Post # 46
chillbee29 : I am an only child. I am stressed about my parents expectation for me to be their sole caregiver in their old age; however, I am glad that I didn’t have a sibling to be subjected to my parents abusive relationship.
I wish I had a built-in friend, but even that isn’t a guarantee with a sibling. I personally don’t feel like a child is ever owed a sibling, and as long as the parents are loving and include lots of fun activities in the child’s life, they will be happy and fulfilled. Hell, they may even come to be happier when they realize they don’t have to share stuff 😂
Post # 47
I think it’s easy to plan what you want, but those of us who don’t have kids won’t know how we feel till it happens. My sister said until her last daughter was born that her family just didn’t feel complete and now it does.
I’m not an only child so can’t speak to that but at a PP was saying. I just saw my mom go through the older parent thing, my grandpa passed away after a 9 year battle with dementia and I can’t imagine her having to go through that without her siblings for support. The sickness aspect but also the loss, they can talk about their childhood and grieve him together.
For me as a kid the benefit of siblings was always having a playmate. My sister was a grade ahead so she could easily help with my homework. As a nanny it was way easier to take care of two kids, as they played together and I was already making snacks and taking one kid to the park so two wasnt any more work. And as a dog mom, my one dog was very needy and wanted all my attention before she got a sibling. I think it honestly depends on the kid. My friends who have only child, the children seem to grow up faster than the ones that have siblings. It makes sense they are around adults all day so they very much act like little adults and are very grown up. After diner while the adults talk they will sit on the couch and listen in and be a part of the goings on. My friends with multiple kids the kids are off playing and being kids together in their own kid world and not as involved in the adult world. After dinner they go play and do their own thing.
As an adults, I enjoy having siblings because they have known me my entire life. They know every part and detail of my life, they know all my quirks and love me anyways. It’s also nice to have someone to call and talk about your parents to, haha, they know exactly what I mean when I say. “Mom’s cleaning again.” We can go in on mothers day and fathers day gifts together and remind each other if a birthday is coming up.
Post # 48
I was an only child for 7 years and hated it! I begged my parents for a sibling. Finally got some siblings, and it was as great as my little seven year old self had hoped!
Post # 49
chillbee29 : chillbee29 : my brother is 14 years older than me so I grew up kind of as an only child, we never got along until I got married and now we talk and he adores my two boys and he gets along with my husband well.
I grew up knowing I wish I had siblings around my age and have that bond of siblings. I feel like If parents make it happen since the siblings are very little they will respect each other and get along for the most part. Because of my upbringing being so lonely and crappy I have always dreamed of having 4 kids. And even though my pregnancies are pretty bad, hospitalized and extremely sick, I have two boys and currently working on getting pregnant again so I can reach my goal of 4 kids. And I want them close together in age too.
I find that it is so worth it to have more than one child.
Post # 50
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
I’m an only child and I’ve always been happy with it. I was never lonely because my parents always let me take a friend if we went anywhere. I don’t think I grew up spoiled, mainly because we had no money to be spoiled with! I’m not competitive in the slightest either, I find competitive people to be really tiresome. My best friend always has to win at everything, and she gets frustrated with me because I never get competitive enough when we’re playing a game.
I think it taught me a lot about being happy in my own company. I lived alone for about 10 years, and I was always happy to do things like going to the cinema or a restaurant alone if my friends were busy. Quite a few of my friends found that odd, they hated the idea of living alone. I couldn’t stand the idea of having a housemate!
In terms of caring for ailing parents, having siblings doesn’t guarantee you’ll have help. When my maternal grandmother had dementia, my mum did 95% of the work, her sister just totally shut down and ignored it. When my paternal grandmother was ill, one of my aunts did everything – my dad had been awol for many years, and their other sister was living in New Zealand. My stepfather cared for his mother alone because one of his brothers died and the other just wasn’t interested. It’s sad, but having multiple children is no guarantee you’ll have a crowd of carers in your later years.
If you’re an only child and you like kids, you do have to accept that your chances of having nieces and nephews all hinge on your partner’s family. My SIL is CFBC, and I have no siblings, so I’ll never be an aunt. Luckily, we’re CFBC too and I have no interest in kids, but I have friends who think it would be really sad not to be an auntie.
Post # 51
Only child here. I always wished for a sibling. As an adult and after seeing the BS my spouse goes through with his, I feel lucky. But I know that is not always the case.
I plan to have more than one myself.
Post # 52
I’m one of three (middle child). My entire family is very close, so it wasnt really an “option” to not be close with my siblings. My older brother is kind of a jerk and has a very polarizing personality– but we still talk, hang out when I’m in town and generally still love and care for each other. My younger sister and I are TOTAL opposites in every sense of the word and are extremely close, she’s probably my best friend.
My parents just made us all work together to have a close relationship. If we argued, we had to resolve it. We bickered like most kids do, but they seemed to manage having 3 kids with 3 different personalities, interests and whatnot pretty well.
My stepkid was an only child for a while, long enough to definitely get into the groove of being an only child– and now my husband and I have an “ours” baby. I think its definitely been an adjustment and we as the adults have to work OT to try and make sure everyone is feeling secure and supported. We also plan on having one more but if it doesn’t or can’t happen, we’d be ok with 2.
Post # 53
I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. As the oldest girl, I was put in the position of doing more than my fair share of housework, babysitting, etc, while my brothers got a pass on this for being boys (grrrr) and my sisters got a pass on this for being young.
I used to wish I was an only child all the time. My siblings and I never really got along or played together as kids, although we certainly fought a lot.
Now that we’re adults, I’m not close to my sisters at all – we never talk on the phone, text, or email reach other. We exchange christmas cards (but not birthday cards, oddly) and I might see them for a few hours every few years if I fly home for a visit, if their schedules permit. It’s similar with one of my brothers although I do occasionally exchange email with his wife, maybe 3-4 times a year. And my other brother, we text approximately weekly.
We just don’t have anything in common other than a last name and growing up in the same family. We’ve always had different interests in hobbies, and we were different enough that we never wanted to play together as we didn’t even like the same things.
It might sound selfish, but my childhood and teens would have been a lot more fun if I’d been an only child.
Post # 54
I’m an only child. There were times growing up when I wished for a sibling. But, mom nearly died when she had IVF a second time. So, no siblings for me.
As a result of being an only, I have an amazing imagination and the self-taught ability to entertain myself for hours. I also had benefits that a lot of my friends didn’t because I was it.
However, after mom died, I realized that I’m the only person in the world who knows what an amazing woman she was. And, how much she loved me and how much she taught me about being a woman, a wife, and a mother.
It’s hard now, being the only child, and a little lonely. I’m also the only grandchild, on both sides. It will be harder when dad passes because then I am truly the last one.
Post # 55
I have three sisters and I absolutely can’t imagine life without them. They’re my best friends and main support network and we have a ridiculous amount of fun together. My husband has 3 siblings that he’s just as close with.
BUT- H and I are definitely not planning on having four kids. There’s no way to guarantee a perfect family dynamic and I don’t think it would be responsible of us to go beyond our means and abilities trying to recreate what we had growing up.
Post # 56
I enjoyed being an only child and now as an adult, I don’t wish I had siblings. My mother was a single parent for most of my childhood and she and I have always had an incredibly strained relationship. I sometimes wonder if it would have been better or worse between us had there been another child in the picture. I’m assuming that dysfunction is dysfunction, so having a sibling would not have much impact on that. When my father was still alive, he told me straight up that I wouldn’t be getting a little brother or sister “because college is expensive,” lol. As it turned out, he ended up dying very young and I ended up taking out 6 figures of student debt, soo…it might not have made a difference on that front.
Post # 57
One sibling here. Itʻs a shitty relationship in general but that is mostly due to my parentsʻ actions. iʻm hoping to work on it this summer pretty heavily but I would have been fine as an only child, and he would have been too tbh.
Post # 58
downonmulberry : Growing up one of 3 I can also attest to this 2vs1 dynamic a lot of the time. I definitely am happier I have two siblings instead of one, but also hope to have four kids myself.
We shall see!
Post # 59
chillbee29 : Ultimately, experiences vary and I think the best and more important thing to consider when raising kids is what is best for you as a family. If more kids will cause financial strain, extra difficulty, etc., don’t do it. Don’t bring more people into this world unless you’re confident in your ability to care and grow them into wonderful people. There will always be good and bad experiences with being an only child or having many siblings, so it’s not something to bank on or worry too much about controlling.
That being said, I grew up one of three, and am very grateful for my siblings and love them. I plan on having 3-4 kids myself (as long as finances allow).
Im close with a few people that had no siblings. One doesn’t seem to mind that she didn’t have siblings, and gets a lot more college support from her parents because of it. Her parents enable her to be dependent, but that’s on them, not on her only child status.
A childhood friend was desperate for a sibling. Her parents couldn’t give her one, so they spoiled her out if guilt, but she was always jealous that I had siblings. She also clung to her friends, desperate to have play mates, to the point where it was detrimental to our friendship. As an adult, she seems to be better adjusted now.
I think siblings can offer a lot of support, companionship, and teach good lessons with conflict resolution, getting along with others, sharing, and the like. But they can also be a source of contention, frustration, and down right awful people. Nothing is guaranteed, so this decision should rely much more on your resources and desires as a parent vs the potential wants of your child.
Post # 60
Only child and growing up I loved it. As I got older, mostly in adulthood I wish I had a sibling to help with family stuff, and I wanted to marry someone who had siblings. But I always tell people who are on the fence about more kids- to me, your child having a sibling isn’t enough of a reason to me to have a second kid!!!