Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

The defense is WRONG!

In this month’s installment of someone on the internet was wrong so I fixed it: this chick who wrote a post with the delightful title 13 Reasons You Need to Give Your Child a Sibling

So you don’t have to read it, it was essentially a “poor me, woe is me because I grew up as an only child and how could my parents do that to me” bunch of bullshit. She comes across as nothing but a whiny spoiled little asshole with absolutely no concept of anything. 

As one of three siblings, the wife of an only child and the mother of an only child, I feel I’m well qualified to respond to her. 

So here we go. 

Dear girl who wrote the aforementioned piece of shit,

Clearly life has been unkind to you, being an only child and all, so I’m sorry that you’ve had to suffer but I really do take issues with roughly 98% of what you’ve written and I thought it would be a good idea to discuss it. For perspective and balance.

First, let’s address the title. Now I’m sure some editor and not you wrote it and it was done for attention/controversy purposes but GOOD FUCKING GOD. I NEED to give my child a sibling? REALLY?! Because the last time I checked, I needed to give her food and shelter and seasonally appropriate clothing and health care and an education and that’s basically it. Everything else, up to and especially including a sibling, is optional. NOT TO MENTION the fact that she’s not an only child to ruin her life. She’s an only child because I couldn’t give her a sibling. COULDN’T. As in, physically not possible. 

And I’m not the only one. There are plenty of parents who cannot, no matter how hard they try, give their kid a sibling. Then there are those who simply don’t want to. Not to spite the kid they have but for reasons that are none our business. So to imply that parents have an obligation to their child to give them a sibling, and to make them feel guilty or like a piece of shit because they can’t or won’t, is rude and wrong with a tinge of asshole.

Second, the whole laundry list of reasons you gave for wanting siblings is nothing but romanticized nonsensical drivel. Like, #1. There’s no one to blame for what YOU did? Are you fucking kidding me? YOU FUCKING DID IT. YOU take the blame. Just because you have a sibling doesn’t absolve you from the shit you actually do. And do you think your parents are so stupid that they couldn’t figure out who really did it? Oh, and also, sometimes you get blamed for what they did. For instance, when my little sister was 3 and drew all over the walls, do you know whose fault it was? MINE. Because I wasn’t watching her close enough. So there’s that. 

How about #3. An older sibling would carve a path for you? Fuck off with that shit. I’m the oldest in my family. I had no one carving shit for me. I had to do that all on my own. And as for my sisters, I’m pretty confident they’re individuals who make up their own minds and pay no attention my choices. What did happen, however, is that my parents used me as a test subject and loosened the reins with each younger sibling and as for my sisters, I know they were compared to me at various points. So maybe as an only, you had it good not having to deal with this crap. Maybe you should thank your parents for that instead of bitching that you’ll be the one who has to bear the burden of sadness when your parents pass. LET ME TELL YOU. I am the spouse of an only child and when his parents go, I can assure you he will not have to bear the burden on his own. I only hope you have that, too. 

Or #6. There would never have been a dull moment in the house? Seriously? What are you smoking and can I have some because despite the fact that I grew up with siblings, there were dull moments aplenty. It’s called life and it’s not always exciting. One kid, 4 kids. Life still slows down and is boring at times. 

And #8. A sister being a partner in crime? Age proximity does not equal automatic close friendships and have you thought about siblings who are literally a decade or more apart in age (like in my own family)? There are so many variables that you haven’t thought about in your quest to concoct the perfect sibling relationships. Which, by the way, don’t exist. So when you say that siblings are tied to you forever, you sound ridiculous and ignorant because there are so many people who have no relationships with their siblings. Being related doesn’t mean you like each other. It’s not a mandate. 

I could go on and refute all of your points but I think you get it. Just in case you don’t, I’ll say this. I’m sorry you wished you had a sibling and your parents couldn’t or wouldn’t provide that to you. I’m sure they had their reasons and instead of sounding like a selfish, spoiled ingrate, maybe you should consider your parents’ perspective. Maybe even ask them. It’d sure be nice if you did.

But make no mistake, having a sibling isn’t the greatest thing in the world and there were countless times growing up I wished I was an only child. And now, having an only child (who loves it, by the way), I see validity in some of your points. Still doesn’t change the fact that she’s an only but I get where you’re coming from. I just hope, when she’s your age, she’s not as resentful and bitter as you are. 

Love,

Jana

P.S. Oh, and as for you complaining that adults had crappy imaginations? SO SORRY FOR YOUR LUCK. Adults aren’t there to appease your little mind. You should be thankful that people played with you. There are way too many kids who don’t get that, only child or not. 

 

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18 Comments

  1. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    people like her who love to play the victim are lame and annoying. You make the best of what you have, not sit there and complain or write stupid shit like this.

    100% agree with everything you wrote!

    Reply
  2. Audrey

    Ha. Also in regards to #1, sometimes you did something and then left the house or the room & your sibling got the credit. Little rat…

    I grew up with a brother who was 2 and a half years younger than me. For the most part, we’ve always been very close. My husband is the younger of three- all of which are separated by 7 years. He’s gone through waves of being close with his siblings but he grew up mostly feeling like an only child. If we can/when we have kids, I’ve always wanted to aim for two, but lately I’ve been thinking one might be ok. To be honest, it’s all in how you raise them and love them and guide them- not how many of them there are. (Or so I imagine… obviously I have no experience. Lol)
    Audrey recently posted…Add It To My (Media) ListMy Profile

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  3. Linda Sheridan

    Its easy to sit back and complain, I guess.
    Making people feel like they are wrong for having an only child is awful. I really don’t believe every child needs one or more siblings. I don’t believe everyone needs to marry or have any children.
    At almost 61, so many things have changed since I grew up. Lights and Angels and love to all. This works is making me so tired.
    Love, Steph’s Momma

    Reply
  4. Lauren

    I’m pretty much an only child. I’m a little spoiled and I get annoyed when my husband eats “my” food, but I’m otherwise fine. Like you said, no life is perfect and the grass is always greener. Her reasons sound ridiculous. My husband and his sister are 18 months apart and have never been BFFs. You just don’t know what you’ll get in life and articles like hers annoy me. Love this series of yours, though.

    Reply
  5. Rebecca Jo

    I love people who think because they feel that way, they can dictate to the world & try to make everyone else believe their views as gospel.
    The internet has created some pompous asses.
    I’ve never had a sister… always wanted one. I’m going to call my parents & yell at them about that today 😉

    Reply
  6. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    I can’t believe that she wrote that article about being an only child! All of her points sound totally ridiculous and they’re easy to overturn as well. I also think that it’s really insensitive for her to not even consider the fact that some people might not be able to have additional children, and that they’re so happy to have one.

    Reply
  7. Nadine

    All the applause on your letter. WTF is wrong with people and writing that shit in the first place???? I take issue with anyone telling me I have to do something in the first place. While Chris and I are not only children, we aren’t entirely certain whether or not Zoe will be an only child. Both my parents were only children and they turned out alright and now blaming their parents for ruining their lives. I think some kids prefer to be only children because they get all the attention and aren’t being compared to anyone. And you know, some people don’t get along with their siblings, ever. I could rant on and on about this too, but you did it so well for us so I am going to shut up now 🙂
    Nadine recently posted…Add These to Your List!My Profile

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    1. Nadine

      I was so angry I didn’t read what I wrote. Of course I meant my parents are NOT blaming their parents for being only children not now. LOL

      Reply
      1. Linda Sheridan

        I don’t proofread when I am posting many times.
        I am the oldest of 6 ! I am only close to one sibling.
        I used to host all the family events and holidays.
        Now we hardly ever are all together , thank God!
        I am not on Facebook, but some of my siblings are post ridiculous and self-serving comments on my Stephanie’s posts and that makes me momma bear crazy. So there are pros and cons to every situation and to every time in our lives.

        Reply
  8. Kristin

    I read the comments (scanned the “article”) and it seems like only one person actually agrees with her. She’s a moron. It seems like she got her idea of what having siblings is like from books like The Boxcar Children or Sweet Valley or something. It’s not real life. My brothers and I live in 3 different parts of the world. We get along but we’re not close.

    Reply
  9. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Preach it, Jana. I didn’t read the article because I am trying to not hulk out first thing in the morning. But man, WTF? She is, of course, entitled to her opinions and her experiences, but no child NEEDS a sibling. It’s the whole grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I had an older brother and there were days where we both wished we were an only child. Just as children without siblings probably have days where they wish they did have one. But it’s not a requirement. Nobody should be made to feel bad for not giving their child a sibling, whether by choice or not.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…Blueberry Cream Cheese MuffinsMy Profile

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  10. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I am like an only child in many ways. It has never occurred to me to think of having good or bad thoughts about having siblings. It wasn’t my business.

    Reply
  11. Robin

    Nobody is required to have any format of family! Ugh. My husband and I don’t want our own children, some people choose to stop after one, some people want to adopt, some step-parents are content with their spouse’s children. I used to read a blog by someone who got sterilized after having two boys, people hounded her for not having a girl first.
    Robin recently posted…Good afternoonMy Profile

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  12. Stephanie

    Only child here and fucking thrilled about it! Preeeeety sure I would have smothered a sibling in their sleep. That chick is delusional and idiotic.

    Reply
  13. Allison

    WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN TO STOP WRITING JUDGMENTAL AND SANCTIMONIOUS ARTICLES LIKE THIS?! Coincidentally my latest post is kindddddddd of around this topic; live and let live. What works for some doesn’t work for others. What brings happiness to some may not bring happiness to others. I hate everyone.

    Reply
  14. Brittany Pines

    Eh this sounds stupid. I am at a weird place, where I’m the only child of my biological parents but have step-siblings. However they are older, and definitely have stronger relationships with each other than they do with me (which is not their fault…we just didn’t live in the same house ever). I definitely want my LO to have a sibling (hubs is an only child)- but we plan on adopting at least once so that’s a whole drama 😉

    Reply
  15. Femme Frugality

    Grass is always greener? I wish I had these lady’s problems. If the number of siblings I had was of enough merit to publish an antagonist piece of work on it, I think I could say I had a pretty cushy life.

    Reply
  16. texerinsydney

    One of my favorite lines I’ve read from you in a while: “wrong with a tinge of asshole”. These 6 words are an example of why I like you so much.
    Well said. All of it.
    texerinsydney recently posted…AwarenessMy Profile

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