Once upon a time, right after our son was born, everyone started asking if we were going to have another baby. And the way they asked it, they expected to hear the word "yes" right away, and not the litany of answers that we gave, which included "we aren't sure," or "we just had this one, can't we just enjoy him for a little while?" or "do we know you?"
But people asked, and we were not sure, and then we were sure: Our son was going to be an only child. There are times when my husband and I think about what life would be like with two children, and then we tell each other stories that we hear from friends with multiple children, and we reassure ourselves we made the right decision for us.
Is my son missing out on something because he doesn't have a sibling? I am not convinced. Because while siblings can be close and a support system for each other, that isn't a guarantee. I know lots of adults who have great relationships with their siblings, and lots of adults who are happier leading separate lives. And, I know lots of adults who fall somewhere in between.
As an adult who fought with her sibling a lot, I feel bad about the way we dragged Mom and Dad into most of our fights. I also feel bad knowing that it is only recently that scientists have culled together the best advice for parents who need to handle fighting siblings. They could have used the help on that link.
What I found the most interesting about that collective knowledge was the advice that parents aren't going to be able to come up with rules to cover all the scenarios that they need to, so basic rules like "no hitting" just don't work. (Any child with a sibling probably could have told you that.)
What tips do you have for keeping sibling fights in perspective? Tell me in the comments.