Being an only child has pros and cons

Kate Rehwinkel, Columnist

Whenever people find out I am an only child they always say one of two things, “Oh, you’re so lucky,” or “I wish I didn’t have any siblings.” Then they start asking all about my childhood and how nice it must have been, as if being an only child was a luxury.

I realize that people do not know how bad I have always wanted a sibling. My mother wanted six kids and only got one. I like to say I have the personality of six kids all in one, which is pretty accurate. My mom and dad both had infertility issues, so having children naturally was not an option. Their next choice was adoption, which is how they got me. My mom always wanted me to have a sibling, but due to adoption costs my parents could not afford another child.

The advantages to being an only child are that I always got my parents’ undivided attention at home. I got a lot of toys for Christmas and my birthday. Now, I know when I say that it can come across as spoiled and in a sense I was; however, I didn’t get everything I always asked for, like a dog, which I am still waiting for.

My parents spent years trying to have a kid and when they got me of course they were going to spoil me a tad bit. Another advantage of being an only child is that I never had to live up to any standards that older siblings usually set for younger ones to follow. I got to be myself and do what I thought was best for me and not conform to be more like my siblings.

One of the disadvantages of being an only child was that I was lonely a lot. I didn’t have a sibling to play games with or share my feelings and memories with. In my neighborhood growing up there were only a few girls that lived near me, but I never hung out with them cause they were younger.

As my parents get older, I will have the responsibility of taking care of them in their elderly years. I will have to figure out what is best for them if they start to decline. It sounds morbid, but I must be prepared.

The grass is greener on the other side is true for me because I still would have liked a sibling.

Now, my best friend and former roommate, who is also an only child, and I are what we call “unbiological sisters,” because who needs blood relatives to be considered family?

The best thing about being an only child is that I will always be my parents’ favorite child, because we all know parents have a favorite.

Kate Rehwinkel is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].