Being a parent is not an easy decision. Having the first child already may seem a bit too overwhelming and imagining to have a second one can feel totally impossible. But before you decide to do it the Chinese way (and even China is relaxing the rules of one child policy now and will allow couples to have two babies!), there are some things that you should consider.
Look at this world map showing the total births per woman. Do you see any relationship between the fertility rate and the relative wealth of a nation or geographical location?
How does it feel to be an only child?
Being an only child has numerous advantages and also quite some disadvantages. Let’s have a closer look at them.
Being an only child: early years
Although it may sound really cool to have all the attention drawn to you and not have another baby being born into your little family consisting of mummy – the shshsh do not cry my darling and daddy – what did I do wrong, consider this:
Your parents would therefore never have to solve the puzzle on how to make the older one not be jealous of the younger one. Good for them. On the contrary, you are lucky as you do not have to share your toys with any sibling. Bearing this in mind, you will never experience these brother-sister fights for a totally useless cause.
The odds that you will receive a lot of Christmas gifts are quite high, you are at the end of the day the only child that can get, them right?
When you are an only child, the advantages extend to having a big birthday party more often as there is only one occasion in the year to hold it – and that is your birthday! That applies to pretty much any birthday except for when you are born on 23rd December, then forget a party. Ever heard of anybody who would love to get a normal cake and throw a big party when there are Christmas candies that are also coming just once per year like your birthday?
Until you start going to the kindergarten or to primary school, you will have to spend a lot of time with adults. For some reason your parents would still prefer to hang out with their peers and you would have to come too (the child security services for some strange reason do not like when children stay home alone).
This will lead to funny situations when adult friends of your parents or your papa and mama themselves would tell you: “Do not listen now.”, which is a total invite to start paying attention to what is being said and using it by accident some time later at the most inappropriate time and occasion. All this just because you were told not to listen and to close your ears.
Being an only child: school
The school kids can be incredibly evil and many innocent situations at school are bringing scars to your only child torn soul. The most frightening one is to write an essay about your brother or sister. A homework that when you object that there is nobody like this you could describe, the teacher says: “write about an imaginary one”. Thanks, but no thanks.
Also, if you get an assignment to write about your family, it would have to be much more detailed to fit the requested word count as there are not many people to describe. Truly uncomfortable. But it is also a chance to popularize what the adults said the other day when they told you not to listen.
Likewise, when you start learning foreign languages, there will be a section of the vocabulary that will be a nightmare for you: family tree. It is not easy to imagine what would be the title of your mother’s brother (if only she had one) or the future children of your imaginary brother (although you already know perfectly from the previous assignment how he looks like and how he behaves). I would want to make a research to verify if my assumption here is true – only children are not able to learn properly the family relationships as they have no real names and faces to assign to the branches of the family tree.
One think you can be quite certain is that your parents will attend all the parent meetings at school and they will find out what you did. If only they had more children they would have to go for school meetings of, they would probably skip out on yours. But no. Tough luck.
Also, once you start going to school, it is time to choose a hobby or five. The perfect time for parents to gently guide you towards a sport or activity they totally failed in so that they can project their unfulfilled dreams into their only child. You become the universal everything. Ballet, drawing, pony club, football, scuba diving, debate club, drama class, chess team and let’s not forget the flute!
Being an only child: getting older and wiser
Only when you grow up you will realise that you have to fight for all your problems alone, there is nobody that you could blame your failure or misbehaviour on. Forget the sentence: “It was not me breaking the vase”, because there is just you and nobody else who could have broken the vase. Sad.
There is also nobody that could cover up for you when you go for a date that your parents would not let you go for. Equally, you will not be able to laugh at your brother’s or sister’s first hangover, luckily the internet is full of funny videos and you are already trained in having an imaginary bro.
Similarly, you know these moments when your sister is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and you are rightfully proud of her? Will not happen to an only child. Or these moments when your brother goes study abroad and although you had your arguments all the time, you start to miss him as there is one place empty during obligatory family Sunday lunches? There will always be an empty space by the kitchen table when you are being an only child, unless you have a triangular one.
When you get older and wiser, you will necessarily have to realize some things, such as that you will never be your sibling’s best man or maid of honour and as such in general there will not be many weddings taking place in your family unless you have a lot of cousins. Being an only child, such a simple money and conflict saving solution!
The worst realizations are when your friends and classmates start to have nephews and nieces and you suddenly realize that you will never become aunt or uncle! And the worst one to get is that the future of your clan is lying on you as there is no bro or sis that could replace you in this reproduction burden.
Last but not least, if you are an only child, you will be the only thing your parents have, from your early childhood until the very end. This may seem as an advantage, but believe me, it is really better if there is more of you. For everyone.
Hesitating to have a second child?
Are you being an only child yourself? Did I forget something?
Did you find some of these items particularly funny?
Let me know in comments!
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