Single parent/only child worries..(9 Posts)
I'm normally very happy and optimistic in life but recently I've been feeling quite single and sad/guilty that it's only ever been me and my son for 13 years.
His dad has mental health and addiction problems so isn't allowed contact with him.
But I've always tried to tell us both how lucky we are to have each other and have people around us that love us etc.
But I can't help thinking..
•Is it selfish/mean that I haven't given him a sibling?
•Has he missed out on having that interaction/support/friendship of a sibling?
•Who will help him carry the load of me when I'm old or fall ill?
I am aware that it isn't always the case that siblings get on, but family is mostly what gets you through the tough times and I sometimes worry who will be there for him when I'm not around
There is definitely a slight stigma about only having the one (not as bad as it used to be) but it still makes me feel bad.
I have an only child and DS doesn't see his dad...I think it is fine ..I have to add other children into the equation at times but I think we are closer because of it.
I'm an LP on one child too - only the other day I was thinking about the "what about when I'm old?" thing and eventually realised by that point my child may have a partner and children of their own, and even if not, hopefully a good supportive circle of friends. There's also various aunts/uncles/cousins... I work hard
like a loon on sustaining relationships with godparents too, as I was thinking ahead when I chose them, and asked people specifically who I wanted to be actively involved in a LO's life so that they had more adults than just me. Over the years, all 4 of them are being really brilliant about that, meet and play regularly, come round for meals etc, but it is a bit of an effort to not let that slide. I'm meandering to the point here that "family" can be all sorts of shapes and still provide support when it's needed.
I was a single child of divorced parents. My mum did end up having another child when I was 20 so really, a whole generation apart. My mum lost her own parents early, then her husband, and has herself no brother or sister.
I did at times wish I had a sibling who was in the same situation than I who could understand my feelings, but that was the rare times I was down. All in all, I never missed it as I enjoyed my own company and have many friends (which I made easily).
I am now an adult and know that when the time comes, I will be the one looking after my mum because even though my sister is now an adult too, she is very spoilt and still consider that it is my mum's role to look after her interest. I don't mind though, having a sibling close in age might have made no difference to the situation.
My mum AND my dad were also only child, and my dad's mum became a single mum when he was a teenager. My grandmother had only my dad, but it didn't cause any trouble and my dad never missed out on a sibling. My mum's parents were together, but were old when they had her (45 and 50) so she was on her own left to look after them when she was young, but again, she never mentioned wishing she had siblings.
Hope that helps.
Speaking as an only child myself I think the key thing is to encourage your child to have good friendship skills to build up a family of friends. Don't emotionally swamp your child and give them space as much as possible.
My situation is such that ds who is now 11 does not see his dad unless I am in the same room/public place and that is when we go down to London which is over 100 miles away from where we live. Ds also sees his half siblings then as well as he has a number of those through his dad.
Although they are a lot older than him at least it is family members for him.
I have no relatives as such to offer him as my parents are dead and having no siblings myself know how important it is for him to have family connections and memories from his childhood/upbringing. I only have cousins to offer him who are a lot older than myself and live in different parts of the country.
We visit my elderly aunt who lives in the south-east but that is only once a year and she is now in a nursing home so naturally she won't last much longer poor thing. He does see her grown up son when we go too though but that is very infrequent.
Luckily ds is well endowed with people skills and has many friends at the school and through the childminder etc.
Ds also has a second mum in that when access was still granted he used to stay at his half sister who is nearly 40 and she is very good to him even now when we visit.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the responses
It's a huge reassurance to think my son hopefully wont end up resenting me for being an only child. He does rarely mention how he'd like a sibling but does say I need to meet someone which makes me think of the point you raised about not being emotionally overbearing.
He's my world and has been my main focus for years (after we had a bad start with his dad) i felt like I had to put everything right and create this bubble of love and happiness.
But now he's older (and doesn't want me around) I'm having to find things to do!
After having him at 18 I've never really had a chance to discover who I am when I'm not being a mum working multiple jobs and having kids around to entertain 24/7 🙈
I don't really like it though :-/
Sorry Jules what is it that you don't like? Find some hobbies that you can do indoors that are inexpensive if it is hard to get out or a lack of money prevents a social life. For example I use my exercise bike, read my health magazines, play piano and watch films on Sky - when time permits. These are my indoor hobbies so to speak.
Hope this helps.
I've already discovered my love for swimming again so that's a start 👍🏼
But I think it's the feeling that there's a bit of a void now my son is older and at friends most weekends etc, that I'm having to create a new part of my life.
All of my friends are getting married and having babies as I was the only one who started early 🙈 So I suppose I'm a bit bored and slightly lonely at the moment :-/
But you're right! I need to find hobbies and accept this is just a part of being a parent... having to let them spread their wings
Jules how about joining meet up dot com for social groups? Search online. It is an international site. You won't need to pay babysitters if ds is 13.
I will be doing that once a month once ds is 12 which is next March as I lack friends. It isn't a dating site you just go along for pure socialisation need purposes.
For example where I live there is an international food group who meet up monthly at different restaurants. There is also a culture group for eg theatre and cinema trips, art gallery etc.
I would only go to one evening a month as I am planning to start aqua aerobics also once ds is 12. I don't feel I could live with myself if I was leaving ds to it more than one max two evenings. I could go to aqua aerobics now really but I prefer to wait until winter is out of the way from catching colds/coughs/flus point of view, if that doesn't sound too pathetic!
Exercise classes are a good way of boosting our wellbeing too, a win win really.
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