In the typical Indian scenario – the moment a couple gets married, people ask them when they will have a child. While it is just a question from friends, there’s often a pressure from family members and in-laws. Then when they do have a child, then there’s an additional pressure on having a second child to give the first one a company.
Parenting is a full-time job; there are no vacations, no day offs and no breaks. While a father will work round the clock in the office to get home the daily bread, a mother has to work thrice as hard – one on her marriage, one on her child and then her work so where does it leave for a couple to enjoy life with their child?
While there are two sides to the same coin, the reality is always different and it varies from family to family.
As Manisha Panwar, a Life Coach and a mother of a single child says, “The idea is to bring up the child with complete love, surround them with children their own age, make an effort to be their friend yet be the parent – that’s a tougher job than being parents to multiple kids.”
She shares some of the common things she usually got to hear were:
- The child will turn out lonely – not at all. Instead they learn how to love and be compassionate towards people beyond the family.
- The parents don’t want more responsibility – Children single or multiple are responsibilities for a lifetime. So can’t really say that one child is less responsibility and multiple are more.
- Siblings are required in old age so every child must have one – children are decisions of the parents. Siblings today don’t live together and many a times may not even be there for each other later in life. Life is unpredictable so I don’t know how one can say that
- There is a “problem” with having another one – I chose to ignore. People are going to say things anyway, so let them.
- You are making a mistake – Childbirth is never a mistake even if it happens unplanned. So obviously planning for a single child is also a “plan”. Mistake or not only time tells.
As Shalini Digvijay, an Army wife and a food blogger shares, “My son is almost 17 and we have a very strong bond. We discuss everything under the sun and I know that if need be, I’m the one he will turn to when he needs a sounding board. Though there are days she does feel that she could turn back the clock and have another. So he could have had someone else to share his life and bond with.”
Mrinalini Pandey Awasthi, a Pune-based homemaker says, “Be it single or quadruple offspring, it is all about the kind of upbringing rendered out.
My son is alone, but never lonely. I make it a dedicated point to give him my attention and my artistic company whenever it is convenient. I have a simple KRA for myself – What did he learn from me today, and how many times did I make him laugh heartily.”
And coming from a single child herself, here’s what Bhumika Chhadva a Psychology student has to say, “Being the only child is something totally different. There’s no competition, no jealousy, no sibling rivalry and though you feel the need for a sibling figure to be there, in the long run, when you are alone and you need advice, it’s only yourself that you turn to. “
She further adds, “ You become your own best friend and your own best companion. You become stronger by learning to take decisions without depending on a second advice. Being parents of a single child make you have a closer contact with your one and only child rather than a divided love which at times tends to be see as an biased love from the eyes of children.”
Click here to know more about rearing single children without siblings.
An exclusive feature for World of Mom, from the house of FirstCry.com