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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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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