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Siblings Suck (Or Why Only Children are Lucky)

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Momlogic's Andrea: I'm actually not an only child, but I might as well have been. My sister and I have never gotten along. Not when we were kids and not in our 40's. In fact my sister and I fought constantly until she finally went away to college. As the little sister I always longed for my big sis' approval. It never came.

siblings fighting
We haven't seen each other -- despite a brief, recent and uncomfortable reunion --in over 5 years. She didn't come to my wedding and she just met my three-year-old daughter.

Yet, anytime I tell that nosy stranger I only plan to have one kid, I have to endure a barrage of how I'll be "denying" my daughter a life-long best friend. Sure there are some siblings who have "always been close" but it's not ALWAYS the case. Some brothers and sisters, to put it bluntly, hate each other.

"She's going to be soooo lonely," those incredibly judgmental people lament. Hmm, I was lonely when I was I kid AND I HAD A SISTER ... we just never hung out - except when forced to at the dinner table.

From what I hear from my friends with more than one kid is their home is one giant battleground, filled with screaming, fighting, pulling hair, grabbing toys, slammed doors, finger pointing, complaining and, the very worst of all, whining.

Maybe my daughter will have her lonely days, but she'll also not have to deal with another person hanging around all the time taking her stuff, blaming her for things she didn't do do and lobbying for mom and dad's attention. My sister and I did plenty of that. For my daughter,  all the attention, love and resources will go to her and her alone.

Was how well you got along with your siblings a factor in how many kids you have?


26 comments so far | Post a comment now
willoughby January 31, 2009, 7:06 AM

There are probably pluses and minuses to both.

BUT, I know a few only children (now adults) and their parents and they themselves would tell you they are NOT spoiled.

HOWEVER, everyone else would tell you that they are far more self-centered than other people and that they have each had some issues as adults living with other people etc.

This is not to say that this is the case with all only children. But it definitely is something that can happen.

But children from larger families can have other issues! So, whatever…

Sandy June 9, 2009, 2:15 PM

We have an only child (now an adult). We didn’t start out to have only one, there just came a time when it felt right. You know when your family is complete whether a dozen children or perhaps none. No, I’m not an only. I have a younger sister who’s been a pain in the “you know what” since day one. You played her way or not at all. She was (and is) a master of poking you until you get mad and then making sure she’s blameless. Did it literally in the car as a kid and still does it emotionally at 56. It didn’t weigh in on our decision 29 years ago to have an only child, but it sure would now. Her cousins are just like their mother - and there’s no love loss between her and the two of them. It’s nice to think about loving “fantasy” siblings, but in real life it doesn’t always happen.

Qxanzpnl June 23, 2009, 2:10 AM

s7roGF comment1 ,

Sandy January 7, 2010, 7:03 AM

I am the middle child with an older and a younger sister. And I wish I was an only child. I hate my sisters, always have. Even now that I am 42, my older sister is 44 and the younger is 37 we still hate each other. We all live in a 5 mile radius, but haven’t seen one another in 5 years. Last time was at Christmas, i bought them gifts, to be nice like I always did, they NEVER ONCE bought me anything. Or said Thank You. I stopped buying them gifts five years ago and stopped going to our parents house for Christmas, just so I could avoid them. Im sick of hearing my mother talk about how wonderful they are…I am the only college educated one, my oldest son graduated high school and is in college, my youngest will graduate next year. My sisters kids are in trouble with the law, one dropped out of HS and another is on the verge of getting pregnant at 15. But Mother just braggs and braggs…makes me sick.

Maybe I do have the “middle child syndrome”…but I have always felt pushed aside and my sisters knew it and gloated about it, which is why I hate them. They never stuck up for me in fights or when I got teased in school…took my stuff, but I got in trouble when I took theirs..were always “busy” when it came time to do the dishes, so I got stuck doing them.

Do your kid a favor and make it an only child. They will thank you later!

MM_McGee December 19, 2010, 9:48 PM

You dealt with conflict, competition, and compromise early on. Only children don’t learn how to do this. I’m recently divorced from one who hated my relationship with my brother, had no clue how to walk away from a fight and make up, demanded attention constantly, was uncompromising in her own work and completely (as a consequence of the same trait) judgmental about mine, and a general terror to be around over time. I could go on. I’m an older child and know how to share space, clean up to make another person comfortable, “get over it,” find satisfaction in my own approval, etc. I only recently realized how much birth order tainted our relationship. It’s no accident that two only children are more likely to divorce than any other pairing. Good luck raising your difficult future adult, though!

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 2:32 PM

Great info. Good reading. I have got a small point to give about t-shirts.

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