What It's Really Like Being An Only Child
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What It's Really Like Being An Only Child

It has its upsides and downsides.

What It's Really Like Being An Only Child
Alayna Morphew

Both of my parents have siblings. My boyfriend has a sibling. All of my friends have at least one sibling. And on both sides of my family, I'm the only one of all my cousins who doesn't have a sibling. Even though I'm surrounded by all of these people with siblings, its sometimes hard to grasp the concept of what that's like. Conversely people who have siblings can't wrap their mind around the fact of not having one. Which often results in people getting misconstrued ideas of sibling-less people.

Most people say that only children are stingy. I share everything.

If I only have one cookie, slice of cake, etc. I will split it up into micro sized pieces just to make sure that everyone with me gets a piece. I sometimes am reluctant to share clothes, not because I'm stingy, but because I have this weird OCD thing about wanting to always know where all of my stuff is. I don't mind loaning it to someone who needs it or wants to wear it, I just constantly remind myself that they have it, so I don't forget to get it back. (Disclaimer: I will nonchalantly wipe off a bottle/cup or piece of silverware before sharing that. I like to share, but not germs.)

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I'm not as spoiled as you think I am.

Being spoiled means being pampered and getting handed everything. Even people who aren't an only child can be spoiled. I actually earn most of what I'm given. I either buy it with money I've worked for, or my parents give it to me, because I have worked hard in school, stayed out of trouble, etc. Actually I don't like my parents to just hand me something. I constantly worry about having to spend their money while I'm in college.

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I never had anyone constantly bugging me, but I also never had anyone constantly there to hang out with.

I don't have any of those stories about annoying siblings, but I also don't have any fun stories about getting into trouble with a sibling as kids.

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I don't have to live up to the expectations of older siblings.

I know a lot people who are the younger sibling. They always hear things like 'Oh, you're so and so's little sister/brother.' Everyone expects them to be like their older siblings. I never had these issues growing up. I was able to set my own standards and be known for who I am. But on the flip side, I didn't really have an older sibling to always be there to take up for me or look out for me.

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I actually liked school.

This could just be because I'm an Education Major, but I enjoyed going to school so I could interact with others my age.

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I didn't have anyone to tattle on me.

The only one who knew my darkest secrets as a child was my cat. She was and still is pretty good at keeping her mouth shut.

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I didn't learn how to fight.

I didn't have anyone to actually get into physical fights with, or anyone to master comebacks skills on.

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I have a close relationship with my parents.

It has always been just the three of us, so we spent a lot of time together when I was growing up.

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I cherish my cousins and friendships.

Because I didn't have another child living with me, it was always fun when I got to hang out with my cousins or friends.

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I'm the guinea pig, and I catch the slack.

Most older siblings, are given harsh rules to follow, because they are the first child. They're the experiment of how parenting works. By the last child, the parents are just ready to get them out of the house, so they aren't as strict on that child. Or it could be the inverse, where they weren't harsh on the oldest, but became more harsh for the youngest child. Either way, because, I'm an only child, I was more of a combination of the two while growing up.

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My parents basically adopted my friends.

Because, I never had anyone to play with, my parents let me have sleepovers basically all the time, so I wouldn't be lonely. My best friend even went on almost all of our family vacations with us.

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I'll always be the favorite kid.

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