Writers Workshop: Birth Order?

Image by Hanna Kovalchuk from Pixabay

I was the first born in my family. Apparently, that’s supposed to mean something. Mom, who was the first born in her family, read a book called The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are and swore it was just like her and, by extension, just like me. I haven’t read it myself, and evidently the Kindle edition is unavailable, so I Ducked "first born traits" and found this article, a list of "7 Interesting Habits All First-Born Children Have In Common." Well, we’ll see about that…

  1. "They’re More Independent": In reading their description, it sounds like they mean "can keep himself occupied and entertained while his parents see to the other kids." OK, that fits.

  2. "They Care For Others": I can’t say that I was a caretaker for my brothers (as often as not they took care of me), and that seems to be the main thrust of this "habit." So no.

  3. "They Are Leaders": I wouldn’t go so far as to say this. Ringleader, perhaps. Once, I met with several people I worked with, and asked them what’s new, and one guy said "we’re all waiting on you." The implication being they were waiting for me to do something and they’d follow my lead. I, of course, did nothing, and ever since I feel like I let them down. Clearly others see me as more of a leader than I do.

  4. "They Work Hard": HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No. At least I don’t think I do.

  5. "They’re More Likely To Take Direction": This would fit pretty well, actually. There have been many times that I’ve waited for someone to tell me that it was all right to do something, and consequently missed out on doing a lot.

  6. "They’re Better At Picking Up A Second Language": Hard to say. I wasn’t all that good at Latin or Greek. On the other hand, when I was a supervisor and had a crew of guys from Mexico, I was able to pick up some Spanish, more or less on my own. That was more a case of survival.

  7. "They’re Less Likely To Engage In Risky Behaviors": I have to admit that this is true.

Still, I wear the mantle of "first born" with some unease. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to be the first born. Mom did say that she had a miscarriage before me. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like not to have been the oldest….

13 thoughts on “Writers Workshop: Birth Order?

  1. Doesn’t #3 contradict #5? My brother is the older one and he is independent…until he meets a woman and then he becomes what they want him to be. I hope he has learned from his previous relationships. He is not a good leader but he works very hard and takes direction. Caring for others…hmmm. I don’t think so even though he has a big heart. He can’t learn a second language and he is not much of a risk taker so this one falls flat. My hubby hates taking direction and would like to lead but not sure he would be good at that. He is not into risk at all..I mean not at all..Hahahaaa. He works extremely hard and is very independent but not sure if he can pick up a 2nd language although he did speak French when he was a babe but that is all lost now.


  2. I’m not so sure about that description of the oldest…Me and the husband are the youngest. I’m the youngest of 4 girls. Mom was busy in the 50’s. My oldest sister was born in 1955 and I was born in 1959. One set of Irish twins, my two oldest sister…October and September. I don’t even talk to my oldest sister. Such a, well I’m not going to go there. The husband doesn’t talk to his older brother, also the oldest all though there is 12 years separating them so that might have something to do with it. I have always been interested in the birth order and how it shapes you. Of course I do think the youngest is a fighter, and probably Mom’s favorite ;) …


  3. I am oldest. Sibling and friend, always. I fit the list. My oldest son handed his birth right when very young. He let his younger brother take over all the leadership issues. He still, at near 50 defers to others.
    I was given strong messages as a child how I needed to set a good example for my brothers and cousins (oldest there, too). It is a lot of pressure to put on a kid and I refused to do that to my kids. I think they are stronger for each other as a unit. Even now as adults.
    My two cents.


  4. I was also the first born and for the most part, I do think I follow these. I WILL lead, but I take a little bit to get there. Also, a second language was hard! I took French in high school and it stuck… sort of. I took Italian in college and I was very bad at it!


  5. Interesting theories. While I am the third of four, there were 10 and 12 years between me and the older ones and 5 between me and the younger one. I sometimes think that I was the oldest because by the time I was 8 the two oldest were married and out of the house.


    1. That’s like my brother Pat. He has a different father than we do, but we don’t see it that way. We were all married and out of the house by the time he started school, so he was more like an only child. Mom’s youngest sister is 16 years younger than Mom was, but only 8 years older than I, so she was like a big sister. Funny those dynamics…

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