Misconceptions of an Only Child – Shelby

Discussing what it’s like to be an only child may seem like a super niche topic to discuss here on the blog. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to discuss things that make me unique. And this one of the many things that makes my life experience different!

I got the idea for this blog from a tweet that said how depressing it must be to be an only child and have a partner that is also. This is something that rubs me the wrong way because not only am I an only child, but so is my boyfriend Brian. The idea that our family will be considered depressing without having aunts or cousins for makes me so frustrated. This is one of many misconceptions I’ve run across over the years. So that’s what I want to address today!

Here’s a disclaimer though: Not every only child is created equal. I’m speaking from my personal experience!

That Only Children Are Spoiled

This is easily the most common misconceptions I hear when I tell someone that I’m an only child. “Oh it must be so nice to be spoiled!” This never used to bother me until I got older. See the word spoiled has a negative connotation in most cases. It implies that we don’t have to work or that we have things handed to us. I find this to be untrue in myself as well as my best friend and boyfriend. Yes, maybe we do have parents that try to give us everything, but it doesn’t mean we never earned anything either.

Isn’t Being Alone Really Boring?

This one always makes me laugh – of course it can be boring! But something that I am so thankful for in being alone is that I can always make my own fun. I wasn’t born with a built in buddy so I found ways to entertain myself because I had to. This same idea also helped bring me closer to my parents which is something I am continually thankful for. I may not have siblings to play with or yell over, but I found who I am and what I love much faster by spending time with myself.

It’s Your Parents’ Fault

Okay, but think about that statement. My mother had multiple miscarriages and struggled for years to have a baby. Assuming that someone can “just have more kids” is potentially very hurtful. I don’t say this to protect my mom or out of anger towards anyone that has ever said something like this – I say it because I feel like we don’t talk about it enough. Pregnancy is such a unique experience to every parent, so be mindful of how your words can affect someone that may have a different experience than you. Sometimes if a person has a different experience, it’s not out of choice.

All in all, being an only child is something that I am proud of and it has helped shape me into the person that I am today. Thank you for reading this far and letting me share a little bit about what makes me, me. xoxo Shelby

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