There are so many reasons why being an ate seems like an unfair situation. Bunsos get all the love and glory, and we know firstborns are not really spoiled enough. But looking back, being the ate has its perks too. Here are five reasons why it pays off to be an ate.
1. I learned how to take good care of my things and clothes.
As a firstborn, you learn to care for your belongings. Aside from your parents ensuring that you will not destroy things that was bought with their hard-earned money, there’s that notion that you will pass them to your other siblings. Your math textbook? Better not make unnecessary highlights! Your clothes? Make sure you won’t leave permanent stains. But because of this, you’ve learned how to be more careful with your stuff. Which in turn, ensures that you maximize your monetary investments on your purchases. You probably still use your three-year old cellphone or laptop. Your clothes probably still looks good as new.
2. I was trained to be a good listener.
Being an ate means you are regarded as the problem solver. Your younger siblings look up to you to share your wisdom. Whether it’s about how to ask for your parents’ permission on an upcoming concert or how to mend a broken heart, your siblings have an impression that you’ve experienced it before. This makes you their go-to for their problems. And with that, you’ve mastered the art of listening to your brothers and sisters. Translation = good friend.
3. I learned how to be independent.
It’s almost a given that when you’re the firstborn, you’re expected to be an independent person. This is because your parents are too busy taking care of your younger siblings. Most often, they trust that you have already learned how to take care of yourself by closely studying how they are taking care of the others. And this is fine, because in the end, you’ll learn it’s easier to get through life when you’re independent.
4. I became more responsible.
Speaking of being independent, you also embody another trait that goes hand-in-hand with it: being responsible! Because you learn to become independent at an early age, you also learn the need to be responsible. Firstborns are groomed to be responsible for themselves and for the entire family. Most of the time, parents entrust younger siblings to their firstborn. They also trust them with the chores and helping out with the family. Your parents need a babysitter? No need, they just put you in-charge! At an early age, you learn to become an adult that can be trusted.
5. I learned how to love unconditionally.
As an ate, you probably got bullied by your younger siblings. They probably made your life a little unpleasant by not following your rules (when clearly, your parents put you in charge). They are also probably the reason why you had to go home early from a party. (“To set a good example to your brothers and sisters”). But no matter what happens, you love them unconditionally. And that’s what’s so great about being an ate, you get to realize it first. You’ll be the first to understand how much you love your siblings. Don’t worry, in time, they’ll catch up and know how much they love you.
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Lorey is a small girl with a big appetite for love, life, culture, and food. Yes, most especially, food.