At this point in my life, having grown up as an only child I know that my upbringing wasn't the same as many other peoples. Being an only child comes with its pro's and con's just like having siblings does, but I wouldn't trade my situation for someone else's.
People tend to associate being an only child with negatives. I can't count how many times I've heard someone say "you don't act like an only child" in attempt to compliment me, or even worse insult someone else by saying "that makes sense, she's an only child", not knowing I myself am one also. We didn't choose to be "only's" the same way you didn't choose to have siblings.
Here are 10 truths of being an only child that people with siblings might not have known.
1. We're not all spoiled
Being an only child doesn't automatically make you a spoiled brat. In regards to being spoiled, I don't think only children should necessarily have this stereotype. There is a difference between being spoiled, and being fortunate. Most of the time families don't plan on only having one child, yet that ends up being the case. So it only makes sense, fewer mouths to feed and people to care for financially, results in more money to go around for recreational use. Now on the "brat" side of things, don't blame the child, it's all about how they were raised.
2. But some of us are
3. Pets are more like siblings
I have such close connections with my pets because I grew up in an environment where our pets were truly members of our family. I know this goes for larger some families as well, but mine took it to extremes. Not only do our pets have their own ornaments on the tree, and a pile of presents large enough to rival my own, but I can't count how many birthday parties I have hosted for my four-legged siblings.
When I was little my pets were not only referred to as my brothers and sisters, but they also served as my trustee babysitters and imaginary friends that weren't so imaginary. They're the friends that didn't go home after the sleepover and the ones that would spend the entire afternoon playing with my elementary self and keeping me entertained so my mom could make dinner.
4. Holidays with extended family are a treat
Holidays are a great time to reconnect with the family you don't see every day, and for an only child, it's so nice having a full house for a change! Grandparents will show you some extra love because you're the only one and cousins are like the sibling's you don't have to live with!
5. No comparisons, a blessing and a curse
I don't know from personal experience but from what I heard, no one want's to be compared to their siblings. Whether grades, social success, or athletic ability we all know it's not fun to be compared to anyone, so I can only imagine how hard it must be to feel like you're in constant competition with your sibling, the judges being the rest of your family.
This can also backfire, only children tend to have more pressure put on them in these same aspects because they are the only one, all eyes on you all of the time. There is no "well John did this, so now I don't look as bad" or sharing the blame, all of the "I'm so disappointed in you" lectures are directed at one.
6. You'll always be the oldest, and the baby
As an only child you are not only your parent's trail run on how to raise a kid, but you're the first, only and last to leave the nest so they might try to hold onto you a little tighter than other people's parent's!
7. You're not afraid of being alone
Being an only child there is never a lack of space. Usually, you get your own room, your own bathroom and all of your things are solely yours. Only children tend to crave more alone time than someone with siblings because they are just so used to doing their own thing.
They can become independent at a younger age because they're usually home by themselves after school and unless they want to hang out with their parents and do boring adult things all the time, only children learn to entertain themselves. Only children also aren't afraid of being alone, sometimes they prefer it because that is where they can really call their own shots like they're so used to doing anyway.
8. You have to do all of the chores
Unfortunately, there's no one else to divide the list of chores up with!
9. Stronger friendships
My biological family might be small but my un-biological family is definitely large. As someone who doesn't have any blood siblings, I find that my relationships with the ones I call my "best friends" are much deeper than most.
My best friends are my sisters, there's no question about it. I may not know what it's like to have lived across the hall from them my whole life, but they've shown me what it's like to have a sister and what it means to be one.
10. You wouldn't change your family dynamic for anything
Contrary to popular belief, just because your family is small, doesn't mean you'd change it for the world.
People should be judged on what kind of person they are, not by how big of a family they have or how close or not close to their family they are. Families and upbringings are tricky subjects so don't assume something about someone just from the size of their family.