People Are Sharing What It's Like To Have Much Older Siblings

I recently asked the much younger siblings of the BuzzFeed Community to share what it's like when you have siblings who are technically old enough to be your parents.

Disney / Via

A lot of the replies I got made a lot of sense, even to someone who grew up as an only child. Others, meanwhile, brought up things that never would have occurred to me — like having your older sibling as one of your teachers.

"My dad was the 'oops baby' with a 15-year gap between him and his sister. … She was his third-grade teacher lol," wrote mcmettler94.

Another user replied with a similar experience.

"My sister was my music and art teacher in 6-8 grade! She was 14 years older than me," said HeyMarshmallow.

They must have had some...interesting parent-teacher conferences.

CBC / Via

Read on for some of the other experiences people shared:

1."My oldest sibling is 21 years older than me, and my youngest is 16 years older. For me, the oddest thing is when I'm with my nieces and nephews, and people give judgmental looks — especially when the kiddos want their grandmother (my mom) instead of me. They assume I'm a deadbeat parent who doesn't take care of her kids.

"Also frustrating when people just assume your parents didn't want you because you're so much younger than your siblings. I don't know how many people have used the term 'surprise baby' in a slightly derogatory or shaming way — when in fact, my parents weren't actively trying to avoid having another kid.

"And finally, people think I'm 'old-fashioned' or call me old because I was influenced by an older generation (my aunts and uncles are nearing 80, and my parents are in their 60s). Meanwhile, my siblings were teens in the '90s, so I've had a lot of intergenerational influence, and honestly, I love having had such a wide range of influences on my tastes!"


young woman and child
Dusanpetkovic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2."I have two brothers who are 19 and 21 years older than me. They’re half brothers; we have the same dad but different moms (the two of them have the same mom). Though I mostly grew up as an only child, they did live with us on and off while I was growing up. When I was really young, I didn’t understand they were brothers because no one else’s brothers were 'old,' and I called them uncle.

"At 4, I became an aunt when my oldest brother had a daughter. No one in school believed I was an aunt and called me a liar. When I presented my family tree in 7th grade world language in French, my teacher said, 'Oh, you were a big oops baby.' I stood there stunned, never having heard that phrase and not fully understanding its meaning, and then became upset and left the classroom mid-presentation. Even though I’ve been around 35 years, I’ll never have the sibling bond with them that they have with each other. They grew up together for two decades before I came along."


3."My sister is 16 years older than me; my brother, 14. I have nephews only 4 years younger. I was always 'the baby.' I'm 44 now, and my siblings always seemed to resent my existence — one still does at the age of 60. I never felt very close to my siblings; they have always been basically strangers to me. I feel like I grew up an only child."

Willism C

Couple looking at each other with sad expression in a couple's therapy in a psychologist's office
Carles Navarro Parcerisas / Getty Images

4."I was an accident. My dad never went back to get his vasectomy checked. My birthday is six months after my parents' anniversary. I have two older sisters, 9 and 18 years older than me. The oldest had a baby at 15, so my niece is three years older than me. I might as well have been an only child. My sisters feel more like aunts than siblings. We’ve never been that close. Also, because of the big age gaps, they have never taken me seriously as an adult, and still see me as a child, even though I’m turning 45 in a few weeks."


5."My brother and sister are 16 and 14 years older than I am. It feels like I was raised by a completely different set of parents. My mom was a teen mom with my brother, and my dad was an alcoholic with my sister. I was really lucky to have parents who had already made the majority of their parenting mistakes almost a decade beforehand. It was also a bit strange, though, because I was raised like an only child. A lot of people are surprised to hear that I even have siblings, because they were never around when I was growing up."


child playing alone
Manu Vega / Getty Images

6."I am the youngest of four. Brothers are 16 years older, and one sister is 10 years older. We were literally all born in different decades: '60s, '70s, and '80s. That detail alone is wild! My first real awareness that my situation was out of the norm was at age 6. My bother had his first child, and no one at school believed me when I excitedly shared that I was an aunt."


7."My five sons are 26, 24, 22, 18, and 4, and as a parent, I’ve been surprised with how much my older kids love and adore their youngest brother. I was super nervous that my youngest would grow up like an only child, but thankfully for us, that hasn’t been the case. My oldest has two kids and lives two blocks away, and the other three are still at home, so he sees them all daily. So far, they all have an amazing bond, and I truly hope it stays this way.

"My oldest will sometimes take his brother along on his family outings (think zoo/aquarium) while his wife is one of my youngest’s absolute most favorite people on the planet! As far as the other three go, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into the playroom hearing uncontrollable giggling just to see him with one of his older brothers living his best life. This year, the youngest got some Nerf guns for his birthday, and at his party, my house was a free-for-all of kids/grandkids having a giant Nerf war before cake!!"


four adult brothers and their toddler brother

8."I was the last egg in the basket. My siblings are 23 and 21 years older than me; both have kids that are at least a year older than me. Growing up, my sister was like an aunt, but also a sister. Now that I’m in my 30s, she’s definitely my sister. We fight like siblings to make up for the years where it was discouraged for her to fight with a 6-year-old. My niece and nephews have always just felt like cousins. I was a great aunt when I was 13. Family dynamics are different than most, but not altogether strange. It’s just who we are."


9."I am closer in age to my nephews and nieces than my next sibling. I did in my younger years and still go to the bar with them. Ever been to a bar where the table is yelling 'go auntie' while a woman was doing shooters? That was likely me."


Bounce TV / Via

10."I became an aunt for the first time two days after my third birthday. I have a grand-niece who is older than my youngest nephews."


11."My brother is 17 years older than me. Not only did my mother cry for two weeks after she found out she was pregnant with me, my father was out of town when she went into labor, and my brother had to drive her to the hospital. My brother’s name is the same as my father, so they thought HE WAS MY FATHER. My mother was scandalized! Don’t worry, it all worked out, and every time she told me this story, she would end with, 'and now I can’t imagine our family without you!'"


Disney / Via

12."My dad (80) had two kids with his first wife, one with his second, and another two with his third wife (my mom). It's weird having friends who never met your parents or older siblings, and they call my oldest brother my dad and my actual dad my grandpa. But it's cool, because all three of my oldest siblings have posed as a parent (and my niece who is older than me posed as my sister), so I could get piercings. Plus, they're like a second set of parents. When my actual parents can't give advice or help, my oldest siblings are always there when I need them."


13."My half-sister was 18 when I was born, and my half-brother was 13. Sister was already married, and my brother had decided to live with his birth father. We were all poor and didn’t travel, so I didn’t meet my half-sibs in person until I was 16. We have nothing in common and never really clicked as a family. We slowly drifted apart many years ago."


Family going for travel with bags in hand leaving home in Auckland, New Zealand.

Family going for travel with bags in hand leaving home in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nazar Abbas Photography / Getty Images

14."My uncle was a surprise baby, born when my father was 16 years old. There’s actually a smaller age gap between him and me, as I was born when he was 12. They never had a relationship until very recently, with my uncle being past 50 and choosing to rely on my dad as his source of support for male and marital issues. They simply ignored each other for as long as I witnessed them, except for when my father would take care of his brother when he was a baby. I'm glad they found each other later in life!"


15."In all my years of schooling, I’ve never had a parent go to a parent-teacher conference meeting — it’s always been a sibling. Granted, because of the age difference, you would never be able to tell, but yeah. It’s always been interesting having to answer the question, 'Is this Mom? No. ... This is [older sister].'"


woman looking at a child's artwork at a parent teacher conference
Sdi Productions / Getty Images

16."I have five (FIVE) older brothers, ranging in age from 3 to 20 years older. My oldest brother has a stepdaughter my age. I became an aunt at age 10, and I often was mistaken for my brother’s kid when I was a child. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve been mistaken for their WIFE multiple times, which…grosssss."


17."I always say I grew up with three fathers and two mothers. In my younger years, I never really had sibling bonds. One of the most awkward situations that was common is my sister would always be asked if I was her daughter. It really bugged her. After the birth of my first child, my sister asked that I bring my newborn daughter to her place of work. While we were in the elevator, another employee asked if my daughter was my sister’s granddaughter! I thought it was hysterical. My sister did not. Haha!"

Chris Garbrandt

NBC / Via

18."I'm the youngest of two with a 13-year age gap. I always say my brother raised me as much emotionally and mentally as our parents did; he certainly provided the most emotional stability. We had a family friend's daughter who was hanging out with us at our grandparents' once (since her parents were close to my grandparents). She and I were a year apart, but she told me she thought my brother was my dad.

"Big brother was insulted for being thought of as old. 🤣🤣🤣"