Luckily for me, I was the youngest of four girls. They got to make all the mistakes first and "wear out" and "test drive" my parents before they got to me, the poor things. Hey, let's face it: after raising three girls, my parents were too tired by the time I came around. Truthfully, as younger siblings we don't truly give our older siblings the credit they deserve for "testing out" our parents first.
When you become a parent to more than one child, you begin to notice the way your parenting changes from one child to the next, resulting in these seven sacrifices your older child kind of has no choice but to make for their younger siblings.
1. You Hovered Over the Oldest Child and the Youngest Gets Have Freedom
Your oldest child was probably hovered over and fretted about, breaking you in so by the time the youngest kid came around, you gave your little one more freedom.
You could worry over the first kid — and maybe even the second — but by the last kid, the worrying was all done. Your youngest can thank your first child for that!
2. The Oldest Broke the Rules So You Could Learn What You Would Tolerate
Whatever the case may be, your older children broke the rules and in turn, your youngest child learned what you would tolerate . . . or not.
3. The Oldest Broke the Rules So Your Youngest Could Learn How to Pull One Over on You
Did your oldest get caught sneaking out because he was too loud, came back too late, or barely stuffed his bed the right way? Whatever stupid mistakes the oldest kid made, the youngest child will learn rather adeptly how to avoid making such tragic mistakes, which just means that sadly, your youngest will know how to pull the wool over your eyes!
4. The Oldest Wore You Out So You Could Become a More Lenient Parent For the Youngest Kid
Big sis didn't get to wear makeup until she was 30, yet the youngest got to wear mascara in the eighth grade?
Your little one can thank her sister for wearing you out so that by the time the last kid came around, you had no more fight left in you to care about such trivial things.
You just hoped your youngest was breathing and alive.
5. The Oldest Defended the Youngest So He or She Didn't Get in Trouble
The oldest sibling always defends the baby of the family because they can't help it. The biggest sibling never wants to see the baby in trouble (in most cases).
6. The Oldest Was the Guinea Pig Who Was Supposed to Be Perfect, While Your Youngest Could Just Be Themselves
The first child is the parents' guinea pig. We test things on our first kids and try to make sure we are the most perfect parents ever. Your oldest child was subjected to all of the "appropriate" parenting methods and pushed to do well in school and excel — by the time of the youngest's birth, you just sighed and said, "Let her be."
7. Your Oldest Will Stand at Bat For People Who Mess With the Baby of the Family Because That's Their Job
Your older kids were put on Earth to make sure no one messes with your youngest. Yep, that's their job. And even as your kids grow up, that won't change.