In praise of only children - the great things about having just one!

(263 Posts)
flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 18:54:53

Just wanted to start a positive thread about how fab it is to have an only child! In reaction to all the threads worrying about how sub-optimal some folk find it not to have more than one...

So here goes - to start off a list in praise of only children :

- you can take them to stuff appropriate to their age group without having to drag along a disinterested sibling

- peace and calm at home with no sibling rivalry and squabbles/ violence

- you can do something with another family without involving 2 cars/people carrier

- far easier to combine one child with work/social committments

- easier to provide financially for 1 child

QueenOfQuotes Mon 04-Jul-05 18:57:34

(I've got two so slight hijack - and before anyone jumps down my throat I love 'em both to bits)


- Only have to go through the 'nappies', 'weaning' and 'tantrum' stage once.

- All the clothes they get are new (2nd in this house gets all hand-me-downs)

- You don't have to buy a huge house in order to still have a 'guest room'.

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 18:59:35

- only 1 birthday party to organise each year

sallystrawberry Mon 04-Jul-05 19:02:05

ds was 8 before I had dd so I know what its like to have just one............ and its much easier to get babysitters

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:08:24

You never have to colour code the socks to make sure each child gets the right pair...

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:09:33

milosmum Mon 04-Jul-05 19:10:09

i love the whole "calmness" of my house!

its such a quiet place, ds just plays peacefully- no rows about who had it first etc.

i love the bedtime routine- one bath, one story but alot of family time with just the three of us!

i love the idea of just deciding one day to go on a day trip without mobilising an army of stuff!

and most of all i just love giving my all to my ds!

Flobble- what a lovely idea for a thread!

kama Mon 04-Jul-05 19:11:42

Message withdrawn

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:13:55

You can have an unashamedly favourite child

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:15:21

(I should confess I have two children, but I'm an only child myself, so I can join in, right? Plus after today, I'd really like to sell one of mine on ebay - no favourites, either of 'em would do....)

milosmum Mon 04-Jul-05 19:16:32

georgina- i think the Kilshaws are still looking! (lol )

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:16:59

GeorginaA you are really making me laugh today

lucy5 Mon 04-Jul-05 19:17:21

i'm thinking along the same lines as you kama, so its nice to see something positive.

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:17:46

Less washing & ironing, more time for mumsnet!

katierocket Mon 04-Jul-05 19:18:43

and me

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:20:37

No competitions over which child can throw their dinner the furthest *rolls eyes* ... in fact, mealtimes were DEFINITELY simpler with just one!

No elder sibling to copy by climbing onto anything in reach then hurling themselves off it.

Only your parents to fight with over computer time

emily05 Mon 04-Jul-05 19:21:56

Most important one for us is we can only afford a tiny house (teeny tiny) so having one means we dont have to cram more stuff in!

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:22:17

And come on ... only ONE grotty monosyllabic teenager bursting with hormones... that has to be the best reason

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:23:03

A generalisation with a lot of truth in it though IME - you can take an only child to an adult restaurant & they will behave nicely and enjoy it with you from quite a young age - my dd would happily go with us for leisurely lunches in France even at 2.

MrsGordonRamsay Mon 04-Jul-05 19:23:56

Flobble


You beat me to it re eating out.

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:24:24

No rows over who broke a favourite toy. If a toy is broken there can only be one possible culprit!

MrsGordonRamsay Mon 04-Jul-05 19:24:58

If they do get up in the middle of the night, and come into your bed, there is only one, less crowded.

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:25:17

(unless they blame the cat, of course!)

Hey, how about we turn this thread into the great things about having just one pet-allergic child

milosmum Mon 04-Jul-05 19:25:57

sometimes you feel a little annoyed at everyones asking "when you having the next one" but this thread is so positive!!

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:25:58

If your child has a real flair for something - swimming/ gymnastics / whatever - you can accommodate this without other siblings having to fall in around it.

And if they need extra help/support with anything likewise you can give it without worrying about the effect on siblings

milosmum Mon 04-Jul-05 19:26:36

yes- there is always one of us to give him the attention he needs!

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:27:26

No guilt about taking fewer photos of subsequent children

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:27:31

heh milosmum, they ask that still when you have two kids, shrug it off

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:28:39

You avoid double stretch marks and more importantly birth

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:29:05

(that sounded brusque... what I mean is, some people just seem to use "when's the next one?" as a conversation filler... they don't mean anything by it... I don't take anything from it )

milosmum Mon 04-Jul-05 19:31:36

nar- georgina- i knew what you meant! not brisque at all.....

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:32:39

They are happy in adult company & enjoy adults as friends

flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 19:33:54

They can genrally amuse themselves quite happily for quite long periods of time

GeorginaA Mon 04-Jul-05 19:36:49

Generally fairly self-sufficient (or at least, I like to think that I am!)

milosmum Mon 04-Jul-05 19:39:49

alot of people have told me that the first is always very independant but subsiquent children can be rather clingy.....

vicdubya Mon 04-Jul-05 20:30:56

Ds probably giong to be an only one, not through choice, so liking this thread.

I do worry tho...

Donbean Mon 04-Jul-05 20:35:58

I know what you are all saying and i totally am nodding along to it all....but i cant help it....i want another baby.
I want to be pregnant again, scans, feel it move get excited at the thought of seeing its little face and of ds having a baby brother or sister.....i cant help myself.....
Im ashamed !!!!!!!

Rainbow Mon 04-Jul-05 20:40:16

DS1 was 6 when DS2 came along. So here's what I miss (though i would change nothing except their attitudes)

We could go in a car with my parents we now have to follow in our car and get lost!(no sense of direction)

More day trips - we could just go now I have to work our finances for 3.

Room - my house seems so crowded now.
Trips to the shops were fairly uncomplicated. Now I have to strap in two either side of the car while DS1 straps himself in.

Peace and quiet - no fighting, arguing or squabbling.

Bedtime - one story over and done with in 1/2 hour instead of the 3 it takes now.

Being able to watch DS1 play football - DS2 and 3 are too young and won't stay put long enough so I drop DS1 off and pick him up later

katierocket Mon 04-Jul-05 20:41:50

rainbow, can I just ask you how you found that age gap? i.e. 6 years between 1st and 2nd

Lilypad Mon 04-Jul-05 20:42:14

I like this thread, I have never had an only child (twins 1st try) I don't know what its likeLilypad's friend

Mandymoo Mon 04-Jul-05 20:55:15

Never imagined just having the one but as time goes by (DD is now 2.6) I'm getting less and less into the idea - I've got some of my life back (yes, selfish i know) and DD has lots of little friends plus cousins near her age. I must admit - i don;t think i will be plannig to have any more but never say never i guess. Can't imagine loving another child as much but obviously i know lots of other people do it. Brill thread XX

flobbleflobble Tue 05-Jul-05 08:22:27

You can buy a beautiful outfit for your child which cost a bit too much - or an extra pair of shoes - without needing to go out and buy the same again for a brother/sister

Less guilt because when 2 children are desperate for your attention you can only give it to one

It's more relaxing when you are out to have just one child to watch

You get invited out more as the bigger the family the harder it is for others to accommodate them

flobbleflobble Tue 05-Jul-05 08:24:49

No need to complete a second pregnancy with an older body - no novelty value second time round, and not nearly so much fuss made of the mother - and it must be hard work to be pregnant and have a child to look after at the same time

starrynight Tue 05-Jul-05 09:36:55

I am pg with no.4 but had a 5 yr age gap between 1 & 2. The things I miss are mainly:

a calm house,

manageable washing/tidying up/cooking,

could survive on less money & in a smaller house with a smaller car,

being satisfied with the amount of attention that I could give my child (that stage is long gone & I have to hope for the best now!),

walking along the road with one child and smiling smugly at mums struggling with a crowd,

having time to do the hobbies,

having more time for myself...

god the list could go on... Why am I having no.4??????????????? Ah well, too late now

starrynight Tue 05-Jul-05 09:38:23

I think there are definate advantages to having one child - so nobody should feel bad about it. I look back on that time with real fondness. One day i'll get my life back (but when??)

lilybird Tue 05-Jul-05 09:44:48

thank you soooo much for starting this thread, i often feel guilty about this subject.
we had a conversation on sat, because all our friends have now got two children, and everyone was asking us when we having another, but i don't see why we should because everyone else has!
but i was made to feel very selfish.

starrynight Tue 05-Jul-05 09:50:56

Lily, people are very insensitive - unless you have 2 children they think you are a freak. If you have one they think you are selfish, if you have 3 or more they think you are selfish. You just have to ignore the foolish ignoramuses.

Slink Tue 05-Jul-05 09:52:35

Thank you thank you for this thread. I started one a while ago when i was dithering about just having one and felt better knowing that it is ok, and she will not be a selfish insecure little girl and is infact beautiful, confident happy (and so am i) that our time togethere (oops and dh) is great.

wilfulwife Tue 05-Jul-05 10:01:26

Another thing I have found as my ds gets older is that he does have some really good quality friendships!!His friends really enjoy coming round to play and there are no littleys or older siblings spoiling things,also we do lots of trips with ds and friends.I honestly don't think having an only means a child conforming to the awful onlychild stereotype - it's easy,basically you don't let your child do exactly what they want when they want,their choices/likes are not always dominant etc.I supose with one itwould be easy to let them call all the shots ,you just don't let them,my ds is definately more aware of others and their feelings/needs than any of his siblinged friends,he is also more pliable and ameanable to not always getting his way.

bolekilolek Tue 05-Jul-05 10:14:24

I really liked the idea of having only 1 child BUT now am pregnant with number 2 and one of the reasons for that was that I have never met a nice (unselfish, unspoilt and on and on and on) ADULT who grew up as an only child ...

batters Tue 05-Jul-05 10:18:23

Wonderful thread .

I agree with most of these posts. Especially the less guilt one. I have a friend who is a wonderful Mum to 3 children. But I do know she feels stretched extremely thin at times with the amount of attention that she is able to give each of her kids. Having said that she does a fantastic job, and I am in awe of her parenting skills.

I love being able to do things just with dd and I, so there is non-one else to please! She has also I think from a very young age realised the value of friendships. She loves her best friends dearly and adores spending time with them, and learnt to share and negotiate from an early age (due to nursery probably!).

I do look at babies and think, ahh, they are gorgeous but I can honestly say I have never seriously considered having a second child. I feel very priveleged that I am able to say that I have the type of family number wise that I want.

Tortington Tue 05-Jul-05 10:21:58

you can spend allyour money on one child
you can save all your money on one child
you can leave all your money to one child

divide any assetts i have by 3 - its really not worth the effort - so i spend it on me

batters Tue 05-Jul-05 10:22:43

thanks, bolekilolek, for your wonderfully supportive post.

katierocket Tue 05-Jul-05 10:23:55

what utter rubbish about only children as adults. My ex BF was an only child and was teh kindest, loveliest person around, also, he was incredibly self sufficient and loved his own company. I'm the youngest of 4 and I find it virtually impossible to amuse myself without others around.

GeorginaA Tue 05-Jul-05 10:27:49

"I have never met a nice (unselfish, unspoilt and on and on and on) ADULT who grew up as an only child ... "

I'm nice! And unspoilt! Hmm.... I am a teensy bit selfish though - but then I think that's a character strength to know yourself and know to look after you as well as your family

katierocket Tue 05-Jul-05 10:33:11

well as I say, I'm one of 4 and I am pretty selfish. is a personality trait IMO, nothing to do with number of siblings.

sandyballs Tue 05-Jul-05 10:33:45

Interesting. I've also never experienced one child as had I twins.

One thing I have noticed with a lot of "only" children - they seem so protected and cossetted, mummy and daddy fussing and fannying around them. I do wonder if its healthy to have so much focus on one. Siblings take the pressure off.
I know I'm generalising here, but this is my experience in our group of friends.

snafu Tue 05-Jul-05 10:59:07

Thanks for this thread. I need it. Yesterday it hit me for the first time that ds is very likely to be an only child. I was sorting out a load of his old clothes and wondering whether to take them to the charity shop or keep them. And then I realised that, in truth, keeping them was probably pointless. It made me feel so sad, and that really surprised me, considering I hadn't even really planned on having him!

So I took a great big bag of ds's baby clothes to the charity shop yesterday and (god this is going to sound PATHETIC) as I handed them over I almost wanted to say 'I hope you realise what a big deal it is for me to be giving these away'... but obviously that would not have been in the right spirit

Oh dear, sorry if I've brought the thread down - there are loads of positives, I know!

teeavee Tue 05-Jul-05 11:05:54

I know two only children who are now adults. They are not spoilt, or selfish, in fact they aren't much different to anyone else -
Only difference I've noticed is that one of them doesn't understand the dynamics behind sibling rivalry/arguments at all, and is perhaps harsher on his own kids when they argue, as a consequence...
Otherwise, I can imagine it would be quite a nice life for a family who stays as a compact little unit of 3 - for all the above reasons

gothicmama Tue 05-Jul-05 11:08:52

i don;t think solo children are cossetted excessively It means when they need you are tehre 100%

sandyballs Tue 05-Jul-05 11:10:14

I completely agree Teavee. My DH is an only child and he has had problems coping with the sibling clashes that occur in our hours (on a half hourly basis )and so have his parents.

sandyballs Tue 05-Jul-05 11:10:55

our house!

Marina Tue 05-Jul-05 11:13:02

I know some adult only children who are great, generous company
I know some adults with siblings who are dire and selfish
The same applies to children of my acquaintance too
Ds was a probable only child for four years and all these positives are making me nostalgic and rueful
Food-hurling competitions have been mentioned but I would also like to add bogey-analysis seminars to the list of drawbacks of more than one [bleurgh emoticon]

GeorginaA Tue 05-Jul-05 11:27:32

LOL at the bogey analysis... have that yet to come

Of course, there have been some very good points made, of course there will be disadvantages - but none that can be got around as long as you are aware of them and act accordingly.

Of course, there can be socialisation issues (please don't do what my parents did and move to a village where they knew no-one then spent most of my childhood complaining if they had to ferry me anywhere - it did mean I had very few friends growing up - but that's really a parenting issue rather than an only child issue).

Of course there can be extra stress put on the child in terms of expectations - but if you're aware that is a danger, you can catch yourself and take a few steps back. I think I do feel it more keenly as an adult since my father died - I am the ONLY one responsible for my mother and I've gone through a bit of a rollercoaster on that one.

Then again on the flip side, I think I've come through with a fairly self-sufficient, confident personality, and I'm laying down the law with my mother a bit more - so those two major disadvantages (even though not addressed in my parents' parenting style) have been dealt with by me as an adult anyway.

And besides - being perfect is boring. We all need our character flaws to be interesting, well-rounded individuals

cardy Tue 05-Jul-05 11:40:46

My mum is an only child, I have one sister. My mum loves the relationship my sister and I have and laments the fact that she has never experienced a sibling relationship but I don't think she is 'different' as a person in fact personality wise we are very similar.

The sad thing for her was that when her parents passed away she didn't have anybody around her who really understood her greif and I think although married with children, she felt very alone.

bobbybob Tue 05-Jul-05 11:40:47

Thank you everyone, I've got two weeks off work next week and I am going to do the following:

Get Mirena Coil fitted
Sell all baby clothes on Ebay

Ds is going to be an only. I just don't want any more, dh and I are happy as we are, and it's great to see a thread to celebrate it.

Cam Tue 05-Jul-05 11:45:08

Both my parents were (still are!) only children and are very well-adjusted people.

I have had 2 only children (of different generations, they have never lived together), one by first marriage one by second marriage.

My sister who has 3 children (a daughter and twin boys) says that from the child's perspective, being an only child with 2 parents is the ideal because all the child's needs are met.

I think that sounds right.

Tortington Tue 05-Jul-05 11:49:32

they can't say
" it wasn't me, it was him"
"why do i always get blamed for everything"
"he's your favourite"
"you always side with her"
"she is your favourite"
"you always blame me" <slam door>
"but he did it yesterday"
"why do you always ask me to do it. you never ask them"

jodee Tue 05-Jul-05 11:55:56

snafu, your thread was close to the bone for me - my ds (5.5) may well turn out to be an 'only' and I very reluctantly did a car boot sale the other weekend and sold car seats/travel cot, etc. I still have suitcases full of clothes I must sort through, but it really does bring it home to you. I would never say 'never', but I need to 'clear my head' of ds's things, as it were.

sandyballs Tue 05-Jul-05 11:58:20

One can also sit in the front of the car with mum every time, instead of taking turns. This is a big big thing in our house .

My DD stepped into the road recently without looking and I went mad, saying she could have been killed, how sad we would all be without her etc etc, then this little voice (her sister) piped up "It would be quite good though mummy if O went to heaven because I could sit in the front with you every day". Charming

fishfinger Tue 05-Jul-05 11:59:03

soryr but Id hate to pueposely only have one

ediemay Tue 05-Jul-05 12:02:36

thanks for starting this thread. I feel so lucky to have my DS. I had lots of cancer treatment and didn't imagine I'd ever have even one child. I love the completeness of our relationship and he is a laid-back, sunny-faced funny little clown who loves his life. Thanks flobble x

Tortington Tue 05-Jul-05 12:05:23

one doesnt have to share a room or toys or attention.

batters Tue 05-Jul-05 12:05:27

That's okay, fishfinger, I'd hate purposely to have 3!

fishfinger Tue 05-Jul-05 12:06:27

fgs you hasve to play with one

adntheya ll talk like adults
grr gets my goat

TinyGang Tue 05-Jul-05 12:07:43

Wow Teavee - you hit the nail on the head for me with your post. I am an 'only' but have three of my own.

It's wonderful, but like your dh I do struggle to understand the dynamics and chaos of it all a lot of the time, having myself come from a calm, ordered and quite adult based childhood where everyone spoke in turns and listened to each other. I tend to try to treat them all as 'only' children which is a mad impossible thing to attempt, but is my only personal experience of being a child.

sis Tue 05-Jul-05 12:07:49

I know mumsnet threads tend to take on a life of their own and go off on various tangents but I do so hope this one stays on track and sticks to "In praise of only children - the great things about having just one!".

Marina Tue 05-Jul-05 12:08:27

Hear hear Sis

snafu Tue 05-Jul-05 12:08:38

rofl fish - would hate to think your reasons were irrational

fishfinger Tue 05-Jul-05 12:08:48

tks youa re all getting like titania

snafu Tue 05-Jul-05 12:09:08

sorry sis

dinosaur Tue 05-Jul-05 12:11:02

I think only children are often more interesting and less conformist.

fishfinger Tue 05-Jul-05 12:11:29

bites tongue

batters Tue 05-Jul-05 12:11:29

oh fgs coddy

why can't you just live and let live on occasion??

By talking like adults do you mean only children have advanced commnication skills compared to other children with siblings? Or what? I would never ever go on a thread celebrating having more than one child and write something negative. I just wouldn't do it.

snafu Tue 05-Jul-05 12:12:48

Anywaaaaaay - moving on...

sis Tue 05-Jul-05 12:14:30

No problem snafu. My comments weren't directed at any one person - just a plea from a parent of any only child to have the pleasure of reading about our circumstances in a positive light!

Enid Tue 05-Jul-05 12:15:03

I think fishfinger should be banned

TinyGang Tue 05-Jul-05 12:15:26

Sorry Teeavee -Just reread this and realise I was mistakenly talking about your Dh being an only instead of Sandyballs' dh! See! I can't cope with all the chaos around me

bee3 Tue 05-Jul-05 12:17:15

There's always plenty of room for everyone in our bed....
Favourite meals are easier to cater for...
Only one social life to organise, and be used as a taxi firm for...
It's easier getting babysitters for just one...
Childcare isn't too prohibitive should you wish to return to work, and higher education fees aren't going to bankrupt us...

(ds only 17 months, so i'm projecting a bit here, but it's highly likely he'll be an only so I'm enjoying looking at the positives, thank you )

batters Tue 05-Jul-05 12:20:22

less arguements about the telly.

No need to worry if a film / play etc is suitable for a younger child.

much, much easier to use public transport.

More time to listen to the ramblings of one without interruptions.

gothicmama Tue 05-Jul-05 12:23:09

an exampel of coddy being troll like this a positive thread

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:24:38

I am one of 3 {in the middle} and I am adopted

I grew up very very jealous and still am really of my brother and sister.

DH is an only child

DS is a surviving identical twin and so is sort of an only child

I had to have fertility treatment to get pregnant, then a year after they were born had a miscarriage.

So although DS is a sort of only child

We get very upset when people have a go at us saying that we are wrong in only having one child and that he will grow up selfish, not able to share etc.

Because IMHO they do not have the right to pass judgement on our circumstances making out we are doing the wrong thing.

DS is a very kind boy, he shares his toys etc with friends or cousins, he plays happily by himself or with others.

ediemay Tue 05-Jul-05 12:28:23

fishfinger you're really lucky to have had the choice to have more than 1. I am unable to and it makes such a change to see a positive vibe on this. Why trash it?

Cam Tue 05-Jul-05 12:28:29

You can fit your whole family on one row in an aeroplane

GeorginaA Tue 05-Jul-05 12:28:51

Kanga, so sorry to hear that

I do truly believe that there are pros and cons to WHATEVER family arrangement you have - families aren't just 2 adults 2 children any more, there's a huge variety and I wish we (as a society) embraced variety a bit more, to be honest.

As long as you are aware of the pros and cons of your particular situation and compensate accordingly then you are doing a fantastic job.

And flobble did a great job with this thread - it's so easy to focus on the negative on ANYTHING we do/have foisted upon us - it can be a real challenge to highlight all the positives. It's a much richer and rewarding life though when we can.

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:29:19

Being able to go to the theatre to see shows like Les Miserables

because you don't have a big age range

Sorry about my last post

ediemay Tue 05-Jul-05 12:30:20

fishfinger you're really lucky to have had the choice to have more than 1. I am unable to and it makes such a change to see a positive vibe on this. Why trash it?

batters Tue 05-Jul-05 12:30:29

Agree georgina .

GeorginaA Tue 05-Jul-05 12:32:06

's aren't allowed, Kanga, nor are apologies

SoupDragon Tue 05-Jul-05 12:32:49

Have to say that a lot of the "pros" here aren't "cons" of having more than one though

There are advantages and disadvantages of both IMO - different families suit different people.

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:32:51

Thanks Georgina it took me so long to type thread had moved on

Anyway I felt I should sort of explain that DS is an only child but not through choice

Agree about front seat of car DS was so pleased when he was tall enough to sit in the front seat

he had to get to 140cm but we said he had to get to 142cm just to be on safe side and he was soooo excited when he got there

Marina Tue 05-Jul-05 12:34:31

Don't apologise RTKM. In my experience there is a multitude of reasons why a family might outwardly consist of only one child and a lot of them include terrible heartache
I was really pleased to see a lot of the posts on this thread too as I have been in that situation myself in the past.
I would have thought that anyone posting on here for a while might have remembered and respected WHY other posters are discussing the many positives of a one-child family.
Real life provides plenty of opportunities for people to be crass and tactless about apparent only children.

jodee Tue 05-Jul-05 12:34:52

I didn't deliberately want to put a downer on this thread either!

On a positive note - it only takes me 5 mins to do one lunchbox when I am in a mad rush in the mornings!

Homework with one is a doddle!

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:35:09

There are no arguements about remote control for TV

well apart from between Kangaboy and kangamummy

Cam Tue 05-Jul-05 12:37:13

Hugs and kisses to Kanga and Marina
Jodee you know what will happen now you've sold those things!

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:37:13

Marina Thanks

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:38:16

{{{{{{ marina }}}}

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:38:39

Thanks Cam

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:39:25

No queue for the bathroom

Chandra Tue 05-Jul-05 12:40:31

PND hits you only once and you don't need to worry of loosing the last remaining part of your memory after another pregnancy. (well, at least that's what I worry about after my first experience of pregnancy )

gothicmama Tue 05-Jul-05 12:41:11

{}{}{} just thought I'd join in

TinyGang Tue 05-Jul-05 12:41:17

I heard on the radio the other day - some study or other - that many famous and successful people throughout history were only children

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:42:32

You can take him swimming alone

rahter than have the rule of maximum of 2 with each adult

Cam Tue 05-Jul-05 12:43:21

There's a chance I might be kept in my old age then

ninah Tue 05-Jul-05 12:44:00

oh yes the swimming one's good

Marina Tue 05-Jul-05 12:48:27

The swimming one is a BIG plus

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 12:53:51

Only have one school run to do in the morning

rather than one child here another one here

sports day, concerts, school plays, parents evenings clashing and so one child disappointed

Also parents evenings at DS school you get an appointment time to go to see teacher and when they overrun parents with 2,3, or 4 children are trying to co ordinate the timings and running back and forth from appointment to appointment

And so cause mass confusion as they are trying to fit in

jodee Tue 05-Jul-05 12:55:38

Don't know what you mean, Cam!

ediemay Tue 05-Jul-05 13:01:15

only 1 to relocate evrything in kitchen cupboards on a daily basis

wishfulthinking Tue 05-Jul-05 13:10:44

I luuurrrrvvve this thread! .
Me and dh only ever wanted one child and we've got her and she's gorgeous and delicious and everything we could have ever wished for! But it's still hard work and I can't imagine more than one. I am a twin (brother) and have an older brother also; I don't particularly remember them being a massive part of my young life. We are all very close and always have been in adulthood; that is the one thing that makes me wonder about being an 'only' one - when we have gone, who is there for our dd? I console myself that she will have a terrific network of friends/family by then. And anyway, who says that siblings always get on? You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.

flobbleflobble Tue 05-Jul-05 13:14:11

I am so thrilled with all the positivity & celebrations on this thread and very touched by how many people appreciated the idea.

Big love to all the little families and to all the bigger families who suprised me by joining in this thread with such lovely posts too

Flobble xxx

pablopatito Tue 05-Jul-05 14:57:42

Good thread. We've recently had our first child (2 months ago) and at the moment really can't imagine wanting another. One seems just perfect.

However, I'm trying to imagine what my life would be like without my two brothers. What would holidays have been like, what would it have been like when my father died, what would it be like not having neices and nephews? What would it be like not to have been introduced to Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg and the Cocteau Twins when I was 12? Who would have taken me to see U2 when I was 14? Who would have bought me my first pint? And am I denying my son all those experiences and that support network?

pablopatito Tue 05-Jul-05 14:58:56

Sorry, my post sounds negative - didn't mean it to! I think all the positive posts are great and reassure us if we only have one child. I really appreciate them.

northerner Tue 05-Jul-05 15:04:50

Atm I have just 1 ds (aged 3), not sure if we will have another. Some days I want more, others I don't. What I do find though is that some people can be so rude when they find out we might stop at 1 child. Some people think it's selfish to only have 1 child, which is utter rubbish. People have many different reasons for having only 1 child, and we shouldn't have to explain our reasons to the rest of society.

I am an only child and don't feel I missed out on anything by not having siblings.

I have a book with the following quote:

'Children aren't like salted pretzels, you don't have to have more than 1'

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 15:06:42

northener deffo brill re pretzels

could be pringles or sqare of choccy in my case

Dahlia Tue 05-Jul-05 15:11:14

northerner, before we had dd2, I used to get comments all the time (dd1 was 7) about her being an only child and "oh you must have another or she'll be spoiled" etc etc, and it used to really bug me. What I loved about having one was that it was quality time all the time. We were a close knit little threesome, me, her and dh, and it was cosy and lovely and intimate. Much as I really really wanted another child (and had one in the end) I really enjoyed the fact that we could give her all of our attention all of the time. So there's an awful lot to be said for just having one.

mommie Tue 05-Jul-05 15:16:01

I have an only child, she is eight months old. You can give them all your attention and still go to work, you can indulge them (without turning them into divas), you can salvage yr relationship with your partner more quickly and take the odd break as a couple because your own parents are usually more willing to help when there is just one grandchild. You don't need to buy a massive house (with massive mortgage). You can possibly afford school fees, if so inclined. The benefits are endless!

starrynight Tue 05-Jul-05 15:38:17

This thread is making me feel nostalgic about the days when I had one... My older 3 will be at school full time when this one is born so it will be like just having 1 for 6 hrs a day...bliss (though will be bawling my eyes out when my 'baby' goes through the gates for the first tim)

Tortington Tue 05-Jul-05 18:41:51

you only have one lot of teachers telling you how rubbish your kids are at parents evening

milosmum Tue 05-Jul-05 18:43:33

im with you on that custardo! one teacher telling you your DS had a tantrum and hurt another kid! could nt bare the embarrasment more than once!

Betty1970 Tue 05-Jul-05 21:17:43

My God, this is so refreshing! Even my bloody hairdresser asked me if i was pregnant again yet - not cos I am a lardy bloater - purely as daughter is now 2, so therefore it is "expected" of you to start again! I have to say me and dh are toying with the idea of not going for number 2. I have not found parenthood a particularly enjoyable experience - I love dd to bits, but I have found it so far(as I am sure many have) to be bloody hard work, not particularly rewarding (God I sound like the mother from hell) and a real test of dh and my relationship.
We are getting to the stage now where things are a lot better, however the thought of going through it all again scares me to death.

robinia Tue 05-Jul-05 21:24:52

Being a mum of 4 the one thing I would really like is GeorginaA's - knowing who broke the toy (or made the mess or didn't flush the loo) - that kind of thing.

But, am I allowed to boast - I don't have any stretch marks - honestly .

ks Tue 05-Jul-05 21:26:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RTKangaMummy Tue 05-Jul-05 21:32:05

People don't compare to older brother or sister

Like your sister could read and write why can't you

Your brother is very good at football isn't he

Your sister can play piano to grade 6 why can't you play jingle bells yet

serah Tue 05-Jul-05 21:47:34

What a brilliant thread! I can't add anything, as I am not even past the weaning stage so I KNOW NUFFINK, but it's great! I love reading the stuff I have to look forward to. Thank you for starting a thread which is so positive and affirming (obviously I am biased!!)

All that said, I still got a people carrier as my DP wanted a van and I wanted a 4 door car, and now we can do our van and family related stuff in one vehicle

slotnicki Tue 05-Jul-05 22:54:10

This is a great thread. As a result of my history of miscarriages, my dd will probably be an only child. I am not particularly happy about this, but it has been important that i come to terms with the situation. I, too, am an only child and can see the pros and cons. However I strongly feel that it is impossible to make generalisations about the 'characteristics'of only children.

I would be interested to know whether parents of only children have been on the receiving end of these generalisations and how they have responded. This happened to me last year when discussing my dd at her school. A particular characteristic of her (then) behaviour was attributed to the fact that she is an only child. Looking back, I would have liked to have said that not only was it a huge generalisation, but that it was not my choice to have only one child and it was therefore not appropriate to remind me of this, when 'explaining' her behaviour. Of course, I said nothing of the sort, as I don't necessarily want to bring up my medical history in that sort of conversation.

paolosgirl Tue 05-Jul-05 22:58:05

Often wished I was an only child when I was young, LOL, but now I would HATE not to have my sister, and my kids now have their cousins, so am (whispers) glad my mum and dad went against my wishes

kama Tue 05-Jul-05 23:00:06

Message withdrawn

LJsmum Tue 05-Jul-05 23:18:11

Coming into this a bit late, but just wanted to comment on the belief that only children can be spoilt & selfish, etc.

My 5 yr old son is an only child and is definitely not spoilt or selfish. Well, ALL kids can be ego-centric to a certain extent (as my ds can), but he is not 'selfish' - he shares his possessions brilliantly and he knows very well that he doesn't get a new toy or a treat every time we go shopping. He is very good when I say 'NO' to something he wants, because he doesn't expect to get it. We only buy him things as treats or for special occasions, like birthdays etc. He is compassionate and caring and loves other kids to bits.

Yes I am a bit protective of him but it's simply because he's my first AND only child, so I suppose that comes with the territory. He is definitely not coddled though, and I encourage him to do things on his own and try new things.

I think the only thing he doesn't/won't understand are the sibling dynamics other children experience, as other people have also mentioned in this thread. He tends to relate to adults in quite a natural & confident way because he is around them a lot, and perhaps this may go against him at some stage? But at the moment, he has a lot of little friends & playmates who he relates to just as well as any other children. He will obviously miss out on having siblings of a similar age which I am sad about, but I just wanted to make the point that 'only' children are not necessarily spoilt, selfish or mal-adjusted. All depends on the family environment, I'd say.

ricecake Wed 06-Jul-05 06:16:52

I have an only child - decided this years before he was born - plus I started late - he was born when I was 36.

I have an older brother and sister I don't get on with - due to their jealousy that I was my father's favourite until the day he died.

Now I am gald I will never ever have the chance to have a favourite.

I also agee with the eating out thing - I love going to coffee shops and restaurants and now that DS is a year old this is so enjoyable and easy - he just sits in his high chair and looks at people - smiles at them and is playful with them while I feed him little morsles of food - he is becoming quite a gourmet !

Oh and DH and I spends hours and hours playing with him - I don't think he would ever get this much attantion with siblings around.

oaktree Wed 06-Jul-05 07:59:24

I'm in a similar position to slotnicki & this thread is really helping through what has been a very difficult time of readjustment - thanks everyone

wishfulthinking Wed 06-Jul-05 08:05:07

I agree with Betty1970; I didn't enjoy the first part of motherhood at all (strike me down!), but life does get easier as dd gets older (now 16mths). We love playing with her and enjoy her company enormously but it's also wonderful when it's time to go upto to Sleepsville (6.30pm)!! I feel quite angry when people assume you'll be having more. I remember my midwife saying about 'when you have the next one' on her first visit - I was gobsmacked!!!!!! No way...

edam Wed 06-Jul-05 10:34:30

Thank you for this positive thread. I'm struggling with the fact that ds may well be an only child – I'd like another, dh is adamant we stop at one – so this thread has reassured me that if I don't win the battle, it won't be the end of the world.
PS My mother was an only child and you are all right about the key difference being not understanding sibling relationships. She says she used to watch us in amazement as children!

handlemecarefully Wed 06-Jul-05 11:13:56

Be happy in your choices - none, one, two, three or a football team.

handlemecarefully Wed 06-Jul-05 11:15:06

Personally I love having 2 and might go for a third if my fallopian tubes and womb haven't degenerated into wizened old things due to advanced maternal age.

lalaa Wed 06-Jul-05 12:36:49

what a brilliant thread. thanks.

Janh Wed 06-Jul-05 12:38:18

One of the nicest children I know is an only child - he is 12 - pleasant, polite and popular.

flobbleflobble Wed 06-Jul-05 12:50:53

I like the fact that you can celebrate an only child's achievements without reference/comparison to siblings - eg you did so well at your music exam - even better than your brother/nearly as well as your sister etc

littleayla Wed 06-Jul-05 16:05:03

I have 1 girl and living in a mediterranen country she is surrounded by extended family. Surely its relationships with other human beings that matter not the fact they dont have brothers or sisters. me and my sister fought and there still are resenstments as I was the older one who should 'know better & set examples' and she was younger and 'less able' to cope. Grrr. Long live the only, happy child!!

Blu Wed 06-Jul-05 16:11:12

The great thing about having my DS is that I glory in him and the fact that I have him. Plain and simple, full stop. Whether I have any 'extra' ones (I don't, and won't be)isn't an issue, he is himself, I am his mum, DP is his Dad, and it's just perfect.

northerner Wed 06-Jul-05 16:14:38

Blu that is lovely.

littleayla Wed 06-Jul-05 16:18:28

u r so right blu. A girl I knew a while back was an only child. Her and her mum travelled together,went to concerts and were generally best friends. I am looking forward to that immensely!!!

cubby Wed 06-Jul-05 17:17:39

I'm another one who will probably only get the opportunity to have one baby - late starter (35) for first and sole carer for my disabled husband. It's so lovely to hear all the positive things about 'only' children.

Blu Wed 06-Jul-05 17:50:52

Hah! Cubby! You are just a cub!

Congratulations on your baby.

handlemecarefully Wed 06-Jul-05 23:29:15

You could have another one at say...37? if you wanted to of course, Cub.

I had mine at 34 and 36

kagsie Thu 07-Jul-05 22:32:54

I'm youngest of 6 and have just one DD. She looks like being the only one (she's nearly two and I'm nearly 42!) and its good to see all the positives. I'm wistful for another because i love being part of such a big family but I have to say, having spent 10 years just DH and me the first child has been a shock, let alone any more!

mumfor1standfinaltime Wed 05-Jul-06 19:17:31

What a lovely thread, it's good to read so many positive comments. Thanks to jabberwocky for the link too!
I have one ds who is 18m and dh is also an only child. I am one of 3. We have decided to only have one child and couldn't be happier!

LittleB Wed 05-Jul-06 20:14:16

This is a great thread, dd is 13mths, and we're very happy with just the 3 of us. It frustrates me and annoys me when people ask when we'll have another and say won't dd get lonely, NO she has lots of friends and cousins she sees loads!
The great things I've found is the attention I can give her and the things we can do together e.g. swimming which I couldn't do with more.
And it just feels right and we're happy!

peasinapod Wed 05-Jul-06 21:18:06

Thanks so much for this thread its so nice to see positive things said

eggybreadandbeans Wed 05-Jul-06 23:40:36

Love this thread.

Currently have wonderful ds (just two) and, although I always reckoned on having more than one (before I had any), am warming to the idea of having just ds - for all sorts of reasons.

I'm still struggling to let go of the always-thought-I'd-have-more-than-one feeling, but I found THIS ARTICLE online a few weeks ago. It summarises some US research into the prevalent selfish/lonely/crap-at-sharing only child stereotype - and I'm pleased to say it's all b*llocks! Onlies turn out as favourably or better than their peers with siblings.

Here's ANOTHER SITE that may be of interest. There's also another UK resource site for onlies, but it seems very one-sided in the negative direction of being an only; not particulary representative/scientific.

For the record, dp and my best friend are both onlies and are the friendliest people I know; most genuninely interested in others - and with no more "issues" that their peers with siblings. They have lots of beautiful friendships which they really nurture.

It's all looking good ...

lazyline Sat 24-Feb-07 14:12:25

I love only having one child. We had always planned in the pre-child days to have 2 but at some point realised that we were only planning this because it was "what you do" IYSWIM. It was somewhat of a revelation to both of us. I love our little family as it is and feel no need to add more.

My favourite thing about having an only child is definitely the fact that I can have a favourite and not feel ashamed.

The worst thing is family and others not believing me when I say that we are not having any more. They seem to dismiss what I say, as if I don't know my own mind and broodiness will set in eventually and I won't be able to resist.

lazyline Sat 24-Feb-07 14:13:15

Well, I can't believe I dragged this thread up from the dead! I didn't even look at the date, just followed the link to it from another thread.

Oh well, sorry!

yacketyblah Tue 27-Feb-07 10:22:11

I'm glad you revived this thread lazyline, it's lovely to read that so many families are happy with just one child.

We have one and have deliberated a second but decided against it, for many reasons but mainly financial tbh.

I've often got broody and many times I've thought that it would be lovely for dd to have a little brother or sister, but the cons outweigh the pros for us. I'm nearly 35 and selfish as it may sound, I don't think I want to go through the early stages with another baby - the worrying alone wears you out!

ipanemagirl Tue 27-Feb-07 22:33:08

What a positive thread - it's so nice to hear all these things!

Just spent half term with my ds, my sister and her 2 dds. A whole week of her going on and on about how much her dds love each other and how wonderful it is to have siblings... all while she knows perfectly well ds doesn't have one! Strange! This thread is so good to see - thanks to you posters.

Have just been reading this good thread too -
Parenting : What are your opinions on families that only have 1 child?

Spidermama Tue 27-Feb-07 22:34:29

I have four children and I LOVE taking one of them out, on his or her own, and getting to know them with in a one on one situation. You have that all the time. You must know your kids so well. That's got to be precious.

eemie Wed 28-Feb-07 10:58:31

lazyline, that thought helped me and dd when she was sad about not having a brother or sister. It was hard to tell her that it was never going to happen. She kept forgetting (or seeming to forget) and getting her hopes up again.

Eventually I said that if I had two or three children, I wouldn't be allowed to have a favourite, because that wouldn't be fair. But as she is my only child she can be my favourite for ever and ever. We enjoy reminding each other of that.

Also she occasionally remembers that if she had a little brother he might lock her in the Wendy house (as her friend's brother once did on a play date).

ipanemagirl Wed 28-Feb-07 13:00:53

My ds has said recently "Well why don't you just wish for another baby?" which is adorable but upsetting. I actually told him I nearly had another but they weren't strong enough to make it through nine months of growing unlike him who did. He seemed pleased that he'd nearly had one! Generally doesn't seem that bothered though!

Whoooosh Wed 28-Feb-07 13:04:37

I would dearly love another becasue I love and miss the baby stage but that is really not a good enough reason to have one.

I love having a singleton and people who have suggested I am cruel to deprive dd of a sibling get short shrift from me.

I love my three sisters but I don't like any of them-why should I take that risk with dd?

tallyp Fri 29-Jun-07 20:43:02

I'm new to this but thought I'd add my tuppence worth! I am divorced with a 7 year old ds and work as a Nanny-so during the week I have 3 children and evenings and weekends just my own and there's a big difference!
My ds benefits from having other children around and sharing my attention but I find with 3 children that it can often be a 'holding' situation-just making sure everyone is happy, fed a meal they ALL will eat, watered, clean, playing fairly etc and trips out are fun but not easy to find entertainment that suits all the ages plus all the paraphenalia needed to accompany them. When we're home on our own life is soooo easy-in fact I'm taking him to his first festival next weekend-something I wouldn't even contemplate with 3!
Everyone should do what suits their lives best-and if you get broody borrow a couple of your friends kids for the weekend first ;-)

LucyJones Wed 22-Aug-07 10:57:16

bumping for stressteddy

Acinonyx Wed 22-Aug-07 15:13:01

I have one dd of 2 yrs - not by choice - I was 43 when she was born and, to cut it short, just can't have any more. I'm also an only child - but dh is one of 9!

As someone else mentioned - I love eating out with dd. She loves it too and it has become a favourite - either the 3 of us, or me and her for a cheap lunch. There is a lot of intimacy with one child - I just don't want that to slide into claustrophobia as it did with my mother. I hope that being an only child myself I will be more aware of the pitfalls - eg that there can be too much attention. Gill

hannahmary Wed 22-Aug-07 16:51:01

I only just told my mum (on the phone to Canada) that I am pregnant...she was at first worried, then excited, then talking about the NEXT!!!! I told her that we were planning to have one and she didn't say anything but gave me a silent moment as she digested it. In the end though she managed to get here excitement back My very best friend since I was 1 is an only child, we travelled together with his mum and dad, he came to my wedding with his mum and dad, he supports me in everything and is now together with a wonderful woman who has 2 children and they adore him. So one really good thing about one child is that you can really involve their friends and its a lot easier to travel and to be excited about their achievements without making anyone feel bad or left out. How the child will turn out is genetics, parenting and environment I suppose. I don't understand people who feel the need to comment on how many children you have but on the multicultural threads it seems as though people feel the need to comment on whatever they like so just shrug it off and be YOU!

DarthVader Thu 03-Jan-08 18:55:43

Just wanted to bump this for 2008!

For anyone who has a young only child and has concerns about this situation I want to share my experiences!

My 8 year old has never wanted a sibling - she is confident and sociable and popular at school.

She is very good with people - she has to be as otherwise she would have nobody to keep her company - no siblings to fall back on! She can make friends anywhere, with children and adults alike.

She is happy in her own company yet loves a party.

She is dyslexic and needs extra support at school - and I am fortunate in that I can focus my energies on helping her as best I can with her problems without feeling guilty about neglecting my other children.

There is an intimacy that can be shared between only children and their parents and although I cannot know this, I suspect that it is not possible in the same way if there are siblings. Sometimes I think it would be twice as good to have two children...but in reality I realise that is unlikely to be the case and indeed it may only be half as good!

well done for bumping this darth ! ds is 10 and has never wanted a sibling (though interestingly says he'd like a boy and a girl ifhe has children !) We have a close relationship and he has lots of attention and like your dd loves his own company. He is very solitary though - he can make friends but is more of a one particular friend at a time kind of boy.

LessThanImpressed Mon 31-Mar-08 18:25:27

Nice one Darth!

whinegums Wed 02-Apr-08 16:39:32

Interesting reading. I'm expecting no 1, and not planning to have any more - I've only ever wanted to have one child (although he will have two half siblings).

I have a hideous relationship with my brother, and would hate that for any child of mine! My mum was from a big family - 14 brothers and sisters, interestingly, none of them have had more than two children themselves, and most have only had one. My 'only child' cousins are lovely - and I repeat, my brother is a nightmare!

bump

scaryteacher Fri 23-May-08 15:43:54

I could only have 1, so the advantages are being able to do more for him than I could with 2. He is very self-sufficient and even though he is rapidly approaching teenagerdom, I find myself liking him and the person he is becoming and enjoying the time I have on my own with him.

He has never felt that he has missed out by not having a sibling and in fact has said that he's glad he hasn't got one as he would miss all the attention he gets.

It means as well that if I save hard enough I should be able to pay all his uni fees, so that he doesn't come out with shed loads of debt. I couldn't afford to do it with two.

one all the way for us, we're an army of three and it's just perfect

JimJammum Wed 06-Aug-08 20:04:13

Found the link for this on another thread recently, and decided to add my tuppence worth, and bump it again, as it's a lovely one. Pertinant for me as a close friend is having trouble having dc2, and is very upset that dd1 may be an only one. I am happy in my little unit of 3, and she seems to have trouble understanding why.
I guess I just believe that part of my job as a parent is to expose ds to as much in the world as I can, to equip him for the 80 odd years of life I hope he will have when he flees the nest. So, travel, culture, schooling, sports etc etc, and all of those things cost time and money. If he loves a certain sport, I want to be able to spend time ferrying him to games and watching. I want to be able to afford music lessons if he is so inclined, for example. In short, I want him to have as many experiences as he can, so he goes into the world with a better idea of what he likes, enjoys and is good at. I just think it is easier to do that if you have one, that you can focus your time, energy and money on. People seem astonished that I am not bothered about having another one, which annoys me. Surely, having one is just as valid as having more??

CrushWithEyeliner Wed 06-Aug-08 20:09:04

I agree JJ. I am fed up with the questions of when we are having another. I am blissfully happy with DD. We are not going ahead for all sorts of reasons, all v personal. I just think it's crazy people think I would list all these reasons to them just to explain.

anniemac Wed 06-Aug-08 20:55:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NicolaMumsnet Thu 07-Aug-08 11:54:35

I never realised there would be so much pressure to have more than one child. I am an only child, and only ever thought about having one child, never wanted to go through child birth more than once! Although wasn't as bad as I thought. Still not sure whether to have another but we are happy as a three - Thank you for this thread

allergictohousework Thu 07-Aug-08 12:06:22

Thank you so much for this thread!!! V V positive. DS is only 15mo so not yet in the zone to notice how much easier it is with one but feeling way better about it now. grin

and BIG sarcastic "thanks" to all the negative posters on this thread. My DH died when I was pregnant hence why ds is only child and likely to stay that way. Why come on this thread to put people down for situations that may not actually be within their control like dh dying, infertility. financial reasons? angry

CrushWithEyeliner Thu 07-Aug-08 12:53:44

Oh allergic sad so sorry for your loss.

I too have very personal reasons as to why we can't go ahead and have another (not that I actually have the yearning to). People are so insensitive and ignorant about only children - all these cliches get trotted out about failure to share and shyness it is such crap!

I agree Nicola there is SO much pressure why????

I agree, we are happy as our "army of three" and I have a well balanced, sociable, extrovert and bright DD who loves to share and has many friends, in fact one of the things that stood out on her school report this year was "she never lacks a companion". She hates the idea of siblings and I spend a lot of money and time on her dancing that I wouldn't be able to do with more than one, it fits in with my work to have an only and we are financially better off.

Negatives about onlies get on my nerves!

LOL at cod trolling back in the day grin

1down2togo Fri 08-Aug-08 11:00:34

be able to go OTT for things like birthdays / christenings and reasonings....well i'm only going to be doing it the once lol.

Orissiah Fri 08-Aug-08 15:10:00

I loved being an only child - I had my parents' undivided attention even though I didn't seem to demand it much as I either spent alot of time contentedly playing on my own or with my little gang of friends. I went on a lot of grown up holidays and trips (city breaks, museums etc as that was what they were interested in) and yet they also took me to Legoland and Alton Towers. I was so used to adult company that I was a very sociable little girl. I was also incredibly close to both my parents and I still count them as my very good friends.

Now I have a child of my own and I am happy for her to be an only one.

frogmama Fri 22-Aug-08 19:56:30

Ive got one DD, and we are letting nature take its course on whether we have another, I love My DD so much but would love another, and feel selfish for even considering another child when I love the one I have so much-This thread makes me feel guilty for wanting another! Did anyone else feel like this before they had more?

halia Mon 08-Jun-09 15:04:24

at 9am on a weekday you can decide to get on a train and travel for 4 hrs to go and stay with Nana with only ONE kids schedule to think about.
and you only have to take one bag,
and you can scoop up child under one arm and sling bag over the other arm to make a dash for the train
and you can treat DS to a magazine AND sandwich from train because its only 1 lot of spending
and when you need a wee you can fit DS and you into those tiny train toilets
when you arrive the next day you dont' feel too guilty about grandad taking ONE DS to the allotment, no worrying about a bored older one or a baby being too young to go.

babyphat Mon 08-Jun-09 19:51:56

not read all 8 pages , but the thing about onlies being more accustomed to adult company/precocious is a big generalisation - i am the eldest of 5 with only 18 months between me and the next sib, but i always liked the company of adults more and thought the kids my age were boring and babyish blush Not saying that this is a good thing, it's just how i was, but definitely not just onlies. Maybe more a first born thing as they will have had more adult company at least for a while? just a thought.

ljhooray Mon 08-Jun-09 20:27:50

Orissaih, your post has been so helpful for me. I have a fabulous dd and am very much inclined to keep it that way. Wonderful to hear from someone who didn't have siblings, loved it and wants it for their children. There are so many sites out there that appear to be 'onlies' support groups, I was starting to worry about dd's long term mental health!

I am loving the time I have with her, in these tough economic times also being able to still go and do exciting things and new experiences with a bit less financial worry! She is so sociable and confident that I think your dc personality is so much more a factor. No siblings or lots are no predictor.

poshsinglemum Tue 09-Jun-09 15:21:44

I have a sister and I do love her but we are not close and the unspoken but insiduous sibling rivalry between us has been corrosive and is a source of bitterness.

nessus Tue 09-Jun-09 23:58:12

poshsinglemum, I feel like a pariah admitting that I don't like my sister but it is the truth. No, I don't hate her, not in the least but I don't like her and would not choose to spend any extended period of time with her. Unfortunately, my Mother, whom I love to bits and I am so close with, is an only child who lost her mom at the age of 5, and there is nothing she would like more than for all of us to be one big happy family. I also have a brother whom I am incredibly close to and he feels the same way about our sister.

I feel sorry for my Mom because of her own childhood and being an only she so desperately wanted a big family so that we could all be there for each other in the ways she never had anyone.

I don't want to hijack this thread because I have so many positive testimonies of being a parent of one myself but I just wanted to respond to your last comment.

nessus Wed 10-Jun-09 00:22:15

My DD is 8.5 and she is an only child. She is, I swear it, pure joy (bear in mind that it is almost midnight and she is fast asleep so I have my blinkers on! lol). She is not only my child but also a little sister and my lover.

We actually call each other lovers and always have lovers time daily, even if it is just a cuddle on the sofa. On the w/e we are either out seeing plays, eating out or hibernating indoors listening to music and just being silly.

It is not always perfect mind but we are so intune with each other's moods and peculiarities that even when things are shaky, the dark cloud never lasts. I think if there was a sibling, it would be too easy to stay mad for longer with her because you would divert attention to another child to punish the naught child even more as if to say 'you could be the one getting all this love if you acted like this' but with an only child, you have none of that powerplay to hide behind. No point scoring going on.

Ever since DD was little we have always gone on random trips together and there is something about just having the one child that makes it possible to book holidays to far-away places without a second thought.

We are off to South East Asia in August for 3wks and last year we were in West Africa for the same period of time. We have adventures together and have no one else to worry about.

With one child, you can also truly invest in getting to know them and their dreams. And assisting in making these happen. I have all the time for my child when I am not working and I am not tired out from having to split this with other children.

Only children are also very easy in adult company and this makes them a pleasure to converse with. You also don't dumb down conversations within the home when you just have the one, I think this would be too easy to do with 2 or more kids running the roost. Without having to play mediator between quarrelling siblings, we can talk about things going on; for her, for me and all around us.

It's hard enough thinking you are not doing all you need to for your child and with one child, I seriously feel that this particular guilt is lessened!

Mulanmum1 Wed 10-Jun-09 06:26:49

Nessus - whilst I appreciate your sharing the joys of having one child I really think you and DD should stop referring to each other as lovers. You are not lovers and it just doesn't sound right.

ICANDOTHAT Wed 10-Jun-09 09:21:38

My ds1 was 7 when ds2 came along and we still remaniss about the 'old days' when it was just him and us. What we did, the places we went and what our house was like ... only his toys, dvds etc etc. Now he's older it's not so important and little bro is only 6 so no real competition. But, oh how we love to remaniss and a bit of a distant memory now ........ smile

HelenMc1 Wed 10-Jun-09 13:58:15

I love taking DS to Carluccio's for breadsticks and Lasagne - just the two of us - our little ritual!

nessus Wed 10-Jun-09 14:54:59

Mulanmum1 - appreciate your VP. We like it and will stick to it TYVM

lov&#8901;er
&#8194;&#8194;/&#712;l&#652;v&#601;r/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [luhv-er] Show IPA
–noun
1. a person who is in love with another.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 10-Jun-09 15:04:30

grinLover is one of those words that has shifted meaning in common parlance, which is a shame. When you come across the word in Jane Austen or the Little Women books, it doesn't mean that the pair are having it off!

Anyway - I have an only, and its lovely to be able to have the time (and money) to let her follow her interests to the full.

halia Wed 10-Jun-09 16:02:10

nessus there is a world of difference between loving somone and being 'in love' I really would think twice about referring to your child as your lover, thats a role for an adult. Nor should she be your sister or your sole companion. Let her be your daughter - and you be her mum. Most kids need parents not 'lovers' or adults acting like 8 yr olds.
Seek out other adults for your trips and cinema, and certianly if you feel the lack of a lover in your life (someone to cuddle with and be 'in tune' with) then please find someone not related to you and over the age of consent.

Sorry for thread hijack - this is one of the things I do feel is a danger in only having one child especially if you are a single parents. You use your child as a substitute for adult company. What on earth do the poor kids do when they are 16 and wanting/needing to rebel against mum?!

ljhooray Wed 10-Jun-09 19:33:03

Halia, although I agree that Nessus post did concern me with the role a child should take in the dynamics of a family and agree with mocuh you have said, this is not the danger in having one child. I'm afraid a child becoming friend, sister, carer substitute can happen to any child whether one or one of many (I know this first hand, I am 1 of 4 and took exactly that role with my emotionally fragile mum).

DorotheaPlenticlew Wed 10-Jun-09 20:13:47

Oh please don't let this thread go sour and turn into something else. It has been so lovely to read. Please, if you want to air differences re the lovers thing, could you start a thread for it? (though I hope it won't be necessary as I imagine tempers may be lost)

ljhooray Wed 10-Jun-09 20:17:14

Sorry Dorothea, totally right I was enjoying it too, have given myself a slap for getting drawn in! BTW dd and I had a fabulous time at her first gym class today, whilst half the mums juggled little ones trying to show them their forward rolls and rocking crying baby in a car seat, us parents of one got to jmp around on the equipment too grin

DorotheaPlenticlew Wed 10-Jun-09 21:16:35

grin

We aren't sure we will conceive successfully a second time. We are letting nature take its course at the moment, but this thread is helping me to feel it is genuinely fine if we don't have another. DS is totally the light of our lives anyway

My main fear of having no more DCs is that DS might feel burdened by our care/grieving for us when we get old/die, and that he'll wish he had someone to share it with. But having said that, I am my mother's only child (my dad has others) and I don't really feel that way. Or at least, I don't think it would be all that much nicer to contemplate my mum's eventual death if I had a sibling. hmm

In any case, so many of the people in my extended family are on rotten terms with their siblings (as adults) that in fact it makes me feel friends are often more reliable sources of support than family at those crisis times.

Sorry, waffling a bit there but mainly I wanted to say hooray for all the positive and warm messages here. I expect to revisit and re-read in the future.

nessus Thu 11-Jun-09 11:55:08

WOW. Look where this has gone in my absence. My child and I live a full and expansive life. We are blessed with wonderful friends and close family and I am lucky enough to have the means, time and inclination to invest in making our lives as rounded and enriching as possible.

As a single parent that works 30+ hrs a week, I refuse to apologise for having the desire to spend time with my child. As much as I love my friends, I can't surely being out every weekend with mojito in hand!

As to stating that she is my sole companion, please highlight where I said that?! No, I am not some socially or emotionally inept person that substitutes all adult relationship with that I have with my child. That would clearly be unhealthy.

Halia, your over the age of consent comment is simply abhorrent. What exactly are you insinuating?

flobbleflobble, I am sorry that your thread hasn't remained as positive as you would have hoped. It wasn't my intention when I chose to contribute as GrimmaTheMore mentioned, lovers is a term that has been greatly misappropriated, much to my own amusement.

I have no problem with the term lovers and if anyone finds the very notion hard to deal with, that is for you to deal with, not me.

I look forward to reading what others have to say on the original topic matter, afterall, this is a place for celebration.

halia Thu 11-Jun-09 14:22:33

sorry for getting drawn into an of topic area - wont' clutter up thread with other thoughts on that topic.

I think the thing about siblings is really important. As parents of an only we are often told "oh they will miss out on having a sibling" but I know just as many siblings that dont' get on, or who are politely distant as I do the wonderful mutually supportive playmates and adult friends.

Having just been talking about what happens when GParents die I am very glad DS is an only because at least there wont' be any false expectations or arguments about whether big sis ought to sort out mum and dad because she lives closest, or whether Brother Jo should be cut out of the will because he ran off with a stripper.

discoball Fri 12-Jun-09 11:52:36

Having read this thread, my heart goes out to people who are struggling to conceive their FIRST child - I am very grateful to have my DS - I cannot have any more, have been to hell and back). But, I am SO HAPPY
that I have a wonderful, kind, gentle DS whom I love with all my heart. He is definitely not lonely (our house is always buzzing with friends, etc), he is not spoilt (we get him to save his pocket money for some things rather than just buying them for him), etc.... and he is very generous with his belongings/sharing. He can be quite shy, but is generally getting over this (having started at sec. school now), and is gaining in confidence thanks for brilliant teachers. So, please be thankful for your "only" children (hate that term!) and remember that some people are not lucky enough to have one. (By the way, my sister has 5 and it's a madhouse, but it's always interesting!!!!) Live and let live. smile

storminateacup10 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:18:54

flobble thanks for starting such a great thread- I am so undecided at the moment about whether to even have a 2nd child or not and threads like yours really help smile

DilysPrice Sun 03-Jul-11 21:28:30

As a parent of two I haven't read the whole thread, but feel the need to point out that whilst only children will may choose to have chicken pox immediately before your vital presentation to the board while DH is out of the country, they will not wait until the last spot has healed and then immediately get it again in the manner of Multi-child households.

But I'm sure the vast majority of the other stuff is true as well.

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 04-Jul-11 20:03:06

DD is an only and it's great. DH can cope with just the one so I get to go out with out worrying he's lost/forgotten a child. We've got out life back quite a bit as we only have to work around DD's naps and the PIL are happy to have her overnight loads (they would struggle with two I think). Don't desperately need a bigger house/car/shed.

Sadly I do want to re-use DD's Itti Bitti nappies.... so we'll wait and see. We're lucky enough to (currently) have a choice.

An only-child friend did say that she worried about being the sole carer for her parents as they grew older. This is actually my only concern for DD being an only.

Snog Sun 19-Aug-12 16:08:21

It's seven years now since I started this thread.
My dd is now 12 and has never wanted a sibling.
She is sociable and has lovely friends but also likes to have time in her own company or with her family.
We share lot of interests and can follow them together with nobody being left out.
I have been able to devote resources to helping her with her dyslexia such that it no longer seems to be holding her back. She is very happy at her new school.
I have changed career and love my new job.
Life is good for us and a family of three can be a very happy one.
If anyone is struggling or worrying about having an only child I hope this thread helps.

RaisinDEtre Sun 19-Aug-12 16:49:18

awwwwwwwww Snog, that's just lovely smile

TyrannoSoreArse Sun 19-Aug-12 19:13:22

Snog. A couple of weeks ago I had to have surgery because of a bad labour and have been told that I won't ever be able to carry another child. My DS is 17mo and my whole world and I loved reading this thread and recognising that even when it all feels really hard it could be so much worse...!

Thank you for starting it and for coming back and saying what you did. thanks thanks thanks for you smile

Snog Sun 19-Aug-12 21:37:15

Wow, thanks you guys! Smileys AND flowers!
<blows kisses to tyranno and raisin>

pudding25 Mon 27-Aug-12 15:57:19

Snog, thanks for posting this. Lovely to hear. I am an only (always had tons of friends and never bothered about a sibling) but wanted DD (5) to have a sibling. Now pushing 41 with several miscarriages under my belt, have decided enough is enough. DH wants to keep going but I can't so DD will definitely be an only now. I feel sad but I know I was a happy only and am trying to think of all the advantages for us and her.

Frontpaw Fri 31-Aug-12 14:27:35

After witnessing two boys literally rolling on the floor of a supermarket fighting over a 20p one had found before their dad tore them apart I was quite happy to have one.

Now, as I sit watching four sibling punching, kicking, name calling and crying as they wait to get on a ride at the park, I am ecstatic.

Frontpaw Fri 31-Aug-12 14:29:16

And watching the look on DSs face - the kid equivalent of WTF????? - is a joy.

axure Fri 31-Aug-12 22:33:42

DS is 3rd generation OC, the first time I took him out for a walk (or hobble, stitches still in situ) in his pram a neighbour asked when I'd be having the next and I replied that this would be my only child. Since then people have said mean things such as "one's not a family", well I'm perfectly happy with our little unit, DH, DS and I get on well together and now DS has a lovely GF who we also think the world of. My relationship with my DM is a bit strained, and she does have a selfish streak, but not convinced that it's because she's an OC.
I admire women who can manage large families, but it wouldn't have suited me, perhaps I'm a bit selfish, enjoy quiet time and hobbies etc. Have never regretted our decision to have only one child.

Dogstar1 Wed 19-Sep-12 10:01:48

My DD is an only child by choice. It took me a long time to have her and I have always been perfectly happy with one. We are incredibly close and have the freedom to go out and about without worrying about pleasing various siblings etc. She spends lots of time with her friends and is close to my friend's 3 kids but can very happily amuse herself. We love the chaos of having a houseful but both her and me breath a sigh of relief once everyone goes home and all is quiet again.

When I split up with my ex, my DD informed me (in a very firm voice), "It's ok if you want to have a boyfriend, Mam, but no babies ok!" Not that I wanted anymore kids anyway but that was me told lol.

Caladria Sun 14-Oct-12 20:47:34

I don't understand why people worry about this. Being an only is fine, as is being one of seven. It doesn't make much difference - eldest/onlies do a tiny bit better at school and are a tiny bit more law-abiding. That's it.

OvenReady Thu 27-Dec-12 20:35:52

This thread has really helped me!

I have DS who is 2; have tried to have more but a few miscarriages down the line I'm beginning to think it's time to stop at one and make this our life. Stuck at the point of "do I don't I" - more ttc or not.

My DS is my world, I have been a SAHM since he was born and I couldn't imagine anything different. We take him everywhere. The poster who mentioned meals at restaurants - so true! We take DS with us when we eat out during the day and he loves it, is very well behaved, and sees it as a real treat. Can't imagine struggling with two!

Thanks for this thread.

Bullets Tue 01-Jan-13 20:32:52

Really useful ammunition helpful thread, thank you!

We have two year old DS and love being the three musketeers, no plans to have any more.

I don't buy the sibling = playmate argument after my experiences with my brothers.

And as for the "burden" of looking after us when we're old, I wonder what people think childless people do? We will ensure we have sufficient care insurance and savings in place to pay for the appropriate levels of assistance. I wouldn't want to be a burden for anyone, whether we have one child or ten!

I can't remember who mentioned regular trips with their DS to carluccios for lasagne but I love that idea, what a great ritual to begin and an opportunity for some regular, quality 121 time, I'm going to do that too from now on, thanks for the suggestion!

Final positive for me about deciding to only have the one child is our sex life! Now sexy time is just for DH and me to enjoy ourselves, no pressure, just fun grin

Perriwinkle Tue 15-Jan-13 21:46:18

Best decision we ever made. Always felt/knew we only wanted one and stuck to it and did not bow to pressure to "go on, give him a playmate!" as someone once said to us.

I would make the following observations:

* Actually our DS has never been short of a playmate - family, friends, school friends have always been around to play, sleepover and to go away on holiday with. Best thing about that arrangement is they are not around when you don't want them to be. grin

* DS has always been able to enjoy as much of our undivided attention and time as he has wanted.

* We have a very chilled family dynamic - no squabbling with other kids, no dramas and the older he gets the better it gets!

* As DS is getting older (almost 13 now) he arranges his own social life so no pressure after this age to worry that they have no one to play with (something I often see raised on this board). The onus to make their fun for them in place of siblings (again something I often see raised here) is not apparent anymore after this age.

* The way kids interact with one another these days means that they can connected with friends without the need to be in their company physically. I know of many children with siblings who are cloistered away in their own rooms interacting with their friends - not with their siblings.

* There are pros as well as cons in having a sibling too remember. They can give rise to resentment, jealousy, ill feeling and upset and make one anothers lives a misery at times - and not just as children. This can carry on into adulthood too. How many people have a sibling who they don't talk to, have lost contact with, have nothing in common with or who they are in conflict with or who causes them emotional misery, pain or upset or who just makes family life difficult?

* Children with siblings don't always get on with them and many wish for them to be as far away from them as possible a lot of the time. Never underestimate how siblings can argue and how much conflict and discord this can cause in a household.

* One child is totally manageable in terms of washing, ironing, feeding and looking after generally. Less work and less stress all round! grin

* One child is far more manageable financially. You are able to give them more in every sense - not just in material terms.

After almost 13 years I'm still 100% happy with the decision we made to have one child.

Perriwinkle Tue 15-Jan-13 21:51:20

Oh, almost forgot the old chestnut of sharing the burden of looking after us when we're old...

Who is to say that your only child will not have a caring and supportive family of their own that is quite happy to share that "burden" with them when the time comes?

Also, if I had a pound for every time I've heard a person trotting out a tale of woe about how "my useless brother(s) or selfish sister(s) don't lift a finger to help with my mum/dad" I'd be rich.

Life is too short to worry about "what ifs" like this anyway. Who knows what might happen. You could be wiped out in a car crash, die suddenly, or peacefully at home in your sleep without ever becoming a "burden" to anyone.

ruthyless1 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:54:30

What a completely gorgeous thread! Having one child is ace and such and amazing blessing. Love being a family of 3 and if it aint broke why fix it!!

carameldecaflatte Sun 03-Mar-13 10:59:25

On leaving the mat ward after a scary emcs, a few years after our first was stillborn, second miscarried, the midwife cheerily said, " see you in about 2 years then!" Um no.

Love this thread, well most of it. Ds will be an only and the positives are cheering me on no end!

redmusic Sun 03-Mar-13 21:29:04

To anyone who thinks having only one child is selfish:
What about the impact on our planet ? We don't actually need more people, and having any children at all could be called selfish as they are adding to the strain on the planet. (I have only one at the moment, might have more..undecided)

People who criticise parents of onlies need to be more sensitive too, as there are often fertility issues, past miscarriages, difficult pregnancies, possibly relationship issues that the person might not want to discuss.

I think in the UK its just socially acceptable to have two, not for good reasons, its just the status quo. In China and Japan its completely normal to have one.
Having said that, everyone should do whats right for them, because happy parents means happy kids.

It would be not very clever to have more than one kid just because you want to be like everyone else, if its going to put a huge strain on your finances and your marriage/partnership and you end up splitting up.
rant over !

Lovemylittlegirl Tue 26-Mar-13 15:30:51

Just wanted to say what a lovely thread this, I have one dd who will be an only child. Finding it very difficult to come to terms with this as I've had two miscarriages and other medical problems and reading this has made me feel so much better about the situation.

FeckOffCup Tue 26-Mar-13 17:14:33

I'm almost completely sure that my 2 year old DD will be an only child, I don't feel the same urge to have another child as I felt to have her, in fact the thought of pregnancy/labour and birth/newborn sleep deprivation and endless crying fills me with dread. I love that my baby has turned into this amazing little person who can hold a conversation and do more stuff by herself all the time. For me, one child means more quality time, less stress and financial worry. I can't quite bring myself to give away the moses basket and other small baby stuff yet but I'm pretty sure I won't use it again.

noddyholder Tue 26-Mar-13 17:18:15

My ds is 18 he is such a pita I couldn't have coped with another wink No seriously its great one child families hugely on the rise according to press the last few days and 3 child families which has always been the n=most common falling sharply. I wanted another but couldn't although my open house policy over the years means I have a lot of teenagers around. I think it gets too much discussion tbh. there were 11 only children boys in ds school and so it felt quite normal.

persimmon Sun 14-Apr-13 21:47:00

I love my two brothers but have absolutely nothing in common with either of them and see them maybe twice a year. We had very little to do with each other as children. I've always regarded my friends as my 'siblings' in a way and have maintained several close friendships since childhood.

erikab922 Fri 12-Jul-13 00:11:42

Just want to give this thread a bump as it has been an enormous source of comfort to me this evening/early morning. My DD is 14 months, I will be 41 in a few months and am coming to terms with the fact that she will probably be an only. I make it sound like I'm not OK with that when, in fact, I am - it just feels very strange to completely close that door. Thanks to all who have responded positively, thank you so much.

elQuintoConyo Fri 12-Jul-13 19:38:09

There is no way Jose that we're having another DC, for a variety of reasons.
It makes me a bit sad, it makes me a bit relieved in equal measures.
But this thread has actually taken away my guilt - so thank you, everyone who wasn't negative
DH is one of six, five of whom live within a 3-mile radius. Four have DPs and between us eight DC. Our DS will be far fom lonely with a shedload of cousins and school friends (when he starts school), not to mention our friends with dc, too.
I'm another person who doesn't get along with a sibling, my DSis. We live in different countries on different hemispheres! We're civil to each other and do Skype, but there has never been a strong bond between us. She herself ummed and ahhed about having a second dc due to our relationship.

IsisOhIsis Sun 04-Aug-13 15:14:17

Fab 8 year thread! I always only wanted one as I did/do not have a good relationship with my siblings and my parents dealt very badly with us, favouritism and so on. I then went on to have a very traumatic birth and have a lot of difficult emotions surrounding that so vowed never to have another for that reason as well. I do get "broody" at times, holding newborns and looking at pregnant women but do I really seriously want that? No! I'm just, at 2 years, coming out of the no-sleeping stage (and moving into the tantrum stage grin ) and although I have loved every second of DD's life I did find it very difficult. I don't particularly want to go back, I love the new stages and seeing her grow and develop, she is an absolute delight and so much fun. I feel, for us, it's right just being us and although I guess I could change my mind, as I am still young, I do think I would be perfectly happy staying the way we are.

I think people have a problem with it because if you make a different choice to them it can be seen as you criticising their choices? Even if, as is generally the case, it's for a variety of PERSONAL reasons, maybe choice or maybe not, that have absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.

SunshineMMum Wed 28-Aug-13 16:13:22

I only have to listen to mine craft chat in one ear at a time! [happy] Not having to divide time, attention and being able to tailor days out for DS1 specific interests.

Snog Sat 07-Sep-13 09:24:31

ooooh! I started this thread 7 years ago, and it has been revived!
to update, my lovely dd is now 13 and we are still very happy with our "fille unique" as i found out the french say!
dd has always been happy to be an only. She likes her friends and also likes her own company and spending time hanging out with me.
We have had a new addition to our family....a rescue cat! who is much loved. So I wholeheartedly recommend 1 child and 1 cat as a fantastic way of life!!
As it turns out most of my best friends also have one child and i think probably both working and socialising with friends are easier to do with one child than with many.
I am shocked by how much it costs now to go to uni or put a deposit on a house and feel relieved not to be trying to save to help more than one.
I think life is easier in so many ways with one and certainly a lot of fun!
smile

thehorridestmumintheworld Wed 02-Oct-13 01:02:02

Wow this thread was started when my dd was 1 yr old. We didn't exactly plan to have an only child but so far it looks like she will be. The nice thing is the close relationship we have and being able to afford to give her some treats we might not be able to afford if we had more kids.

cabernetshiraz Thu 24-Oct-13 19:32:32

We had problems TTC, 2 MMCs... Hubby said after DS was born, no more - so I'm glad to not have any of that to worry about.

I love how portable we are, a unit of three... we can visit family or go places, in a normal car, without much fuss.

I actually avoid certain family situations, because the chaos and racket from all those kids makes my head throb.

Time to ourselves, instead of ferrying kids to afterschool clubs etc...

Babysitters are much more forthcoming too... ;)

It really pees me off when people moan about how hard having umpteen kids is... well duh!

happygoluckyinOz Wed 06-Nov-13 06:37:07

I'm so happy I've found this thread!

DH and I are at the 'talking' about having children stage - been in this stage for a about 3 years now grin as we keep going backwards and forwards with whether or not we are ready to completely change our lives buy introducing children (plural).

DH suggested not so long ago, how about we compromise and just have ONE child. The thought never really occurred to me, just thought you are supposed to have more than one... and all the silly reasons why circling round my mind.

But actually, ONE makes perfect sense for us! I feel much more relaxed about the idea now (as I did wonder if we'd ever get there, I see hundreds of children running around in cafes etc and shudder at the noise and mess and think 'get me out of here now') and all the examples of happy little threesomes fills me with hope that it could be us.

DH is one of three boys, the youngest, and has a further two step-brothers, younger than him. He is not close to any of them and hated being the younger brother and doesn't have fond childhood memories. I on the other hand am the oldest with a brother 15 months younger and a sister 9 years younger. Brother and I grew up together and I have very fond memories of playing with him as a child (not so much my sister as there was such a gap). So you never can tell if siblings will get along really so it's not a great reason to have more than one.

sewingmummy Mon 30-Dec-13 20:18:58

I love mumsnet!

I'm so glad I found this thread to smile

I have one gorgeous 4 year old daughter, she makes us so happy and is growing into a bright, caring, sociable little girl

...and yet, I beat myself up on a daily basis about the fact we don't have a second child. It doesn't help that I don't know a single person with one child, not one. Everyone I socialise with has 2, 3, 4 children...so I feel like a freak for only having one

I have been asked by countless people from friends, family members, hairdressers and people on bus stops "are you having any more?"...in the past I found it annoying, but after having a miscarriage in August of this year, I find the question downright upsetting. I never, ever ask people if they are going to have more children. How do I know whether they have fertility problems, have suffered miscarriages or simply, heaven forbid, just want to have one child!!

So, we're currently at the stage where we don't know whether to try again for #2 and we're seriously considering stopping at 1...

As I said above, we're happy, we just feel like we 'should' have another child...but in all honesty, my daughter never asks for a sibling & is surrounded by love, so why am I upsetting myself about trying again?

In the past few months my daughter has been to countless parties, plays with other friends & her cousins on a weekly basis, adores her pre-school & friends she has there. She has loads of attention from us, we play with her all the time, we go out on day trips a lot, we have lovely holidays and a warm, stable family life...so that's a lot to feel positive about smile

violator Wed 01-Jan-14 15:14:35

This is a lovely thread!
We're 99% sure DC will be an only. Very severe PND is one big reason, it took me about 18 months to start feeling semi-normal after his birth.

Both DH and I work in a business which involves long, unpredictable hours. That aspect of it is tough but our salaries are very good and we both love our jobs. DH in particular is ambitious and needs to put in the hours at work, which I found very hard while at home alone with a baby when DC was little.

I'm 37 now too and not sure I want to start again. I didn't like being pregnant and I didn't like the baby stage, how much of that was PND I don't know for sure. I do know now that lots of women don't like the baby stage and it's OK to admit that, it's not a "symptom" of anything!

DC is 2.5 now and a joy. He's completely bonkers, a whirlwind of energy and typically demanding for his age.

I just know, because I learned a lot about myself in recovery from depression, that I would not be able for another.
A baby and a toddler would be too much for me. I would manage, because I'd have to, but I don't want to manage, I want to enjoy my child and my own life too!

Having just DC is fantastic. DH and I can both work, it's easy to have DC minded, we can take him anywhere and everywhere with us, which we do. Holidays are easily planned and executed (and enjoyable!) our stress levels are low and DC gets the attention he needs at his age.
We'll work hard when he's older to foster good friendships for him and keep him involved in various sports and hobbies. He's a very sociable little boy and I'm certain he will be an independent little soul.

He went off with his dad to visit his grandparents this week, I have the house to myself for a few days and it's bliss! Long baths, lots of good TV, lie-ins! I miss my DH and DC of course but I need time out from being a mum. That is not so easy with more than one child.

Lots of my friends have just had their second babies and not one of them is particularly happy. They are all stressed, whether it's keeping the show on the road with a baby and an older child, worrying about how and when to return to work, if at all, and basically consigning themselves to child rearing and nothing else for the forseeable.
My own sister had 4 children and she spent 12 years rushing around, stressed and pretty miserable if I'm honest. Her youngest is 12 now and the teenage years aren't easy from what I can see.

I genuinely don't envy anyone else's family. I think that in itself tells me I'm happy with what we have, I don't have a "hole to fill" with another baby.

turkeybaby Fri 31-Jan-14 17:50:10

I am currently trying to get my head round whether i want a second dc and this thread has been amazing to read, and has actually brought my thinking on a long way.

My DD is 2 and i'm nearly 39 so i feel its decision time. My feeling is probably no. My relationship with DP sufferred hugely with a newborn and i don't want us to go through that again.

So thank you all the posters for your stories. It would be great to get updates from all those who posted years ago to find out whether they stuck with 1 DC after all and how they have found it!

Reveller Tue 04-Feb-14 22:16:20

My dp was the youngest of 4 until he turned 16 and I feel like I have had to do a lot of work to get him to share and think about others. I was the youngest of 2 and never got on with my brother, we were as a teacher described us "like chalk and cheese".

TheMumsRush Tue 11-Feb-14 10:02:16

i've been looking for a thread like this! thanks so much

mamamiaow Tue 11-Feb-14 21:58:42

Wow, what a lovely, brilliant thread. Glad I found this almost 9 year epic. We have and will have only one - currently 3 years old. It's bloody hard work at times, but great for all the reasons outlined above wink

Lozcat86 Sat 15-Feb-14 15:15:21

Lovely thread. My DD is going to be 16 weeks on Monday and will be an only although she has two half brothers from her dad's previous marriage who are 9 and 14 so I think she'll have the best of both worlds. I was planning on more but I had a traumatic emergency c section and my dd was in NICU for 3 weeks and born 4lb 6oz. I'm too scared to go through that again and not be so lucky next time. This thread has really made me feel good about our decision to stop with our beautiful girl. Thanks all x

WhatAFeline Sat 15-Feb-14 15:24:35

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this thread. smile

Millie3030 Sun 23-Feb-14 21:30:46

Great thread, I only want one and think my DH is coming round to the idea of only 1. He always said he wanted 2 (well so did I actually) but my DS can be quite hard work and has made me realise I can't keep my sanity and have another!
People always say "but they need someone to play with" well he has friends, and family and cousins and ME and his dad! I can play with him and bake with him, and swim with him, because I might not be so frazzled as all my friends with 2 and 3!
The not child myths are not scientifically proven about them being spoilt, selfish etc, I have done my research, they are MYTHS, only children will grow up well if they are loved, the same as large families.

pintsizeprincess Mon 24-Feb-14 09:33:08

This thread has been so nice to read and has really helped me feel better about our situation and not feel that our dd, 19 months will miss out being an only. It's increasingly likely she will be an only due to a few factors. I'm 40 this year, my dp strongly feels he just wants one ( obviously a major factor!), i had a few health problems when pregnant, no guarantee i would have these again but i had huge anxiety problems when dd was a newborn and was in quite a dark place for a few months. I got myself in a state of panic and anxiety over simple things and even getting out the door became a major hurdle some days. i would go over and over in my head about what if this or what if that went wrong and got so anxious that it became "safer" to stay at home most days. It wasn't until dd was around 8 months that i started to feel the cloud lifting. i realise this may not happen again and if it did i would know to go to the doc sooner but i am in a happier place now, enjoying life as a family of 3, enjoying seeing the little person dd is growing into and i'm back at work part time which i love. Knowing all this doesn't stop the guilt trip i give myself when i think that dd might grow up feeling resentful that we didn't give her a sibling but reading other peoples stories on here defininitely helps me feel more positive about our choices . so thank you to all you lovely ladies for sharing your experiences.

princessalbert Mon 24-Feb-14 09:38:17

My DS is now 16 - and I don't think he has been adversely affected by being an 'only'.

Although he now has two much younger sisters (on his dad's side) and a couple of step brothers courtesy of my DH.

When he was younger he was happy to do a lot of activities with me. It sounds a bit off, but he was treated more as a young person than a 'child'. Hard to explain, but he had more opportunity to converse with another adult (usually me) and had all my attention.

Most of my friends have two or more DC, and I find it amazing how they fit in all their activities, and individual attention. It's much easier with just the one grin .

Great thread! DS (6) is an only and we have a fab, active and social life!

Would like to dispell the myth that only children need constant entertaining. It totally depends on the child. DS can entertain himself for hours and hours (used to be train-set, mainly lego now) and he's always been like that since a baby. I think that personality has more to do with it than anything else, but a bit of benign neglect when they are a baby (never interupt or distract a baby who is engrossed in playing; when daytime naps get dropped, swap them for a routine of quiet cot/bedroom play etc) might help.

bettergetamoveon Sat 15-Mar-14 11:08:34

I needed to read this today. My DS is 5, I have a loft full of baby things buy the realisation that another child is now unlikely. I think I always wanted 2 or 3 children but tbh I don't know why. All of the positives I've read about having 1 child are true. My DS is a delight and I feel blessed to have him. I'm gearing up to clear the loft and accept the wonderful family of 3 that I have.

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sat 15-Mar-14 11:23:07

better, I'm not sure I can be as strong as you on this one. sad

I'm having a tough time at the moment with only having one, DD is 3 and I have that urge for a baby that I struggle to rationalise to DP who doesn't want any more.

My soul aches for a baby, and the thought of clearing out the loft breaks my heart.

I'm 43 and, whilst there's nothing biologically wrong with either of us, the option of 'see what happens' isn't likely to result in a child.

Atbeckandcall Mon 17-Mar-14 16:44:18

I love this thread. Thank you thank you thank you

iheartshoes Mon 17-Mar-14 16:54:46

DD has had a lovely long nap this afternoon and I've been sitting in the garden with a cafetiere of fresh coffee and a good book, didn't have to worry about entertaining another toddler/older child or doing jobs. I feel very relaxed and calm (for today at least!!) and I know more than one child would just be too much for me - this is definitely the right decision for us - I like my "me" time too much grin and I feel I have more of myself to give to DD and DH - I think with more than one child I would probably be a horrible shouty stressy mum. I need afternoons like the one just gone for my own sake and with one child there is lots of opportunity for this.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 20-Mar-14 13:21:44

iheart, I totally agree with you. I do get the occasional pangs of broodiness but know in my heart of hearts that ds is better off as an only - I'm a better Mum that way. Great thread.

I love when we're out the three of us and ds is walking holding both our hands looking so happy. I want to freeze time.

The ability to take turns when he isn't in such great form is nice too.

Eva2010 Thu 17-Apr-14 17:26:34

Hi - looking for advice on how to explain to my 4 year old child that we are not having anymore...as she is asking why she has no siblings? & has said she wants one?

Misfitless Fri 18-Apr-14 01:04:42

Hi Eva,

I think you might get more responses if you start this as a new thread.

Don't have any words of wisdom, but I'd definitely be drawing her attention to the fact that there are (bound to be) other onlies in her class, and that families come in all shapes and sizes..

I know an only child who will say "It's great not having any brothers or sisters, you get loads more presents and get to do more stuff" which I always think is a really sad thing to be told, and to grow up believing, even if it is true!

ChairOfTheBored Fri 25-Apr-14 13:00:39

Hi Eva. I'm just starting to explore this board, I'm an only, and having had DC 1 earlier this year, DH and I are considering whether our family is now complete.

My advice, based on my experience as a child, is to expose your DD to the realities of life with a baby. My Dm did this when I was about 6 and one weekend of crying nights and my sibling quest came to an abrupt end! (Not that I would had had much joy, Mum was a lone parent). Also, we were (are) blessed with great godparents who acted as a second family, giving me time to experience life with siblings, with the option to head back home to my own space when we started to grate on each other - best of both worlds!

Good luck with it all. As an only I don't regret anything about my childhood, but there is still such a social stigma to it, it's very odd.

ChairOfTheBored Fri 25-Apr-14 13:03:25

Double post, MN faux pas, but to add my thanks for this thread. As an only myself I'd never considered I might want more than one DC, but as with all parenthood, am finding little bits of doubt creeping in. It's great to hear such positive views.

Bumpsadaisie Fri 25-Apr-14 13:42:41

You've all experienced toddlers and how frustrating they can be. It's hard even as an adult to not get furious and frustrated with them at times.

Picture then, if you will, the emotional roller coaster rides in a house where the person on the receiving end of the toddler behaviour is not 40 years old, but 4.

In a nutshell, this must definitely the best thing about only having one child!

Bumps (DD 4, DS, 2.5)

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