What I Learned From Being the Youngest Child

I am the youngest of seven in my family and I know that is something that I hold very dear to me. This position certainly comes with its highs and lows, but I turned out to be a somewhat normal person so it’s okay, right? I have taken some lessons with me from my childhood into my adult years and below I will walk through a few of them…

 

1. You have to go with the flow

As the baby of the family, my voice was rarerly heard. My six other siblings were always louder, more demanding, and they certainly knew it all. That is why I have come to learn a little bit of open-mindedness. My older siblings will always think they have authority over me, even when I’m reaching my middle-aged years. It is important to learn to take direction, adjust, and roll with the punches.

 

 

2. No matter what, always show up (and be on time)

One of my fondest memories of my childhood is my parents and whichever sibling was available sitting in the bleachers at every single one of my volleyball games. That’s right, every single one. Even if the game was 2 hours away, I could always count on my parents and siblings showing up. I have been raised to be a family-oriented person who will never miss a family member’s event for anything. There is nothing more important than being there for my siblings. Also, there is always the expectation that you will show up on time…

 

3. Learning from being mentored is the way to go

When I was younger and I was asked what I wanted to be when I was older (besides responding with “a granny smith apple”) I responded with what I knew: a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher. Because these are the occupations of a few of my siblings, I looked up to them and tried to follow their every move because of the success they’ve had along the way. I learn from imitation, and when I have that one person to look up to, that is when I am most motivated. That is why I have grown to appreciate having older siblings with me every step of the way.

 

4. Surround yourself with people who love and support you

One of the cheesiest things I have heard from my parents is “family will always have your back when no one else does.” And it is true in every way. It is so important to keep my siblings close to me, because I know that they will want to be there for me if I need them. I will always feel like I have six best friends no matter the consequences and I try to surround myself with their love and include them in my life in every way that I can. 

 

 

5. It is also okay to be alone

Times change, people get older, and relationships do evolve. The majority of my siblings have moved out at this point, with their spouses, raising their own children. Not always will I be able to have someone to do something with. If it is an emergency, yes, they will be there. But I have grown to accept the fact that I can be without them and I can do things that I would normally do with them, alone.

 

Being the youngest of seven is a part-time (sometimes full-time) job and I would not trade that for a thing!