Me First

Syreeta Ekaba Akinyede
2 min readFeb 11, 2022

How Firstborns Are Created

Being the first-born sets you up as the guinea pig for life (well…kinda).

You are an experimental child. There is so much room for error in your upbringing. Your new parents will either get it right or fail dismally, but they will learn from their lessons (or maybe not) and do better with your younger siblings.

They hold on to you, but expect you to have the guts to be independent at the same time.

Their rules are made to keep you in a choke hold so tight, you spend most of your teenage years almost passed out, but you learn to breathe without oxygen.

As if that were not enough, you are under immense pressure to get life right. You are set up as the model example to follow. You are hardly given room to be human, to make mistakes and feel ok about it. You are supposed to be perfect, even when perfect doesn’t exist.

And when you miss a step, it becomes a case of Olympus Has Fallen.

If your parents are relatively young in their careers, then you are the child who gets to live through the pains of startup life, but you’ll learn some valuable life lessons in the process.

Being number one also means that you’ll most likely wear a lot of new clothes (your siblings would get hand-me-downs).

You’ll have all your parents’ attention for whatever amount of time you are the only child. You’ll also not experience the concept or act of sharing.

Your parents will probably go the extra mile to celebrate every single birthday of yours. They’ll celebrate every month in your first year of life too…You can’t blame them, they are so smitten with you as their first baby. Every moment counts and they will document it. So get ready to discover lots of embarrassing photos when you are older.

And when your siblings arrive, you’ll most likely play intercessor between them and your parents. Of course you will always be on their side. They will expect you to explain to the parents why their rules don’t make sense and why they need to back off. You are the only one they believe can and will pull it off.

You are their Voltron.

The first-born life is a pretty mix of everything. It is an honour and a privilege.

Day 18 of the Not Enough Writers 30-Day Writing Challenge