Being An Only Child

Whenever I tell someone that I’m an only child, I usually get one or both of the following responses (or some variant of these):

“Oh you must be so spoilt”


“Ohhhh, that makes sense now”

I never really know how to respond to those statements, to be honest.

With national sibling day last week, I thought I’d reflect on my experience growing up as an only child.

To my knowledge, my parents only wanted one child together. And here I am.

We (rightfully so) come to the defence of people who only have one child, or even no children, (by choice or otherwise) because their reproductive history/plans are their business and their business only.

So it makes me think: Why is there still a stigma attached to the only children themselves?

For me, some of the stereotypes that come along with being an only child can ring true. And that’s okay.

“Only children are spoilt”

Yes, I am spoilt. With love and attention. Because the structure of my family means my parents didn’t have to split their attention between multiple children. With material items, however, not so much. I know plenty of people with siblings that got much more gifts than myself. And that’s fine by me.

“Only children have no social skills”

I’ll admit, I’m about as socially awkward as they come, but I know plenty of people who struggle with social situations and have siblings, so that argument is slightly flawed. I don’t believe how people act in social situations is directly linked to whether they have siblings or not.

Do/did I want a sibling?

There’s probably a lot of only children out there who say ‘I never wanted a sibling / I don’t feel like I missed out on anything’. For me, that’s not the case. I’ve always wanted a sibling. Ever since I can remember. Even now I wish I had one. As a child my imaginary friends were always my “brothers and sisters” and I took it very seriously. I would also beg for a baby sibling practically every single day.

Missing out?

Do I feel like I missed out / will miss out on things because I’m an only child? Yes. Any children I have won’t have any aunties/uncles/cousins from my side of the family, and I’ll never experience that unique bond that only siblings can have.

But would I have it any other way? Absolutely not. As I’m an only child, I have an extremely close and strong relationship with my parents, a bond I know wouldn’t be as strong if they had more children and one I wouldn’t trade for the world. One that I can only hope maintains its strength throughout my adulthood.

So there you go. I’m a socially awkward only child, with a vivid imagination and spoiled with love, and I count myself pretty damn lucky. ❤️

– Karen xx

5 thoughts on “Being An Only Child

  1. As an only child myself, I can relate to every single point you’ve wrote about on your text. I am planning on having more than one child because of that – my child is lucky that she has plenty of uncles and aunts on my husband’s side but imagine if I married another only child?


  2. I cant relate to being an only child as I have a brother, but I can relate to your parents to only wanting one child. Which I do. Hes four. I know for a fact I dont want another for my own reasons, but I always get asked when I’m gonna have a next one and some even try to make me feel bad like “oh but he wont have a bond with anyone else”. I get where they’re coming from but I want to give one a very good life and i cant guarantee that if i had another lol. Glad to read about perspective such as these. I can only wonder how my son will feel about being an only child when he reaches your age.


  3. This was an interesting read. As I have 3 other siblings, I found it was pretty unrelatable for me. My siblings are my best friends in the world, and I don’t know where I would be without them! I’m sorry to hear that you yearn that relationship, and found it quite brave of you to write about a post like this. I honestly didn’t know it was supposed to be siblings day, but I’m glad you told me. Great post Karen xx

    Melina |


  4. Thanks for this. As a parent of an only choice (not by choice) I have become quite obsessed with how those who are experience it. A lot of adults try to instruct me on how our one will turn out. It’s a bit of a nonsense. From reading various posts from only children over the years, I’ve come to learn a few things: 1. I can’t control how my daughter will feel about it; it is entirely her experience to feel 2. Only children are as diverse any other group 3. Stereotypes while holding grains of truth are entirely redundant when accounting for the complexity of people. I resent it is so easily applied to only children. Less crude stereotyping is applied to other child in terms of their position in the family. You never “Ah you’re a middle child, that explains it” etc. I am relieved to read your final paragraph as I always am in hoping our one will be happy over all. Thanks again and best wishes to you.


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