people always make out how easy it is having "only"one child, yet you do actually have to play with that child alot more and entertain

(37 Posts)
diamondlizard Fri 28-Feb-14 23:43:08

that child loads more, so its not easier its just different

i get really annoyed about people saying this, and ive had three children, but sadly lost the middle one

i also dont like the way peolple say when you only have one child

people never say oh well when you only have two do they

anyway three cheers for everyone out there being playmate entertainer and dping a great job

BertieBotts Fri 26-Sep-14 08:53:58

I think one is practically easier - the crunch being you can pick one child up under one arm and force them to leave grin

But it is so intense. And repetitive. DS is nearly 6 and this isn't letting up. I don't think I'd mind juggling multiple interests because that would mean I would have to deal with multiple interests, which would be far more interesting than whatever is flavour of the week with my one child. And all developmental stages seem in equal parts horrifying and awesome, so instead of being overwhelmed by whichever part is horrifying, you could look at the other and see the shining cuteness and innocence of a little one/matureness and independence of an older one and it puts it in perspective instead of "This is horrible" every time it's hard.

It's also easier to take shortcuts with one child which might be a good thing or a bad thing (bad for me, I'm lazy and it makes me feel shit and guilty!) - we can have a lie in until ridiculous hours at the weekend because one child who is fairly sensible is not going to kill himself or wreck anything while entertaining himself for a few hours. But I'd like to do more at the weekends and it would be nice to have a push to get out of bed and make it happen. It's easy to prepare three separate meals, especially bland, processed kind of food, which means DS, DH and I tend to eat separately and in front of the TV. I'd love to have family dinners but in reality the low effort option wins out especially when DH is all "Oh, I'm not hungry right now" and DS is all "pleeeeeeeeeease can I watch something". If I/we had to make 3 or 4 or 5 (I don't make DH's at the moment unless making something big anyway) then it would be easier to cook something large for everyone to share and if one person needed to have theirs separately it wouldn't break it so much for everyone else. And lastly mornings. I really should get up early and eat breakfast, but neither me, DH or DS do because DH and I get up at the last possible minute and DS doesn't have time either (but I kid myself it's fine because they eat at 9.30 at kindergarten and sometimes he has a snack on the way too.)

ProfYaffle Wed 17-Sep-14 07:11:23

I have 2dc, had a friend with 1 who was always telling me how easy I have it hmm. Having a baby and toddler was the hardest, most exhausting, unrelenting thing I've ever done. It pushed me to my absolute limit. There's also double the grunt work, ie all the washing, ironing, cleaning, tidying, homework supervising, taxiing about, twice the clothes shopping, present buying, twice as many sports days, school plays etc and the period you need to do this stuff for is prolonged.

Dd1 was on a week long residential trip last week, and it was definitely easier with just dd2 at home.

Lord knows how people manage with more!

spiceycake Wed 17-Sep-14 06:54:30

I only have one child and I am nearly 40. I am feed up off people asking me if I am going to have another child and then looking at me like I am daft when I tell them no. I love my little one and do at times feel guilty that I am not having any more out of choice. We can't afford a second child and the thought of another complicated labour, more sleepless nights and breast feeding just to much to contemplate.

Misfitless Sun 17-Aug-14 08:54:46

I think it also depends on the ages/stages of the children.

My youngest 3 are now 4, 6, and 8, soon to turn 5, 7 and is now so much easier than it was this time last year.

This time last year, I remember thinking, "This is so much easier than it was this time last year!" iyswim.

Having any number/combination of DCs when any of them are under 4 is pretty hard work, I think.

They become less dependent, more rational, more fun, they go to school for whole days rather than playgroup for half days, sleep more and cry less and, if you've got more than one, hopefully play with each other!

Holding my breath for when I've got three teenagers under one roof, mind! grin

Rinkydinkypink Sun 17-Aug-14 08:43:43

Friends playing together is great. They get the attention from each other. Most siblings do play together sometimes but they also get fed up of each other, are different ages and fight for parental attention.

It's not a competition at all but 2 children are most certainly harder work than 1.

MewlingQuim Sun 17-Aug-14 08:10:17

It does depend on the child and the parent (s) though.

My friend and I both have singletons. We like to get our kids together to play but she says it is much easier because they entertain each other, and I find it a bit harder than looking after dd alone because of the amount of refereeing involved!

thatsn0tmyname Sun 17-Aug-14 08:08:12

I have a 10 month old and another at 2.10 and it's definitely easier when I have just the one. They are much calmer individually and more likely to nap too

thatsn0tmyname Sun 17-Aug-14 08:08:03

I have a 10 month old and another at 2.10 and it's definitely easier when I have just the one. They are much calmer individually and more likely to nap too

thatsn0tmyname Sun 17-Aug-14 08:05:53

I have a 10 month old and another at 2.10 and it's definitely easier when I have just the one. They are much calmer individually and more likely to nap too

Ragwort Sun 17-Aug-14 07:33:27

Totally depends on the individual child and the parents (as so many others have said grin). We have just one and it was incredibly easy when he was a baby - he was very easy going slept loads and just fitted in whatever I wanted to do - having two children would have been much, much harder.

Lots of siblings don't get on with each other, dealing with constant bickering must be exhausting. DS now does a hobby which involves endless driving and taxiing around - that would be incredibly difficult with more than one (not to mention a lot more expensive).

I am constantly amazed that people go on to have more than one child grin - I also find it emotionally exhausting with one child - how on earth do you cope with more than one? grin.

BikeRunSki Sun 17-Aug-14 07:27:11

I have 2, a moly nearly 6 and a girl nearly 3. They spend every waking hour squabbling and screaming and moaning. No don't think ds will ever forgive me for not giving him a brother. They fight and compete for my attention. Age gap is too bug for them to play together. I have yet to see any evidence of 2 being easier than 1.

Misfitless Sun 17-Aug-14 07:18:56

Well said, MarthasVineyard!

MarthasVineyard Sat 16-Aug-14 20:47:44

Do we have to make a competition of this?

Rinkydinkypink Sat 16-Aug-14 02:16:33

I had 6 years of only one then the second came along. I thought like the op. Two must be easier in some ways. Believe me 2 is harder work.

They both demand attention!!!! All the time. They compete for it. The eldest sulks more. Feels left out.

The expense of two lots of clothes/ food etc.

Two is harder than 1!

superstarheartbreaker Sat 16-Aug-14 01:52:12

How on earth can you not be a proper mum with one child... hmm its exhausting!
And what ifvsiblings dont get on? The bickering bwoulddrive me potty!

I came on here to sort of say the same thing as the OP following on from a few comments I've been getting recently.

But I'm not sure if it's necessarily a one-child thing; the more I think about it, the more I've noticed that it's actually a case of if you are doing something which someone else wouldn't or couldn't do, they automatically think you must be doing it because it's easier, and they have it so much harder.

So I've had comments about being able to do xyz because:
- it's easier with only one
- it's easier with a boy
- it's easier when they're that age
- it's easier when they are naturally imaginative/quiet/sociable/sporty/boisterous/tall/musical/cautious/well-behaved etc etc

Misfitless Sat 03-May-14 16:16:35

I think it depends on the parents mostly, and how they bring up their child/ren. When my eldest was an only (upto the age of almost 9 yrs,) she wasn't one for expecting to be entertained, and she wasn't one for saying she was bored.

If as a parent, regardless of how many DCs you have, you bring them up to be constantly entertained, they will grow to expect that, and not be able to function so well when they are left to their own devices, I think.

Having said that, DS (8yrs) is struggling with being left to his own devices at the moment. All he seems to want to do is play on laptop/PSVita/my phone etc etc. If he was an only I might think it was because he's an only, but in actual fact I know it's because he's been off school ill for a week and I've let him have way too much access to technology, nothing to do with how many siblings he has at all! Oh and obviously not down to my crap less than perfect parenting skills either wink!

The main thing to remember is, it's not a competition, is it?

BurdenedWithGloriousPurpose Sat 03-May-14 11:48:59

I can imagine one child would be harder.

I'd have to listen to minecraft talk for hours if I had only one. shock But instead they talk to each other.

I'd be mentally exhausted with just one. I find I can ignore them more now there's two.

shrunkenhead Sat 03-May-14 11:44:51

One child is obviously easier, you only have one child to think about! Only one lot of uni fees. But they are stuck with you when you're old!

Ecclefechan Thu 20-Mar-14 13:15:27

Well it depends on the child/ren and the parents, doesn't it?

My brother has a boy and girl who adore each other - are now teens and always been good friends. My friend has a boy and girl and they loathe each other; she has spent the past 12 years refereeing the pair of them.

Our only DD doesn't have any more playdates than her friends with siblings and DH and I don't feel the need to entertain her. We just get on with normal family life and she never says she is bored.

stickygotstuck Fri 07-Mar-14 12:57:11

I also agree that it depends massively on the child's temperament. And yours. Really, on the combination of both.

For me, it's not the physical/practical stuff that I find exhausting but the mental side of motherhood. I think with two or more the intensity gets diluted, which can be a very good thing.

My 5YO DD was a horrendously difficult baby, then turned into the clingiest, most sensitive and most emotionally intense toddler/young child I have ever seen. I am independent, introverted and emotionally intense by nature. That particular combination was almost lethal for us. Literally. That is the reason why we only have one DC. As lovely and wonderful as I (now!) think she is.

When DD was around 3.5YO I began to think that having a second one would be a good idea after all for a break. I asked in here and many posters acually agreed! I am just terrified a second DC might be of the same temperament. People tell me it would be extremely rare to get the same sort of child the second time around. If someone could guarantee that the next baby would be more 'chilled' I'd have one in a heartbeat. For a break wink.

Blueberrymuffint0p Fri 07-Mar-14 11:06:43

Yeh, I think it depends on the child.

My son is a breeze. I make a big effort with arranging his social life so he has lots of opportunities to play with other children. Being his playmate is tedious-I don't enjoy pretending to be a dragon/ninja turtle etc but I get on with it and I think a sibling may not want to do those things either so I still might have to do the imaginary play. Activities I love but role play is hard work.

PeriPathetic Fri 07-Mar-14 06:10:03

My one child -- hard work when small, required a huge amount of attention. Never see her now she's a teen! Much easier.

My mother's two children, hideously hard work as we alway, always fought. Never 'played nicely together'. Now total NC.

All depends on the kids, I guess.

zoemaguire Fri 07-Mar-14 06:01:34

I agree with you. Dd1 and ds entertain each other, I find if just one is there it is much harder work.

thenoodlemachine Fri 07-Mar-14 05:12:13

I find life a hell of a lot harder with two. It's twice the work, innit. WHen I only have one it's like a holiday. Sorry but it is.

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