Being the eldest child of three siblings has its pros and cons. One pro revolves around not having to use any hand-me-down items. As the eldest, I’m the one giving away old stuff. Another includes bossing them around sometimes. I am also closer to my parents. However, mostly it’s all stress and frustration like I’m playing a game in hard mode. As the eldest daughter, I can say that the pressure and expectation that my parents put on me made me mature at a very young age when I’m barely reaching a teen.
The Extra Parent: Being Eldest is Tough
Pressure like a drip
The song Surface Pressure from the Disney movie Encanto summarized my life as the eldest child. It was quite shocking how on the point that song is, describing the struggles we never want to show other people. The thing is, my parents, need someone they can depend on, and my siblings, too.
So, I became the extra parent. First-borns are adults in miniature form, we have most of the responsibilities that made us fairly independent as we grow. Since I’m the eldest, my parents and relatives expect a lot from me – responsibility, maturity, and decision-making.
Doing things right. That way, I can be a good example to my siblings. There should be no mistakes. Honestly speaking, I think it’s too much burden on me. Sometimes, it’s hard to live up to their expectations. I barely enjoyed my childhood because of this.
Babysitting is an eldest child’s first job. I get to experience the free trial of being a parent when I am also a kid. It’s not always bad. Still, sometimes I wish I could be as carefree as them.
I feel obliged to care for and coddle my baby brothers for the rest of my life. Even though one is already an adult and the youngest is in his late teens. It might sound crazy to say I developed a motherly instinct for being the eldest sister of two very immature boys.
Parents are toughest on the oldest sibling. The eldest daughter gets to experience strict parenting, I am the guinea pig of the family. Being the first child, the tendency to treat me like I might break. So, they are very strict with me. My parents tend to go the easiest on my younger sibling. Surely, they learned a thing or two when raising me.
Buckles and Bends but Never Breaks
Am I proud of being the eldest? Maybe, I’m tough because of it. Even though every decision I take will have a direct impact on my family. I can’t take a single decision without thinking more than twice about it. However, I wish they wouldn’t expect so much from me. With all these expectations, there’s too much on my mind, kind of suffocating. I grew up trying so hard not to make any mistakes as I’m afraid of their disappointment.
Trying to be someone my parents could be proud of and my siblings could look up to. Although It’s hard being in this role I never blamed my brothers for it, why would I? I adored them I’m the extra parent that they probably never asked for, the ever-nagging eldest, and tend to be strict. I love my siblings and to be a better person, much better than I am.
Yes being the eldest is tough and I’m honored to be one.
Rosemarie is a writer and an artist, She developed a passion for arts at a young age, inspired by the Japanese animation that she frequently watches which also sparked her love for writing. Her arts and writings became her special way of expressing her feelings as she's not really good with words. Most of her time were spend on either honing her digital drawing skills, watching anime, or gaming.