For me being a big sister means being 16 years older


courtesy of Merly Rios

My brother has been walking for a year, and I’ve been following him ever since.

by Katherine Lopez, Reporter

When my one-year-old brother cries, guess who gets up to hold him? 


I am the “big sister.”  And when I say that, I mean I am sixteen years older than my two siblings.  What is it like to be the “first” family when your parents decide to have a “second” set?  Thrilling, fun, stressful, and difficult.  All at once.

There are many parents who have their children with a gap of just a few years, and that’s what my parents originally did. They had two kids, me and my brother. We’re three years apart. Life went like that for the next 12 years, and then, out of the blue, they had my second brother. 

I say “out of the blue” because I was surprised, but they planned to have more children, now that they are more mature. They thought raising these new babies will  not be as stressful as we were when they were very young.

I know a lot of people are wondering why my parents decided to have another pair of kids years later. Truth is, I was also confused. My parents had me when they were in their late teens so they weren’t really experienced with having a baby. Now that my brother and I are older, my mom and dad are more mature and know how to handle it and enjoy with more confidence.

Another personal reason, I think, is because me and my brother are getting older and I’m soon going to leave for college. Maybe they realized they were going to feel alone and that’s probably when they decided to have two more. 

That’s one reason why I plan to stay in state for college, and I also don’t want to be far away.

A big difference, 15 years apart this time. Saying it is easy would be a lie. My sister was born a year after my brother. I learned to get used to my siblings’ habits of sleeping and eating and I would take it upon myself to take stress off my mom by helping her with the babies. 

What’s it like to be the “little mother?”  A lot of people mistakenly think I am their mother. When I go to the park, moms frequently turn to me asking if im my brother’s mother. Awkward. I just laugh it off.

Here is the THRILLING part:

This is a sonogram of my sister. I keep this picture on my phone.

I really liked experiencing the pregnancy with my mom, seeing all the sonograms of my siblings and watching her mood swing throughout the day. I liked buying all the small clothes and preparing the rooms with all sorts of baby things.

Here’s what is FUN:

Just taking care of my little brother, taking naps with him and playing with him all day. When I come back from school, he’s patiently waiting for me in the living room. He really likes nature, so he loves going outside for walks around our neighborhood when it’s nice out.

Here’s what’s STRESSFUL:

Something that I struggled with was the pressure I had when my mom had my little sister. I was so used to the environment I had created by just taking care of my brother. The whole family had to adjust to the new baby and every now and then take care of her as well.

Here’s what’s DIFFICULT:

I think my little brother had the hardest time getting used to another baby in the house. Not all the attention was going to him, and, since he’s just a baby, he threw tantrums in the begining. 

Every now and then I think about how different life would have been without my siblings. Maybe it would have been peaceful or lonely. Being part of a big family has its good and difficult moments, but I cherish every moment I spend with them.