Being an Only Child

Here's me playing with some rocks in a corner because I'm a traumatised only child. Naaht.

Being and only child is another one of those situations that can evoke funny reactions from people. The most common response / question is "awww, weren't you lonely as a child?" as if I was some feral child growing up alone in a forest. I do have a family, and I did go to school, you know, where's there's other human beings.

For an only child I was pretty blessed to have my cousins around me practically all the time. This meant that I experienced the full on sibling experience. We fought like sisters (mainly me beating her up) but now we love like sisters, myself and my two older cousins are particularly close, we talk almost every day and tell each other everything. I don't know two people who I am more comfortable around. 

Being an only child can get lonely sometimes, I was never interested in games that involved multiple players because I didn't have anyone that wanted to play Buckaroo for hours on end and be as enthusiastic the 24th time round as you are the 1st but this didn't bother me, I accepted it. The thing is with only children, kids from single parent families and other family dynamics that don't fit into the 'norm' is that these people don't feel deprived of anything because human beings adapt and get used to their situations. I don't think I'd have taken too kindly if my Mum had another people maybe that's because I'm an only child? but I certainly don't feel like there's a sibling shaped hole in my life. 

There are some only child stereotypes that I can't deny are true though, I do like my own space. I can go for ages without talking to friends and it's not because I don't care or I've got social issues, it's that I value time to myself...just like when I was a kid and could happily play for hours on my own, I can get on with my life on my own. When I've got posts to schedule or lots of work on I can ignore the group chat and then have a massive catch up when I've finished. I also love being alone, you know those evenings where you just sit and watch rubbish TV and have a pamper and can end up not speaking for hours because there's no one around...I love that.

I don't know if it's because I'm an only child or, because I'm a selfish b*tch but I don't like sharing. When I say this I mean I don't like sharing things that in my mind, shouldn't be shared. Linda suggested we shared a chest of drawers for clothes, I couldn't express how ridiculous this idea stuff goes in my drawers...I don't have any room in my drawers for someone else's stuff and I'm certainly not making some! I'll happy share food, clothes and anything else with you though.

Being super sociable is something else that only children are expected to be. I'll admit I was when I was younger, at school I flitted around every social group like a little butterfly....or, more of a moth because I didn't really fit in to any of the groups. I never had a strong group of friends that I had sleepovers every weekend but I did talk to everyone. Then again, because I wasn't in a clique, I didn't even go to my year 11 prom so I suppose I wasn't that sociable, I was just confident speaking to anyone, which, I still am today, I can happily talk to anyone regardless of the situation but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it.

Only children are spoilt - Nope! just nope, I think this is the most unfair misconception of only children. For a start, just because a parent has one child, it doesn't mean that they can afford to spoil them. I never got any more or, less that my cousins for Christmas and I certainly never got things just because I asked for it - in fact, I barely asked for anything. 

It baffles me that such a thing as 'only child syndrome' actually exists. It's not a syndrome, it's a family dynamic. I don't have a syndrome, I just don't have any siblings. I'm not a spoilt brat, I'm not socially inept (unless I want to be) and I'm not worried that I'm the only person responsible for my Mum when she's old because I don't know any different and no amount of siblings are can pop up and make my life any better because it's actually alright...I'm good.



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