Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why Being an Only Child is Lame

I am an only child and sometimes it really sucks.  I know, I just burst your bubble people with siblings.  Sure there are those only children who didn't have to do chores because they were so precious and sure there are some who think they are special snowflakes.  BUT, that's probably not the norm.  This post is about realities.

I want to be clear that I don't begrudge my parents at all that I'm an only child.  They tried their hardest to give me a sibling.  It just wasn't in the cards apparently.  So this is in no way an attack on them.  It's more my rant as to why I refuse to let Squishy be an only child and why being an only child isn't all it's cracked up to be.

The hardest part about being an only child is that there is NO ONE ELSE to take care of my parents.  Let that sink in.  If you have a sibling, or two, or three, or a Duggar-like-clan of them you have someone else to share the job with.  I have hubby and that's it. 

All of that was made painfully clear when I got a text from my dad on Valentine's day informing me that he had a heart attack.  Yes, he had a heart attack on Valentine's day.  And yes, he did text me and didn't call. 

Being that my parents are divorced, my grandparents are elderly, and my dad doesn't have a great relationship with his siblings I spent Friday driving 200+ miles with a nine month old, a dog, and a husband who wanted to be supportive but wasn't really happy to be sitting in a car for 4 hours. 

Saturday hubby and I had to drive to the hospital that we had never been to, in a major U.S. city with an overabundance of no left turn signs and one way streets, and then we had to park in parking garage that costs $15 an hour.  TO VISIT SOMEONE AT THE HOSPITAL YOU HAVE TO PAY FIFTEEN DOLLARS!

My dad was released that day and I had to ask his doctor questions.  Hubby and I had to make sure he had his medication.  Help him get his car.  I have to talk to him every few days to make sure he's taking his medication, to make sure he's resting, to make sure he's not smoking (because of the 3 stents he had put in lighting up a cigarette in the next 4-6 weeks could instantly trigger a heart attack). 

All of this has been a super shitty reminder that as my mom & dad age (neither remarried) and my husband's mom ages (his dad has other children and a wife) we are the only people who are here to support and take care of them.  I don't blame them as I've said.  All of our parents tried to have more children.  But it's still hard to think about the fact that hubby and I will have to do all this on our own. 

This is the truth of being an only child.  This is why, if for some reason I can't have another child, we will most definitely be adopting a sibling for Squishy.  I want her to have a support system so that when hubby and I are old and sick she has someone to help her other than a spouse or her own children. 

I know that some people only have one child for financial reasons or because they are unable to have more and I'm understanding of that; but, as an only child I feel so bad for kids whose parents choose to only have one child.  I feel like those parents don't think about what being an only child will mean way down the line and that's really sad to me. 

**Okay rant done, and semi-story about my dad done.  Just something that's been on my mind a lot lately.  Also probably explains why I have CRAZY baby fever already and why I can't wait to have another one.  I'll probably feel better when there are 2. :)

1 comment:

  1. This is a really interesting point that I hadn't taken into consideration. After having Evers (and unplanned, I'll add), I'm not convinced I want another one. I have a younger brother myself (whose only 17), and my parents, at 52 (almost) and 51 (less almost), have yet to need that kind of support, so maybe that's why the though never occurred to me. Erik is older than me and each parent has approximately ten years on my opposite gendered parent (his dad is older, my mom is, I know that was probably confusing), but they haven't had too severe of health problems yet and he has two brother who are only a few months younger than myself.

    My real objection to having another is, admittedly, purely selfish. I do not want to be pregnant again. I do not want to deal with birth again, especially the unplanned c-section that will probably have to be repeated or the recovery. If I ever manage to get myself back into shape (I'm almost fifty pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight and it's causing problems), I don't want to risk the same thing happening and having to do it again.

    These are all selfish reasons, I know.

    I would, though, consider adopting a child. I would actually love to foster. You hear about there being so few good foster homes out there and I want to be one. I had a friend in high school that ended up in the foster system in his sophomore year and I was closely involved with all of that. I would happily foster and possibly adopt.

    And, to be honest, I haven't completely ruled out the option of having another biologically. Luckily, I won't have to decide for a while. I'm 22 and, as I mentioned, we hadn't planned on Evers this early in the first place, so it'll be a few years before we're ready for another.

    Reading your post has helped me look at these options and consider them all in a new light. I thank you for that. :)