I grew up with three younger brothers. As the oldest and the only girl, I had all the #power. But there were still times I wished I knew what it would be like to have a sister or an older sibling. Something I didn’t wish to know, though: what it would be like to be an only child. The silence that would ensue! The loneliness I would endure. The awkwardness that would take place as I would tag along as the permanent third wheel anytime I interacted with my parents. No thank you. Sorry only children, I don’t get you.
I don’t even think I would have had the same childhood growing up with one sibling, or even two siblings. Having three was perfect. Big family, lots of action. Life was always loud and never boring. And now that I’m older, I get to look forward to having a big family. It’s cool. It’s perfect. Minus all the food I grew up with. With less siblings, I would have probably been thinner, but that’s neither here nor there.
Here are 25 things you’ll definitely understand if you grew up with multiple siblings.
1. The need to drive an SUV.
Your parents had a gigantic car (Suburban anyone?). You learned how to drive with a big car, and you couldn’t imagine driving anything smaller than an SUV. You never know when you’ll start multiplying to form your own big family to fill your big car. You must be prepared.
2. Still not being sure if friends wanted to come over to hang out with you or to raid your snack cabinets when you were younger.
You hope both because 1. you were fun and 2. those snacks were good.
3. The normalcy of living in an environment that resembles a zoo.
4. Not being phased by messes because your childhood was full of them.
5. Being shocked when you hear about a family that eats dinner together at night because it was physically impossible to get all your siblings in the same room at the same time for dinner every night when you were growing up.
6. Hiding your leftovers in the fridge, even if you don’t live with other people anymore, because you’re scared your food will be eaten by someone else.
7. The need to shop at Costco and/or BJs regardless of if you’re shopping for one person or 20.
Umm hello free samples and lifetime supply of toilet paper and paper towels.
8. The annoyance that is getting asked “are you so-and-so’s-sister/brother?” constantly even if you moved out of town and changed your name.
I was vacationing in Florida recently and was asked by a girl who worked at the hotel “Are you Tyler’s sister?” Like, can I go anywhere without being referred to as “Nick/Tyler/Josh’s sister?” I live in Boston. How. Why. What.
9. The tragedy that is finding out one of your old teachers does NOT remember you at all when one of your siblings has them.
Or vice versa.
10. Not being sure if your parents actually have friends anymore.
All of their friends probably disappeared when they had to dedicate 99% of their time to raising the circus act that was you and your siblings.
11. Not knowing how to NOT clean your plate.
There are starving siblings everywhere, I eat for them, OKAY?!
12. The need to carry the remote around your house when watching TV, even if you live alone.
You can’t let anyone else change the channel on you. It’s a habit.
13. Your humor.
It’s not meant to be mean or offensive. You just grew up insulting your siblings as a joke, and that’s now how you think everyone you love should be treated!
14. The panic that ensues over the holidays when you either are forced to spend a shit ton of money on all your siblings… or be an asshole and buy nothing for anyone.
You can’t get one sibling a gift without getting everyone a gift. Even when you do spend bank on your siblings, chances are, they end up spending no money on you. Oh well.
15. Getting annoyed when someone always fucks up your sibling photos.
But you still post them to Instagram because you’re all together. This is so rare.
16. Having that one sibling that doesn’t really look anything like the rest of you.
Where did they come from? You’re not sure.
17. Not being able to whisper.
What even is a whisper?
18. Still being angry at your siblings for signing you off AIM when your away message was on.
You still wonder what IMs you missed because of it.
19. Also being mad at them for picking up a landline phone from another part of the house and listening to all your conversations in the 6th grade.
What awful things did they hear? And why do they still talk to you now?
20. Being afraid of silence.
You grew up surrounded by so much loud noise, that you need to hear noise when you study and work.
21. Not understanding ‘alone time.’
I mean, sometimes you might want alone time (AKA shutting and locking the door to your room and watching TV alone), but you don’t understand other people wanting alone time. If you want to bother someone, you’re going to bother someone, and they’re going to like it.
22. Why someone would want 3-4+ kids, (just like your family!), and the need to start this big family ASAP.
The sad truth: You can’t afford kids. The even sadder truth: You don’t have someone to have kids with. HOW WILL YOU RECREATE YOUR FAMILY? HOW?
23. Always running to the car and calling shotgun, still, as an adult human.
Seriously. I am 28 and will still kill a bitch if he tries to get shotgun before I do. Nope. Not happening. I ain’t no backseat girl. I don’t care if you’re 6’3 and/or weigh twice as much as I do now. I WILL ALWAYS WIN.
24. Being highly competitive to the point where it might be/is a problem.
Sorry I’m not sorry.
25. Being so excited for your siblings to get married and start having kids.
You’re going to have such a big family! It’s going to be so much fun! You just have to get married and have a kid first because duh. The race is on.
The 2nd thing about snack cabinets is totally true! I used to love going to my friend’s house [youngest of 4] because they had the best assortment of snack!