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

(282 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

BertieBotts Tue 03-Nov-15 14:04:47

Oh I love this thread - not seen it before. Nice bump smile It can be easy to get down about having just one sometimes. Definitely good to think about the positives.

SunnyDays1987 Tue 03-Nov-15 13:56:39

I can afford to stay off work and look after my only child for a while longer. This wouldn't be an option if I had another or was planning to have another.

We don't have to move house any time soon and can stay in our 'cheap to run' 2 bed whilst I'm not working.

We can afford more luxuries for ourselves and for our son.

We won't have to worry as much about being unable to retire if we only have one child.

I don't have to put myself or my family through the horror of another pregnancy and birth.

I can always do age appropriate things with my son, instead of having drag him along to things he thinks are boring!

He won't end up in counselling because he had a psychologically damaging relationship with his sibling (dramatic!!)

I'm sure there are loads loads more!!

FishenNuggets Thu 29-Oct-15 19:31:52

A truly great thread

Our house is big enough for a family of 3 (too small for 4) but won't feel too big once DS has left home.

Smaller houses need less cleaning??

And less opportunity for falling out over inheritance (since dad died, my siblings don't speak to each other)

lizabeth0607 Wed 22-Jul-15 06:08:57

Eating out is a calm, enjoyable experience.
I can give DD all of my attention.
We have an amazing bond.
I love doing things together.
Everything is much cheaper.
She appreciates time with her friends/cousins and is able to share etc so well.
Easier to get babysitters.
Can spend all my money on one and buy her more expensive clothes.
We get creative daily and cleaning up after one is so much easier!

I love this thread.

GingerDoodle Mon 01-Jun-15 17:00:53

Our king sized bed fits us all in
My sanity is (relatively) intact
Private school fees may be affordable
Massive parties that are the envy of our / her friends.
We still have a spare room for visiting family
No juggling bedtimes.

I was effectively an only and think I'm fairly well adjusted. Me & DH recognise the importance of given DD her own space (we're big fans our it ourselves!) and I like to think I'm actually pretty relaxed when it comes to parenting.
DH has a sister and they are not close as adults.

Bishopston Mon 01-Jun-15 16:17:54

In many ways they HAVE to be independent and self reliant (as do many people with siblings of course)

Lonz Tue 12-May-15 13:08:09

- Don't have to have a stupidly big/expensive car just for me.
- Easier to get baby sitters.
- Um...I don't wet myself..? >.>

Taytocrisps Sat 09-May-15 14:09:52

I would have loved more than one child but life doesn't always go according to plan.

The pros of only having one child are:-

Less work - only one set of clothes to wash, only one child to bathe, only one child's toys to tidy up etc.

Less organisation required - I only need to keep track of one child's afterschool activities, play dates, uniform/tracksuit/afterschool activity clothing etc.

Sickness - I only have to deal with one vomiting child/child with diarrhoea. I can only imagine how horrible it would be to be tending to multiple sick children at once <shudders>. My bosses are fairly understanding if I have to take the very occasional day off work if DD is sick. They would be less understanding if I was taking twice as many days off (or three times as many etc.).

More peaceful - I don't have to deal with siblings fighting over toys or a TV programme.

Less expensive - childcare, school books, afterschool activities, days out, college fees etc.

Travel - a lot easier packing for one

DD gets my undivided attention. If she's upset I have the time and energy to find out what's wrong and try to resolve it. I come from a big family and my mother was always tired and stressed. When I was getting bullied at school, I never told her because I figured she had enough on her plate.

DD gets to do activities that are suitable for her age and interests. She's not dragged along to places or activities just because an older or younger sibling is going.

These are the main ones I can think of. There are cons too obviously but I'm sure you all have plenty of judgemental people in your lives to point them out. Like the mother who told me that she wouldn't want her son to date DD when they're older as DD (being an only child) will be a spoilt princess and he'd never be able to make her happy shock. Or my male colleague who told me that an only child is a lonely child etc.

Lonz Fri 27-Mar-15 14:35:25

Don't have to deal with silly sibling squabbles every 5 minutes!

So... the house is much more quieter.

Blondiewoman007 Wed 18-Mar-15 12:53:40

I love this thread too. It really helped me when I felt guilty at times at not providing a sibling for my DS. Not that he is remotely bothered at the moment.

Lovely calm house, calm mealtimes and bedtimes (most of the time)
Friends can come to play easily
Only one sick child to deal with at the time
DS will hopefully benefit academically from the time we spend with him doing homework etc when he starts school in the summer
Our lives don't completely revolve around child centred activities. DH and I still have a little time for ourselves which I think makes us less stressed and more relaxed
Housework more manageable than households with 2+ DC
IMO having a child/children is wonderful and lovely but it's tough at times. I feel having only 1 DC allows us to really enjoy the benefits of one and not be overwhelmed with the extra work another would bring.

Lonz Mon 16-Mar-15 22:28:04

Going to BUMP this! Because it's great!

Only one set of clothes to get ready for nursery, only one lunch to get ready and I can let my son stay up a bit later on a weekend to watch a film without totally blowing a routine out of the water, or other things like I can quickly throw a dinner on a bit later without faffing about with what I'm cooking. I will only have to throw away his old toys and baby stuff once! You're just more flexible with one kid.

number1daddy Sat 22-Nov-14 23:46:22

my son is an only child and he loves it when I suspect he doesn't have to share me and in that regard he also is keen on it staying just the two of us. I have a brother several years difference and loved it. There isn't a right or wrong answer but obviously things to think about on both fronts. in my case my son deserves the focus on him still but as he gets older who knows....

JufusMum Wed 12-Nov-14 11:43:23

The fact that DD's dance hobby is not quite bankrupting us (yet) because there is only one set of everything to pay for...

MillionPramMiles Tue 28-Oct-14 13:39:57

Dd will be able to choose her friends, choose (to some degree) how much time she spends with them, where and when, what they do together. They'll most likely be a similar age with similar interests. I recognise I need to facilitate this as much as possible.

Everyone knows (but noone likes to say) the reality of siblings is often that they don't particularly get on or have things in common. Age or gender differences, perceptions of (and actual) favouritism or just very different personalities can mean sometimes they (at best) tolerate each other and at worst wreck family harmony.

If siblings gave you everything (or even most things) you wouldn't need friends.

blinkingrabbit Tue 28-Oct-14 11:40:42

This thread is brilliant. I have a DS (1) and DSD (12). while DS has a sibling I keep wondering weather he should have another sibling closer in age. DSD stays with us half the time and is busy with friends and hobbies so I don't feel like they are developing a strong sibling relationship.
But tbh I don't want to pregnant again, and don't really want another child... it's great to see so many happy stories of one child

HSMMaCM Tue 28-Oct-14 11:21:18

Only one set of school admissions, only one stress of Uni expenses. Being able to let her dance 6 days a week without worrying about anyone else. Not worrying about only having 2 bedrooms. Fitting friends in the car.

CareBearWithFangs Tue 28-Oct-14 10:38:06

Thank you Cate. It's always good to her positive stories. DD is such a kind, considerate little girl I know she'd be brilliant with a sibling and I hope her lovely nature will bring her lots of friends too. DP and I have agreed we'll always try and have an open house policy so she can have lots of friends round. Her being lonely is one of my main worries.

CateBlanket Tue 28-Oct-14 06:06:55

CareBear - so sorry for the losses you have suffered and I hope that, if another baby isn't meant to be for your family, then you are able to find peace.

Here's a positive story of an only for those who need it.

DD will soon be 10; she wanted a sleepover for her birthday and has so many genuinely good friends she's having to host two sleepovers to accommodate them all. Hope that helps dispel the lonely only myths!

That isn't to say I haven't had wobbles in the past; I'm one of four kids so I know the advantages and drawbacks of siblings. However, we are a family of 3 and I work at giving DD the most loving, fulfilling, fun childhood I can and try not to waste this time I have with her by worrying about what might have been. She's here and she's what matters.

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.

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