Being the youngest child

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Being the youngest child
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 3:45pm

I'm the youngest of three sibling but I'm not a kid im 20 years old and my oldest sibling is 28 anyways does anyone who's the youngest sibling ever feel like they get the leftover "crap" their older sibling did? For example my sisters and brother never really made great choices in life it wasnt anything too bad just going out partying, sometimes underage drinking until they turned 21, and one of my sisters being pretty lazy and not holding down a job. You know just enjoying their twenties! My sisters are more mature and responsible now they both moved out recently and live their own lives now so im the only one at home. My oldest brother is by far the laziest guy i've ever encounterd at almost 30 years old he's still NEVER had a part time job! I've been working since i graduated highscool a couple years ago! My mother never disiplined my brother he pretty much got awat with anything and still does. She was always pretty hard on us though, me and my sisters would always get yelled at over some very trivial thing's. Now that they're moved out and it's just me she's always on my case about anything I do! I've never been the partying type i usualy come home at a decent time i had good grades in school sice i've gotten a job i pay for my own food and anything else I've never been one to ask my parents for anything since i got a job not for xmas not even for my birthday because I feel like my fathers provided with enough things. I help her clean the house and loan her money when she asks. The only thing I asked of my mom was to take me to work because my car's not working and i cant afford to fix it and I would give her money every pay period to do it. Everytime she get's mad she always takes out whatever crap my brother and sisters ever did on me! She tell's me how I dont do anything to help her and how everyone in the family never helps her, I feel like im getting the lashing about all the negative things my sisters or brother did because im the only one left to nit pick at! even to this day she treat's my brother like a king! he's never their for his kids, never has a job and is always running the streets he curses at her and has even had his girlfriend living at my house at a point in time but my mother would NEVER tolerate that with us! We never cursed in front of my mom not only because we thought of it as disrespect but because we would get punished also! I don't understand why she chooses to treat me so maliciously sometimes, I feel like I'm the only one who started off with a decent start, never got in trouble with school the law or anything really!  Do any of the other younger sibling experience this? I thought we were supposed to be the pampered one's who got away with everything! Sorry for the long post!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Tue, 09-18-2012 - 10:55am

I'm the baby of the family, too.  And, to top it off, I'm the only girl having 2 older brothers.  I didn't get so much of this from my parents, but I sure did at school.  I'd get a teacher one of my brothers had had previously and I'd be labeled immediately based on the relationship that brother had with that teacher.   When I went out as a teenager in our fairly small town, I would be addressed as John or Fred Jones little sister.   I hated it, wanting to be judged on my own merit. 

After I got married and moved 3000 miles away from home, when I would go home for a visit and would see one of my cousins, they'd always ask "What are Fred or John up to now?"  Never mind that the cousin and my brothers had all stayed in our hometown and would have been able to contact each other frequently had they chosen to do so, but I lived clear across the country and I was supposed to keep them up to date with my brothers lives?  Sometimes it felt like I didn't matter...that my brothers were the only interesting ones...and that kind of hurt.  But, I made my own "family" out of friends and neighbors and THEY thought I was pretty OK, so it all worked out for me.  One time, my brother and his wife came to visit ME and I overheard a neighbor saying "Oh, you're SillySadie's brother, aren't you?"  It made me giggle since NOBODY had ever said that to my brothers in their entire life!  Silly how little things give us a smile, huh?

My advice for you would be to get your own place and then you can set the rules with your mother.  If she is rude, you can tell her to go home.  As long as you're under her roof, she is likely to think it's perfectly OK to blame you when she's feeling frustrated even though we all know it isn't OK.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 11:05pm

Hi cjaaron -

I am the youngest, sort of.  I'm a twin, and we're the youngest, with two older siblings.  Some of what you say is true with respect to older siblings.  They sort of "pave the way" for the younger kids, and if the path is rough, well, parents expect the rest of the kids to follow suit.  

My oldest brother got involved in drugs and alcohol, had some issues with the law, and although he is a good person, has done some things that, being a parent myself - would raise my eyebrows at.

I am not bragging or being delusional when I say that I was a good daughter.  I did more than my fair share of chores around the house, I worked hard to do well in school and I never, ever did drugs.  I tried alcohol once in high school before I was 18 (which was the legal age then), but did not get drunk.  I worked part-time jobs and practically supported myself, paying for my clothes, miscellaneous stuff, entertainment, gas to drive the car, and when I went on a trip abroad my senior year, I paid for all of it.

Rather than think in terms of "being the pampered ones who got away with everything," why don't you think in terms of the kind of person YOU want to be - regardless of your siblings, regardless of the image your mother projects onto you.  By the way, when she does that - when she "takes out whatever crap your brother and sisters ever did on me", why don't you point out to her that you are not them, that you are you, and that just that morning, you gave her money (or whatever nice thing you did for her).

I also am wondering why, at 20 years old, you are still living at home?  I think that's a perpetual breeding ground for the kind of issues you are dealing with.  You're an adult - move out on your own, be independent of your mother.  If your car isn't working and you don't have money to fix it, then find some other way to do what you need to in order to a) fix the car and b) get out on your own.

If you cannot do that at this time, then you need to set some boundaries with your mom, and you also need to recognize what to expect from your mom.  In other words, if you are going to continue to ask her to give you a ride - even if you pay her money toward fixing your car or gas expenses - then you should automatically expect that she is going to read you the riot act about doing everything for everyone, etc.  You know it's coming.

Be ready to set the boundaries - "Mom, you do a lot for everyone, and I am so grateful that you give me a ride.  I promise to have my car fixed by _____________.  In the mean time, what arrangements can we make to make this as easy as possible on both of us?"  Maybe you tell her, "I will pay you $$ per week/month for giving me a ride."  Or, "I will clean bathrooms once a week for the time you spend driving me to work."  You have to be willing to give SOMETHING to help out too.

Just some thoughts.  Good luck.