My Oldest Helps Raise My Youngest (and I'm OK with That!)

5 ways my oldest helps me with my youngest5 ways my oldest helps me with my youngestGrowing up, I was the oldest of four girls. My youngest sister was born 8 years after I was, which incidentally is exactly the age gap I have from my oldest to my youngest.

At the time, I remember my mother constantly saying to me "Emily, I just don't know what I would do without you," and while I really didn't understand what she meant at the time, I totally get it now.

Here are the 5 daily ways my oldest now helps me with my youngest:

1. She can watch over him while I take a shower in the morning.
Baby Paul is absolutely into everything these days, and if I take my eye off him for one single second, he's sure to find mischief. But if my oldest is around, she willingly plays with him in his bedroom for the 20 minutes it takes me to shower up. If it wasn't for her, mama would be a hot stinky mess.

2. When he needs comforting, he oftentimes turns to her.
While I'm there almost 100% of the time he needs comforting, it does happen when he falls down or needs extra love and I can't get to him. In these cases, my oldest is an amazing mommy stand-in. I adore seeing him run to her for comfort and loves.

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3. She can read!
My oldest absolutely loves to read, and to facilitate "story-time" with her siblings. It's awesome to watch and listen to her read books aloud to baby Paul and my 3-year-old.

4. She makes getting out of the house a breeze.
Sometimes just the thought leaving the house with four kids can mentally exhaust me. Packing the diaper bag, finding coats and shoes, making sure everyone has clean diapers and/or has used the bathroom. But with the help of my oldest, I can put her on-point with baby Paul to get him ready, so I can focus on the other kids.

5. So! Much! Energy!
By the end of the day, I find myself exhausted and running on fumes. Our house has four levels, and thanks to my oldest never-ending amount of energy and willingness to please, she's always game for racing up and down the stairs. Grabbing diapers, bottles, you name it - to help me out with the little kids.

No doubt about it, she's pretty amazing, and I'm one very lucky momma.

Do you have a large age gap between your oldest and youngest? It's pretty great, don't you think?


- By Emily Elling

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