Having been the youngest child I never really understood the stigma of the "oldest child". But now, with so many little ones, I see what they mean.
My Rosie is my oldest child. I know that we are hard on her (we are hard on all of our children)and sometimes I feel horribly guilty. I find myself busy all the time and lets be honest, sometimes I just need an extra pair of hands. At what point do you cross the line between teaching responsibility and taking advantage.
It seems like such a simple thing to say "Rosie run upstairs and get Maggie out of her crib" or "Rosie could you feed Maggie while I make lunch?" But what am I telling her when I ask those things? What goes through her mind? I wish I knew. Sometimes I wonder if I'm saying "Rosie I feel like being lazy and shirking my responsibility...you take over for a while."
She smiles and does it. But sometimes I notice she's not to happy about it. That's when I 'm really torn. What do I do then? Do I tell her that she only has to help when she feels like it? I don't exactly feel like that's sending the right message. Your not supposed to help out just when you feel like it. In fact one of our favorite family sayings is "Helping is about doing what other people need you to do not what you WANT to do"
On the other hand, if I make her do it anyway, am I causing animosity between her and her siblings? Am I causing Rosie to loath the responsibility of motherhood. Will she grow up and not want a family at all because of how much work it is?Don't get me wrong Rose is not the only one of my children that is expected to help me. Even Hannah has been asked to grab the phone when my hands are otherwise in use. But the natural tendency is to ask "the oldest child" first.
These are just some thoughts going through my brain so that I can sort them out. I don't have the "all knowing answer" I don't have any funny puns or jokes to add so that the whole thing comes together. I am waiting for my "Ah-ha" moment! (Sigh...)
- I am a 29-ish yr old married mother of 8. My family is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. My darling husband is my very best friend and together we are raising 8 of the best kids in the world! They are Rose(12) Sarah(12) Ammon(10) Malachi(8) Gabriel(7) Hannah(5) Maggie(4) and Abbie(3) We currently own 2 dogs, 1 bird, 5 chinchillas, 1,000,000 rabbits, 1 cat, 4.5 horses, and one ferret. We just purchased a home that is definately a "fixer-upper", with land and room for the kids to roam. Our goal is to run a mostly self sustaining farm and live in peace as we grow as a strong family unit. We have seen our fair share of hardships, but we are thankful for the many blessings the Lord gives us on a regular basis!