7 THINGS PARENTS OF ONLY CHILDREN CAN RELATE TO
Like all parenting experiences, parenting an only child has its ups and downs, and its doubts. You might ask yourself if your little one ‘deserves’ a sibling, and you might notice family and friends asking you the same thing. Whether or not you decide to bring more kids into the world, there are a few things all parents of only children will understand!
1. It’s pretty difficult not to spoil your child. Admit it, every parent tries to avoid this one, but eventually parents give in. It’s easy to say they will only get big gifts on their birthday and on Christmas, but it’s also too easy to give in and buy them that thing they want so badly right in the middle of the year. It’s okay, because they’re taught to value everything that they have!
2. There’s no one to blame for messes or mishaps around the house. If someone has drawn on the walls, spilled a drink, scattered toys all over the floor, or unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper, you’ll immediately know who it was. With no other siblings around, there’s only one culprit!
3. You don’t have to divide your attention. With multiple kids in the house, it can be difficult to ensure each child receives equal attention from both parents. It can be easy to unknowingly give one child more attention and have the other feeling left out, and this is especially difficult if you are a single parent. However, this problem is nonexistent with an only child.
4. Peace and quiet (sometimes). Emphasis on “sometimes.” With one child in the house, there is no sibling rivalry or bickering over toys. There will still be tantrums over other things, though – sorry!
5. They learn how to play on their own. Despite the stereotype, only children are rarely lonely. They find ways to entertain themselves and likely have many friends at school or daycare, or cousins to interact with.
6. During playdates, one of two things can happen. Independent play is something your child is probably a pro at, which means when a playdate does come along, they will either get over-excited and hyper about the idea of playing with one of their peers or overstimulated and exhausted. Sometimes it becomes a little too much for them with other hands touching their toys, and they break away from the crowd to play independently for a bit.
7. Being told, “having one must be easy.” Not exactly. Having no children is easier. Regardless of whether you have one, two, five, or eight children, there will still be tantrums and nappies to change. Having a child is an investment, both in money and in time, and is exhausting whether you have one child or many children.
So, if you are a parent of an only child, you are not a lesser parent. Whether you’re unable to have more children because of medical reasons or simply because you don’t want to, only children rarely grow up thinking they were lonely in their early years.
Yes, you’ll have your hands full with two, three, or more children; but that doesn’t mean you also have your hands full with one child. After all, raising tiny humans is hard work. Good job to you, super parent!