It’s surprising to me that, even though I’ve been blogging about parenting and motherhood for nearly ten years, I’ve never dedicated a single blog post to the joys of only child life.
There are so many myths that exist about only children, but in our experience none of them are true.
And before you think I would ever disparage multiple child life, please know this is not that. I’m not one to foist my lifestyle choices upon anyone else.
This is simply a celebration of only child life – and triangle families like ours – because we think they are awesome.
These are my favorite things about being the parent of an only child. I’m not going to talk about the drawbacks or downside of having an only – perhaps I’ll blog separately about those things. Honestly, there are so many more positives than negatives that they rarely, if ever, come up for us.
The five best things about only child and triangle family life, for us, include:
1. Keeping one foot in the sane lane. Parenting, as awesome as it is, is also a one-way ticket to crazytown. A wise friend told me, a long time ago, that if you have just one kid, then you keep one foot in the land of sanity. Now that I’ve been a parent for 11.5 years, I can see what she meant. When you have one kid, you need only arrange one sleepover or playdate to secure a bit of time for yourself or a date night with your partner. When you have multiples, it’s exponentially harder to get precious kid-free, adults-only time.
2. One child = less expensive. Kids cost money, no matter how you look at it. When you have just one child, you can afford to do more fun things, have a nicer house, send them to better schools or camps, hire babysitters when you need a date night, and so much more. Last year when Covid struck, I was able to start my own business and work part-time; who knows if I would have had the financial freedom to do that if we had a whole gaggle of kiddos.
3. One child makes it easier to travel. We traveled a bunch before we had Xage and I swore I wasn’t going to let parenthood stop us from traveling. We were blessed with an easy kiddo who has always loved to travel, even before they were a year old. Together as a family, we have been able to keep traveling to new, exciting and far-off lands. Sharing travel experiences with your child is one of the most amazing parts of parenting. I love planning new family trips together, looking back at past travel journals and scrapbooks we’ve made, and dreaming about travel experiences together at bedtime.
4. One child makes attachment parenting more do-able. So many of the tenets of attachment parenting, including child-led nursing and cosleeping, become far more complicated and difficult with the addition of more babes. I was able to devote myself entirely to Xage, nursing for as long as they wanted and letting them find their own way out of our family bed and into their own. I feel we gave them the most amazing, solid foundation of love and secure attachment to start them on the path to an incredible life and fulfilling relationships. I would have felt split in two if we had tried to do all that plus added another little one, too.
5. One child allows more time and focus when it’s needed. While it’s true that most kids need their parents less as they get older, for some kiddos that simply isn’t the case. When you throw depression, anxiety and high sensitivity into the mix, it’s really crucial for certain kids to have a lot of ongoing, consistent parental time, attention, closeness and care. I am so very thankful that although at times I feel torn between E and Xage or work and Xage, I never have to further divert my time or attention. I’m able to focus on our little family of three far more easily than I could if I were pulled in more directions. I absolutely love our closeness and bond as a result.
So, there you have it – my favorite things about being a triangle family. There is a unique bond and closeness that we have noticed among other families with only children. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
If you’ve got an only child yourself, what other things do you love about triangle family life? And if you are an only child yourself, were there things you loved about being an only? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or over on Facebook.