How to Tell You Are the Parent of an Only Child

2 Jul

I always read bits and pieces about how being an only child affects kids – both in the positive and negative. In the past I’ve weighed in as the “older mom”, so I think it’s time I offered up my perspective as the mom of an only kid – both positive and negative.

This is how it is for me…being the lucky and sometimes exasperated mom of Ben:

  1. Even if your son (mine) is only going into 10th grade, when you are at Party City or Target and pass by the graduation party supplies, your stomach turns a little and you try (unsuccessfully) to hold back the tears. Or when you watch a mom and son dance at a wedding, you almost have to excuse yourself to the restroom to get a grip, as you likely see your face on the face of the groom’s mom and your son’s (baby) face on the groom and begin to fall apart. (Pathetic, isn’t it?)
  2. You are planning on relocating to wherever your kid goes to college. And plan to relocate again when he gets her first job. Oh – and again when he gets married….
  3. You drive your kid and all his friends everywhere because you are the only one who doesn’t have a couple other schedules to consider or kids to cart around. You do this not so much for the kids, but so your mom friends can have a little break once in a while. And you also do it because, well, let’s face it, when you only have one kid, everyone kind of expects you to volunteer for everything, right? I mean, what else do we have to do all day (wink, wink)?
  4. You wish you had another child – not so your son doesn’t have to take care of you all alone when you get old, but because then he’d have someone else to annoy and could then leave you alone. And even better, he’d have someone else to fight with!
  5. Your son’s unintentional nicknames are Lucky, Gus and Rusty – coincidentally, those are also the names of your dogs.
  6. Speaking of animals, if you don’t want your kid to get too full of himself, you remind him that your pets came before him – in my house, that means he’s officially number 4 on the totem pole and will be treated accordingly.
  7. You only have to fill out one set of camp or school forms!! Woo Hoo! And even more fun, only one well-child or orthodontist appointment to schedule, and one kid’s homework to deal with. (On the flip side, my guess is that moms of only children typically save wayyy too many of those school projects and childhood mementos!)
  8. You know all your kids’ teachers’ names and a little bit about each one. Ditto for their friends, friends parents, friends siblings and pets, coaches… You get the picture.
  9. You have to work extra hard to make sure your kid doesn’t think he’s the center of anyone else’s universe but yours.
  10. You get a little squeamish when friends are over and the rough housing begins, until other parents remind you to relax and let them do what brothers and siblings normally do (which looks to moms of only children like combat warfare).

Maybe the most interesting thing about having an only child – or my only child is that if you stop by my house on any given day, you would think I’m the old lady in the shoe – living with a multitude of kids, baking endless batches of chocolate chip cookies and making sure everyone has a pillow, blanket and place to sleep every weekend.

I wouldn’t have it any other way….

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One Response to “How to Tell You Are the Parent of an Only Child”

  1. Mary Kay Gavitt July 3, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    #3 really it home and of course making sure your kid does NOT become full of themselves! Great article, having an only child, I can really relate!

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