As the oldest child in your family, you probably know what it felt like to completely loathe a younger sibling at one point or another. Sure, you might be friends now, but remember how jealous you were when they were born?
Not only that, but eldest children were given ALL the horrible responsibilities – babysitting, sharing, setting a good example. Boo. Your place in your family not only shapes your childhood, but your personality too. It’s a lifelong struggle!
Here are some problems you’ll only relate you if you were the eldest kid…
1. Babysitting. For free. All the time.
Summertime? Oh, you mean the two months where you mind your siblings five days a week? As the eldest child, you were called on from at least age 13 (probably earlier, shhh) to be a free child-minder.
2. Overly strict parents
When it came to your own childhood, your parents were only figuring things out. You were used to super-strict bedtimes, waiting YEARS for your first mobile phone, and pointlessly begging to be allowed to go to a concert/15s movie/underage disco. By the time your little brother or sister landed, things were a lot more relaxed. Not fair!
3. Constant wardrobe raids
If you had a younger sister, you’ll know this pain. Did she think you wouldn’t notice that six of your tops had simultaneously gone missing? Also, did that spilled nail varnish on your dressing table just appear out of nowhere.? Bonus stress points if you had to share a room with your sibling. Just let me listen to my Steps CD in PEACE!
4. Automatically being blamed for all and anything
As the older child you were expected to keep things ticking along. So when an argument started or something got broken, it was always your fault. Even if the evidence pointed directly to your little brother, well, you should have known better than to provoke him!
5. Always being the role model
Whether it was exam results, or studying, or making small take when your very dull great-aunt comes over for dinner, you were expected to set a good example for your siblings. As for us oldest kids, we had no-one to look up to – we just had to wing it!
6. Keeping Santa’s non-existence secret – an impossible task
Once you realised or were told that Santa/the Tooth Fairy/the Easter Bunny didn’t exist, you became keyholder of the biggest secret of all time. Depending on how young your siblings were, you might have had to keep quiet about the truth for years. All the same, you did enjoy the smug feeling that came with being on the grown-up’s side of things for once. "Hey mam, I'm just going to put this tooth under the pillow…" *WINK WINK*
7. Always being described as “mature”
It’s not intentional, it just seems to be something that seeps from your pores. Not only are you mature, but you’ve been blessed with the lifelong skill of always seeing the worst case scenario. And being over competitive. Type A personality? Me? Never. On the plus side, you’re also totally independent and can more than look after yourself.
8. Struggling to deal with the fact that your siblings are getting older
Leaving Cert? WHAT. Wasn’t your eighth birthday party about six weeks ago? It always comes as a shock when your younger brother or sister reaches significant milestones or starts to mature. Remember how grown up you felt at age 16? Well, they probably feel the same now that they're 16. It’s never easy to comprehend, but it means the two of you are one step closer to being proper adult pals. To the pub!