How Being an Only Child Formed My Relationship with My Parents

For as long as I can remember, whenever my parents would ask me what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas, I would say, “A little brother or sister.” And, every year, I was disappointed when it didn’t happen. When I was little they’d entertain the idea enough to make me think it was an option by saying, “Okay sweetie, we’ll see,” but as I got older, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I started asking for a puppy, which I never got, but that’s a different bone to pick.

I used to hate being an only child; all of my friends had siblings and even though they fought and teased each other, at the end of the day, there was a bond there that I wanted. You always had someone to talk to or play with or go to for advice. I hated not having that when I was little and I resented my parents for it for a while. That was until I was 16 years old and went through my first really bad breakup. That’s when I realized I had a special bond with my parents and didn’t need a sibling to have that. Sure, it would have been nice to have a playmate growing up or a big sister to steal clothes from, but at the end of the day, I had everything I needed.

My mom has been my best friend for literally my entire life. No matter what was happening or what the issue was, I could always go to her. Whether it was stupid fights with my friends, boy problems, or insecurities, I could talk to her about anything and she’d never force me to do anything. She’d let me talk through my emotions, tell me she supported me to matter what, and would let me decide what to do. Thankfully, she and my dad raised me very well and I like to think I’ve done the right thing most of the time and made them proud.

That’s not to say there haven’t been screaming matches and slammed doors in my house; believe me there have been and still are. My dad and I have the same temper and I get my stubbornness from both sides of my genes so that can make for some bad blow ups from time to time. But overall, as I’ve gotten old I’ve come to really appreciate being an only child.

I have my “things” with each of my parents that are never interrupted by a sibling and I never have to share them with another child. It sounds selfish, but I guess that’s the “only child syndrome” talking. My dad and I have our hockey nights and fishing days, while my mom and I are pretty much attached at the hip when I’m home between running errands, getting manicures and just watching Law and Order: SVU.

 

So, while it would have been nice to have a little brother I could play with or a big sister to go to for boy advice, I’ve learned to appreciate being an only child because it means I have an amazing bond with my parents. My friends have been telling me since high school that I have “the cool mom” and “the cool parents” and, you know what, I fully agree with them.

 

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