Having an only child means I've heard it all.
She needs a friend for life!
What happens when you're gone? She'll have no one!
She'll grow up spoiled.
People speak without thinking. I never asked for their opinions on how many kids I need to have, nor did anyone ask me if I always wanted an only child or if circumstances dictated that my daughter would be an only. Either way, I think having an only child is special. We are very close and have a tight bond. After growing up in a house with three siblings in a family of six (five of us are female), it's been very nice having a different and intimate relationship with my little party of two (Dad and I are divorced).
However, I do know that there are many perks and also some drawbacks to not having siblings, especially seeing that her dad and I are no longer together. In my mind, I've made a few vows to her about how I will parent her so that she has a happy and fulfilled life when I am here and one day far, far in the future when I am not.
Not Let You Be My Sole Purpose
It's a lot of pressure when a parent puts all of his or her happiness into one child, especially if that child is an only child. As your mom, I promise to always value our mother-daughter relationship but to also value myself and the people and things in my life. By doing this, I can be sure to find joy and happiness in other things like friends, hobbies, and a career and not just in you and your life, my dear child. My happiness and quality of life does not depend on you nor should it, but rather I put effort and positive energy into my life, and you are just a huge part of all that is wonderful in it!
Not Banking on You
You are not here to complete one of my "uncompleted missions." You are not here to live out my dreams. You are not my "only shot" to make it. I don't have expectations of you to carry out my agenda. As my only child, all I want is for you to complete your missions. All I want is for you to have your own dreams. I am not sitting here writing your life story for you. This is your story, your shot, your happy ending, whatever it is for you. All I want is for you to be a happy, healthy, and good person. I am not banking on you to be some creation in my mind but for you to be yourself.
You Are Not the "Middleman"
You are not here to play referee for Dad and me. You are not here to negotiate issues between the two of us. I know it's hard to feel bounced between our homes. I know it's hard to have our unit divided, but you are not here to solve our problems. As coparents and grown-ups, we are in charge of handling our own problems, which is why we chose to divorce. We did not want you to be in the middle of our issues. No matter what, you were never the cause or reason of our divorce. You are the best thing we ever did together and the most cherished moment of our marriage, which was not always doom and gloom. If ever Dad or Mom is sad or mad with each other or with life, it is not on you to fix it or make us better. It is up to us to make ourselves better!
You Will Not End Up Alone
Even if you decide to be single, you will not be alone even if Dad and I are not here. What people say is bollocks. You will have friends and work colleagues. Extended family. Maybe your very own family. You are not destined to be alone because you're an only child. Only is not the same as lonely!
It Is Not All on Your Shoulders
I know when Dad and I get older it may be worrisome for you as an only child, but Dad and I will do whatever we can to prepare for our old age as best as we can. We are not eager for you to do our diapers, but it would be nice if you visited us. Wink.
Don't Feel Bad For Us
If one of us ends up alone and doesn't remarry, don't feel bad for us. Feel bad for us if we end up with someone else unhappily.
I Will Support Your Dream
If your dream is to own a hot-dog stand, I might find it odd, but I will support you as long as you are happy and not hurting anyone or yourself! All I want for you as my girl is to follow your heart and go with it! Knock down every door and wall and build your dream with every fiber of your being. Don't look back and always forge ahead!
Respect Yourself and Others Too
Always, always, always respect yourself! If you have high regard and esteem for yourself, others will as well. Keep boundaries, invest in yourself, and never sink low to someone else's level. Always be kind and treat others as you want to be treated. Be the bigger person — take the hard road if you must.
I was blessed with one child — you. Not once do I feel I am missing out because I have one child. Not once do I feel you are missing out because you don't have a sibling. One day you may feel differently. You may wish for a sister or a brother and you may ask me for one. and when you ask, I may have to put off telling you why there is only you until you're older. When you're older, I can explain and I am sure you will understand. Until then, just know I love you very much for all that you are and will be.