Friday, 8 July 2011

One is(n't) the Loneliest Number

I always thought I’d be the mother to a brood of about six little darlings.  For as long as I can remember, I thought I’d pop them out effortlessly, breast feeding one while artfully changing the nappy of another.

Mother Nature had other ideas though.  While she was dishing out the egg supply, she sent the Easter Bunny to me instead.  I got the duds.

Now I’m not saying I was unable to fall pregnant.  No, far from it.  Teenage son was created as soon hubbie and I got the twinkle in our eyes.  The bunny gave me one good egg, which is now a strapping fifteen year old, taller than me and better at maths.

‘Secondary Infertility’ is the label, and there’s plenty of help out there if you want to be pumped full of chemicals and prodded and poked, but this was never an option for me.  Although I respect those who decide to go for it, my philosophy is to go with what’s meant to be.

And I was meant to be the mother of one.

Which destined my son to be an only child.

When he was about three, he was desperate for a sister and would often enquire if I had a baby in my tummy.  Now, at fifteen, he talks about how lucky he’s been as an only child.  He can see the benefits.

I was the youngest (a mistake!) of three girls with a huge gap between us.  When I was ten, my sisters were married and doing their own thing.  So in many ways I felt like an only child.  The upside was that I was an auntie at a very young age and had ‘real live dollies’ to play with.

So what are the other bonuses of being an only child?  Here’s a combination of both my and my son’s thoughts:

UNDIVIDED ATTENTION - you never have to battle to be heard.  They say the reason many only children are quieter than those with siblings is because they never have to raise their voice to get their point across.  When my son was a toddler, I had all day to spend with him, playing games and doing puzzles.  While I watched other mums juggling quality time, I could be with my little play-mate doing as we pleased.   

NO ARGUMENTS - of course this isn’t strictly true, a teenager who doesn’t argue wouldn’t be normal.  I mean there are no arguments about, “I want to play with this,” or, “He’s not sharing.”  Generally life is peaceful and smooth. Except now we argue as a family about whose turn it is to choose a film or whether we’re going to play on the Wii or Guitar Hero!

CHRISTMAS - there’s no denying that you get more at Christmas when you’re an only child.  AND, it’s all yours! I’ve had years of joy putting together stockings with interesting and obscure treasures.  It’s a mammoth task and I often thank heavens I only have to do it for one.  Budget and sanity-wise!

OPEN HOUSE - out of guilt, you rarely say no to an only child having a friend over, whether it’s for tea or a sleepover.  We once had six of the little darlings camping in our sitting room for a birthday party, following a quiz-night.  That was the time that we learnt that girls are far worse than boys and that two o’clock in the morning is not the best time to have your patience tested by over-excited guests.  The morning was … different!  After very little sleep, we had Bingo with breakfast followed by a treasure hunt around the local area.  It still goes down in school folklore as one of the best birthday parties ever.

NO COMPETING - not only do you not have to compete to be heard, you also realise that you don’t have to compete for affection.  You’re loved.  There are no siblings to dilute the love, so it all comes your way.  Our son is now our friend and he is happy to spend time with us, unlike a lot of teenagers.  He still irritates the sh*t out of us sometimes and I’m sure we do the same to him.  But, hey-ho, isn’t that what families are all about?

Remember, if you enjoyed my blog, you'll love my novel "Diary of a Mummy Misfit" on Amazon for Kindle or PC.  If you don't have a Kindle you can download a free app to get ebooks on your PC.
Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

No comments:

Post a Comment