Many babies might follow the first one, but none of them will take the firstborn’s place.
Hello, from the eastern part of Nigeria. The streets are muddy, and the weather is giving twilight vibes. The only difference is there is no Edward Cullen to my Bella Swan. Anyways into the blogverse☺️
If you are a firstborn, have you ever felt your position in your family makes you apply self-imposed pressure on yourself? You don’t like the pressure, but you can’t slack either because you don’t want to look like a failure in the eyes of your parents and siblings.
It’s a peculiar situation I think all firstborn children share in common. A friend of mine described being a firstborn as being a child in the midst of adults.
The adults are swallowing their fufu, and you are trying so hard to mirror them, but you can’t because you are a child and your oesophagus is too small for that morsel of fufu to pass through. But you persevere. You tell yourself if I can’t swallow this fufu, at least let me try not to chew it. One thing leads to another, and you find out you are in a mess and need help.
This is where it gets tricky because all firstborns come with a certain unhealthy level of pride and ego. We don’t want to ask for help so we don’t look weak. At the same time, we need this help, or else we die, crumble, or break down, whatever your version of weariness is.
Why am I writing this?
To tell you that you are not alone. Like my friend David says, we gather dey. But unhealthy habits don’t lead to healthy lives, do they? We need to find a way to break out of this pride and self-imposed pressure.
The pressure to be perfect and not make mistakes. To put your life on hold and help your parents and siblings live theirs to the full. To give all you have so your loved ones won’t have to worry. This pressure kills.
I am not asking us to relegate our positions as firstborns (little wonder why Esau sold his birthright). I am asking us to create a balance, to leave part of ourselves for ourselves. To save a little money for ourselves. To give ourselves the same grace and goodies we give others and to not be too hard on ourselves.
My biggest family lesson of 2022 is: People will ask and ask and ask until you decide to stop giving. The crazy thing? If you drop dead today, they will find a way to get those same problems they run to you to get solved.
Being the first is a blessing in itself, but we must remember that we have a claim to enjoy our lives, too.
As you come to the end of this blog, I need you to think of ways you can take off the self-imposed stress off of your shoulders. You can. You have a choice.
Have a great day.