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16 Reasons Only Children Love Being Onlies

Being a Mom Judy Dutton Feb 13, 2015

mom and dad with daughter

If you grew up an only child -- or are raising one now -- you've no doubt heard all the downsides to not having siblings: isn't it so sad and so lonely to be an only? Well, to find out how onlies really feel, we asked what they think about being part of the "one and done" pack.

So before you start believing any of the sad weepy stereotypes, check out this list of things that only children from the ages of 4 to 65 love about being onlies for a refreshing change in perspective!

If you're an only child, how do you feel about it?


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1I Could Pick My Own Carnival Rides

"I was raised as an only child, and I loved it. One of my favorite memories is going to an amusement park every year. I was able to pick and choose any rides I wanted to go on without compromising with anyone else. As years went on, I tried taking friends, but realized I had far more freedom going alone!" -- 33-year-old expecting her first child who plans to be "one and done"

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2I Had Huge Birthdays

"Because I was an only child, birthdays were a big production. I mean, 30-40 kids plus parents. New clothes, huge cake, games. It was like being queen for the day. I remember sitting in the 'birthday chair' and just opening loads and loads of presents. Looking back at the pictures, I could not imagine that happening if there had been lot of children." -- 40-year-old mom with two daughters

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3I Got a Top-Notch Education

"My parents weren't
 rich -- I would describe them as being an average middle-class couple -- but
 when you only have one child, you are able to do more for them financially.
 For instance, I was able to 
go to a nice, private school. After I graduated from high school, my 
parents were able to help me pay for college, which was much appreciated. In general, children are their parents' future, and when those parents only
 have one child, they are able to offer that child their full support." -- 28-year-old mom with three kids

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4No Hand-Me-Downs!

"I liked being an only child because I didn't have to wear hand-me-downs from an older sibling. I never had to share a bedroom, either." -- 33-year-old mom with two children

More from The Stir: 8 Surprising Scientific Facts About Only Children

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5I Avoid Sibling Dramas

"I don't have
 to bother with all the drama that siblings create. And I don't have to take
 responsibility for something that someone else did that wasn't even my 
fault -- like a younger sibling breaking the rules and I'm blamed because I'm
 the oldest and supposed to be in charge." -- 11-year-old only child

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6Conversing With Adults Made Me Smarter

"I loved being raised an only child because I was able to spend all of my free time with adults. I think this greatly contributed to my intellectual development. I had just one child myself, a daughter. I wouldn't have dreamed of having more. Being able to focus your resources, time, and love on one child gives them advantages that last a lifetime." -- 48-year-old mom with one child

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7I Could Send My Friends Home

"When my friends started annoying me, I could send them home. You can't get rid of siblings." -- 28-year-old mom with three kids

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8No One Tattled on Me

"I thought I hated it as a kid, but I had enough cousins around my age to keep me content. Then I loved being an only as a teen! Nobody to tell on me." -- 27-year-old mom with one 6-year-old child

More from The Stir: 8 Things Never to Say to a Mom of an Only Child

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9I Learned the Joys of Solitude

"I enjoyed being an only child growing up because it allowed my imagination to run wild, entertaining myself for hours in my room with books, my dolls, etc. I had to take responsibility for my mistakes at a young age because I had no one else to blame it on at home; it was my fault or the dog’s, and the dog lived outside. 

As an adult, I have a close, special relationship with my parents. My mom is my best friend, and my father is my foundation. Growing up an only child also taught me the difference between being alone and lonely. I appreciate time with my close friends but need time by myself, too. A few of my friends simply can’t dine alone or go to the movies alone, and I can because I grew up an only child.
" -- 40-year-old without children

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10I Don't Have to Share the People I Love

"I don't have to share Mama." -- 7-year-old girl

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11I Learned to Trust My Intuition

"I am an only child. As a child from the age of 8, I washed clothes, cooked
 basic things, cleaned house, and stayed home by myself after school. I loved being an only child because I had more 
freedom than most and learned to trust my intuition before I even knew what 
that was. I 
currently run a successful company and live life on my
 terms." -- 33-year-old with no kids

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12I Forged Strong Friendships

"I loved being an only child and was never lonely. The reason: I had many close friends that I considered just as close as I'd hope siblings would be." -- 35-year-old mom with five kids

More from The Stir: Parents With Only One Kid Are Pretty Darn Selfish

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13My Parents Helped Me Pursue All My Passions

"I remember being very young and asking for a sibling because it was lonely. But I realized early the opportunities I had that my parents could not have afforded or supported otherwise. I ended up loving being an only. Today, I have one son. Wanting to be able to provide him with all the opportunities to pursue his interests and goals was the biggest factor in that choice. Currently he plays piano, competitive soccer, just got cast in a local production of The King and I, and is in the gifted program at school." -- 47-year-old mom with 12-year-old son

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14Fewer Annoyances at Home

"I love not dealing with a brother or sister. They're stinky and mean!" -- Jillian, 9

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15Being an Only Made My Marriage Better

"I am glad I was an only child. It crafted me into the strong woman I am today. I have been married for 16 years and I can say that part of the success of our marriage is the fact that we are equal partners and each contribute to the running of the household. It is not always easy, particularly when a parent is ill/dying as my mother did a few years ago. It was all on me to deal with every decision. However, it wasn't as if I was completely alone. I do have a great support system of extended family." -- mom with 14-year-old daughter

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16I Spent More Quality Time With My Parents

"I enjoyed being an only child because I had both my parents' attention. It sounds simple, but when you're the child of working parents, time is often more limited and that time is precious. I think being an only built my confidence and enabled me to enter places and new experiences alone." -- 65-year-old mom with one child

More from The Stir: 11 Myths About Only Children

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