I’ve heard a lot about how life is generally kinda difficult for the middle child. She (I’m basically talking about girls, but I guess this is applicable to boys too) has to outdo or atleast match the achievements of the eldest child and, at the same time, set an example for the youngest. And then, there are (jealousy) issues about lack of attention, importance and…most significantly – lack of love (according to the middle child: apparently, parents exhaust all of this on their first child and don’t have enough for the other kids). And as if this weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the normal teenage & adolescent problems that are part of growing up!
OK, now, don’t assume I’m a middle child. I’m not. But I can very well imagine what they have to live through. Anyway, what I intend to emphasize here is: it’s super-hard being the eldest child as well! I’m the eldest of three girls. And as much as I enjoy it, there are so many instances when I wish I didn’t have to go through some stuff just because I’m the eldest. Trust me, it is definitely hard being the eldest. I love my sisters. Hell, yes! They mean the world to me. I suppose having them is what makes this a little easier for me.
So, why do I say being the first-born has its problems? We’re getting to that.
1) Since I’m the eldest, parents/relatives/elders expect a lot from me – responsibility and maturity while taking decisions, living life, doing anything; doing things right (so that my sisters can learn from me, yeah right!!), so on. To be frank, I think it’s too much burden on me and, sometimes, it’s hard to live upto their expectations.
2) I’m supposed to know everything. I’m supposed to lead my sisters on the right path and I’d have to know everything if I’m supposed to guide them properly. Nobody seems to care about what I know; all they can do is point out what I don’t know!
3) I know that every decision I take will have a direct impact on my family. And I can’t let it be a negative impact. That’s enough reason to worry about what I’m doing, whether it’s the right thing or not, blah blah. Frankly speaking, I HATE IT! As if I don’t have enough to worry about already! I can’t take a single decision without thinking more than twice about it. Yes, I don’t want to hurt my parents. But I wish they wouldn’t expect so much from me, that they would just let me explore life and live it, even if it means falling down or failing once in a while. With all these expectations, there’s too much on my mind. And there are times when I wish I could just do something to take it all off my head! I’m going through a similar phase right now. And it sucks!
4) This particular point is what triggered me to write this post right now – my siblings think I’m the only one important to dad and mom. OK, I understand why they feel this way. I’m the first child and I happened to be bright at school; so, my parents always had a kind of pride in me and some special affection. And now that I’ve been (mostly) away for the past 3 years, they tend to show a little extra love. So, you see, I know why my sisters feel the way they do. But they don’t try to see that dad and mom love them, too… All they see is the extra affection I get. I’ve tried to make them understand but in vain. I don’t blame them. Just hope that, someday, they will see what I was trying to tell them.
5) Sometimes, dad tells me certain decisions and asks for my suggestions or just wants to know what I think. Because, I guess, he thinks I’m old enough to be included in the serious decisions of the family. But I go blank when he does that. Half of the time, I don’t know why exactly he is doing what he’s doing and I don’t know what to tell him as suggestion/thought. I go blank, totally! When that is the last thing expected of me. Ah, expectations again!! Sigh!
So, you see…it isn’t all that easy being the eldest child. There should be an Elder Child Syndrome too. Or maybe there is (already googling). I admit it has its ups…but the downs are inevitably hard! Anyway, I bet the little brat (aka my little sis) will soon be coming up with 5 reasons why it’s hard being the youngest! 😛 Inspite of all this, if I’m given a choice to decide who I want to be in my next lifetime (assuming I’ll have one), I’d still want to be born as the person I’m right now (eldest and everything included), without a second thought!
- Middle Child Syndrome (azizzar.wordpress.com)
- What Your Birth Order Says About You (momentmatters.wordpress.com)