A close friend of mine had her second child a few years ago and she confided in me that she was planning a third child soon. I know that she lives in a 4 room HDB and figured that sooner or later, the third child has to share a room with one of his/her siblings. She asked for my opinion on whether it was too soon, would a third child be too much, etc… I decided to share with her my experience sharing a room with a sibling and reminded her on some of the stories of my sibling I had shared with her in the past…
Since young, I had shared a room with my older brother. He is nothing short of inconsiderate. He has never spared a thought for me even back then I was sharing the room. He was in his rebellious phase early at 13-14 and is still in it now at 29. There are many habits of his that made sharing a room with him insufferable. Here are a few examples: coming home late during midnight and talking loudly on his phone, throwing his belongings and socks all over the room, going to sleep straight away without showering almost everyday so the room smelled like salted fish, blasting his music or video game on speakers throughout the night, etc.
I never felt like I belonged in the room. I had to sleep in the living room due to being disturbed constantly. Sleeping wasn’t the only thing that I was unable to do in the room I shared. Trying to study in the room or at home was unproductive too. My brother has been anti-education his whole life.
His education level was only O levels and he has always bragged that one day, he will start his own company and hire people who only know how to study like me. He thinks people who have their career with degrees are people who can only work hard but not smart, and they will always be just a salaryman.
He wants to own this people so that he can show off that he won by being smart enough to become rich without studying and working hard in his life. He thinks people who works hard cannot talk and socialize with the big bosses and get connections on their own, so they are doomed to live a life of a corporate slave. So whenever I tries to study at home or in the room, he would make snide remarks to his friend on his phone that I am studying hard to be a cog in the wheel or a corporate slave in the future. He would sneak a peek over my shoulder to see what I am studying and discuss and laugh with our cousin behind my back in a later date on what “stupid subjects” I am studying. Oh and he constantly blasts Andrew Tate’s podcasts while I am studying too. This had led me to constantly waste time and energy to travel to a library just to study. I felt very miserable being at home.
Things started looking better when my older sister got married and moved out. I got her room and finally I have gotten control of my life at home. My parents no longer nagged at me for being messy and I was being productive at home. My GPA improved constantly semester by semester after having my own room. I started a side hustle and it started generating income after 6 months. My parents and friends could see that I became a happier person. I would have been a much better person academically, financially and emotionally if I just have my own room from the start.
After telling her my whole experience above, I added on and said I would be lying if I didn’t even feel a tinge of resentment towards my parents for forcing me to share a room with my bro. I reminded her that she had seen my bitter phase in the past where I hated everyone and it wasn’t pretty. I told her go for it if she can be sure that she can discipline her kids well so her youngest child don’t have to suffer like I did. She started to look unsure about her decision and after that, she left saying she will give this even more thought now.
Few days later, I coincidentally bumped into her and her husband in a shopping mall while I was out with my girlfriend. We decided to have dinner together. While ordering the dishes, her husband pulled me aside for a private talk. He said that his wife is unsure of having a third child now and is putting it off until she can be sure she wants a third child. He told me it was one of his life’s dream to have a big family and he feels like the chance for that is over now. He told me that he’s trying not to blame me as it was her decision but his brain couldn’t help but register me as the asshole that ruined his plans. He said that he will try to view and treat me the same but it will take time for him to get rid of my label in his head. Now that he said all that, I felt like an asshole for sharing my life experience.