If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase, especially with ‘tone’. I would be a very rich only child. It’s often followed by a couple of ridiculous questions. Were you bored? Did you hate it? Are you spoilt? Well no, actually I don’t know any different.
I believe I have been brought up well, I was rarely bored and I had friends. Being an only child didn’t affect my social skills and surprise surprise….. I really wasn’t any more spoilt than my peers (all of which had brothers and sisters). I didn’t get everything I wanted or my own way and my parents taught me respect. They may have spoiled me with love but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.
While I like to say that my parents didn’t have anymore children after me because I am perfect. The reality is that it was a struggle to have me and just after I was born my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (at 30 years old). My mum has often told me she would’ve liked more children, but they didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t even know if they could have more. When I was younger, I often asked for a baby brother or sister, but the reality is that I didn’t really care. I was happy.
The only time I wished that I had that extra support was when my father was quite unwell a couple of years ago. He was in intensive care in hospital and I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure both him and my mum knew I was there for them. I am lucky though as my husband is very supportive, I am close with my aunty and we shared the load.
People need to stop with ridiculous comments about only children. I believe couples are extremely lucky to have one healthy child, if they have more it’s a wonderful blessing. Yes, I now have two children, it’s not because I feel I missed out as a child. It’s simply because my husband and I wanted two children. If I hadn’t been able to have anymore children after my first I would have also been very happy. Decisions shouldn’t be judged, especially if you don’t know the back story. Next time someone tells you they are an only child or they only have or want one child let’s try to keep the ‘oh are they bored’ or ‘they must be spoilt’ comments to yourself. One, two or ten children they are all beautiful and the number you have doesn’t need to be justified. Especially to judgemental strangers.