I've written before about our struggles to have more children and then our most recent heartbreak a couple months ago when my pregnancy ended at 17 weeks and we lost our little Paisley girl.
Recently throughout our daily life, I notice things... behaviors, attitudes, disappointments... that come only because our daughter is an only child.
I think there is something major to say about birth order. I am an oldest child and so is my husband. I have read personality characteristics for only children and for other children (middle-child, youngest) and they are all pretty spot on. One I have never read though is about only children. I never really knew many growing up so I never really cared to read those.
They seem to be a thing of their own. It is seriously so completely unnatural to me for children to be only children. Of course, God allows only children and there is nothing wrong with having only one child, but there are so many issues with it. (at least from what I've observed in our family and in other families that I now notice)
Here are some of the quarks:
1) Our daughter seems to not always get the difference between us being parents and her being the child. Not that she doesn't obey (of course we have our times) but you can tell that life seems a little less fair when there are 2 of us (bosses/parents) and 1 of her (child with not much authority). When you have more than one child, it's not just the single child being directed it is all of the children who are directed by parents. Right now, she is the only one to go to bed early, she is the only one who can't watch certain movies or shows, she is the only one who has to do this or that.
2) Our daughter is mostly around adults. There are kids in our family and she has some friends, but when we are at home, just our immediate family, she is the only child. Of course, we accomodate that but it's not the same. We cannot play 24-7.
3) She sees other families with multiple kids and when you are around siblings you see the bond even if the kids seem to hate eachother. When we are with my sisters you can feel the bond we have and I know that K is missing that. There is nothing like the bond between siblings.
That is not counting any of the biologically and historically unnatural things about only children.
I know there are issues with having 1, 2, 3, or 10 kids. I just think people don't realize that having only 1 child has its issues also. I think only-child adults have often missed out on many life skills such as changing diapers, holding babies, teaching someone younger and learning that they are not always the center of attention.
To each their own and if you have decided that only one child is perfect for your family, great! If you are not able to have more children, I am sorry and I pray for women who long for more children. If you have a large family, be thankful. We have given the number of children we will have over to God. He is in charge. I pray that we will be blessed soon with a little baby. If not, I continue to tell Him that I am trusting Him to heal my daughter and mend her broken heart because she hasn't had any siblings. :)
Were you an only child? If so, how has that shaped who you are as an adult? Did you want siblings? Do you have only one child? If so, is that by choice?