Birth Order, Empty Nest and All That Jazz

by MamaJil on May 17, 2012

Its been a rather interesting day here in my neck of the woods.

Its getting to the point where more times than not it’s just me and the littles….today was no exception.

I know I am many moons away from an empty nest but I can’t help to feel the dynamics of my crew as they all shift and change into new seasons.


Of course our oldest son and his wife have been married for almost six years  and now they are  parents,they have been gone and in a different season long enough that we are use to them having their own life. The same can be said  for our oldest daughter, since she moved closer to the university three years ago. Child number 3 still lives next door but I will say that with all her goings and comings, work and wedding plans we have definitely been  adapting to her pending departure. The dynamics always change as the next chickadee steps up and takes the lead as oldest sibling. I have already acclimated myself to the older ones moving on.
Its the next batch, my beloved middlers that I can hardly believe are beginning to sprout wings and depart on ventures of their own. It isn’t a surprise I suppose, after all  middle school and a high schooled age children  naturally begin to work, and have obligations and commitments of their own….so why then does it choke me up?
The three of them went to work with their dad today, each with their own talent and gifting. Child number 3 has been teaching #4 the Tech-Kid how to run the sign business, The teen is a virtual assistant and Big Brother I believe is a over all excellent gopher. Its a great opportunity for them, they get to work along side of their Dad and learn to work and work hard.
Back on the home front…..I have been left with the bottom four ….10yrs old, 8yrs old, 6yrs old, and 4 yrs old….hardly babies, however, they are the babies. Yet I must also admit they are every bit as capable of accomplishing tasks and chores as their older counterparts…WHO KNEW??? Today they all assisted with the washing and the cleaning and the dusting. Today they did all the jobs the big kids do every day. Today they worked together and accomplished much. I initially thought I was crazy for giving them the tasks after all they are so young (never mind that our oldest son had been scrubbing bathrooms since he was 5ish).

Among the bottom four its amazing to see that oldest of the little girls definitely takes the role of first born. She is an organizer and a worker.

The five year old takes the role of the princess and exhausts easily from the slightest task.

The Baby Girl is a good combination of worker and princess.

While Baby Boy works right along side of us willing to accomplish the task and seemingly  happy to help.  Which is a different role  than the one he takes when Big Brother is here….when Big Brother is here he seems more than very willing to let his brother do the labor while he attempts to disappear!

The day has made me think of my own siblings, how birth order plays into the roles we assume, and the role we all play when we come home as adults.  My sister who is only thirteen months younger than me. She is a certified school teacher,  the mother of 3 children, a wife and a very accomplished adult. Yet when she comes home to visit and enters  the kitchen to cook we all look at her with amazement and ask if she wants us to do it….

We ask her insulting things, questioning her capability of achieving  the simplest tasks such as cutting onions or making pancakes….we are shocked that she makes delicious homemade salsa and wonderful apple pies.  See, she wasn’t very domestic when she was younger  so we don’t see her in that light. Yet, she some how manages to feed and care for her family every day without us!

The same thing happens with my brother… he was the youngest, a clown, always funny, always a prankster…its hard to see him as an adult, married and a daddy to two children…..yet he is a dad, a husband, a provider…..imagine that!

Tomorrow when the bottom seven are all here I am sure the older ones will shoo the bottom four out the back door, never thinking once that they can  actually do all that needs doing. Its a pattern they most likely carry on into adulthood.

I am still a stretch from an empty nest but I am sensing some preliminary shifting and changing and that is okay. I am not sure I can change the perception the older children have of the younger children, but I am thankful for this new season and the opportunity to guide the littles  to bloom and mature in their capabilities.









{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Davene Grace May 17, 2012 at 11:45 PM

It’s so interesting to read your reflections on this topic. (Actually, I find it interesting to read your reflections on ANY topic!) ;-) Just yesterday, I was realizing that Tobin could step up and start doing some of the tasks that Josiah did when he was that age. I still think of my “little guys” as…well…little guys! But they are capable of so much more than I give them credit for. I need to keep working on this.

Ronda Riley May 18, 2012 at 8:26 AM

You are so blessed!!!!!!Your kids are precious! Me I am just wanting a grandchild. You make me feel lazy with your schedule and activities. God certainly knew who to bless with all that love!!!!!!!

Savannah May 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

The only thing worse than adjusting to children moving out, would be having children who don’t develop and move out…isn’t it? I feel your emotion and even though my family is much smaller (4 children), I can relate to it. My oldest two are 22 and 18 years old. The 18 year old is engaged and the other works and goes to school so much I hardly see him.

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