Updated: Aug 3
Growing up as an only child had its perks but I will admit, I was lonely. All my cousins had siblings and I had cousins that I looked at as siblings. As a child, I wanted a big family but the moment I had my first daughter, everything changed. Even though I was content with my one child, the Lord saw fit to bless me with another one. Seeing my two girls play and fuss with one another allows me to see the beauty of growing up with someone who will always be by your side and that is something I wish I had.
I enjoyed being the only child. Thanks to my god parents, I got what I wanted when I wanted it. I took trips and went to every fun event in the city of Detroit that you could imagine. As a child, my mother would often ask me if I wanted a brother or sister and at that time, I had no desire for one. It wasn’t until I got older that fitting in with my cousin’s and their siblings was no longer working. It hit me then that I wished I had a sibling of my own. It seemed in a blink of an eye we went from doing things together and hanging out to I was no longer included because it was a “sibling thing,” and I was crushed. Experiencing those moments forced me to deal with rejection early and despite how I felt, I had to keep my emotions together and act like I understood. When I had Amilyah the thought of her being alone once I transitioned in life always haunted me. I thought her dad and I would have at least one more child together, but he made it very clear he was one and done and even though it’s twelve years later, Amilyah is still his only child. Deep down inside, I never wanted Amilyah to be alone and to my surprise ten years later, she had a sister and boy did Aniya come out being a ball of life.
If you have been following my story, you already know the back story of Aniya’s dad and me. God has a funny way of working things out and that update I will fill you in on but not right now. It took a while for Milly to adjust to her little sister because our dog Sheba ran away the same day we brought Aniya home from the hospital. Yes, I was always worried about their age difference, but I can tell Amilyah is fond of her little sister despite how much she works her nerves. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I do seem to worry because every blue moon, I catch my daughter looking at her sister in an unpleasant manner. Amilyah does make comments about how her life really changed when her little sister came, and with talking to other parents, they’ve expressed how they have experienced the same situation. I never want my daughter to have resentment towards her sister or feel she came to steal all the glory because in the end, when I’m gone, it’s just them two and I need their bond to be tight and thick.
I’ve spoken with other parents about balancing kids and the roles of siblings because with my support system being the way that it is, I depend a lot on Amilyah to watch Aniya sometimes and I feel bad about it. Do I ever ask my daughter to watch her sister so I can go live my life? No! But if I pick up an extra shift at work, or if I must go somewhere important, I do ask because finding a babysitter gets hard at times especially if it’s last minute. As a nice thank you for Amilyah helping me, I do pay her. Milly is at the age now where she knows what she would like to spend her money on so within reason, I allow her to. I also try not to be gone long because I know entertaining a toddler can be overwhelming after a while, so I try to be fair with that. I never want my daughter to feel like I had another child just so she could raise her. Amilyah is her sister, not her mother and that is something I make very clear.
Like I stated earlier, my biggest fear before Aniya came along was when it’s my time to transition, Milly would be alone. I can remember when my mother passed, it literally left me feeling by myself. I had no one to share the hurt or sadness with. I had no sister or brother that could relate to experiencing such a great loss nor did I have anyone to fall back on. Having Aniya gave me such a since of comfort in knowing that without me, Milly does have someone and that someone is her sister. Despite my challenges in parenting, it’s a pleasure seeing my two girls’ bond and grow up together because it’s nothing like not being alone when losing a parent and that’s something I wished I never had to endure alone.