10 Things Only Only Children Experienced Throughout Childhood

10 Things Only Only Children Experienced Throughout Childhood

But, like... what would it be like if I had a sibling?
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1. You always think about what it would be like to have a sibling.

Being an only child leaves so much to the imagination when it comes thinking about what it would be like to have a brother or sister. You always think about if your parents would have had another child, WHAT WOULD THEY LOOK LIKE?!? Would they look like me? Would we have the same color hair and eyes? Would we be best friends or arch enemies? So many thoughts about how different your life would be with a sibling cross your mind growing up as an only child.

2. You definitely had imaginary friends growing up.

As an only child, you have no choice but to have a great imagination. Playing by yourself as a kid would get boring real quick, so you had to spice things up with an overactive imagination. Playing with your imaginary friends was most likely one of your favorite daily activities growing up as an only child. Forcing your parents to acknowledge them was something you took very seriously and they were probably lowkey concerned if that was normal behavior. As only children, our imaginary friends that we had as kids will forever hold a hilarious/special place in our hearts.

3. You are probably bad at sharing.

When it came to sharing your toys, playing with others, and taking turns as a kid chances are you struggled because you were never used to having to do it at home. One perk of not having any siblings is that you never had to worry about anyone breaking or stealing your things at home. You were probably in for a rude awakening when you started school and realized that you couldn’t play with whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. As an only child, you are most likely guilty of being a little selfish when it comes to sharing, waiting in line, or loaning things to people.

4. All eyes are on you

As an only child, chances are that you are your parents’ main focus and priority. You are their only child, therefore you are the only one they have to worry about. Being an only child can be a lot of pressure since there is no one else to blame for your mistakes as a kid. Like if you accidentally break your moms favorite coffee mug, there’s no brother or sister to try to blame it on. Chances are you attempted to blame the dog for a large number of the things you broke, spilled, and lost over the years. At the end of the day, you are your parents only child and you want to make them proud because you are the only one that can make them feel like a proud parent.

5. You feel comfortable around people older than you.

Growing up without any brothers and sisters most likely means that you spent more time around adults than other people your age who had siblings. Typically, only children feel very comfortable carrying on conversations with adults and people older than them because they have been doing it their entire life. You have always been surrounded by parents, grandparents, and other older family members rather than siblings your own age so being around people older than you feels natural. Often children who grow up without siblings are found to be mature for their age due to the fact that they spend more time conversing with adults.

6. You require a healthy amount of alone time.

When you grow up without being surrounded by siblings, you become very comfortable with being alone. As an only child, you probably learned to be independent at a very young age and did not feel the need to be surrounded by other people constantly. Being alone with your own thoughts and figuring things out on your own comes very naturally because you never had the presence of sibling to assist you. Adapting to having a roommate or living with a significant other could be particularly difficult for an only child because they can be selfish when it comes to their alone time.

7. People assume that you are spoiled.

As an only child, you have probably been stereotyped as being “spoiled” or “bratty.” In some cases, this is true because parents that only have one child feel obligated to give their child whatever they want. This can stem from parents’ fear that their only child will resent them or just lack of parenting experience and not knowing when to say “no.” Although this is common in families with just one child, it occurs just as much in families that have multiple children. It is easy for people to assume that since you don’t have any siblings that you get whatever you want. In some cases, it's harder for children without siblings to achieve the approval of their parents because their expectations are ridiculously high. All families are on a budget, not just families with multiple children, therefore only children don’t just get everything handed to them like people often assume.

8. Will I ever have nieces and nephews?

One thing about being an only child is that you will never have the opportunity to have biological nieces or nephews. The only way we will get the chance to be Aunts/Uncles is if we marry someone who has siblings. Some people who don’t have siblings find the idea of a huge family intimidating because they aren’t used to it, but on the other hand, some only children crave a big family as they get older because they did not get to experience it growing up. Marrying a person who also doesn’t have any siblings could either lead to very boring holidays/family gatherings or peaceful one where children aren’t dominating the evening.

9. You are extremely close with your family.

When you don't have siblings to spend time with growing up, you spend a large portion of your time with your parents, grandparents, and cousins. Your cousins are pretty much like the siblings you never had and they are the closest things you will ever get to having brothers and sisters. You have a unique relationship with your parents because you are their only offspring and no one can ever compare to the spot you hold in their heart. You go to these people for everything and value your relationship with them dearly. Your small family, though they may make you want to pull your hair out sometimes, means more to you than anything.

10. You wouldn't change your childhood for anything.

Although you didn't grow up roughhousing or playing with siblings, you wouldn't trade it for the world. Like all things, being an only child had its pros and cons. Growing up as the only child in your family made you who you are, it shaped you into the person you are today who is reading this article. You were meant to be the only child your parents ever had and that in its own way is so beautiful. At the end of the day, the love between just you and your parents is something that can never be replaced.

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.

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You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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