“How might life have been different if your kids were born in a different order?” is the question for today.
Interesting question, and one that I’m not sure I can answer. While I don’t think that I’m very good with hypothetical questions, I am very good at wondering, “What if?” One of those pondering “what if” questions was fulfilled during my teen years: What if I were an only child? While I’m sure that my Mom loved me as much as she loved my brothers, it seemed like she extended more favor towards one or the other. In fact, I threatened to run away if she did not “do something” because I felt she favored the one for being the first born and the other for being the baby. The middle child stigma was getting to me in a big way. So she let me go to live with an aunt/uncle for the summer. I was the “only child” and enjoyed the attention so much that I opted to stay with them for the school year, but by Thanksgiving the homesickness was overwhelming and I had to admit that I missed my siblings as much as I missed my parents. Ultimately I returned home.
So while I do think that life would have been more different for the child involved had the order of their birth been switched around, I don’t think that it would have been so different for me, especially in regards to my parenting. Even the youngest of my crew has had an opportunity to care for someone younger than themselves, so they’ve all had experience with being in charge of and/or responsible for someone else’s welfare. Likewise they each had someone in charge of and/or responsible for them, even if the eldest’s was not a sibling, but rather a parent or grandparent. I’ve treated them equally in regards to punishment and/or consequences for their behavior. They each have their fair share of attention, or lack thereof (something I’m trying to work on, especially so after SquarePiece’s revelation this past week added to that conviction). They each had/have what they need in regards to shelter, clothing, school supplies, personal interests/hobbies, etc. So, I don’t think a difference in the order of birth would have made much difference in their lifestyle.
I do sometimes wonder though, what if I had had a boy and then a girl (or vice-versa), right from the start? Would my husband have pressured me to stop with just those two, if they had been of both genders right away? It’s difficult for me to imagine these siblings without each other and I admit, it’s equally difficult to imagine them in a different order; but, now that I think about it, I wonder what it would have been like to have had the boys first, and not so far apart in age (there’s ten years between Joey and Donovan). I wonder if they would have been protective of the girls and treated them like little princesses, or would the girls be inclined to be tomboys and more interested in video games? What if they had come on the scene in a pattern, boy, girl, boy, girl …
Donovan teaching Joey how to tie his shoes … Olivia showing Mandy how to cook …
hmmmmmmmm … what if ……
I’m inclined to think and hope that whatever the order, they would be as close as they are to one another now.
Thank you, anonymous, for your question.
Yeah, if Joey and Donovan were born before me, I wonder if I would have been even girlier or would have picked up on their habits and interests. I’ll admit that apart from Christ, I don’t have many common interests with the boys. Except for silliness. We all love some silliness.
Love this question! What a wonderful thought, Olive teaching me how to cook. Oh, and I’m sure those boys would definitely had us playing the video games. 🙂