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

(264 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

CareBearWithFangs Sun 19-Oct-14 20:45:49

Just found this thread and thank you to everyone who posted such positive stories over the years.

DD is 3 and I ache for another baby but it's unlikely to happen, we've lost 2 babies this year and may be facing a genetic problem and I'm not sure we can take anymore heartache.

This thread is really helping to alleviate my guilt at not being able to give DD a sibling. She's at that age where she's a bit obsessed with babies and keeps asking for a baby sister so I'm finding it really difficult at the moment.

I'm going to keep all the positive stories in my mind!

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)

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.

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.

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!

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 she is asking why she has no siblings? & has said she wants one?

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.

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.

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

I love this thread. Thank you thank you thank you

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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".

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!

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.

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 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?" 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 that's a lot to feel positive about smile

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.

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!

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