What It’s Like Having A Sister Who Is 16 Years Younger Than You

April 12, 2016

In May 2014, I received a message from my Mum announcing that she was pregnant. This was the biggest shock that I’ve ever had, considering I’d lived 16 years as an only child and my Mum was certain that she would never have another child. I’d always wanted someone to play with when I was little and it did get quite lonely, but with my parents being apart, I knew that it would never happen. I did have half siblings but it wasn’t the same, I wanted someone I could play with all of the time. I’m a very independent person now, and I put that down to doing a lot of things on my own ever since I can remember. I don’t mind this, in fact, I think it’s made me more mature and moulded me into the person I am today.

My Mum’s pregnancy took a while to get used to; I admit it did feel weird to me and all sorts of things were making me feel anxious. How would I get used to a baby? Would I like it? But before I knew it, in early February we rushed to the hospital and my little sister was born on the 14th of February 2015. At first, I found it tough to bond with this bundle of joy, I was more in shock than anything and it felt very surreal, she was so tiny, snuggled up in her pram and she seemed so fragile. I don’t feel confident in handling newborns as I get scared holding them, this worried me as I thought that I’d never be able to bond with her and I really wanted to try. My Mum assured me that it was okay and I continued to try my best to be around her as much as possible.

Skip to half a year down the line…
Meet Darbi!
As Darbi started to develop and learn more things I felt at ease, and she finally began to know who I was and I spent a lot more time with her. I love the little smiles and giggles she gives me when I see her and I truly enjoy spending every second with her. I personally find it better being this age and having a little sister because I’ll remember more special moments now than I would have done as a child and it also gives me experience for when I’m older. 
I find that people always ask my Mum “what is it like having such a big age gap?” but they never seem to ask me. To some people in my position, it could be embarrassing, when I push the pushchair I’ve found that people stare at me in a judgemental way because they think that I’m her Mother and I don’t find that very fair. People tend to judge even when they don’t know you, or know the full details. I enjoy helping my Mum out as much as possible and with her partner away working a lot it’s ideal. 

Some advice to anyone who is in my position:
– Don’t be scared 
-Talk to your parents about how you’re feeling
-Don’t have negative thoughts towards the baby; it’s not their fault
-It’s okay to be upset at first
-Don’t reject your sibling, try
My sister has now grown into a little character and she never fails to make me smile! We get on so well and I don’t know why I worried in the first place. It might not be overly common to have such a big age gap but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you have any thoughts then comment below, I’d love to hear them. 

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