Eriana has been asking for siblings lately. It’s really been getting to me. I think it’s getting to me because I don’t want to be done having kids. But I think we are. So when Eriana says thing like, “When I get bigger I will have a baby brother” while telling me about the new baby brother of one of her classmates, I feel sad, and guilty, and incomplete.
So as with all of my big life problems, I took to Twitter for advice. Here’s the gist of what I learned:
- The majority of only children loved being only children.
- Only children reported good relationships with their parents.
- Only children reported understanding from a young age understanding that they get more (both attention and material items) as a result of being an only.
- Most parents of only children went through the phase where their kids asked for siblings, but the kids grew out of it.
- My friends who are only children are kind, compassionate, friendly, unspoiled, and well-adjusted, and most have good relationships with their parents (which, of course, is not to say that adults with siblings don’t have good relationships with their parents. Let’s not get over-sensitive here).
- Adult only children largely longed for siblings when something big happened, such as a loss in the family, a big move, etc.
- Only children who longed for siblings during rough times would not use that ~1% of longing as a basis to choose whether they, as parents, have more than one child.
- Several of my only children friends opted to have only children because they loved it so much.
Things I knew already, but it was nice to have reiterated:
- Eriana’s longing for a sibling can go in a pro column if we need a pro column, but should not be the whole pro column, as she is a child and doesn’t get to make those decisions.
- Just having a sibling does not mean that your child will get along with that sibling, and have the relationship you hope they will.
- Having just one child does not harm your child in any way, shape, or form.
- It’s a lot more likely that Eriana will have her college paid for if we don’t have any more kids (and with the ridiculous number I’m looking at paying back in student loans, that’s something I really want to give to her).
- It’s a lot easier to travel with just one kid.
Things that make me sad:
- If something happens to Jim and/or me later in life Eriana won’t have a sibling to help shoulder the burden.
- Eriana will never have a sibling who is also her best friend.
- Eriana will have to find people outside of the family (like her therapist and friends) to complain to about her crazy parents instead of people who understand from experience.
Even though Eriana is the one that brought up this topic (her and that jackass kid at school who talks about his new baby brother all the time), I think the realization that we are probably never going to be able to afford to adopt, and that we are truly never going to try again to have a biological child is hitting me harder than I thought it would. I mean, I’m SUPER happy with my family, and I love my child more than life itself. She will always be more than enough for me. It’s just really hard to reconcile that I don’t get to have two babies like I thought I would. So. Unless someone pays for an adoption in full, like, now, it would seem that we’re done.
Were you okay being done when you were done? How did you reconcile any lingering feelings or guilt? Did your kid(s) ever ask for more babies?