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The Expectations Put On Oldest Daughters Harm Us

My parents divorced when I was still a baby. The reasons as to why my father got primary custody of me change depending on who you ask. However, the one constant is that I got sick and my dad decided to move to the UK. He took me and my siblings with him. At that time it was my older brother, myself then my younger brother and sister. 

My father remarried twice within the 10 years that I lived at home, during which he had many more children. At that time, it was part and parcel of my responsibilities to look after my siblings and help with the household, what with being the oldest daughter. My tasks included daily cleaning, the school runs and looking after the kids when the parents were at work.

During my teenage years, my only respite was when they moved abroad and I attended boarding school. However, before this I remember many weekend plans I had to cancel because I was ‘looking after the kids’. I believe that my childhood was stolen. I do not think my father’s wife should have been making me clean the house from top to bottom at eight years old because I “was a woman.” Nor should the burden of looking after your children fall your other children.