Once I read an article stating that the closest relationship any people would have is that of a sibling relationship. I thought about this for awhile and then decided that it made sense despite never experiencing this type of relationship myself.
Due to extenuating circumstances, I am an only child. But if your family is like mine; settled, healthy and stable, I ask that this is not a path you choose for your child.
As an only child, what I ask of you is to reconsider if you are choosing to only have one child.
There are several things that I will be deficient in for my entire life. I don’t mean the standard trope of only child spoilage.
As a child, I was my mother’s constant focus. I had a lack of constant play companions. I did not have a need to learn how to communicate effectively. I did not have instances of not getting my way in ways of play. I did not learn to cope with frustration. I did not have someone to stay up late with, to be naughty with. I did not have a teammate or a best friend.
As an adult, I won’t be able to talk to another person who had the same childhood culture I had. There won’t be another person to call and say, “you will not believe the conversation I just had with mom”. There won’t be another person who just GETS IT.
I have a great number of cousins, but as an only child, my daughter only has a network of faux aunts and uncles. There are no real defined roles or relationships. Choosing godparents is exhausting and I constantly think about who will take my children in if my husband and I die young.
I will have no support (other than my husband’s) as my mother gets older and her health declines. When my own grandmother got sick, her children had each other for support. They made decisions together. They divided the responsibilities that needed to be handled. They didn’t all agree with every decision, but no one sibling had to do everything themselves. When my grandmother died they had each other to go through that process with too.
I will not have that. As an adult, the thought of my mother getting old stresses me out immensely. Not because death causes anxiety–I am perfectly accepting of death, but because everything will be my responsibility as her only child.
I know all of this is a “perfect world” situation. I know not everyone loves his or her siblings. I know not everyone has dependable siblings. I know siblings die. I know it would be much easier to raise my daughter than try to raise many children. But that isn’t the life I want for her. I’m not telling you how to plan your family, I just want others to consider the perspective of someone who had the “one-and-done” life before they make that decision.
What are your thoughts on having one or more children? Comment below.