What It’s Really Like Being An Only Child

What It’s Really Like Being An Only Child


Growing up an only child in the 70’s was not very common. I was always accused of being spoiled and self centered. I spent a lot of time defending myself, explaining I did not get everything I wanted handed to me on a silver platter, and this was not my choice that I was an only child.

Life was good for most part in our family, until the day my parents decided they no longer wanted to be married to each other. My Mother was your typical stay at home Mom, I heard the other night someone call it a domestic engineer.  She had no real skills for the outside world so we were faced with some financial hardships.

My Father remarried years later to a woman 10 years younger and my Mom continued to stay single. I realized over the years how dependent she was on my Father and I did not want that for myself.

I finally realized what my strengths were from being an only child. I learned how to be self sufficient, I could be alone with myself and be fine, and I was very independent. Life rolled on by for 50 years and I was quite content in my life, handling day to day matters on my own and making the best of what came my way.

During the 50 years that had rolled by, I had been married, divorced, and faced with never having my own children since I wasted my good child bearing years on bad men. (That is another story)

I was happy most days selling my products for Beautycounter, educating people on safe products, hanging out with my friends, and of course trying to date.

Suddenly my parents started aging…. where did the time go? They are now in their late 70’s and early 80’s. As an only child I am faced having to take care of them and looking our for their well being. I am pretty much covered for my Father, since my Stepmother is in good health; my Mother is another matter.

About a year ago we found out that my Mother suffered from anxiety. I knew very little about the disease (yes, it is a disease and not a condition.) It truly is debilitating and can take over ones ability to function everyday. With all that being said, she had to move into my modest condo with me.

I have had so many mixed feelings about this, feelings that are hurtful and not so nice. Call it selfish…here is the only child coming out in me! Why did she not plan ahead for her retirement?

I had so many friends who wish they could have been only children while growing up. Now, they think differently with me being in this situation. So many young couples today are choosing to have only one child or they can only have one for various reasons. I think this is smart, but start planning now how you are going to retire and where you might be financially. It truly has opened my eyes…retirement creeps up fast.

Being an only child is a good thing and I would not have it any other way in my situation. I just know now the responsibilities are much different than someone with siblings. I am trying to embrace my life now, as a caretaker, at 50.


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