For 4 years, I was an only child in the family until I was blessed with a younger brother and then for the next 8 years blessed with the greatest little sisters that anyone could ask for. Throughout my childhood and adolescent years, learning how to be a big sister came naturally to me. Of course, as the oldest, we tend to be bossy and a bit entitled but besides that, I’ve learned patience, how to share, be the best influence I can be, and even got to change diapers while at it. But the biggest thing I learned from being the oldest, was also being a mother.
To give more about my background, my parents divorced at the age of 2 and when I turned 8, my dad took full custody of me. I attended a private catholic school for one year then transferred to Schaumburg, IL which was just recently named the #1 Chicago Suburb of 2018. I got to live a pretty good life for a kid who was raised by a single father. I excelled in school, toured in Europe for music, and even accomplished so much as a musician. If it weren’t for my father, I wouldn’t be where I am right now and I’m so lucky to have all of those opportunities handed to me. On the other hand, my siblings didn’t grow up so lucky. They had to grow up in a dysfunctional family where life was a constant struggle as kids for them. Even though I was there to witness it firsthand, I wasn’t really experiencing it. I’ll try not to get into too much detail because it is a bit personal but to make things short, my siblings didn’t get to grow up with a stable parent to guide them through life unlike me. At the age of 13 after my mother left, I knew that I had to step in and help raise my siblings which explains why as a teenager, I always strived for perfection and went above and beyond. I wanted to show them that no matter what crap life throws at them, they are not a product of their environment. I’ve always had this mentality that I had to be this perfect sister and mother to the point where I almost lost the concept of what type of influence I’m supposed to be for my siblings. I would yell at my sister for her grades and I would constantly correct my brother whenever he gave an attitude. This kept on going until I left for college and realized that I was being too much of a tiger mom and made them live under my high expectations instead of being just the big sister to be there for them when they needed me.
Now that my siblings are in their teens and starting to get a grasp of their individualities, I’ve chose to step down as the mother figure and let my Grandmother handle the disciplining who, in fact, is amazing at raising my brother and sister. I’ve learned how to be a big sister and let them grow up into the people they want to be instead of telling them how to grow up and live their lives. I know for a fact that my siblings will grow up to be successful someday. I’ve also learned how to put myself first at the end of the day because I’m still young and growing so it’s important for me to really focus on my needs and wants in order to live the life I want. All in all, I hope my siblings will see my drive and it will eventually carry on to them when they get to my age and start to focus on their futures.