Being the oldest in the family is hard. As the oldest, I am the one that has to set the standards. I am the one that has to fight for what I want. I feel like my brothers owe me because they have a much easier life than I did at their age. They take things for granted that were not easy for me to achieve.
I hated my bedtime (what kid doesn’t). But my parents thought that we needed to go to bed insanely early. First, it was that we had to go upstairs at a certain time and then we had to have our lights out at another time. I fought my parents on several occasions about both times. It got worse as I got older and could handle staying up later. All the good shows were on later and I wanted to be able to stay up and watch them or at least finish the show that I had started watching. My parents told me that I couldn’t have a later bedtime because my brothers needed to still go to bed early. So because of them, I had to go to bed early. Now, my parents say that my brothers have a bedtime but they are really flexible about it. I hope they are happy. I worked hard to achieve a later bedtime.
My mom also didn’t want me to drive when I had my learner’s permit when my brothers were in the car. I never got to drive at all because they were too young to stay home. I didn’t do so well when it came to driver’s education because I was never allowed to drive. Once my brothers got their permits, they were allowed to drive with others in the car. I guess by then my mom learned the importance of letting kids drive. Of course, my brothers owe their driving privileges to me.
The next thing I had to fight for was to be able to quit band. I hated band and wanted to take a drama class instead. My parents wanted me to stick it out. I had to argue with them for quite awhile before they said that I could give it up. My brothers all eventually quit band (all at different grade levels). My parents never said one word when they quit.
The one nice thing about being the oldest is that I do get to set some standards. When I was in sixth grade, I got a C on my report card. I was really struggling with math at that time. My parents never said one word about it. After that though, I got really serious about my grades (and ended up as valedictorian). Now, when my brothers get a C, they get in a lot of trouble. A part of me does feel bad because I feel that my parents expect more from them since I set the bar high.
Being the oldest is hard. I have to fight for what I want but my brothers just get it handed to them. I don’t think they realize just how lucky they are.