How Your Perspective Changes When Your Older Sibling Becomes A Parent

by Sheena Sharma

Two months ago, my 31-year-old older sister gave birth to a baby boy. Though our seven-year age difference made her just as much as a second mother to me as a sister, it's still weird.

It was hard to imagine this new mom as the same person who used to lock me in closets so she could record her home videos in peace.

I knew there would be changes in her life once the baby was born, but what I didn't know was there would be significant changes taking place in my life, too.

These changes were hardly recognizable at first, but the more situations I find myself in, the more I begin to tweak the ways in which I view their outcomes.

You notice you aren't the baby anymore.

I was raised with more liberties than my sister, being the younger one, which certainly was a privilege, as I was definitely spoiled. But, when an actual baby becomes part of the family, you can't whine as much as you used to.

You realize that your parents are no longer just parents; they're grandparents.

And your grandparents, if they're still alive, become great grandparents. Even though I'm only 24, it's my turn to look after my mom and dad. They will always be parents first and foremost, but now, there is an entirely new generation in the family tree.

It's time to let my parents take it easy, sit back and watch their babies and their baby's baby grow up.

All of a sudden, boy drama becomes more petty.

More specifically, the drama that arises from ex-boyfriends and/or the guy you've been casually hooking up with since forever.

The reason being, neither of the two has potential to turn into something more serious, and you begin to realize you kind of want something serious. Plus, the moment you see your big sister's smile in the smile of a baby, you find there's no point in walking around with a heart full of hate.

You learn to forgive easily, and you learn to forget quickly.

Subsequently, you try as hard as you can to refocus your attention away from the bad boy and toward the good guy.

At my sister's wedding two years ago, I looked at the happy couple and thought, 'I want that someday.' Well, "someday" inches a lot closer once you become an aunt.

That white-picket fence life shifts from simply being an idea, to becoming a tangible reality. "Try" is the key word here. I may always be attracted to a bad boy, but as long as I'm making a conscious effort to seek out a guy I know will treat me well, I'm making progress.

You see the merit in being a young mom.

If not young, at least youthful. You want to be active and hip, and not only be your child's mother, but also your child's friend.

In the same vein, you want your parents to still be young, healthy and active enough that they can play with your children when you choose to have them. Thus, you start marking time and tuning into that annoyingly loud biological clock.

So, finally, you set stricter deadlines.

Not only in terms of getting hitched and having kids, but also in regard to how you want to establish yourself.

Love will find its way to us once we have become settled. Generation-Y is the lost generation -- there's no doubt about that. But, at some point, you realize you've got to turn your "lost" into "found."

I fear that our generation's women (myself included) have prioritized career over family, and have turned a complete 180-degrees from the way we wanted our lives to shape up a century ago. But, there should be a healthy balance between family life and work life.

If we don't want to get hitched before 30, that's okay, but we should at least be having honest conversations with ourselves, asking the right questions:

What do I want out of life? What kind of man do I want for life? How can I be the go-getter woman I need to be while preparing to be the mom I've dreamt of being since I was a little girl?

I lucked out because I get a glimpse into motherhood before having to take on the role myself. One day, I know I'll make a great mom, but for now, I'll do my best to be an amazing aunt.