There are millions of only children out in this world who wish we had what you have. Someone to laugh with, share inside stories with—someone to irritate both mom and dad. A person to blame when you accidently break the window when you were playing with the ball inside the house.
Yet more importantly, I speak for all the only children in the world when I say that we wish that we had that one constant person within our lives that we can always trust on when times get rough. Sure, your little sister is annoying and makes fun of your video game collection. Sure, your big brother might threaten that new guy who is taking you out for the first time … but you have them when times get rough.
I was lucky enough to have cousins who were like my siblings while I was growing up; but here is the kicker, they weren’t. At the end of the day, I was still that only child wishing I had a sibling.
Here are some reminders of why you should always be thankful for your sibling(s) and stop wishing you were an only child:
1. Your parents cannot place shared blame.
Let’s face it, accidents within the home happen. That favorite lamp of your moms breaks, and who gets blamed? The children. As minor as the idea sounds, when you are an only child, you receive all the blame for this incident. When typical siblings do something wrong or even if one does something wrong, the load of the burden becomes an equal weight between the sibling(s). That is not the case with the only child. Only children have to deal with life crises alone.
2. When your parents grow old, you are stuck taking care of them alone.
Aging is just an accumulation of days as a wise professor at MBU says, just one day stacked on top of the next. One day, your parents will get old and medical problems will sadly arise. Siblings thankfully can rely on each other to carry this burden of who will take the parents or who can pay for what. When the parents only have one child, that burden heavily relies on them and them alone.
3. Life gets really boring when school is out.
Unless you have the honor of getting to see your family everyday (if you are even that lucky), summer break is like a jail sentence. Only children are beyond bored. Siblings have built in friends that they are constantly able to color with, or play kickball, etc. It’s hard to play kickball alone.
4. You cannot give/receive words of encouragement from that sibling source.
Some of the best advice you can ever receive is from someone who has gone through that same trial before you or giving that advice to someone who is facing that trial that you have walked through. Heart-to-heart conversations are one of the many gifts that God gave to sibling relationships in my opinion. He instilled that ability to grow and thrive and learn through each other’s mistakes, and grow closer together.
5. You and your siblings can "trash talk" your parents together.
When life gets hard, and you just want to diss on your parents, who better than to diss on your parents with than with the people who share the same DNA with you. Sadly, if you are an only child, you do not have this sibling relationship, you don’t have the opportunity to have a creative outlet and not complain about your parents. This. Is. Tragic.
6. A sibling relationship is a safe place relationship.
Having a sibling is like having a safe place to test out your inner weirdness. All your dumb and tacky jokes have the ability to see if they are actually funny or if the joke is a flop. Have a funny prank you want to try out? Who better to try out the prank on than your sibling! Sure, they might become irritated, but you know in the end, you will start a fun prank war that will cause more joy and laughter between one another.
7. Siblings make family time more bearable.
Family vacations can be one of the most exciting times of the year. You back up the cars and dog-pile in and hit the road. You’re loving life until your dad begins to start singing his old 80’s songs he loved and you’re miserable. Having a sibling(s) makes that vacation more excitable and less hair-pulling-out. You can enjoy the excitement and adventure with one another and when all else fails, you can embrace the irritation with another person!
8. You spend the majority of your life with your siblings.
If you stop and think about your life, it will look something like this: you’re born, you grow up, you get married, you have some kids, you grow old, your parents die, your spouse dies, you die. The end. What relationship withstood your entire life? You meet your spouse later in life. Your parents die after you get married (typically). However, you grow up and grow old with your siblings. Even though you grow older and move away, you still grow together.
9. You will never get to be an aunt or an uncle.
As trivial as it may sound, there is a certain sense of pride knowing that in just a short time period, you will become an aunt or an uncle to a little bundle of joy. That means, let the spoiling take place and the fun times commence. Sadly, when you have no siblings, you are not really an aunt or an uncle. You might be called an “aunt” or an “uncle” by your cousin’s children or your best friend’s children—you might even marry into a family that has nieces or nephews, however, those children are not your flesh and blood nieces and nephews. One day, they will make a family tree and realize they have no connection to that aunt or uncle, and their view of you will change.
10. You might have close friend/cousin, but at the end of the day, you go home alone …
Being a part of your best friends family and having the title of their “adopted sister” is great; even being called a sister by your cousins is fantastic until the time comes for you to go home. You pack your bags, and give your hugs goodbye, and then you get in the car and drive off with your parents … alone. Sibling-less. You might be a pseudo sibling, but you never really have a sibling.
So, give a shout out to your siblings. Hug them really tight. Thank them for the silly fights that you all had while you were growing up. Thank your parents for the gift they gave you when they brought either you or that little crying baby home from the hospital. Being an only child is a gift, but having a sibling is a better gift. While every situation is different and every sibling/only child relationship is different, they are all beautiful and full of purpose. This is not to chastise sibling relationships, but rather to open eyes to show value and worth to the blessing sibling relationships are.
Because when life gets you down, they have your back.