Skip to main content

One

I have "written" versions of this post in my head many times. In fact, if I went back and looked, I would probably discover most of it in an older post. But since I don't feel like trying to figure that out and because this is what I am thinking about now, I am just going to put it out there now. Not well written, but, to quote one of my favorite sayings, it is what it is.

I cannot seem to go more than a few days without lamenting that I have only one child. This was a mostly intentional decision, mind you. Brian and I had said we would have another child once we sold our house and moved into another. But we tried the house selling in 2007 and 2008, and got nowhere. By the fall of 2008, I really did not want another child, so I gave up that thought. I still don't want another child. Really.

But much like some (many?) childless people, I wonder if I won't regret having an only child down the road. There are many days when I think about it. My kid is stuck with me all summer long; she does not have a sibling to play with. And as much as I love being with her, I can take only so much Barbies, babies, princesses and games of tag.

My mother sometimes reminds me that she never played those things with me, and since I have two brothers, as you can imagine, Barbie, Ken, and I were on our own. But still, I had brothers to do some things with, whether it was run around outside, go swimming, play board games, or just fight. The only person J has to fight with is me.

I am pretty close to my brothers; although I don't see them more than a few times a year due to distance, we do chat on the phone a few times per month. But my kid will never have a sibling to talk to on the phone or visit. She will never be able to ask her brothers for advice as I often due. And when parent issues arise, they will all fall on her. That can be a big burden.

J and I recently spent a few days with my mom and six-year-old nephew. Unless J and Ben were watching TV, I don't think they were able to go more than 10 minutes without fighting. During most of the visit, I found myself being glad I have only one. But even with all that squabbling, there were moments when I thought that it was sad that J would never have someone to love and despise like that.

How do other parents of only children make peace with that decision, whether intentional or not? And, more importantly to me, why can't I?

Oh, and I did go back to see if I had written a similar post. And. surprise, surprise, I found a post I had written over a year ago that sounded an awful lot this one. Yep, still fretting over the same old thing..

Comments

Lynnette said…
I would say stop fretting and think of all the good things that go along with having your only child. First, you said that you're close with your brothers. But since Jordan doesn't have siblings, perhaps that means that she will be closer to you as she continues to get older. Maybe by her not having siblings, it means that she'll have an even better, deeper relationship with you and hubby, than a child with siblings would. I know you're close to your mom, but maybe you and J will be even closer. And that's a lovely thing to come from having just one child. Also, as you said, you don't have to deal with the squabbling among siblings. And she still has cousins. I remember being very close to my cousins when we were kids, but once you hit junior high and high school, in my case those relationships just faded. I would try to help nurture those family bonds as the kids get older so that they remain close as adults. My husband is still really close with two of his cousins... just as close as he is to his sister.... and I think that's a sweet thing. Anyway, having an Only, the thing I feel bad about is that she doesn't have anyone to play with. But I try to make play dates with her friends frequently, and she goes to a sitter twice a week that is truly like a 10 hour play date... they go to the library, go swimming, play outside, play inside, etc., etc. And often I'm happy to not have to share my love with anyone besides her. I love being with her. It makes me happy (well, most of the time). :)
Anonymous said…
My cure for concern about having one one child? Spending time with my siblings. Or talking with them on the phone. Or should I say trying to get OFF the phone with them while they whine and moan about every single thing. They caused me strife at many of the most meaningful moments of my life, and continue to bicker, bring unwelcome opinions, and generally wreak havoc for the family. Did we sometimes play together? I guess so. Would I have been able to entertain myself? Probably. Just b/c there are sibs doesn't mean they'll be companionship, love, or even anything in common.

Just my opinion, of course. Some people will likely sing a very different song. I envy them the good, healthy relationships and normal, caring family members they must have.
Facie said…
Lynnette: I knew I could count on you to help me feel better (just as you did last year!). I know there are so many great reasons to have just one. I do hope Jordan and I end up as close as my mom and I.

Anonymous: There are times when my bros drive me crazy. In fact, my husband reminded me that my little brother and I had a not-so-great relationship for a number of years (9/11 really helped us turn the corner). I realize that just because you have a sibling, there is no guarantee that you will be close or even like each other, and I know people who don't even speak to their sibs. Sorry your relationship with yours is not great. Hopefully you have good friends, which can often be better than sibs anyway!

Popular posts from this blog

Worry

Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…