I was born into a family with a lot of siblings. Growing up I was always the baby of the family. My older sisters labeled me annoying and a brat from early on.
Last week I met a woman in the airport. She started telling me how rough it was for her growing up as a middle child and how finally at 45 years old she’s just starting to get over being “the middle child”. I started to tell her about my older sisters and how it felt to be “the baby”.
What my big sisters do not know is that my entire life all I wanted was for them no notice me. All I wanted was their love and attention, all I wanted was to be exactly who they were. I have lived my entire life trying to make my family feel proud of me. No matter my accomplishments they still seem to go unnoticed. Even in their darkest days and worst moments I have always looked up to my siblings. I have always wanted them to notice me when all they seem to notice is one another.
I can only imagine how it feels to be a big sister. I see my girls interactions and acknowledge that my oldest needs time of her own. That she also needs to be her own person and that’s probably exactly how my big sisters feel. The selfish “baby” in me just wants to tell them that I just want to be near them, to feel included, accepted and loved. I understand that dynamic and I try and help guide my daughters to develop healthy relationships with one another so individually they can decipher who they are and where their place is.
The internet has a way of diving people. Forming opinions and judgement is often made. I still need to have love and acceptance from my siblings no matter what they see online. That in order for us to make it together we have to be honest with one another. Really honest is something my family has a hard time with. We like to beat around the bush, not hurt one another and just say nothing at all. That’s how we deal with our emotions. I blame it on the inherit need to just want to be happy, since we all spent our childhood in turmoil the last thing anyone wants to do is deal with the problem.
I will never know how it feels to be the big sister but my advice to big sisters is to take notice. Communicate honestly and openly and even if “the baby” is annoying and a total brat know that she just wants to be exactly like you. She just wants to feel loved even if she’s trailing behind.
I realize now more than ever that kindness and love and honesty goes a long way. Every day I get to live my life. I am happier than I have ever been and I look around me and no one is here to help celebrate my joy. I’ve created this gorgeous family with three beautiful loving girls and once again I’m the little brat who’s just been forgotten about tagging behind her big sisters. Begging for them to notice me and trying to get them to know who I am, who my children are. Just wanting them to notice as I’m screaming “HEY I”M STILL HERE TOO!”.
In our family the one thing we can do well is loss. Our family has been torn apart more times than I’d like to admit. I found out my half sister died in a car accident this week. For a moment in time I thought it could have been any of us. That moment was harder than anything I’ve ever felt. It was no longer about the loss of our dad or all the mistakes I’ve made, it was literally my life being torn apart again.
So to all the little sisters in the world this is for you – you are worthy and beautiful and you are exactly perfect as you are! No amount of loss or love will ever change that!
Tammy S says
What a fantastic post. I think after reading this it might explain a lot why my younger sister is the way she is. She is almost 40 and she still is trying to get all of the rest of us kids attention. Thank you for give me the “Baby” sister’s perspective. I am sorry about the loss of your half sister.
Toni Marie Caravello says
I was a foster child in a home where there were a lot of other foster kids and biological siblings as well. My mother treated us all the same, fed us the same, bought us all presents, the same LOL. There was not a lot of room, but we were all well cared for. I didn’t care to feel included or noticed by anyone, I really just wanted to be left alone. Yeah but I can see how one can seem to feel left out being the baby. Some last one siblings get nurtured and protecting by the older ones. I guess it all depends on personalities…. maybe. Anyway I appreciate your hard work on this blog and I notice you :O)
I was so sorry to hear about your sister passing. I grew up without siblings and even when I watch my kids bicker- constantly!- it makes me happy to know they have a special bond that can’t be broken. Everyone has their ups and downs, it’s true, but it’s easy to take family for granted.
Mary Withrow says
I have 2 older sisters. My older sister had it hard, she was the first and they were strick on her. My middle sister was quiet and they paid little attention to her. I was the baby and always had to listen to my sisters examples from my parents lol. But I also had brothers who pretty much did what they wanted. Big families you always must show attention to the “good ones” because it seemed the ones in trouble all the time got the attention, lol
Kristin, I couldn’t have said it better than Shannon. Our family has go e through ups and downs, each one of us has had our own struggles and you have conquered so much in your life.
Yes I felt you annoying when you were little, that’s just a kid thing. But as teenagers you still were the one I went to to talk to. I’ve made many mistakes when it comes to us but as an adult I can’t imagine my life without you. You might be my sister but most importantly, your my closest friend.
Shannon R says
I am Kristin’s oldest sister and I will admit that when I was kid I felt that way. I felt that you were always in the way, but I was a kid and didn’t really know any better. Now as an adult all I want is to be with my family, to be involved with each other. To the contrary, I am extremely proud of you. You have this beautiful family, you work very hard to attain your dreams. I do notice these things. I’m in Texas you are far away in Oregon, its difficult to see each other regularly. I ask you in return, do you really know anything about my life or just know anything about me? I love you.
Auntie Mea says
Kristin…I can so relate to this! As the baby in my family I know the feelings. Although I’ve rarely doubted my sisters’ love for me, I often feel that my opinions and feelings don’t matter. And when I voice my frustration they just tell me I’m over reacting or being stupid. So when they DO embrace my opinions & feelings it’s special to me!