If ever there were three words that parents of only children would be happy never to hear again. The opening line, the big question, which is more often than not, followed by lots more in order to work out exactly what your life is about. Just like having multiple children, having ‘just the one’ comes with pro’s and flaws.
1. Life is cheap
I know people say having kids is expensive but the truth is in the plural. Having ‘just the one’ doesn’t make much of a difference, most places children go free & when you do have to pay it’s half the price or less of an adult anyway!
(With this in mind, we do miss out on the ‘family ticket’ option because of course a family should be 2 adults and 2 children [something parents of 3 or more also know all too well])
2. You often become oblivious to people who have more than ‘just the one’
Life probably is more expensive with more than 1, so planning days out with friends that have 2 or more children is a little different to your adventures as a two-some. 2 cars, double the cost for them, more ‘stuff’ to carry etc etc
3.People presume an ‘only child’ is spoilt
Maybe Aiva is spoilt in terms of days out & places we go but in terms of ‘getting what she wants’ I think she’s border-line deprived, this I know is the repercussion of making a point for her not to be the ‘spoilt only child’
4. You have to play the sister figure from the otter Sylvanian family most evenings
No siblings and there’s no friends round for tea, usually means you spend your evening doing sister-like jobs (deep down I like it because I’m reliving my childhood)
5. Guilt for not playing enough
It’s all good and fun having an evening of playing games but someone has to cook the dinner, get school things ready & tidy the house. Not to mention sometimes you just want to put your feet up for 5 minutes after a full day at work – with all of this, will always come guilt after the ‘please play with me’
6. You question your child’s normal-ness
Because they’re the ‘only one’ when you see them talking to themselves, playing both Mum and Dad with the Sylvanian family figures, playing games with their imaginary friend, you begin to question your child’s sanity. You then shortly remember all children do this at some time.. right!?
7. Fear of having another
Because this 1 little thing is your whole world and more, you question how you could possibly love another child in this way and even worse, the doubt that there’s no way you can be this lucky twice
8. Your child finds it easy to make friends & mostly adult ones
As the ‘only one’ I guess you have 2 choices, play by yourself all the time or seize any opportunity to make new pals. Aiva always chooses the latter & most of the time, in the environments we’re in (mainly of adults) it’s a new adult pal
9. You look at people with more than 1 child and think ‘WTF, HOW?’
You compare your self efficient 5 year old’s ability to be dressed & out the house within 15 minutes with your friends 3 and 1 year old that require a sh*t load of baggage, a toilet run x2, a tantrum, a sibling argument & think, HOW am I still the one that’s always late?!
10. Your kid understands sarcasm as well as a 16 year old
Only children seem to spend more time in adult environments (it works that way for us anyway) which means Aiva has become fluent in the adult language – sarcasm mainly. You can forget spelling things out to avoid them hearing – they KNOW.
11. Other people think it’s OK to analyse and discuss your reproductive choices at length
“Ohhh time for another for you isn’t it?” ‘ I wonder if she can’t have anymore?’ ‘She’s too focused on her career’ ‘It’s a bit cruel only having 1’ I’m sure the list goes on…
Maybe us with ‘just the one’ will want another, maybe we won’t, maybe we can’t have another, maybe we don’t want another, maybe, just maybe; we haven’t even thought about it just yet!
12. You have a customized best friend
Ultimately, having just the one means you have a side-kick, a soul mate, a best friend. I don’t doubt for a moment this isn’t the case for those with more than 1 either! But there is just something so close-knit, special & amazing about having this 1 and only; she’s my number 1 and I hope that I am hers!