Recently I found out that I’m going to be an aunt again. Not just once but twice. Both of my sisters are having babies in the near future and each of them already has one child, like myself. When my son found out his cousins will have a sibling soon he was distraught. He stated that it wasn’t fair that they’re getting a new brother or sister and not him. Hearing this from me made me feel bad, but just a little.
Before I had my son, I was one of those anti-kids women. I relished in the fact that I didn’t have any and had no plans on having any. Growing up with 3 siblings and maybe a bit of selfishness played a role in that. I didn’t want to be responsible for another person, the way I was at times responsible for them. I wanted to have the freedom that I knew my mother didn’t have because she was busy raising the 4 of us.
Now I’m being called selfish because I’ve decided that having another child is just not for me. Several friends have said everyone should have a sibling. But I think they’re a bit biased. These remarks come from my friends that don’t have any themselves, and feel that they’ve missed out on a huge part of life. I joke around with one friend in particular, asking him what did he really miss out on? Sharing a bedroom? WWF brawls in the living room when your mother wasn’t around? Being considered the weird sibling? Yeah, those were definitely fun times.
Do I feel guilty about my decision? At times I do. I try to explain to my son that although he doesn’t have a sibling, he has a cousin that has grown up with him. They’ve never lived apart and the bond he has with him is something I didn’t have with my sisters or brother growing up. They do everything together and always has each other’s back, “But he’s still not a little brother or sister,” he’ll say. Then there goes that tinge of guilt again.
Then there’s the age issue. I’m not spring chicken. Trying to explain to a thirteen year old about how a woman’s body works, and how it’s not always safe to have children at a late age, isn’t easy. As I’m telling him this, all I hear is the sound of crickets in the background. I’m sure all he hears is Charlie Brown’s teacher, “Wok wok wok, wok wok”. He doesn’t care about any of that. And he probably shouldn’t.
So I’ve decided to do what I think plenty of people with an only child does. I don’t want to be that parent that isn’t open to compromise. Am I going out to buy some sperm from the local sperm bank? Although the thought has crossed my mind several times, nope. I plan on doing the next best thing. I’ll just get him a dog. Again.