A lot of these blog posts are sparked by conversations with colleagues! This one was with a colleague who was feeling bad that she hadn’t given her daughter a sibling yet. When she realised that I was an only child she asked me how I felt about that as she didn’t know if she really wanted another child.
There’s so much pressure to make sure your child has a sibling but it’s also really expensive, means you have to take time out of your career, have to put your body through pregnancy again, it’s adding to Earth’s overpopulation… There are so many entirely valid reasons why someone might not want that second child.
- I got to go on holidays, even just camping but several holidays abroad, every year. If I’d had a sibling my mum wouldn’t have been able to afford any holidays at all. Those holidays helped shape the person I am today and I’m so thankful I got to visit some fascinating places.
- I have an amazing and close relationship with my mum that I’ve only really seen happen with other friends who are an only child. This is so, so special. Obviously this puts pressure on parents to spend more time with their children rather than telling them to go away and play but…
- I’m not scared of being home alone. This might sound stupid but the number of times I see someone posting about how they’re never home alone and now they are, they’re freaking out. As an only child, obviously once you’re legally allowed to be left, you will be home alone and you soon learn to deal with the fact water pipes can make odd noises.
- I’m fairly independent and rarely bored. I’ll happily make plans for myself and entertain myself without needing other people. This might sound like I’m antisocial to some people but I feel like it’s useful to be ok with being alone.
- Again with a money issue, I was able to have dance classes and music lessons that my mum paid for till I was 18. This was such a privilege and one I wouldn’t have received had I had siblings. I wouldn’t be half as confident as the unconfident person I am if I hadn’t had those lessons.
- When my parents got divorced, it was pretty messy. Whilst having a sibling could potentially have provided some comfort, as the eldest I also know I’d have ended up looking after any sibling/s I had. I’m SO glad this wasn’t the case. Obviously no one plans for divorce but if anyone was thinking of having a second child to bring their marriage together – that’s potentially the worst thing you could do for the child you already have.
- When I wanted to spend time with friends, I could. When I didn’t, I didn’t have to. Whilst siblings provide that constant companionship, it’s not always what you want. Of course there were times in the middle of the summer holidays when it would have been great to have a sibling but *shrugs* I never had to cope with anyone beating me up/scratching me/pulling my hair out/all the other delightful things that only really happen between siblings. I’m happy to have ‘missed out’.
- I got my own room and when my dad left I got my own space to study. I know plenty of people with siblings get this but plenty don’t. I know for sure that having a space that was mine to study in helped my grades.
- I was spoilt but with time, not money. My mum came to every parents evening (even when my teachers were probably wishing she hadn’t as I wasn’t a problem child), she came to every concert I was in, when I was struggling to learn my times tables and had completely incoherent handwriting she had the time to spend with me and just me to help.
- So long as your parents don’t spoil you, still make you do chores and everything that helps a kid become a functional adult – no one will even know you’re an only child.
These are just 10 I can think of, if I think of more – I’ll update this list! I’m sure there are so many reasons that having siblings is great but there are so many reasons that being an only child is great too!
xo Fleur xo