When I was little girl, I hated telling anyone (especially other kids) that I was an only child because I immediately got stamped with every stereotype in the book. You know, spoiled, selfish, etc., etc. And I often felt lonely and wished that I had a little brother or sister to play with. So, I vowed that when I grew up, I would definitely have more than one kid.
But as I got older, the tide began to turn, and I started to embrace the perks of being the only one. And guess who’s now reaping the benefits of being an only child? Yep, my daughter, Gabby. (Turns out more than one just wasn’t in the cards.)
So, in honor of all the only children out there, Gab and I put our heads together to come up with a list of the 5 best things about being an only child.
Birthdays are EPIC
I’m talking mic drop level, here. Before Gabby even turned a year old, I was committed to ten years of planning the best possible birthday parties that I could. Gabby’s had everything from a Princess Tiana themed tea party to her very own Hawaiian Luau. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the presents. I think people subconsciously believe only children need more gifts to compensate for the fact that they don’t have any siblings. It’s not a theory that I necessarily subscribe to, but hey, it’s a perk. I say, unforgettable birthday parties? Yes. A million toys? No. I do have some restraint, folks.
Gabby turned 11 this year, though. So, there’s an official moratorium on blow out parties until she turns 16. And frankly, I’ll need about 5 years to plan for that one anyway. (Just kidding.)
You Get a Room All to Yourself
I have to say, this was one of my personal favorites about being an only child. Only children tend to cherish their space… and their privacy. And we all know that once kids hit a certain age, privacy becomes a huge priority and can often been an issue when you’re sharing a room.
One of Gabby’s younger cousins came over once to play, and at some point she found him jumping up and down on her bed. The look on her face was priceless. She didn’t say a word, but I knew exactly what she was thinking: “I can’t wait until this kid goes home.”
You have a Brilliant Imagination
Only children inevitably learn how to entertain themselves. And Gabby is no exception. She’s always been on the creative side, so it’s nothing for her to spend hours on a Saturday morning drawing in her room, or adding another feature to the entire model community she’s built out of cardboard, toothpicks and popsicle sticks. So while she still sometimes longs for another playmate in the house, she’s never a child who complains about being bored. And given our increasingly over-stimulated society, l think learning how to enjoy quiet time is a good skill to have.
Your Friends Always Want to Come to Your House
Why? Because you don’t have any siblings. And because they think you’ve got all the good snacks and all the best games and toys. And they think your parents never tell you no. Oh, and did I mention you don’t have any siblings?
No Sibling Rivalry
You don’t have to compete to be the “best” child, aka you’re the favorite. No sibling rivalry here. No competing to have the best grades or be the better athlete. Or be the “responsible one.” (Although, only children often are.) Everything you do is awesome! Oh, yeah and there’s nothing you can’t do.
There’s no doubt that parents of only children dote on them and often treat them like fine china. And it’s because we know we’ve got this one kid… one shot at getting it right, and we want them to feel special every day of their lives.
There are still days when I wish I could have given Gabby a sibling, and I haven’t ruled out the possibility of step-sibling. And to be honest, there are days when I wish I had a brother or sister to call, but all in all, I think being and having an only child is a pretty sweet deal.
So, tell me. What’s your favorite thing about being or raising an only child?
Taralyn Caudle is a freelance writer and Huntsville native who returned to her hometown to raise her beautiful and energetic daughter, Gabby. When she’s not nurturing the talents of her budding artist, she can be found on the hunt for good food, good music, or a good deal on a pair of shoes. Practically possessed by politics, purple, and Prince, she loves alliteration (obviously) and has been known to quote music lyrics in everyday conversation, from Hall & Oates to
Kanye West Kendrick Lamar. Her current philosophy on life: a little bit of sarcasm and a whole lot of laughter never hurt anybody.