March 17, 2010

Siblings

The house I grew up in was pretty much a normal, everyday colonial deep in the heart of Texas. The master bedroom was downstairs, my room up. Across from my room was a TV room that I used to sneak into in the middle of the night and, on weekends - since these were the days of four channels - turn on PBS and watch Dr. Who. Down the hall was my own bathroom and across from that was a giant closet that, when I was younger, I'd call my office. Further down the hall was the "computer room" which had a big desk with an Apple II+ on it. Before that, it had been the "sewing room" and had a big desk with a sewing machine on it. Each room had big walk-in closets. I had the run of the place. I was - and am - an only child.

There are pluses and minuses to being an only child. I became very independent at a fairly young age. And though my parents were always around and we had a good relationship, I learned to entertain myself early on. I think I'm a more imaginative and independent adult as a result. I can go for long stretches without speaking a word. I am comfortable being alone. I relish time locked in a room with a book. On the flip side, I can go long stretches without saying a word and that drives Beth crazy. And I never really learned to share. When Beth and I moved in together seventeen years ago (sheesh!), it was the first time I'd really ever shared my living space and my stuff. I am, by the very fact that I was an only child, probably a bit more spoiled and selfish.

All this is a long way of saying that I can't quite relate to the relationship Mia and Owen have. I can't put myself in their shoes. I never had to punch anyone in the head to get a book back. I never had to wait my turn. I never had to put up with being interrupted when I was trying to make myself a sandwich. No one ever tried to steal my pants while I was peeing. And I never had to share my parents' love and affection. So sometimes I feel like I'm operating at a disadvantage as a parent. Unlike Beth - who has a younger brother - I don't have any lessons-learned to work from or wise words to share.

Do you have siblings or are you an only child? And how do you think that impacted the way you turned out as an adult?

Posted by Chris at March 17, 2010 7:17 AM
Comments

i have a 1/2 brother and 1/2 sister who are much older, so it was like i was an only child. and, unlike todays parents, my folks pretty much left me to my own devices. i love being alone, quiet, silence. i love going to movies/restaurans alone. i overstimulate easily and need that calm and alone time. my husband has 2 brothers, close in age and he needs constant action, noise etc etc. we drive each other crazy. our kids are more like him. it will be an early grave for me.

Posted by: meanie at March 17, 2010 8:04 AM

I grew up with two older siblings but because they were 13 and 11 years older than me, I was almost an "only" child. My oldest brother got married when I was 7! So, I don't have that "resource" when dealing with my three kids who like to bicker and "copy" one another, "borrow" toys and games, etc.

Because I was raised almost like an only child I learned how to play by myself, didn't have to share, had an incredible imagination, and LOVE TO BE ALONE and quiet too...

My husband has/had three older siblings but he is a twin so he is able to relate so much better when the kids are going at it and I look at him in frustration and whisper, "is that normal???!"

Posted by: natalie at March 17, 2010 8:24 AM

I have a sister who is only 16 months older than I am. However, we are such different personalities that we've never been close. We had our own rooms and I'd have to say that in some things I feel like I was an only child and she was like a room mate. Although when younger I do remember a lot of fights about "stuff". My husband has 2 older brothers but they lived with their father a lot so he feels like he was an only child for the most part as well.

Our daughter is an only child as well and resents when people say she is spoiled and selfish. She, like you, feels she just didn't have to learn how to share, etc... because there was no one around to hassle.

Both my husband and I are just fine with it is only the two of us and we can go long stretches of time without seeing anyone else (except each other) and be perfectly content.

Posted by: daisy at March 17, 2010 8:36 AM

I'm an only child, and can definitely trend toward the more spoiled side of the spectrum. But my parents were always trying to have more kids so I grew up with the knowledge that I would be an older sister. That just never happened. But since my mom is the 3rd of six kids, she was conscious to make sure that I wasn't overly selfish or entitled. I know how to share, but that's because I went to school and had to learn how.

I do envy people with siblings sometimes, because that's not a relationship that you can ever simulate, you can't really "adopt" a sister or brother, the way you can "adopt" a grandparent. It's different, and I'm envious of that.

Posted by: Rachel at March 17, 2010 8:44 AM

okay...i have a brother 18 months younger than me...sorta like mia and owen... we were close.. but we "borrowed" (toys) from each other..and broke them certainly not on purpose! which would cause some head bashing... and since i was what he called a "penny pincher" and he spent his money before he earned it.. he thought he was entitled to whatever i had even told my mother to "make san give me some money"... when we were close to our teens and became what is now called "latchkey kids" we would get into fights before mom came home (we would actually stop if we saw we seriously hurt each other)... mom caught us once and said the first one to cry was "gonna get it"... then we just burst out laughing... i'm sure your're gonna LOVE that stage, when they conspire against you...and believe me ... they will... Beth knows... i'm sure you will wonder what the heck is happening and she will take it all in stride

Posted by: theunicorn at March 17, 2010 8:58 AM

I'm one of nine (and the second oldest, but the oldest is handicapped so in most ways I'm the oldest) so I can happily say... TWO KIDS IS PLENTY. In all seriousness, there are ups and downs of course. I didn't get my own room until I was 16, was a constant babysitter, and have learned to whittle bathroom visits down to 17.2 seconds. But... I got to watch my brothers and sisters grow up, and have someone to complain to about Mom. :-) Fair trade! I am glad my son has a little sister to annoy him, and glad she has him to protect her and teach her in ways I can't.

Posted by: bri at March 17, 2010 9:05 AM

I have two brothers, but we're all seven years apart. They say that after five years or so, it's like you're an only child. I can sort of attest to that, in that you and I seem to share some of the same characteristics (comfortable being alone and quiet, uncomfortable with sharing, never had pants stolen while peeing). That said, my elder brother was a tyrant, and being 7 years older than I was, merciless and absolute in his treatment of me--particularly when my parents weren't looking. As a result, I'd say that our relationship is very bad today. Oddly, I get along famously with my brother who is fourteen years older than I. Weird. Anyway, all that is to say that I think you did right having Mia and Owen close to one another. I see very close bonds in siblings who don't have too much time between them.

Posted by: martin at March 17, 2010 9:16 AM

I have a sister who is 3 years younger than me and we never got along growing up. By the time she was born, I knew how good I had it as an only child and grandchild and that her arrival would ruin that. We fought ALL THE TIME growing up, couldn't stand to be in the same room as each other, and once I left for college, we never talked unless we had to. My parents did not help at all, and often created more competition between us but also treated us very differently, often to my detriment. Right before I got married 5 years ago, we started talking more and we were the maid of honor in each other's weddings. But we still aren't close. I don't think she wants to be so I don't try that hard. So, based on all this, I really have no interest in having more than one child and often wish I was an only child. I like alone time, I like peace and quiet. I love my one child very much and am very afraid of repeating my parents' mistakes if we have another child. I think parents are more lenient with the second child because they are more confident, but often that creates resentment with the older child who sees everything the younger one gets to do that they didn't. If I can figure out how not to do that, I might be OK with a second child but for now, I am perfectly content with one. My husband is the youngest of four, and is significantly younger, so he has no idea what it's like to have to compete with siblings, share, get beat up by said siblings, etc. He was the baby and almost an only child. He wants more kids and doesn't see what the big deal is.

Posted by: Laura at March 17, 2010 9:20 AM

I am the oldest of four. I don't know that there is enough space to write out all the ways I think this has shaped me and in which ways I think this is good and which I think suck. Mostly it has to do with the ways that we all relate to situations out of our control. Who steps up and does what needs to be done, who sits back and doesn't. Etc Etc.
I wouldn't change any of it though. I like having people out in the world that have that common thread with me. We can all relate to how we grew up, the folks, have memories no one else can possibly share. It has also taught us how to handle different and difficult personalities and how it is possible to be really really pissed off at someone and still love them.
I am closest to my brothers. My sister and I are somewhat estranged. I think this year that might change. She's mellowed out some... I might have too. Mostly, I think we more clearly understand where the other stands. I love her, but I'm not willing to be the scapegoat for all of her personal traumas. And I'm not willing to stand by and watch her throw my folks under the bus when they've done so much for her.

Ok...too deep for a Wednesday morning. I'm finishing this off now.

Posted by: varinia at March 17, 2010 9:45 AM

Actually, I'm a middle child - but my brother (2 years older) has extensive emotional and physical disabilities - so he's actually "younger" than I am, and my sister is really ten years younger than me. I didn't grow up having relationships with either one, really. Now that my sister and I are both adults, we're getting closer, which is awesome (yet strange, to get that sisterly relationship all these years later), and I'm jealous that my daughters who are three years apart will have known this pretty much all their lives.

Posted by: Sarah at March 17, 2010 9:54 AM

I'm the misunderstood middle child. The one who will try to put the flames of conflict out before they even start simmering. It has definitely shaped who I am today and I am just now learning different ways of dealing with people that don't include me trying to "fix it" all the time.

But what you've blogged about your kids - they are doing JUST FINE in their relationship. They are normal and in fact - it's awesome that they love each other so much. There will be a period of time (it will come, believe me) when they will despise one another, but it will pass. It's just life.

Posted by: k8 at March 17, 2010 10:02 AM

I didn't realize you were an only child! My son (19) is an only child but he is by no means spoiled - I made sure of that! But he always had a playmate - me. So I probably spoiled him in that respect because I was always willing to drop what I was doing and get down on the floor and play trains etc. - Joe and Sam our trainmen will be in our hearts forever :-)

My husband is an only by way of having a sister 8 years old who was traumatized by her parent's divorce and manipulated the hell out of everyone. His mother was distant, his real father a "weekend father" and his stepdad was nice but not involved. Sad but true so he always thought I spoiled our son. I've had to teach him what makes a good parent and how to think in terms of when "you were growing up".

I on the other hand, have 2 sisters - a twin and a sister 18 months older. Fights? Yes - screaming, hair pulling (the last time I ever got in a fight with the older one - she was Nasty!). There was always 2 against someone. We got along alot of times too and have good memories. We're still all pretty close now but the older and my twin (the baby of the family cus she's 5 minutes younger and yes, birth order still applies...) butt heads often. My older has a mothering personality and just like a mother some of the things that come out of her mouth you just shake your head.

To make a long story longer -- being in the middle has made me a diplomat. I hold my tongue til it calls for me to say something, and will step in when something needs to be done and everyone else has their arms crossed. I think I sleep better for it.

I hope my son, as an only finds a wonderful girl to marry (not sure about the current one), and has a beautiful family like yours. If there's any advice for an adult only you want to share, let me know!

Posted by: NancyJ at March 17, 2010 10:14 AM

I had the best of both worlds. My brother wasn't born until I was 12, so I had my parents all to myself when I was young. By the time my brother came along, I was old enough to really appreciate him. We're the best of friends because we were never close enough in age to fight over anything. Well, I guess we could start now :)

I think being an only child until I was 12 definitely made me more imaginative and independent, because I had to entertain myself. Of course, my husband is only 18 months younger than his sister, and he's one of the most imaginative and creative people I know, so perhaps that doesn't always hold true.

Posted by: bad penguin at March 17, 2010 10:33 AM

I am an only child! I think I turned out fine, ha! I do not require as much social interaction as some. After my husband and I were married I had a hard time "sharing" certain things, completely over that now! We have two boys, sometimes I wonder if I am missing something by not having a relationship with a sibling because they are really close (despite the almost 6 yr age difference) even tho they do have their moments!

Posted by: steff at March 17, 2010 10:36 AM

I have three sisters (although for some reason I typed "two" the first time, so I wonder who I'm trying to leave out :P ) I'm second oldest. I think it definitely affected me, mostly in good ways ;) I really do love them like crazy, and can't imagine life without them. Also, it's nice to have someone to talk to about our parents' messy divorce and all that crap.

Posted by: Heather at March 17, 2010 10:48 AM

I had two sibs, both older but was the only child at home from 13 years old on and in a lot of ways, I'm like you (very independent, enjoys being alone, doesn't need to talk a lot). We aren't close at all.

I have an only child, and yes-he doesn't relate to his friends' relationships with their sibs. He doesn't understand how they can hate each other 1 second and love each other the next. We try, but we're still parents. Even if we are the ones to interrupt him, tease him, and steal his pants.

You're doing just great, Chris. Kids benefit from parents who each have their own different experiences.

Posted by: Scatteredmom at March 17, 2010 11:53 AM

I am an only child (surprise!). I not only relish alone time, I prefer it. I am fairly introverted and being with people exhausts me. I'm really self-absorbed, but I hate it when people say that only children must necessarily be spoiled and selfish. I am neither. I am independent and maybe my parents' me-directed attention boosted my self-esteem, but I don't see that as a bad thing. In a world of eating disorders and cutting, I'm mystified that high self-esteem is vilified as snobby instead of healthy. I think I'm great, but it doesn't mean I think I'm better than anyone else.

I have four kids. We have actual siblings, step-siblings, and half-siblings. We got it ALL goin' on. People ask me, How do they get along? And I shrug and say, Like regular brothers and sisters...I guess. I'll be interested to see how they all interact as adults.

Posted by: Brooke at March 17, 2010 12:25 PM

Oldest of 7, all spaced 3 years apart. LIke so many others have said, big families are balanced in the ways they absolutely suck only by how great they are. I love my big crazy family and wouldn't trade them, but I still resent the responsibility I had at a young age and wish I'd had more of my parents' attention. Though if I'd had more of their attention when I was a teenager, I'm sure I would have hated it and would be complaining about that now. :)

Siblings are great though. Even if you fight as children, you'll never have that bond with anyone else. My sister and brother are two of my closest friends now (even though she and I couldn't stand each other half the time and he's 11 years younger then I am) and there are many things about me that only they can understand because they grew up in the same family.

Mia and Owen might drive each other crazy sometimes, but they'll always have a bond with each other that no one else will be able to replace.

Posted by: Jess at March 17, 2010 12:27 PM

I have two older brothers (older by 10 years, and 5 years) and a sister who is 5 years younger. Even though I'm not the oldest, they all come to me when shit hits the fan. Which is nice, but also, annoying. Maybe it's because I'm the oldest girl...I don't know. But, siblings are awesome. My sister and I were close when we were young, hated each other during my teens, and now are honestly the best of friends. My brothers are still 12 year old boys (trapped in much larger bodies) that poke me, tease me, thump my ear, shove me in the pool fully dressed, etc. Because I got so used to them always coming to me for help I notice that that's the role I play with my friends as well. But if often leaves me feeling like there's no one *I* can go to.

Also, I don't think I commented on it the other day, Mia's ballet photos are gorgeous!

Posted by: js at March 17, 2010 1:04 PM

I have 2 older brothers, and 1 younger sister, and 1 younger brother. Oldest brother is 48, youngest is 22. That being said, I never felt alone. I always had someone to share things with. Of course there was still alot of hair pulling.

I also have two children 1 boy, 1 girl that are 5 years apart. They also fight, but if alone with strangers they are very protective of one another.

My daughter needs someone to entertain her and my son has always been able to do it himself.

I think it all comes down to what kind of parent you are.

Posted by: soccermom at March 17, 2010 2:05 PM

Chris and I have this conversation a lot. I have a younger sister and Chris grew up as an only child, except for a couple different step-brothers for short periods of time. He has 3 much older half-brothers that grew up with their mom.

What's so funny is that Chris is much more sharing than I am. That may be because I was the older sibling and had to protect all my stuff from my younger sister.

Overall though, I always felt sorry for him, not having that built in playmate/person to beat up on. My sister and I aren't that close right now, but over all, I enjoyed having her around.

Posted by: sherri at March 17, 2010 2:24 PM

First I had an older brother, and then when I was thirteen, was blessed with a stepsister (my best friend since kindergarten) and a stepbrother. My older brother was always my protector. I don't remember fighting with him that much. Well, there was that one time where he punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me. Sadly he wasn't around much in my teenage years, but my stepsister and I were like peas and carrots. It was really awesome.

I have two sons, age 13 and 7, and I just figured that they would always have this wonderfully loving relationship. HA! Sure, they love each other, when they're not bugging the crap out of each other or doing each other bodily harm.

Posted by: Suzy Voices at March 17, 2010 2:44 PM

I had an older brother and sister. I was the baby. Best ever having a brother and a sister. You learn a lot about compromise.

Posted by: Maribeth at March 17, 2010 2:45 PM

You know, my son is an only child. I was the middle of 3, so I always felt like I've deprived him somehow by not giving him siblings. I don't really think it's hurt him - like you, he's always been imaginative and able to entertain himself. He's definitely a bit spoiled and self-centered. We'll see how the sharing thing goes when he makes a home and family of his own.

The hardest part for me to consider is that when his dad & I get elderly & pass, he won't have siblings to lean on during that time. I know that's kind of silly to worry about - hopefully he'll have a supportive wife & kids by then and surely his cousins etc. will be there for him. But that thought still nags at me.

Posted by: kalisa at March 17, 2010 3:13 PM

Only child; definitely spoiled me. All the attention, all the stuff, and no one ratting you out. As a parent of 3, I can relate to the oldest who was the only child until age 4 and then had it taken from her, which she bitterly regretted. But watching them play, and interact, I feel that I missed out, big time. My wife was the middle with brothers above and below, and seeing her interact with them I am glad that my kids have each other.

It definitely shaped my parenting in that I had a different expectation of how they would get along, which my wife confirmed was wrong since hitting your sibling is apparently an effective form of communication, if not frowned upon. Also blown away by how much they care for each other and try to parent among each other, which always cracks me up.

Posted by: metawizard at March 17, 2010 3:14 PM

I am #5 of 6, my oldest sister is 13 years older than me and my younger brother is only 16 months younger. I loved growing up with siblings and I really love having them now that I am older. Strangly enough my oldest sister and I are the clostest, like best friends only better.
It's funny though because even though I grew up with all those brothers and sisters around I enjoy being by myself, in fact i go a little nuts when I haven't had any alone time for too long. My husband who grew up with just one brother who is 6 years his senior (so really it was like being an only) hates to be by himself and is way better at sharing than I am.

Posted by: Dawn at March 17, 2010 5:03 PM

I have one brother who is one year and four days younger than me. We got along fairly well as kids, fought over the car my senior year of high school, and he thought I was way too bossy. And it was better when we didn't have to share a bathroom.

But like you, I relish my alone time and love to just sit and read in quiet. I lived by myself for 12 years before moving in with Jeff so it was a definite adjustment for me to start sharing the tv and bathroom.

Lilli's an only child even though we tried for five years to have another kid. I think we've done a pretty good job of teaching her to share and not be spoiled. I think y'all are doing a good job with Mia and Owen from what you write about them.

Posted by: Kelley at March 17, 2010 5:21 PM

My little brother and I are 8 years apart and he has been terminally (just found out the terminal part about 6 years ago) all his life. In so far as getting in trouble went, I got blamed for EVERYTHING. Bubba wouldn't or couldn't ever do that....yeah right, the little shit used to do things to get me in trouble all the time. The worst part was...he was frail and weak so I couldn't even fight back physically...that I believe is where I got my mouth from...Lol!

Posted by: Alexandra at March 17, 2010 5:25 PM

I am an only child and by God I loved it! I can share with the best of them:-)

Posted by: Dee at March 17, 2010 6:20 PM

I hate when people steal my pants when I'm trying to pee.

But I have punched someone in the head to get a book back.

Oldest kid - you're lookin' at one.

Posted by: Pammer at March 17, 2010 8:49 PM

I had 2 wonderful parents who loved each other until they died. And they died within 18 months of each other. And I had 3 older brothers and 2 older sisters. Yes, I was the baby. Who knew I'd turn out to be the "responsible" one. I'm the one who has to be the caretaker and the rock. When our parents passed, I had to manage everything, and ultimately sell their house and make sure everyone got their cut. But we grew up with tons of love and normalcy, and I know that we benefitted from it. I also believe that I, probably more than my other siblings, absorbed the way our parents raised their children, and I raised my son the same way. And guess what? He turned out super. I worry that because he's an only child, he won't have the same experiences, but so far he's doing okay. He's a good man, a loyal boyfriend to his sweetie, and he's a great employee to his employer and they recognize it. Unfortunately, I lost my oldest brother between my mother and father's passing.

Posted by: coolchick at March 17, 2010 9:59 PM

There you go again, living my life. I'm an only child with a twist. I have an only parent too. It was just the two of us. I had all of the same things you mentioned but I didn't even have to share my mom's attention with a Dad.

Now I have a partner of nearly 18 years who has a younger brother and two daughters who love each other and often want to kill each other. I'm always telling Dude that I just don't get why the kids don't see how lucky they are to have a playmate. All I had were Barbies and office supplies (I still love office supplies). He just laughs at me and says that's what siblings do.

When you get it figured out, let me know.

Posted by: Amanda at March 18, 2010 1:22 AM

Another "only" here. I, too, learned to play quietly, by myself, enjoy silence. Even today, after 4 kids leave for school, nothing beats a quiet house to just "be." But, there isn't anything I wouldn't give to have bro or sis to have shared life experiences with. I'm a strong, independent, pull myself up by the bootstraps kinda girl, and I know being an only child made me that way. I had 4 kids, so that my children would never want for someone to always be in their lives, when mom and dad are gone someday. They fight like crazy and I know that they are just trying to find their niche in life, it's great to watch and be a part of that.

Posted by: Christine at March 18, 2010 9:10 AM

I grew up with 3 older brothers. So first off I was the only girl AND I was the youngest. There was also a decent age gap between my youngest brother and I - 9 years. So by the time I came along, I already kind of felt like they were grown up.... I remember my brother graduating high school when I was 5. We did need to share things like TV time, but other than that, we weren't close enough in age that we shared toys/books/etc. I remember working with a woman years ago who would put her name on EVERYTHING. "This is my pen, my stapler, etc." Well we worked in a bank and we were supposed to share things. So when I spoke with her about it she said "I was an only child so I don't know how to share." My response was "Well I had three brothers and frankly I'm SICK of sharing but I'm an adult, so I do. So hand over the stapler!!"

Posted by: Rose Winters at March 18, 2010 12:22 PM

I'm an only married to an only. In a lot of ways this works out really well because we understand eachother's need for quiet and alone time. I like to be alone. I suspect we'll have an only, too, because we both enjoyed our childhoods. My parents went out of their way to make sure I wasn't "spoiled rotten" and sometimes I think I go too far the other way - I never wanted to be known as a spoiled only, so I've always given more of myself and my things than was strictly necessary. My husband, love him, was a bit more doted on, and when we disagree, that difference in the type of only experience we had is pretty obvious. I do think I was more comfortable interacting with adults at a younger age, more composed - because I spent so much time with adults, not other kids.

Posted by: Aimee at March 18, 2010 12:33 PM

Sorry I'm late - I'm obviously wildly behind on my reader (also housework and whatever else you care to name)

I'm an only, raised by a single parent working full-time, and really had no idea about the sibling thing. Shouldn't they just be grateful to have other people around and be nice to each other?? ANYWAY, my husband (who's one of four and went to boarding school and has never been alone in a room in his life) is a child psychologist and asked me to read a book for him to see if it was any good. The title was uninspiring, it's cover was dated, and I expected to skim it and chuck it out. But Siblings Without Rivalry (by Faber & Mazlich) is FANtastic. Even if my kids weren't trying to kill each other daily, it has much in it that would be seriously useful. I've only just finished it and it's already starting to make a difference. I'll be reading it again periodically 'till it all starts to be second nature - and I've never thought that about a 'self-help'-type book before. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Just wish I'd read it earlier :/

Posted by: Jo MacD at March 18, 2010 4:56 PM

I'm an only married to an only. He wanted to stop after one kid, but since we have only a few cousins between us I convinced him to go for a 2nd kid. Now, watching our daughters love each other is one of the greatest joys of my life. I enjoyed my childhood as an only but am now so aware of what I (potentially) am missing. LIke the other commenters mentioned, my hubby and I agree being an only made us grow up faster and enjoy our personal space and quiet time. However, our conflict resolution and giving-a-friendly-hard-time skills are next to nil, perhaps this is because we had no siblings to bicker with?

Posted by: Michelle at March 18, 2010 8:38 PM

Which is your favorite Dr. Who? (There IS a right answer.)

I am the youngest of three, with an older brother and sister (3 and 2 years older than me). It was the ideal for me. With three kids, there is always 2 against 1. Because I was the littlest, I was rarely the odd one out (except for the time they convinced me that my favorite koolaid flavor was gut-killer for little kids and I couldn't drink it).

Because I was shy and a bookworm, I spent a lot of time playing by myself. Now I greatly enjoy being alone, and often act like an only child, if that makes sense. I could have turned out as a spoiled and selfish adult, but I think my parents did a great job and were able to avoid most of the pitfalls.

We have one child, and are fervantly hoping and trying for one more, because we don't want her to be an only child. Mostly because we're older and don't want her to be alone in the world when it's our time to check out. Morbid, eh?

Posted by: Rosie at March 19, 2010 2:30 PM

I am the second youngest of 8 kids - hey, we have great holiday parties now! Unless you are independently wealthy, I wouldn't recommend it, but I do love all my siblings and really enjoy our holiday parties. My sons 1st birthday party was 25 adults and 14 children (8 between the ages of 1 and 2).

I personally plan to have 3, possibly 4 if we're insane.

Posted by: Karen at March 20, 2010 8:49 AM

I have 3 older half siblings (large margin; 9-17 years between them and myself), and a younger by 2 years sibling.

I both love and hate it. I love it because of the all the advice, the free rides, the attention (since I was 5 and my oldest sister was 23, I got taken out to do lots of fun kid stuff).

I hate it because by the time I came along, my mom was almost 40 and wanted to enjoy her life after having 3 kids very young.

My ex is from a family where his parents were both only children, and he had a brother 17 years older than him, so he was pretty much an only child too (brother moved out on his own by the time he was 5). He has missed out on a lot of social stuff (family get togethers are just his parents, him, brother/wife who will never have kids), he has no experiences with small kids or babysitting or tattling. He has some severe social issues as well.

That being said, he got a lot more hands on parenting, and to experience more things; travelling, bonding with his parents, etc.

I guess it's a toss up. I would never want to raise an only child though. Once your parents are gone, if they don't marry, what do they have?

(And yes, I'm aware people can have totally fulfilling single lives without family, but you know what I mean).

Posted by: Melissa at March 21, 2010 11:51 PM

My kid is destined to be an only child because I will never have another one. She is extremely independent, but still very loving. she'll have to make friends, I don't see it being an issue.

Posted by: jessica at March 23, 2010 11:29 AM

Every body admits that humen's life seems to be high priced, nevertheless we require money for various issues and not every one earns big sums cash. So to get good business loans and collateral loan should be a correct solution.

Posted by: RandolphAlyson24 at September 1, 2010 7:46 PM


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