Most people say that being a mother is the toughest job in the family.

Well…

I don’t believe it.

I say that being the firstborn child is the toughest job in the family.

Not to be biased but if you’re a firstborn like me, you know exactly what I am talking about.

When everybody leaves for work or school, who washes the dishes? The firstborn!

You have 8 family dogs. Who is in charge of these dogs? The firstborn!

Who takes the trash out every day? The firstborn!

When everybody is tired, who cooks the food? The firstborn!

When everyone is not doing everything right, who gets it done perfectly? The firstborn!

Everybody expects us to do everything for everyone in the house!

We’re also the instant scapegoat!

And it’s insane!

When we make a mistake, everyone in the room is shaking their heads.

They’re all very disappointed.

When we say sorry, they don’t exactly accept it.

But if they’re the one who commit a mistake and apologize to us, we accept them with open arms.

It’s unfair but we always try to understand them from their point of view even if they really hurt us.

Then there’s that line – “You should be the perfect example for your siblings. Don’t screw it up.”

Wow! Did we ask to become a role model?

Let’s be honest, sometimes, it’s really frustrating because of the said situations above. Everybody depends on us. Not just our family but also our co-workers and friends. It’s like we’re a super human. We must be a great leader. We must do everything right. Others can be lazy but we can’t.

It’s good that we can do almost everything. It makes us happy when we make others happy because of what we accomplish. It’s fun being under the spotlight. It’s a wonderful feeling to be praised by people and hearing thank yous from them. It makes us happy when we sacrifice so much for others.

But, here comes the solid fact. There comes the time when we all get very tired of being so good that we suddenly scream at everyone and then shutdown. In other words, we can become very destructive, leaving all people and then live alone, not caring about the world.

In order to avoid and rectify this self-destruction, I listed a few tips based on what happened to my life that helped me cope up with this atomic bomb nature of being a firstborn.

  1. If you make a mistake, forgive first yourself. You know that everybody can make a boo-boo so forgive and move on. Realize that failures can happen, that’s why there’s always a chance or another opportunity to rise up. Be the phoenix! Rise from your ashes!
  1. Don’t let your things-to-do-list control you. Be flexible and relax. Leave one day of your week to refresh yourself.
  1. Don’t be a negatron. Always think positively and don’t be afraid of any failure.
  1. If you’re jealous with your sibling, talk to them through a letter or in person. Don’t hesitate to open up.
  1. If you don’t agree with your parents, talk to them. I never thought that I’d say this but it’s true! Having a family hour works!
  1. Practice saying no. Firstborns are known to be eager beaver and always on the go. Don’t take responsibility that you cannot handle to avoid depression and frustration of not getting it done in the right time.
  1. If something does not need an instant attention, ignore it. The roses do not need trimming tonight, you can do it tomorrow when it’s all sunshine.
  1. Express yourself. You have the right not to suffer. Just this morning, I’m so tired of washing all the dishes all the time and take note, I did not use nor eat on those plates. So I put a post-it on the kitchen wall saying, “If you use it, wash it. I am a working student. Have mercy on me. Thanks.” I am now a happy and free person. I don’t have to wash so many plates.

Being and growing up a firstborn is really hard because it seems like we have the whole world upon our shoulders. Sometimes we can also be an easy mark and we also suffer the bad effects of us being a perfectionist. But we must also remember that we have many good traits that we can use to our advantage for us to live happily, successfully and contented.

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