I'm an only child. For those of you gasping at the horrid thought of that, it truly isn't that bad. Although I'll admit to being spoiled, it wasn't to the stage of rotten-ness. For all the good there is of being an only child there is the bad, but as Popeye would say, "I Yam What I Yam" and proud of it.
I've had lots of discussions lately with various friends and co-workers where this issue has come up. Usually it starts at someone looking at me wide-eyed in disbelief that I survived the horrible world as an only child. Some others are parents of children who confess to other mothers in my presence, "Oh don't let your child be an only" as if it was some sort of ailment. I developed quite well socially, thank you. And, if the worst thing your child encounters is being "a lonely only" then count your blessings. I've even had mothers of only children want to hug me in support of their situation that there is hope for their only children. I heard about an interesting conversation amongst a department at my workplace where the predominant element is only children or mothers of only children. We have a lot of only children that work at my company for the number of employees we have. We only children like to say that is probably because the most creative and intelligent in the world lived life as an only child. But, we're probably biased.
There are positives and negatives with every birth order. First born children are known for their strong-wills and leadership qualities. Middle born children, bless their hearts, are almost on the level with with us only children in reported dysfunction. And, those precious final born children, the babies of the brood, seem to have their issues too. As a fan of Jon & Kate Plus 8, I've noticed their use of birth order with the sextuplets when heading to the doctor or other activities where everyone has to have a turn. Poor Joel is the final born and struggles with being last all the time...so much so Kate has decided to implement reverse birth order.
I found out recently that a couple of my closest friends are expecting - Tracy and Chad, their first, and Ashley and Kyle, their third in three years (God definitely wants them to reproduce!). Immediately some people asked Tracy how many more they would have. In true Tracy fashion, that conversation is not for public consumption, but I have to say that even though I've not had children, I'd not be quick to answer that question either in the midst of my first pregnancy. Although Ashley was a bit overwhelmed at first at the thought of baby three, she quickly recovered given she's been through this twice already; what's one more? But, it did cause her to say that she'd want a fourth eventually so sweet Jane wouldn't be the middle child.
That brings us to today's Table Topic:
Do you think birth order matters? Did your birth order make a difference in your life choices?
No matter whether you are one or one of ten, I'm thankful for every life that is born. My parents tried for almost 20 years to have a child and I'm so glad they never gave up.