On #NationalSiblingDay (April 10), my social media feed was so busy. I loved seeing pictures of my friends with their brothers and sisters (and pictures of all their kids). BUT, I am an only child and I have an only child, so I didn’t have anything to share.
There have been years where I posted pictures of me and pets … they were basically my siblings growing up. In fact, my parents would joke, “feed your sister” or “go give your sister a bath,” referring to our dog.
I thought about posting a picture of my little girl and our dogs this year, but instead, I started thinking about what’s good about being and having an only child. Now, remember, moms of multiples, this is all I know. Will you be able to take each and every point I make and turn it to tell me what’s better about having more than one child? Of course you will! We all manage and grow in the situation we are in day to day.
- There is a close bond. I have always been close to my parents. There have been times where I chose to be with them instead of going out with friends. Nerdy? Maybe. But, I’m not sure that bond would have been as tight if I had needed to share them with siblings.
- Only children are not spoiled. Contrary to what most people think about only children, I think (as a parent) it is easier to say no to one kid. I cannot imagine having two (or more) little people campaigning and complaining for toys and other things from the store. I know for a fact that my parents were great at saying no to me.
- There is less paperwork. You guys, I just filled out registration for next year’s preschool and it took 45 minutes for ONE child. I do not have the patience to do that for more than one kid. Now I know why parents complained so much on registration day when I worked in an elementary school! You could spend your entire day filling out paperwork!
- I am not as busy. We have one schedule to keep. She goes to dance class and that’s about it. As she gets older, I know her after school activities will pick up, but it will still just be her schedule I need to focus on. I don’t know how parents of multiple kids keep track of everyone!
- Entertainment is easier. You want to watch Mickey Mouse while I make dinner? Fine. There is no fighting with a sibling for the remote.
- Travel is easy (comparatively). When we travel (which is not often, let’s be real here) I pack a bag for myself, my husband, and for my ONE kid. Her suitcase has the most stuff in it, always – and we have to pack a portable bed, extra of everything, wipes, toys, etc. If we had more children, there would be no travel, ever. Or, we would need a bus.
- Less STUFF. Not only do I have to bring less stuff when we travel, but I have less stuff, period. My kid has tons of toys, sure, but if I were to multiply her toys to suit the needs of siblings?! My house would look like the toy aisle at Target … it’s pretty close now!
- I get more sleep. It’s not like I get a full eight hours a night or anything, but once my kid is asleep, I do not have to worry about siblings waking her up. If she is sick, she isn’t going to get other kids in the house sick. We all just get more sleep since there are simply fewer of us.
- We spend less money! You guys – Christmas, birthdays, special treats, groceries for three (and dogs) … it adds up and with less kids, you naturally spend less money. Bless you, families of multiples.
- I get a little bit of quiet time. I am a classic introvert and I need quiet time to reflect, recharge and get ready for a new day. I get up between 4 – 4:30 a.m. everyday to get this quiet time. I know that’s a good time for me because my kid is almost always still asleep. Now, if I had more kids, what are the chances they would be just as good at sleeping as she is? Not good! With one kid, I can often sneak in quiet time throughout the day too. She’s happy working on puzzles? Great! I can read! She’s painting? Fantastic, I can empty the dishwasher.
I know there are TONS of positives about having more than one kid and about having siblings. And, sure, I have spent time in my life wishing for someone else who would play with me or help take care of aging parents. But, overall – I am very glad that I am an only child and (as long as there are no surprises in our future), I am very glad to have an only child.