Wednesday, 12 November 2014

What being the oldest sister means to me

Ah, siblings are great, aren't they (most of the time)? I have two younger sisters, Katie and Mollie, and I've always been grateful for having readily made best friends. Here are my thoughts on what being the oldest means to me...

Sisters or brothers are like readily made friends - they know the good and bad sides of you, but still love you all the same. I find it easy to slip into conversation about random things when I'm with them, and love that I can just relax completely with no make-up on, looking awful and they still don't care. We fart in front of each other (especially Mollie, my youngest sister) and just find it hilarious - Mollie and I also often randomly snort at each other and call each other 'fat pigs'. Oh, we're such ladies.

Being the oldest, I always have to give up the best things for my younger sisters. Mollie always gets the last piece of garlic bread, and the first pick of the chocolates (however it is still annoying how I get stuck with the rubbish Bountys and she gets all the Dairy Milks). Having siblings is the main reason that I enjoy sharing with others and being generous, so I do have a lot to thank them for. Having sisters is also about compromise - Katie and I will always share a double bed if need be on holiday, as Mollie ends up kicking us in the face if she shares with anyone. It's also good knowing that I have a second wardrobe in Katie's room if need be.

Giving advice
Many a time have I sat down with one of my sisters and listened to their worries, giving them advice afterwards. Even little things like worrying about school or exams, or health worries like feeling sick. I often find myself getting my stethoscope out to listen to Mollie's tummy (I can't really hear anything but she insists on it all the same - it makes her feel more reassured). Big siblings are made to give advice as they've often had similar experiences to the ones that the younger siblings will go through, and will know how to deal with them.

Defending them
I can say what I like about my sisters when they annoy me, but nobody else can. Most siblings will know that you get really defensive about your sisters or brothers, and can't bear to hear anything bad said about them. We also often find ourselves defending each other to our parents if one of us has done something wrong - and the oldest one always seems to have to take the brunt of it when they are younger.

Telling them when they're wrong
The thing about siblings is that you don't hesitate to tell each other when you're wrong. You can be completely honest with one another, hate each other for a while, and then come to appreciate the criticism that they gave you. Siblings are the best people to tell you that an outfit doesn't look great, or if some school work should be changed. Or even just to tell you to stop panicking about something and move on - sometimes you just need a bit of an honest kick.

Being a shoulder to cry on
I guess this kind of links to 'giving advice', but siblings are often the best people to go to when you just need a good cry. Katie is an amazing person to have a break-down on - she just sits and listens to you, whilst cuddling you and telling you it will be okay. I sometimes feel like the younger sister at these points, but it works both ways too. Sometimes they just need to be given some advice and for you to work through a problem with them; other times they just need a bit of a confidence boost or a kick up the bum to get going again (occasionally literally).

Being the one that your parents learn from
Parents don't know how to be parents straight away, and can't learn it from a book - they learn how to deal with situations from the oldest child. I feel like my parents have learnt a lot from me along the way, some good and some bad, but they have then been able to use their skills to help my younger sisters. My parents have always been absolutely amazing, but they have learnt how to help me with my depression, and can apply that to my sisters if they get upset or down about something. They have also learnt what to do when I was naughty when I was younger, and the best ways to deal with this, and lots of other things during my 21 years. I was the first to leave home, the first to go through exam stress, and the first to be a moody teenager - Mollie should be easy to manage by now!

Being an idol
One of the things I like the most about being the oldest sibling is that you're often looked up to by your younger siblings. This can be tough sometimes when I'm trying to set a good example, but most of the time it's quite an honour to be a bit of an idol. We are all each other's biggest fans, and it's lovely to know that there are always two little cheerleaders in my life, whenever I need a bit of a boost.

I love Katie and Mollie so much, and wouldn't change them for the world! (Except maybe change Mollie so that she liked Bountys more and didn't wriggle so much in the night...)

Hannah x

Sisters annoy, interfere, criticise. Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks. Borrow. Break. Monopolise the bathroom. Are always underfoot. But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there. Defending you against all corners.
                                           - Pam Brown

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