Today is National Only Child Day. We loners tend to get overshadowed by National Sibling Day and thanks to Instagram's new algorithm, sibling pictures are still popping up on my timeline... 2 days later.
Side note: Some of y'all have cute older brothers, tell them I said #heyboo.
The older I get, the more shocked people seem when I tell them that I'm an only child. Typical responses tend to include: "REALLY?! You don't seem like an only child." or "Oh you must have been lonely growing up." or my personal favorite: "You must get your way a lot, you're probably really spoiled."
For whatever reason, being an only child is such a negative characteristic in our society, as if I PICKED to be an only child. As if I had a choice. As if I made this request like: Hey. You know what God? I don't want any brothers or sisters. I can do this on my own. Keep them.
I tell people I am an only child and their attitude goes from:
Oh she seems like a really cool member of society that I don't know but would be interested to know.
Wow. She's an only child? She has to be the most selfish, spoiled, brattiest human being on this entire planet.
Would I have liked siblings? Sure. I think life with an older brother (for some reason I always felt I would have had a brother) would have been dope. I imagine that I would have been really close with my brother because I've always been half a tomboy. But I wasn't blessed with that opportunity and I'll never know, so here we are.
Alone in this dark world. (Dramatic right?)
I believe that growing up an only child has definitely molded me into the woman that I am today. Good and bad. The majority of stereotypes that surround only-children are usually negative and while some may be true, there are also some lesser-known great stereotypes that apply to us "lonely onlies" that most would relate to, like:
Grow up your entire life with people thinking you're a spoiled brat, you tend to develop a tough skin to criticism.
We. can. take. anything.
We get bullied and picked on with no older sibling to call on and we deal. But along with resilience comes a relentless patience. We know how to roll alone and we know how to roll in silence. Most only-children are extremely comfortable with silence, which makes us perfect candidates to out-wait any and everything, not scientifically proven, but try me.
We're Accountable & We're Responsible
It is assumed that only children are spoiled and selfish because we received a lot of attention growing up. We don't have to "fight" for the attention of our parents which is assumed to cause us to be demanding and self-centered. Sure. I received a lot of attention, but you know what a lot of attention also means: I rarely got away with anything. I could not blame destroying a brand new computer with oatmeal on my brother. I could not point at my sister for drawing on freshly washed and painted walls. That was me, all me, and I quickly learned how to own up to my mess before a lot of children (and adults) did. The blame game didn't fly in my house, because there was no one to blame.
Also, if you grew up in my house, chores were not an option, they were a requirement and as an only child, chores were my sole responsibility. I have absolutely no clue what it's like to split chores with someone. Again, I didn't have anyone to wash the dishes so that I can dry them, nor did I have anyone to sweep the floor so I can mop. I washed, dried, swept, mopped, dusted, and everything else because it was just me.
(Like Chuck Norris resourceful)
Look. I'll give the kids with siblings an advantage with this one, kids with siblings ALWAYS have someone to play with. Talk to. Lean on. Us, only children? We have to get a little creative. As an only child, now "only adult", I am never bored. Like never. Bored is not a word in my vocabulary, because I can ALWAYS find something to do or some way to entertain myself. Second, I am never without anything to eat. I can make a meal out of anything. ANYTHING. I learned how to cook at a very young age because when it's just you and your parents aren't home from work yet, you have to make it work. Last, I never am without friends. Only-children make friends 68% faster (made up statistic) than those with siblings. So there is never a shortage of fun around us.
Needless to say, growing up an only child was awesome and it's also the only reality I know. We're like the cream of the crop in this world muddled with siblings and today is our day.
Happy National Only Child Day to my Lonely Onlies out there in the world. Flourish young one, flourish.