By this blog, I want to make it clear how life is on the flip side and how people think it is easy and luxurious to be the single child. I have no count of taunts and comments I had to come across each time I mentioned I am the only one. Being hurled at different events of my life, I have come to a point where it is important to write about it. Here are some myths associated with the ‘single-child’ proposition:
- “You are so lucky, no sharing eh?” – The first thing people come up with. I may have had the pleasure of savoring many things just by myself but that doesn’t mean I dint know how it is being deprived of something. I had my share of sacrificing on things since parents couldn’t afford everything. Sad part is, people notice only the brighter side.
- “You must be too pampered, overprotected, no scolding, no beating” – Well! My parents believe in calling a spade a spade. They never laid a bed of roses for me, they never ran after me for food, they never went hysteric on me catching cold, and they were never glued to me during exams and interviews. They made me respect the struggles of life – earn your food, get decent grades, go to interviews on your own, and be responsible for your health. On the other hand, I know many of my friends who have several siblings yet they received abundance of attention and love from their parents. So, appreciate for what you have. And yes, the tight slaps and a nice thrash on my back were just a mistake away in my life.
- “Where do you spend your salary, do you even spend?” – Two minutes silence for people who think single child = luxury! I remember my encounters especially in office where my office colleagues presumed that I already made a fortune from my job. My parents were given special cash from government of India to take care of my bills like transport, Internet, phone recharge, etc. Jokes apart, I pay for my needs on my own, so do other ‘single child’ men and women. At the same time, we take care of parents’ needs as well.
- “You must not be doing any household chore?” – Hallelujah! What a juxtaposition to my mundane daily lifestyle. So among 200 girls staying in a hostel, I was the only one living with a maid, who would feed me, sing me, wash my lingerie, blah blah! Sorry, I am too self-dependent for a maid. From moping, cleaning to doing the dishes and even cooking, I am a skilled woman; the authorities owe me a certificate. My parents taught me to be self-reliant and take care of my needs on my own. With no offenses to anyone, I know my friends (who have siblings) having the extravagance of getting things done just on one command.
- “Why didn’t your parents plan another child?” – My question, “why did your parents plan 7 children?” Indians have “what-up-with-their-family-planning-syndrome”. I am baffled by the fact that people have the guts to ask the same question even in my twenties. You have no rights to comment on a couple’s family planning or their outlook towards having a child or not.
- “How does it feel to be ‘single’? – That was just the starting, what more I hear – “what do you do to kill your loneliness?”, “you must not know how it feels to have a sibling fight”, “have you ever shared your food?” “you must have never seen toddlers in your life” etc etc. And with that people just get on to the nerves. We have our share of pains, yes we do not know how it is to have a sibling fight, yes we have hardly shared food and yes, we have felt the loneliness. But, what are cousins made for and what are those childhood friends made for. My childhood is full of stories where I grew up with other flat mates’ children. Oh boy! What a ball I had.
- “No brother!!!!Seriously” – C’mon can we please grow up! Why is it mandatory to have a brother so that he can take care of my parents? I know a lot of my male friends who are away from their parents and get to see them in months and festivals. Also, I know sons who have abandoned their parents and the ones who have taken no responsibility to be with their aging parents. But their sisters did. A daughter can equally take care of her parents in the best manner. So, a brother is not a necessity.
- “Sad, your parents will be so lonely when you get married, get a ghar jamai” – So, if the above point was not enough, this did the needful. As I have reached the decent marriageable age, people are like over concerned about my parents. Where was your concern when I was having a gala life as a child? You were busy in commenting that I was so lucky to be a single one. I know my concern and have huge care towards my parents. And I am sure, my man will be equally caring about them. In all honesty, no one will come to my parents in my absence and serve them but I will, so others’ opinions are not required.
- “Wow man! What life, no siblings, no responsibilities” – I don’t have a younger sister to take her to coaching, I don’t have to think about household expenditures and similar more are thoughts on people with no siblings. I wish life was easy that way where I am single and have no morsel of responsibility. A lot of ‘single child’ men and women are leading a life of considerable struggle in their personal life which you may not know. We pay EMIs, we do the grocery shopping, take mother to the doctor, guide father during his travel and much more than you can perceive.
Each time, you display your judgmental opinions on someone, remember:
“Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people are just better at hiding it than others.” ― Will Smith
Picture courtesy – Internet