Being the youngest child in your family isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be… it’s so much more. Yes, there’s plenty of jealousy and incessant teasing to deal with, but once you get past that it can be pretty glorious.

With that in mind, here are all the things you only know if you’re the youngest child – sorry, eldest and middle sibs, but we definitely got the sweet end of the deal.

Your birth was met with a mixture of jealousy and relief from your siblings

Another kid to share toys and hugs with, but thankfully you were the last new addition to the fam.

For the first five years of your life, you were probably meaner to them than they ever were to you.

Because when else can you get away with biting, scratching and nipping without landing yourself in serious trouble with your parents?

But then the tables turned

You quickly became the butt of all their jokes and they would never let you hang out with them and their friends during school lunchtime.

God forbid anyone join in with their teasing, though

They were allowed to call you any names they wanted, but if their friends joined in there would be hell to pay, because “THAT’S MY LITTLE SISTER!”

Somehow you still desperately wanted to hang out with them

If everyone at school saw you hanging out with an older crowd they’d think you were so cool.

And occasionally they’d let you

If only to get your mum off their case and make a little extra pocket money in the process.

You resented them for their hand-me-downs

Prints that went out of fashion four years ago and busted elastic waistbands were par for the course.

But you were (and still are) definitely a little spoiled

Even if not materialistically, your parents let you get away with so much more than your elder sibs, and because of that you were never grounded nearly as much as them.

Sometimes ‘spoiled’ stretches into ‘overprotected’ territory

Cue your fam vetting all potential suitors who dare to even look in your direction. You probably won’t date until you’re 30, but you’ve learned to accept that fact.

Yet you love your big sibs and all their weird ways regardless

They just ‘get’ you like nobody else.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Amber Griffin

Sisters get all the glory. They’re in-built BFFs and take turns being bridesmaids. They borrow each other’s clothes and the older sister always teachers the younger one about periods and sex. Apparently.

I don’t have a sister. Instead, I have a lot of brothers. I always liked that about myself, as if I had anything to do with it.

I didn’t understand sisters; didn’t understand the way they could be screaming at each other over a pair of jeans one second, cuddling on the sofa the next. I would watch my friends fight with their sisters, hatred streaming out of their mouth, their faces red and vicious, completely unembarrassed by my presence. I would watch them storm out and slam the door, only to reappear ten minutes later and ask if they could borrow a phone charger, like nothing had ever happened.

People with sisters know how to fight. They know how to speak their mind. To let their emotions fly out of their mouth, rather than swallowing them whole.

Instead, I had three older brothers. Mostly, we conformed to stereotypes: they played lots of sports and I wore pink and complained when I was made to watch aforementioned sports. We never fought. Well, we did. But our fighting involved them tickling me until I cried or holding me, fully clothed over the pool while I screamed bloody murder. I wasn’t a defenseless kid, I would bite down until my entire dental records were ingrained on their skin, or pinch them until they let go of me. Our fighting was physical and fast and playful and almost always ended with our mother telling us to be nice to each other.

I liked our way of fighting. Actually, I still like our way of fighting, but it got harder as we got older and it became unacceptable for adults to throw each other in the pool or bite each other’s forearms.

monica-and-ross

These days, when we fight, our tactic is avoidance. We screen each other’s phone calls or let texts go unanswered until we’ve forgotten what we were cross about in the first place. We stew, wait for it to pass, put it aside. My family don’t work ‘through’ things, we work around them. I am always semi in awe of the people who are able to express their feelings. Those who deal with conflict head-on rather than running around the back and checking to see if the coast is clear before reemerging.

To be honest, my brothers and I rarely fight anymore. Mostly, they feel like my team mates. People who look like me and sound like me and remember the time our dad got airlifted out of the Australian desert because he had a headache that he was convinced was a tumour (it wasn’t).

We aren’t close in the way sisters often are, we don’t talk about relationships and we are perfectly content to let our mum collect and pass on our news, like some sort of loving, all-purpose media outlet.

But we are close in a different way. They call every so often just to make sure I’m doing ok. They are protective whenever I introduce them to a boyfriend. They randomly send me texts littered with emojis that I take to mean, ‘Hey, I’m thinking of you.’ They let me go halves on a birthday present for my dad if I can’t think of anything good to buy him. Having three older brothers feels a bit like having three bodyguards who each call you by a different childhood nickname.

Maybe, if I had had a sister, I would have been better at speaking my mind. I would have learnt how to deliver that verbal blow that sisters seem so adept at doing.

Instead, I had brothers. So I know exactly the spot on someone’s arm to pinch that will cause a bruise the next day and I know that there are a million ways to say ‘I love you’ without ever using the words. And who knows, maybe that’s just as useful.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.