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Life as the Second Born

My experience as the second born child in my family.

Two girls doing their make up in a pink bathroom.
Photo: Unsplash

We all have a place amongst our siblings whether you're the firstborn or the “baby” of the family. I’m the second child in a family of five siblings and I’ll be honest, being the second born has a pro and a con. You don’t have the responsibilities the eldest child has, but if you have younger siblings like me, you will have a little responsibility because you’re expected to be an example for your younger siblings.

The pros of being the responsible one and not being the responsible one in the family is great because you don’t feel like everyone is watching what you do all the time. My favorite thing about being the older sibling was that I would get to have all of my big milestones first like learning to drive, going to prom, and going to college for the first time.

The cons about being the responsible one and not the responsible one at the same time is that you have younger siblings who look up to you — even if you don’t feel pressure from your parents to be a perfect example for your younger siblings. You sometimes hold yourself to a higher standard of behavior because you don’t want your younger siblings to make the mistakes you did.

Growing up the second born child I always felt like I was in two places at once. I was never old enough to do the things that my brother and our cousins could do but, I had grown out of all of the things my sisters and little brother loved doing, and no one was into the things that I was into as a kid, which was track, dance, and writing.

Now as an adult, my experience has changed, and it came with age. Once I became old enough to hang out with my brother and older cousins, and my younger siblings grew into an age of relatability, we began bonding over things that we have in common — TV shows, movies, and hearing about my college experience — and we became a lot closer and still are very close today.

Looking at both my experiences as a child, and now as a grown woman, I understand that I enjoy being the second born in my family because I love watching my younger siblings grow up and share in their experiences, like going off to college for the first time and learning to drive. I am very grateful for the relationship I have with my siblings and I wouldn’t change a thing.


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