Being the oldest also means bearing a ton of the responsibility. Usually, responsibility you never asked for.
And that's tough. You need to have your 'you' time! But when you grow up as the oldest sibling, sometimes that can be totally difficult to come by.
Here were some of those answers.
The Long, Slow PathGiphy
We had rules of "when you get to X age you'll get X thing you're allowed to do!" like stay up later, watch worse rated movies, etc. But I was the oldest kid of 3, and the second I was allowed to do anything my little bros were instantly allowed to do it too.
I PAVED THE WAY FOR YOU GUYS.
My older brother told me his whole life, he hated the fact that whenever he made a mistake he was a big disappointment to our parents, but when the rest of us made the same mistake later, our parents were already pretty much over it.
I just bought a motorcycle and my parents went out of their minds. My brother said he had been waiting a long time for one of us to get a bike first so he didn't have to be the disappointment.
When things go wrong and your parents aren't able to be there for you, it's usually the oldest sibling that has to step up.
My mom got sick when I was in high school and college. And everything then became my job. I'd go buy the groceries after school, I'd get home early to cook for everyone, I would take my brother out to buy clothes/supplies, I had to do the majority of the cleaning.
It has left me a little bitter. I was 16-17 and trying to raise my sibling because my mom couldn't. I had all the house mom duties and none of the perks.
Leave Me Out Of This
I'm the oldest of 6, and we're all in our 30s and 40s now. But back about 15 years ago when I was in my 20s and my parents were getting divorced, I was the one they both wanted to vent to, because they were too immature to talk rationally to each other. So as the oldest I was stuck with a lot of go-between tasks, which I did not enjoy at all.
The pressure to always be fine. Always be ok. There was very little room for me to ever not be anything but put together and composed. I've had to have my crap together since I was like 8. I learned long ago to not ask for help. Siblings can ask. Hell one can get more financial help from parents as an adult in her 30's then was even possible for me as a college student.
It is what it is...
Twas Not I, Forsooth
Everything was always my fault, always. Even if it wasn't me that did it, it was still somehow my fault. I even moved away to live with my Dad and when my sibling did something bad my Mom would call to yell at me about how it's my fault. If I were more clever and more stupid at the same time I might have responded with something like "so you're telling me I can control my sibling better than you can?"
Being The Leader, Always
That I will never have someone to watch my back or defend me against our parents the way I do for them.
Being their protector is innate when you're the oldest. You feel it naturally or it's drilled into you. I still do it as adults - "quit harassing X over his veganism!" "Hey I heard you had a tough week in med school, are you ok?" Etc. Those instincts don't come naturally to youngest siblings (not that they're assholes but it isn't hardwired into the way they interact with me like it is the other way around). Or they have no empathy for the problems I'm going through because they haven't gone through them yet. I wish I had that.
It's Basically All New Parents
Parents got to make all their parenting mistakes on me. Also parents never had money with 3 kids until after I left the house. Parents also learned that being super ridiculously strict didn't work well either, so my brothers got to do what ever they wanted. Sometimes I think my brothers have a skewed sense of what their parenting was actually like, because they lived quite different childhoods than I did.
Now they act like I was some kind of evil teenager because i rebelled and they don't realize the living hell their childhood would have been if I didn't "break" them with my.. um.. punkness. Ya, if I got to watch The Simpsons, listen to rock music, and be able to leave the house ever without having to check in every 30 minutes like you guys did, maybe I wouldn't have rebelled so hard.
The Blood, Sweat, And Tears Of Siblingdom
I had to fight for every little thing. Staying up late, staying home when sick, getting my first phone (even though I paid), joining social media, going out with friends, having to get a job at 15, and especially what I took in college despite paying every single penny of it myself sans loans.
I love my little brother more than anything but he will never know how hard I had to work for everything I have. When my dad had a mental breakdown and didn't work for almost a decade, I was the one who picked up the slack and took care of us. When we came on better times, he got everything he could ever want. I was happy for him but it's really hard living with so much responsibility and so little love from your family. Maybe I'm just an entitled big sister. I don't know if I deserve to feel this way.
Suddenly, Mom Part TwoGiphy
I'm much older than my siblings, like more than a decade older, so what happened was that when my siblings where born I was basically forgotten until I was needed for babysitting. If I wanted to do something in high school and I had to stay after school I couldn't because I had to babysit. If I wanted to go out somewhere I basically had to make an appointment with my mother so she could check if I didn't have to babysit. I felt more like an employee, this lasted until they got into middle school. I have a child of my own now and I can't believe just how equal it was to taking care of my siblings, I was basically their second mother.