Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Only, but not lonely

It's IBOT day today so I'm linking up with the lovely Essentially Jess

Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll. Looks like you want to know what it was like for me growing up as an only child.

I'm an only child, but not by choice. I'll leave the rest of it at that.

I'm the child my parents were told they'd never have. 

Growing up, it never occurred to me that everyone else had brothers and sisters.

Kids would tell me I was strange or missing out.

In my early years of preschool, my best friend was a boy named Matt. I was going to marry him. His father was the MC at my wedding to Darling Husband (DH) because he is a close family friend of both families. I used to hang out with Matt and his younger brother. His parents are the only parents of friends who I refer to by their first names. Even now.

Then there was the trusty trio in grades one and two. Ezza, Mezza, and Sezza. Sadly, we all drifted apart, but through Facebook have reconnected. These ladies should know who they are. When spending time with Ezza, she had two younger, twin sisters. Mezza had an older sister and a younger sister. See? Plenty of people to hang out and play with.

Different friends over the years. But always with siblings. I felt like an extension of those siblings in many cases. Did I get lonely at home? I sure as hell don't remember feeling that way. Did I ever wish for brothers or sisters? I won't lie, I sure did. Was I spoilt? Probably. But I think I've turned out ok.

As a child, if I wasn't asking to go and play at someone's house, I was reading. Something which I still love to do today. Being an only child meant that there was only ever MY lot of book club to pay for, meaning I could order more. I let friends borrow books. I still had friends for sleep overs. 

I'm extremely blessed to have my best friend, Tegan, who is my sister of the heart. We don't need blood to connect us. We are two peas in a pod, an extension of each other. We can have an entire conversation with nothing but a few eyebrow wiggles, or on a busy day, a few little noises or even just one word each. Without Tegan, I don't know who I would be anymore. I am also lucky now to have a sister-in-law. 

But please don't look at an only child with pity. It may be through choice or otherwise. We don't miss out on things, we aren't monsters or freaks. 

Our parents just managed to make the "perfect" child on the first go! (sorry people with siblings!)


  1. I am so glad your post came up in my IBOT column to read today, else I might have missed it and I'm glad I didn't. I have an "only" son, also not by choice. And I wonder about a lot of these things - how it will be for him, will he feel like he's missing out, are we failing him as parents by not trying MORE or HARDER to get him a sibling. I have 2 sisters, my husband has 4 siblings, so we know what it's like to grow up with siblings and have them now we are older. I feel a smidgeon better for having read this post, so I truly thank you for writing it. -Aroha #teamIBOT

    1. Your son may not have blood siblings, but I truly hope he finds the bond I have with my best friend. She was asked once to describe me in just one word.... She said "sister". Made me blubber like a baby.

      You do occassionally wish for a sibling, if only to exact mischief on your parents, but I'm a pretty normal person, I think.

  2. I've got three older sisters, but there are huge age gaps so I didn't really grow up with them. I think it made me very independent, but maybe I would have been that way anyway?
    I never felt like I missed out having kids my age, but I love seeing the bond my kids have. It is very special.

  3. Lovely post, thanks for sharing.

    And I was (am) a reader too. I'm sure my brother was bored at having such a bookworm older sister!

  4. I have no idea what being an only child means. By the time I turned five, I had two sisters and twin brothers. My son however was an only child for 16 years, he had plenty of neighbourhood kids and cousins to play with, and I don't think he missed out.