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You Know You Have an Only Child When ...

As an only child until the age of 14, I remember the echoing emptiness of my house as I let myself in after school, wishing I had a sibling to keep me company until my folks got home. But on the other end of that equation, I got all the attention and learned to entertain myself.

Now, as a mother of an only child, I see the experience from a different perspective—being an only and having an only is not such a bad thing. And the research has quelled the question once and for all of whether only children are guaranteed to grow up "spoiled." Turns out, "onlies" fare just as well as those kids with siblings, and there are some qualities that only mothers of only children know too well.

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You know you have an only child when…

1. "The bottom bunk is not a bed but a storage area."

And starting the, "So, when are you going to present me with grandchildren?" conversation seems like a reasonable one to have with a fifth-grader.

–Audrey Pfeiffer, mother of one 16-year-old boy

2. "Mother's Day and Father's Day are cause for emotional meltdowns because they're the only two days of the year that aren't all about her."

–Jessica Jernigan, mother of one 8-year-old girl

3. "For one minute it's so quiet that you forget you even have a child, and the next they're talking your ear off for a straight 30 minutes, because who else are they going to vent to about their latest Minecraft experience?"

–Avital Norman Nathman, mother of one 8-year-old boy

4. "You still have, on some beautiful occasions, the chance to nap. Not that I want another, but if I did, that'd be enough to stop me there!"

–Brook Bolen, mother of one 2-year-old girl

5. "You buy his clothes at second-hand shops to get that 'hand-me-down' feel."

–Leza Lowitz, mother of one 10-year-old boy

6. "When you put the new Lauren Child picture book—the one about a boy who feels displaced by his new baby brother—back on the shelf at the bookstore because it has a happy ending and you don't want your son getting any crazy ideas."

–Shasta Grant, mother of one 7-year-old boy

7. "Giving birth was a terrifying near-death experience, and you said to your mom, 'I am NEVER doing that again!' (And over time, you change your mind; but your body remembers, and no amount of eager sperm can convince it otherwise.)"

–Anna Yarrow, mother of one 10-year-old-girl

8. "When you find yourself watching yet another episode of 'Paw Patrol' because your daughter doesn't want to watch the show by herself. And then, being ordered to laugh during the funny parts."

–Marcy Dermansky, mother of one 5-year-old girl

RELATED: 7 Ways You Know You're the Oldest Child

And I, mother of one 6-year-old boy, add:

9. When your kid learns a very special set of annoying noises designed to wake you on weekend mornings because he's bored of watching cartoons and can't take it any longer.

10. When you and your husband can still get downtime on the weekends by trading who's on call to play Sorry for the 10th time, or soldier up for another epic action figure battle.

Image via Jordan Rosenfeld

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