I am a singleton according to multiple studies. That means I am an only child for those that were not sure or should have read that quickly and thought I wrote simpleton.
That means that my siblings are those I make by choice and basically are friends with a blood relation or two thrown in. It has shaped who I am in many ways, and speaking of which I will continue to advocate for us single children. One poorly designed study, A LLLLOOONNNNGGGG time ago, with a small population looked at only children and though pretty much valid, large sample size, peer reviewed studies have since debunked this it seems that one flawed study still prevails about only child traits. We are spoiled, self-centered, can't share ... blah blah blah.
I am sure there are only children just like that but in my many years I have found plenty of folks with siblings who are like that too. I don't know also if the majority of only children parents read about these traits but every only child I know is pushed to share much more than those with siblings. Only children that I know, myself included, are very conscious of the fact that you need to play nice because unlike a sibling, who is bound to you by some familial obligation, friends can leave you and that is your support system.
As I had children I also have realized to appreciate the sisterhood of motherhood. In the town I live in the Mom network is vast, fast and ascribes to the notion of it takes a village. Our FaceBook page is full of requests for advice, recommendations, just venting and lots of differing opinions. I bow to the page admins who make sure that in our passion for our children we do not forget to be respectful to each other. They will take a post down if it takes the group down a rabbit hole. If we are to teach our kids these behaviors we should live and model them.
I tend to keep friends for long periods of time once they are part of my inner sanctum. Larger groups make up my social circle because I actually really enjoy talking to and meeting lots and lots of people. Another trait I have seen a lot in only children is we learn to quickly adapt to any social situation, generalization yes but this is my observation of many years. Maybe it is because we have to make our friendships rather than have the gift of a sibling one.
There are questions that always take a lot of facial muscle to keep me from looking sarcastically back at the person asking them and among favorites are ;
"Aren't you sad you do not have siblings?" == no actually. I am fortunate to have siblings of choice. I do not know what it would be like to have anything else so I cannot really miss something I never had.
"Why didn't your parents have any more children?" == the real answer is by choice due to an examination of what they had to offer and what each of them wanted. Yet if you ask me in the way that comes off as if you are looking for a juicy bit I so want to say "they did not enjoy sex" and move on.
"You must be selfish"== that's not a question even if you ask it as such. It makes me want to say "you must be an insensitive idiot and I am glad you are not my sibling"
"Wasn't it great growing up and not having to share anything?" == yes actually it was and yes actually it wasn't. I did not have anyone to give me anything to wear that they loved, my parents gave me total attention which means that they had no one to divert said attention from me to. I learned to deal with adults very early since they were my roomies and I learned to play very well with me, myself and I.
I could not imagine my life without the few friends who have been there forever, to my chosen sisters and without the sisterhood of mothers that I have come to rely on for so much both in laughter, confusion and tears. They are not my siblings but I am singleton not a lonely person. For those of you with only children keep teaching them to share but trust me the sibling part well just is a fact of life. Kind of like I don't care that I did not grow up without a yard (blog in itself) it was not part of my reality. There will be people who read this and think "well of course she wrote about being an only child it is all about her" the funny part is I bet many of those same judgmental people would have applauded a piece on what it was like to grow up with siblings.