'You're the bossy one': 10 things you absolutely know to be true if you're the eldest sibling.

In theory, being the eldest sibling sounds like a pretty good gig.

You're the only one who gets undivided attention from your parents (well, in your early years), you get to boss your siblings around, and you get to tell them you're the smartest because you've been on the earth for the longest (because it's true, obviously).

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But while there are some positives that come with being the eldest child, there are plenty of negatives.

Now how do I know this? Well, because I'm the oldest child.

I'm the eldest of three children. There's me, my sister and my younger brother. 

By default, I'm the old bossy one, my sister is the cool, funny middle child and my brother is the sweet angel that could get away with murder.

Sometimes, I desperately wish we were born in a different order and other times, I'm grateful I'm the oldest.

So from my own personal experience and other women at Mamamia, here are 10 things you know to be true if you're the eldest child.


1. Your parents were ALWAYS more strict with you. 

This is just a fact.

Since you came into the world first, you're the test baby.

Your parents have to figure out what age you can get a phone, what age you can go out with friends on your own, what age you can catch the train on your own etc, etc.


By the time your parents get to the second, third or even fourth child, they're way more relaxed. And let them get away with anything and everything. 


2. All gifts, restaurant bookings, basically all family activity planning, is by default your responsibility.

Yep, you know what I'm talking about. 

If it's someone's birthday, your siblings ask what you're getting and where you're all going. If it's Christmas, same thing.

And more than likely, you're the go-to person in your friend group to organise stuff too. Because you're good at it. You've had a lot of practice in your lifetime. 

3. You have to tell your parents where you're going at ALL TIMES.

Another downside of being the test baby is that they worry about where you are always.

You would've spent your teenage years constantly updating your parents on your whereabouts and there was definitely a curfew in place. But by the time your siblings came around, they just didn't seem to... care.

"Living out of home my parents still message me asking where I am or if I'm going out. When I go back home to visit I'll ask them where my sister is and they're like, 'I don't know'. SO ANNOYING," eldest daughter Emily shared.


4. You were a little disappointed when you got a sibling.

When you're younger sibling arrives, it should be an exciting moment. But after you've spent so long being the only important little human in your parents' lives, it stings.

Gemma knows what I'm talking about.  "I've been told when I was first brought into the hospital room to meet my sister I looked to my mum and asked perplexed, 'Who's it mother?' And never has there been a more poignant reaction to what it feels like to go from having your parents' undivided attention to having to... share," she said. 



5. You're always called bossy. 

This is something I know all too well.

When you're the oldest you get the most responsibility. And because of that, you're seen as bossy and it just sticks. Forever. 

6. When your sibling(s) starts getting more attention, you... hate it. 

"My sister is two years younger than me, and in this photo, I was probably upset that I didn't get to be all comfy and snuggly in a propped up bassinet. Because being an older sibling is hard work okay, and sometimes you just need a lie down," Gemma shared.

Image: Supplied. 


"You spend your life as the 'test run' child, and by the time your parents get to child number two they've let go of the 'everything needs to be perfect' ideal. They get more fun food, they're suddenly the 'cute one' and they'll most probably try to (in the early years anyway) copy everything that you do."

7. You get all of the 'firsts'.

Ahhh, a positive! 

You do get to take all the 'firsts' from your parents. And that can never be taken away from you. Which is something that you likely to smugly remind your younger siblings. 


"First school graduation, first uni acceptance joy, first leaving home sadness, first job excitement, first driver's licence relief. My sister has just overtaken with 'first engagement' and I realised it's probably the first 'first' she's ever had with mum and dad in terms of life milestones," Gemma said. 

"It takes a moment to release the weirdness of that in your eldest sibling brain. We're used to paving the way and reaping the benefits by soaking up all of that 'new feeling glory' from our parents."

8. You feel super protective of your younger siblings.

Although they annoy us, we will always be protective of our younger siblings. We keep their secrets, buy them alcohol (shh, don't tell mum), drive them around and make sure they stay out of trouble because as the eldest sibling, that's part of the job. 


9. You wish (sometimes) you had an older sibling.

After you get all protective over your younger siblings, you sometimes think about what it would be like if you had an older brother or sister to do the same. *sigh*

10. FACT: As the eldest, you're the superior sibling.  

I think all eldest siblings agree that we are, indeed, the most important child. And occasionally you get to play that card. 


For me, it was getting to pick my bedroom first. For others, it was getting to sit in the front seat of the car.

And whenever you get to play the 'oldest sibling' card, it feels sooo gooood


Is there anything we missed about being an older sibling? If so, let us know in the comments.

Feature image: Getty.