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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MUJ chapter.

-By Swati Joshi

It is such a bittersweet feeling to be the elder sibling. Honestly, you are perplexed every second. The entire relationship is that of rivals but also somehow best friends when time demands it. Younger siblings are pampered. Most of the people who had a sibling at an age gap of anywhere between 6-8 years somehow grow up being jealous of the younger ones in the initial years. Suddenly, it’s not about you but about them. They are the center of attention of the family. You get major side character vibes.

Here are a few things that always occur if you are growing up with a younger sibling:

  1. You discover you are a babysitter. It does not matter how terribly you handle kids but your parents just hand over the responsibility of being a parental figure to them. I remember this one time my family went shopping when I was 9 and my sister was almost 4 years old. My mom went to the trial room and left me with a 3-year-old. Obviously, I did a terrible job. She got lost somewhere in the room full of clothes. I hate how my parents scolded me for not being careful enough, like mom, I was 9 years old! 
  1. Younger siblings can be so embarrassing at times. They would never leave a chance to humiliate you in front of friends and family. Kids, in general, will say the meanest thing to you and will get away with it just because they are kids! But at the same time, they will say something endearing that would melt your heart. You never know with them.
  1. Younger siblings feel entitled to everything that you own. From your clothes and makeup to your room they will steal everything. And worse, the stuff you gave them will always somehow be returned broken or ruined. It is infuriating. Your favourite white top will have big patches of spilt food that would never come off. The lipstick you hid from them, is broken now.
  1. You learn to be a disappointment to the family. You have already lowered the bar for them. You made your own choices. You’ve had fights with your father about your dressing sense and curfew times. You’ve chosen your own career path. You’ve been your own person and that helps your younger sibling so much. They get to be who they want to be because they know you have got their back.
  1. Growing up with younger siblings means having more awkward talks with them. The talks your parents never gave you. The jaw-drop moment when you realize your younger sibling discovered about sex through sources they should not have come across. You are never ready for that. But it is important to talk about it. Not everybody gets a mother like Penelope from One Day At A Time where she talks to their kid when she discovered her daughter discovered porn. You have to take a step forward to make sure they know stuff.
  2. The best part about being an elder sibling is that you get to share your views about the world with them. You get to educate them about feminism and LGBTQ. You get them to assure them about it does not matter what aunt Rakhi said about her body weight. And then later help them put more salt in aunt Rakhi’s food for acting like an ass. 

Growing up with younger siblings comes with its shares of struggles. But honestly, it is hard to imagine a life without them. From being your servant to your partner in crime, it is all worth it.

I am a psychology student as well as a freelance content/copy writer.