children, I've noticed there comes a lot of struggles:
For starters, as youngsters, I was the one who always had to take the blame instead of my little sister. It was always a loud game of back and forth blaming, and eventually, it was always me who got disciplined... What's that about?!
I was always forced to be the first one to say sorry when my siblings and I got into fights. Okay, not okay.
Throughout my childhood, my parents had so many rules. I wasn't allowed to sleepover at any of my friends' houses. As time has gone by, my parents have loosened the reigns and now all my siblings are always out and about, sleeping over at their friends' houses... Not very fair to childhood me at all.
I heard the phrase "But Helen did it, so why can't I?" on a daily basis.
Even when I wasn't in the mood, I would always be forced to play with my younger siblings.
Whenever my parents bought me a bag of hot cheetos, I always had to share it with my younger siblings. The bag of hot cheetos would never last longer than a day when shared between 4 kids.
I was never allowed to miss school. Being the oldest meant being a good role model student for my younger siblings and showing that I could survive the school day even after spending a morning throwing up or having a fever of 101. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
Whenever there was one last ice cream sandwich, I was always told to save it for my younger sibling (Sorry I keep mentioning food - I was just really salty every time food had to be sacrificed.)
When I received a Nintendo DS because of hard-earned satisfactory grades on my report card, my sister had one within a week of begging... So, I guess I just needed to put in the work myself for the both of us to get what we wanted?
I had the mouth of a sailor by the time I was a freshman in high school, but I had to keep it shut around my siblings. No one appreciates to see a 2-year old walking around blurting out curse words.
If I got new shoes, my sister got new ones too... and they were better...
I was all on my own when dealing with college preparations and college applications. And let me tell you, it was rough.
I'm not going to lie, I have wished to be an only child before. But I've come to realize that that's a ridiculous, shameful wish to have. Because in the end, I don't know who I would be without my younger siblings. What kind of person would I be if I hadn't ever learned to share (my beloved hot cheetos)? Who would've played with me on family vacations to Wisconsin Dells? Who would I have to be a good role model for? Being an older sister for the four of my dysfunctional, crazy siblings is always going to be the most rewarding adventure of my lifetime and is a part of my identity that I love to share with others about. I can't wait to see as a proud older sister, how much they accomplish. Despite the pointless, long fights, and struggles, I know in the end, these four are the best parts of my life and I'm so beyond blessed to be their oldest sister.