Posts Tagged ‘The Eldest Child Syndrome’

… to this earth I do not want to be the oldest child, the only daughter or a big sister.

Known as the Oldest Child Syndrome, the eldest is expected to be ‘responsible’, doesn’t make a fuss, takes charge over the younger ones.   I think there is too much responsibility put on and too much expected of the Oldest Child.

A little bit of tranquility in an otherwise hectic life.

As the eldest I have taken on the responsibility of my Mum.  She is 92 and lives in a Care Home near me.

I am almost 60 and even now, when enjoying the first evening out for a very long time, it was spoilt by a parent.

Not that it was my Mum’s fault.  She was unwell last night and the Home saw fit to call an ambulance.   So, at 10:00 pm, the first time I looked at my mobile phone all evening, there were a number of missed calls.   The Home x 3, the hospital x 2 and my daughter x 1.

Not only is it almost impossible to find a quiet place, in a house full of partying  people, to make a phone call.   Have you tried using a touch phone as a phone in an emergency?  It is new, takes brilliant photos and is great for Twitter and games.  I have yet to get to grips with using it as an actual phone.  I was dialling the wrong number, couldn’t end a call, and worse still was the number of times I redialed the wrong number.  The frustration was mounting and the phone was nearly launched out of the window.  Oh, how I yearned for a proper telephone.

Mum is, fortunately, ok.  They can’t find anything wrong with her and she will be discharged today.  They couldn’t find anything wrong the last two times she was rushed to hospital either.   She is elderly, even if they did find anything, what are they going to do at her age?  Leave her be, hospital is not the place for her.  She is happy and contented in a wonderful care home with nursing staff on hand.   I suppose they are only doing their job and can’t run risks.

This morning I sat down with my late breakfast, relaxed in the knowledge that I don’t have to spend all Sunday sitting in the hospital, when the phone rang again.

This time it was my brother – he suffers from the Youngest Child Syndrome.   He is 58 and has Aspergers.  He called to say he was going to the hospital tomorrow for tests.   Usually he has a Community Nurse to go with him but she is on holiday and he is going on his own.  He wanted to talk to me about the tests, and anything else in general I think.

It was all too much this morning, my tea had gone cold, my toast had gone soggy and I just wanted to be left alone.  I am afraid I kept the call to a minimum.  Now I am sitting here wracked with guilt.

Was I not sympathetic enough?

Should I take tomorrow off and drive to the other side of  London to go with him to the hospital?

Should I go the hospital to wait with Mum until the ambulance collects her to take her back?

Should I wait at home and not go out so when the Home ring to say Mum is back, I can go and see her?

Should I have told my brother about Mum being in hospital, which would only serve to worry him unnecessarily?

So, if I do come back to this earth, I want to be anything but the eldest child please.


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