The Firstborn Syndrome: 7 things Every Firstborn should Know

I bet Martha of the bible was a firstborn. She was a burden carrier of sorts, not a good thing to be proud of. Two scenarios make her stand out as a firstborn in my head; one when Jesus was a guest at her home and another when Lazarus died. She was all over the house pacing to and from trying to make sure that her guests are comfortable and during that statement, ” Lord if you would have gotten here earlier, he would still be alive.”.

She felt like it was her responsibility to do everything, no one else would do it, who can blame her anyway. I have been thinking about Martha for years now and I kept on wondering if she was at fault to be concerned about the welfare of her guests and her siblings. I don’t think she was but her attitude, well…

The responsibilities of a Firstborn

Firstborns, I would say they are weird but  I respect them _for being the first in the family and for helping in ensuring that the structures were formed before everybody else came into the family. 

I respect them because they handled the crazy that their young parents put them through before figuring out whether they wanted that marriage thing that you now see.

Others were actually the reason why the marriage deal was sealed, because well, they were some sort of oopsie babies.

I also imagine that firstborns have had to stay with their grandparents the longest because when they were little their mothers used to leave their matrimonial homes at the least provocation. At least now, with age and time, the mother is a little stable and never leaves her home no matter what.

So I do respect you, but here is a few things I feel like it’s my obligation to let you know.


There is always that need to be an example, a good example to your siblings and stuff. Sis, that is a good thing, but do not let it be the death of you. I am not suggesting that you be reckless or anything, but stop living life as though you are stepping on eggshells.

Take a leap and live because life is for the living. I know they call you the deputy parent but please do not let it get to your head. No one wants perfection, excellence maybe, but not perfect.

Perfect will cripple you to actually never do anything. I tend to think that you burdened yourself with that expectation because none of your siblings want you to be perfect.

They want to see that you are human and you make mistakes, not the superhero human that you try to portray that makes them think that you have it all worked out.

The Firstborn syndrome: 7 things every firstborn should know


By now I know that you know that your opinion truly counts in the decisions of your siblings. This is why they try to run everything through you, but please note that they just want an opinion, if they do not take it, kindly respect them.

I know you think medicine would be a good career  path to take, but if your small sis wants to be a DJ please let her. If you did not pass to do medicine and they passed, sorry. Please let them live their lives.


As much as it might be hard to believe, imagine your siblings have a life. I know, it’s absurd, but they actually do. I know you think that they owe you for washing their napkins, since there were no diapers during your time.

I also know that you missed playing with kids because you were to take care of them, hehe but am sorry, they are all grown and sometimes you may call them and they may say no to you when you want them to baby-sit your kids, or something. Like they might give a very confident NO that you end up using the card that you took care of them when they were little just to guilt-trip them.

It ain’t cool though.

I don’t know if big brothers guilt-trip their younger siblings, but sisters are very prone to doing this. I know you have a list of the things you have done for them, including going to visit them in school, but do not be bringing that card every time, it looks ugly on you big sis.



I know they might be your mum and dad, but they are each other’s husband and wife. They have a family with you but they have a marriage with each other. I know, you did not see it that way, or maybe you forgot.

You might have been there long enough to actually end up forgetting that the two are actually married and they have obligations towards each other just as they do towards the family. The wife at all times should submit to the husband and the husband ought to love the wife. I know you are close to your mum, especially if she got you when she was a teen, and you might have had bad blood with your dad for a long time but sis, do not let your mum or dad, “get” you into their marriage.

By this I mean, do not give room for your mum to bad mouth your father in your presence, tell her to talk to her husband. Mothers have ended up making their daughters the “third” in their marriages and they have spoilt their minds in the process. We have daughters who are bitter about their fathers and they pass it on to the men they meet.

Kindly note that he might be your father, but he is her husband, and husband and wife do crazy things because sometimes marriage is messier than family. Do not let your mum tell you the crazy stuff and when they are back together you never get to hear any of it.


I hate to announce it to you, but yeah. Having stayed long enough in the family, I know you have seen the bad and the ugly in the family in vivid pictures. You have seen it all, and you could be especially critical of your dad.

You might feel cheated especially if he wasn’t a good father to you but turns out to be a perfect one to your youngest siblings. Maybe he has even turned over a new leaf and gotten saved in the process, but well, you are human, you might have forgiven but not necessarily forgotten.

Pray for your heart, be open with God and let Him know that it is getting hard to actually see him with the new lenses. You might have seen his worst sides; from beating your mum, to not paying your school fees to doing all the other stuff. This does not discredit him as your father. I would also like to announce to you that he is the one that has your blessings, so make amends.

Firstborn; FEAR IS A LIE


Worry is always part and parcel of many firstborns. The worry is always magnified depending with the number of siblings and stability of the family. Fear will affect your productivity and infact, you always gravitate towards what you fear.

If you think you love your siblings and your parents, kindly note that God loves them even more. If he got you through school and brought you to where you are, imagine He will also be faithful to the rest. They will succeed just as you did, because I know you are a success.


The bible records, “You must present all firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to the Lord, for they belong to Him” Exodus 13:12. You are His and the sooner you make peace with this statement, the better.


The bible calls Him, the firstborn among many brethren. Take it to Him in prayer when it becomes overwhelming. He is familiar with having the weight of stuff on his shoulders, He will take you through it.

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