One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do…
Sorry had to reference that song somewhere in this! But Hello! Today’s post is all about all of the only children out there. As I am only child, I wanted to give you my view on us, because we are a bit odd really!
There are many labels and misconceptions surrounding the term ‘only child’, with many of the myths suggesting us to be lonely, selfish, spoiled and impatient– quite negative labels to be slammed with. But a label I would like to see more of, when we talk about only children, is our independence.
For whatever reason we are an only child, and because of that reason, we have to do things by ourself a lot. Be it inventing a game to play alone, how to reach something that seems unreachable, and motivating ourselves to do things.
Doing things alone would terrify some people, yet I tend to find with other people who are only children, that the thought of doing something alone doesn’t faze us. In one way it is sad (cue one is the loneliest number again), as we don’t have the type of support, advice and love/hate relationship from a sibling to share things and moments with. With siblings here is a person you’ve gone through life with, and despite all your disputes, you love them and feel lost without them. Speaking for myself, my friends are like my family (my sisters from other misters), and we’ve been through so much together, that they feel like the family I got to choose. So although I enjoy my own company and doing things alone; I equally enjoy my friends company and value them as I would a sibling.
As empowering it may be to be so independent starting from a young age, it can also be quite damaging in terms of growing up quickly. As an only child surrounded by adults, you are exposed to more adult conversation and that for me, has made me older beyond my years. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up and I feel, due to speaking with them all the time, that my outlook on life is beyond my years. I knew about mortgages and insurance, and bills and tax all before I needed to know all of this, and I wish I hadn’t of known that, as I worried. And when I have my own children, I would never want them to worry about things beyond their years.
But on the flip-side, a thing I am grateful for, with being an only child, is that we believe in ourselves- we are our own biggest fan! Numerous studies have found that only children have higher levels of self-esteem; when no wonder when our parents are out number one fans! With no one to compare to or be compared with, there is no competition; no desirable goal to reach. We can therefore come across cocky, which may or may not be true, but forgive us having high self-esteem!
Although being an only child has made me very independent, and I had a great childhood, I would not want to have one child myself. I want a noisy house (you watch in 10 years time I’ll be writing a post saying- “I take it back!”) But I want a house filled with people and joy. Being an only child suits me yes, but being a mother to an only child wouldn’t (I have far too much energy for one poor kid!)
So are we really selfish, lonely and spoiled? Perhaps. But we are also strong willed and independent, with a lot of love to give.