10 Things My Much Younger Sibling Taught Me About Parenthood

10 Things My Much Younger Sibling Taught Me About Parenthood

Or, at least, what I think he taught me...
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When I was 10 years old, my parents told me that they would be having another child. When my siblings and I heard the news, we all became extremely excited. Looking back, I know that we all reacted this way because, finally, the missing piece to our family was about to arrive.

Eight months and a few weeks later, my little brother arrived on my birthday, making us exactly eleven years apart. I have gotten an inside view of parenthood at a pretty young age because of his arrival. If you have a younger sibling, you will probably have observed a few of these!

1. You think that you are pretty well prepared for the early stages

When I went to the hospital to meet my little brother, the first thing that I did was feed him. From that point on, I was changing diapers, clothing, and doting over him. Being so hands-on with him when he was little helped set my expectations for having a newborn straight—it’s not all cuteness all the time people!

2. But you understand what your parents mean when they say they would do anything for you

Although I saw the challenges of having a newborn, from early on, I knew that I would do anything for that kid. The struggles pale in comparison to the love you have for that tiny little guy.

3. You are A LOT more patient than you used to be

You learned early on that the little things take forever with a child. Getting out of the car? Yeah, that takes you about three seconds. Plan on about five minutes for newborns (if you are lucky). And nope, the speed still hasn’t seemed to pick up ten years later.

4. You are in on all of the elementary school drama

The education trends weren’t left in the 2000’s people. You probably know all the drama surrounding elementary school-from education styles (public vs. private, year-round vs. traditional, the common core fiascos, etc.). You probably also know the new nicknacks and toys. Amend, of course, you know all the drama from recess. Talk about some weird information for a college student to know!

5. You know exactly what they are going through

I mean, you have a lot of nature and nurture in common.

6. And wonder what to do about it

The urge to take care of hard situations for them that you have already experienced is SO STRONG. But you know that you are a better person because of the challenges you worked through, so you ultimately have to sit back and watch them wrestle with the same situation you did ten years prior because the goal is to make them an awesome human-not an overly protected human.

7. You have already had some of your “first child experiences”

I was so fortunate to have my mom teach me how to care for a newborn on her fourth time around. She explained to me what worked for her and what didn’t, and little tips and tricks she picked up along the way. Lucky for me, I won’t have to figure some new parent stuff out on my own when I have my first child because of this experience.

8. You’ve been exposed to different parenting styles

And you may have even experimented with some yourself. You probably also tell yourself, “I am definitely not going to raise my kid in such-in-such a way,” but, since you have been exposed to the crazy world that is taking care of a child, you know that is completely subject (and extremely likely) to change.

9. Your life is going to be hectic

As stated above, nothing is ever done perfectly. Your house won’t be in condition. Your child is not going to be perfect. You are going to be far from the perfect parent.

10. It is going to be awesome

It’s totally OK that it won’t be perfect. The beauty in the mess, stress, and chaos. Luckily, you have stopped expecting perfection a long time ago if you have a young sibling. In fact, you are probably looking forward to the craziness because you know that is where the moments that mean the most are made.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Mallory

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.

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I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

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