what's wrong with "only having 1" ?(122 Posts)
does/has anyone else have these kind of responses when you tell people you are sticking with having 1 child?
" oh don't worry , you'll change your mind " (with a half smile on thier face)
" not to worry, it'll happen ",
" uh "
" what for / why would you do that to dc ?"
a totally blank face
I'm as I'm not worried at all. My partner & I have very clear reasons for this which we are very happy about.
I just don't quite understand why people think they have to take it upon themselves to try and change our minds about it & that somehow were doing something wrong by just having 1 ?
Any thoughts / support from anyone else who is happy with their decission to only have 1 & has suffered this?
Yup, have had all of those, including from MIL (dh went totally postal on her for that).
I have a variety of responses, from a quick distract to atomic bomb depending on how persistent people are
If you have very ggod reasons, ie you really can't afford it, health, infertility etc then fine.
Otherwise, it is unfair on the lonley only, sorry, Dh is an only and always wanted sibs.
Oh cheers dancing, lets perpetuate the myth of the lonely only shall we ? I have a sibling, and can't stand him, so should I say that having more than one child is wrong ?
Its not a myth though. You are trying to believe it because you don't want it to be true. What a shame.
This is a good reason for me Population matters
CMOT I agree, siblings is no guarantee against loneliness - in many cases it can make it worse.
thinice And if you can afford 2, why not 3? If 3, why not 4? I don't understand all the one-child family bashing.
All the evidence I have seen suggests it is a myth. What studies are you referring to?
Exactly thats why i'm trying for number 4. No only child bashing here. just don't make out an only isn't lonley.
Are you talking to me what yet? Studies. <sniggers> Have you only got one? I don't have time for studies.
why is it unfair?
You are entitled to believe that, but why should I ?
why should it depend on my finances, health or fertility?
plenty of 1's are not lonely ! & plenty of dc don't get on with siblings
Must be true if the mag says so.
How will you have time for number 4 if you already don't have time to read thinice?
the same could be siad for having more than 1 is selfish & dc's dont get enough of your time ! ! ! ! I don't actually belive that, but it's the other side of the coin !
Copied and pasted for those who don't have time to read a long, in-depth, researched, scientifically based article.
"No one has done more to disprove Hall's stereotype than Toni Falbo, a professor of educational psychology and sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. An only child herself and the mother of one, Falbo began investigating the only-child experience in the 1970s, both in the U.S. and in China (where the government's one-child policy, the world's biggest experiment in population control, went into effect in 1979), drawing on the experience of tens of thousands of subjects. Twenty-five years ago, she and colleague Denise Polit conducted a meta-analysis of 115 studies of only children from 1925 onward that considered developmental outcomes of adjustment, character, sociability, achievement and intelligence. The studies, mainly from the U.S., cut across class and race.
Generally, those studies showed that singletons aren't measurably different from other kids except that they, along with firstborns and people who have only one sibling, score higher in measures of intelligence and achievement. No one, Falbo says, has published research that can demonstrate any truth behind the stereotype of the only child as lonely, selfish and maladjusted. (She has spoken those three words so many times in the past 35 years that they run together as one: lonelyselfishmaladjusted.) Falbo and Polit later completed a second quantitative review of more than 200 personality studies. By and large, they found that the personalities of only children were indistinguishable from their peers with siblings.
Read more: www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2002530,00.html#ixzz1ngbh3N6V"
you're well named dancingonthinice. This is a very emotive subject and posting sad faces and saying things like 'lonely only' all over the place won't make you many friends.
I was interested in why people think they have to:
change the mind of the parent who has decided to stick with 1
that there is somehow something wrong with sticking to 1? when there isn't?
is this really an issue?
dd is our only child and we're not planning anymore. for no other reason than we do not want any more children.
In fact I never thought I'd have to justify it to anyone.
because it hard work with one I am led to believe from my only oner friends you have to play with them and not fob them off with bros and sis
I only posted as it was never an issue for my dp & I until we started telling people or they asked & I got some very odd responses & I thought I might get some understanding/support from mumset posters about their experiences
pixie, sorry I was not having a go at you.
It is shocking to me that people would give that response to you, maybe they've did it in response to me and I've just not noticed.
Either way, you should feel confident about sticking to your decision. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your choices.
and if they do, tell me and I'll give them a punch on the nose
And as an aside, I was 2nd born. And I am fully aware that I was 'planned' just to keep my older brother company. Way to make someone feel loved, hey?
I've already had this from my mum and aunt. Apparently I am being mean to DS by not producing a sibling for him. Never mind that my 5 years older brother made my younger years a misery, or that my aunt and uncle had an earlier child adopted and uncle played around too, so my cousin has a full sibling and a half sibling that he knows nothing about ( and he is 28 do they should have told him by now). Of course I can't say this to them, they would be offended or in denial. Doesn't stop them giving their unwanted opinions though!
I only have 1 ds age 5 and don't plan anymore , where my son goes to school it seems to be quite common to have a only and I also have 2 good friends with onlys . I dont get where this myth comes from about having to constantly entertain only children , if anything my son is fab playing on his own ( I forget Ive got him sometimes) and is a lovely caring little boy bu the comment I hate is ' oh you would never know his a only child' wtf ?
It must be people I know who say I cannot get anything done as have to play entertain her you so lucky ... just an excuse to have an untidy house then !!
thanks flywiththecrows - it's hard on here to get the tone of post right - i didn't think you were having a go at all ! sorry if i sounded like that .
i was shocked at people's reactions - happilly dp & I are very happy with our decision.
wichofendor - your situation sounds horrid - what do you say to them? out of interest? or is it better just to not say anything?
I was trying to understand why people give their opinions - but perhaps it's better just to get on with my life & not bother when people say daft stuff !?
I agree pixiewitch , if people have one others feel the right to comment yet I would not dream of going up to anyone and saying " wow why have you got 5 kids why " ......
Lonely only, my big fat backside.
I do ask people about that theory (DS is one of one) when they say they are only children, and no, they don't feel lonely or hard done by. How can you miss what you haven't had?
I am one of many and can count the number of times I speak to the rest of the members of the brood each year on one hand. Only one remembered my birthday this year. I was very lonely as a child, despite all the siblings.
>If you have very ggod reasons, ie you really can't afford it, health, infertility etc then fine.
>Otherwise, it is unfair on the lonley only, sorry
Patronising bollocks. My DD is an only and she's not lonely. About half her primary school classmates were onlies. Nice bunch of kids (so were the ones with sibs, to be fair)
Having more kids than you want because you've been pressured into it by interfering idiots, that would be unfair all round.
IRL I've never had any of this judgey crap come my way.
wow why have you got five kids why? actually i have 5 and people do say that! or oh you must be mad, or poor you or dont you have a tv, ha ha ha.
i have 5 because we wanted a large family, equally i have friends with less, mainly 2, some only have one and i assume that is what they wanted, unless it comes up in conversation ie THEY bring it up, i dont ask, i am happy with my lot, they are happy with theirs and the only children i know dont seem lonely, ds3 is good friends with a little girl who is an only, she is a lovely little girl and her parents and her seem very happy.
whatever you do as a parent, someone, somewhere will judge you, its partly human nature, partly bloody rudeness. i just get on with my life and ignore or make a witty/sarcastic remark to those that say things to me, depending on my mood.
Dancing - I'm an only child. A perfectly happy and normal human being thanks a lot.
I wasn't crippled with loneliness, spoiled rotten or indulged. I had a normal upbringing by two loving parents and I turned out pretty well I think.
4madboys - I'm one of five , and someon once said to my mother " are they all from the same dad "? I won't say what my mum said !
Thanks for your scientific survey dancing - your DH wanted to siblings therefore all onlies are lonely . I was an only - I wasn't lonely. My DH has a number of siblings and HATED being in a big family, which is why he wants one child. That is equally ill-researched. Try looking at the actually evidence out there. Unahappy/lonely children exist in all sorts of families and occur because all of all sorts of reasons. The number/existence of siblings isnt the key factor.
I'm glad to see I'm not alone - just a shame to see that people (who don't have 1) feel the need to say something about it.
I was truely astounded by the (negative) response of the RL I know (& the ones I didn't) about our decision !
Dinosaurhunter : yes that is so true - I'd never say to anyone anything about the fact they had more than 1, 2, 3 or what ever...
actually, on a slightly diverting note: i saw the programme on recently about larger families. I noticed that I did have some pre-conceived ideas about certain aspects of huge families, but after/during watching the programme, I had to seriously totally change my mind. it was a great & positive revelation to me.
I still don't get why people think it's ok to try to change my mind about having 1?
maybe I'll never understand !
to bad !
you know, just because your husband says something - it doesn't mean it's actually true for everyone. It might that your husband just wasn't very sociable?
I have DSis and I wished almost every night that I didn't, between the ages of about 3 and 17.
It is also a ridiculous statement to make that it's 'fine' if they're an only due to infertility, or whatever it was on your approved list, but not fine for any other reason. Why would the reason make a difference?
dinosaur someone once said to me, that it was obvious all my boys have the same father! and how nice it was to see a young mum who obviously hasnt slept around and had lots of kids with different men i 'think' it was meant to be a compliment! it is true my boys all look VERY similar, same blue eyes and blonde hair, my 14mth old dd also looks very similar to the boys. but seriously, what i should have said was 'no i only sleep with aryan men'....
the other assumption i get is that we 'kept going' to get a girl....... no we wanted 4, adn then got to four and half thought about having one more, assumign we would have another boy! dd is our 'bonus' baby. i am very happy with my family, my sister has recently had a baby and only wants one, that is her choice and it wouldnt occur to me to question/criticise it! she is happy and that is fine by me, equally she is happy that i am happy with my 5. we all have different lives, with different circumstances and make choices that we are happy with. if we were all the same it would be a very dull world!
i dont understand why other people care how many children other people have, it isnt my life or my choice and doesnt impact me in anyway, why would i be bothered?
Dancing: I'm one of three and its one of the reasons we are seriously considering only having one. There is nothing half as lonely as never speaking to siblings who cut you out of everything.
There are also practical considerations to do with having had a difficult (not high risk, but very limiting) pregnancy, career issues and not currently feeling I want more than one child in the way we did the first.
PMSL at dancingontheice
I am an only; I am sooo sad, sooo lonely, sooo maladjusted.
Hmmm, don't think so. I do notice that I am overjoyed that my parents want to move to be nearer me, whereas my DH won't answer the phone in the evening in case it is his mother (who did the 'right' thing and had 3 children of mixed sex and devoted her life to them absolutely and completely).
That doesn't mean, however, that I think all of those people fortunate enough to have three children will necessarily feel the need to treat them as 6 year olds for the rest of their lives - it is just one person!
I should say to be fair that DH has two lovely siblings and I would also be overjoyed if either of them were to come and move near to us!
As someone sensibly said above, onlys are much like eldest children or those with only 1 sibling - those with more siblings or lower down the birth order would appear from studies to have a different (not worse or better, only different) family experience on the average.
I shouldn't worry about the psychology of being an only child, but you should think about the long term - what if something goes wrong? (It really can). Or if it is a girl and she chooses not to have children how will you feel? Or if it is a boy he chooses to move to the other side of the planet and you only get to skype him once a month?
You home will become emptier that much more quickly - although to some that may be an advantage. I regret not having a third as something did go wrong.
<ridiculous comment alert>
In fact, I know my reason.
I am only having one child because my next door neighbour has 6 children so it is likely that my 2nd child (if I had one) wouldn't get onto the school bus because neighbours children had taken all the seats......
Some only chidren will doubtless be wishing they had siblings, some children in bigger families will doubtelss be wishing they had no siblings, or fewer siblings, some onlyies will be as happy as larry...and so on and so on.
It really is pretty..er..limited thinking to come to any conclusion based on one case. In any context.
And rude, opinionated and insensitive to come out with those conclusions in a patronising manner...as in 'sorry' and 'shame' etc. Actually you don't know better than anyone else just because you know one only child.
j"ust a shame to see that people (who don't have 1) feel the need to say something about it."
well i have 5 and i said something about it! is there something wrong in that? i said that i get comments for having 5 and i also said that i dont care how many children people have, if they are happy its their choice, equally i am happy with my choice and it wouldnt occur to me to question or judge someone for how many children they do or do not have.
pixiewitch - the moral of the story is that people will spout crap on each and every area of parenting. Size of family, sex of children, eating chocolate or not eating chocolate, age of parent, cause of disability, 'spoiling' babies, and so it goes on and on and on.
I know what you are saying jifnotcif....but my MIL and FIL have 4 children, and rarely speak to any of them, let alone see them. Now that is because of what went on in the home in childhood, but it goes to illustrate the point that having more than one isn't insurance against heartache/loneliness/estrangement.
My aunt has three children, all of whom live on the other side of the world.'
Its your choise how many children you have and just tell other people to keep their beaks out.
But on the discussion on lonely only ....
Im one of four and love my sisters.
DP has a brother and they havent spoken in years.
I have 2 boys who are ten years apart in age and I really cant see then staying close when they get older.
When I see a huge family I snort 'that's greedy!' but in reality, much as I would have loved a big family, its just not a possibility!
I think it is a shame that the only poster who made comments similar to the one that the OP mentioned did not answer the OP by telling us why she felt the need to give her opinion to us parents of only children.
'I only posted as it was never an issue for my dp & I until we started telling people or they asked & I got some very odd responses & I thought I might get some understanding/support from mumset posters about their experiences'
To go back to this comment -- why are you going around telling people? It's none of their business how many children you want to have and you shouldn't assume people are the least bit interested. Since you seem to want your announcement to be greeted claps on the back and approving smiles and are not prepared to countenance the sort of responses you have received, then don't tell them. You want to do a certain thing a certain way, you want to announce it to all and sundry and you want universal approval too? There is absolutely no decision related to children that you could possibly announce to anyone that would result in cries of 'You go girl!' from everyone.
The minute you start telling people your private business they think you're holding a referendum, no matter what the business is.
I told people because they asked. Simple as that ! I do not go around spouting my ideas at people expecting them to slap me on the back or congratulate me! I answered a question. Which I though to tell people 'its none of yr business' would have been rude actually...
I do not go around not did I even say thst I go around to all and sundry announcing things or trying to get approval.
Did you even read my post properly?
honestly A very unfair attack.
Telling people I was pregnant, not our 'private' business
aargh - "I have 2 boys who are ten years apart in age and I really cant see then staying close when they get older."
just to say, don't be too pessimistic. My mother and her sister were many years apart in age, and really didn't get on in childhood, but became very close as they got older (though very sadly my aunt died in her early 60s )
mathanxiety - it must be said that people will take any opportunity in my experience to encourage you to have more children (admiring their newborn is a particular example).
Daft really as you would think people would realise that a lot of people with onlies have medical/fertility issues which they might not want to share with all and sundry.
But as many have pointed out above, people with lots of children also get sarky comments, as do those with only one sex, etc etc.
You know what's strange is I get all the same arguments when I say we're sticking with the 2 we have. People are nuts; they (almost) all think they know better than you (and know you better than you). Don't let them get you down. 1 or 10 do what's right for you and your family. x
You asked what is wrong with only having 1. Ok won't answer the question again.
I loved being an only child. What I hated was the look of pity I got from others growing up. Sad eyes, shake of the head "oh, you're an ONLY child". I didn't understood what they meant and I thought there was something wrong with me. People really should mind their own business sometimes.
I loved that I could socialise on my own terms and enjoy my own space when I wanted to. I was lucky that I had lots of friends and family close by. I always felt happy and loved.
DH on the other hand hated sharing his parents with his sister, and has resented her for much of his adult life.
How rude that people should make you feel guilty for making the right choice for you and your child.
Pixie - best not to say anything, I have tried to mention it before and mum was oblivious to what went on because my brother didn't do it right in front of her. Funnily enough though, my brother does get a bit twitchy whenever I mention remembering things from when I was little, so maybe his conscience bothers him! You can't choose your family!
I have 2 brothers and i had a very lonely child hood.
i have one child and she gets lodes of our time and we all do fun things as a family.
some people are just so arrogant to think they know how a family will function just on the bases of how many children there are.
Takver, that is quite true. With one or two DCs you get asked when you'll be having the next one. At three you get, 'You've got your hands full there, dear <fond smile>' and at four and over you get wags with comments like, 'You know what causes that don't you?' along with the odd lecture about overpopulation.
Pixie, next time anyone asks, ask them nicely, 'Why do you want to know?'. There are more ways of killing this particular cat than the full frontal, 'It's none of your business,' even though it really is none of their business. Don't get sucker punched. You don't have to give nosey people an answer. And your pregnancy is in fact your private business just as your sore back or your bunions are.
''I only posted as it was never an issue for my dp & I until we started telling people or they asked' -- this contradicts 'I told people because they asked. Simple as that!' I did read your post properly.
You don't owe anyone either information or explanations when it comes to your own private life and business. Don't give rude people the chance to get under your skin.
I find your insensitivity quite breathtaking.
One thing I have learned about being a parent is that someone will think they have the right to comment on and criticise your choices. We chose to have one child. It's that simple, and I am getting quite good at ignoring other people's opinions of that choice. DD is loved, well cared for and happy, so they (and I'm looking at you dancing) can stick it!
op If they say any of that they are obviously twats, so ignore them.
I have 2 dc but ds1 was "an only" for over 5 years and I got a lot of this.
Now I have 2 dc I get the "when are you having another one then?"
The idea that if you have siblings its all rosy is so ridiculous. I have 2. We are not close and never will be. No guarantees.
A dissenting voice. I think people ask because having more than one child is a) the norm and b) (and relatedly) does have definite advantages from most people's perspective. Sure, it's none of their business, but that is why people ask.
I say this as an only child. I am not maladjusted, selfish or many of the other stereotypes attributed to only children. I have loving parents who would do anything for me. I had a happy childhood on the whole.
BUT yes I was often lonely as a child. I longed for siblings and spent as much time as possible with my best friend who was part of a noisy, busy family of 4 kids. When it comes down to it, however many friends and cousins you have, you don't have another child living with you. There are things that you miss out on as a result. As an adult, I also feel my lack of siblings. My mother has a life-threatening illness right now and I feel terribly alone with it. Sure, some people can't stand any of their siblings, but that is not the norm.
So yes, I do judge those who choose to have an only, sorry - but otoh I would never dream of saying this to someone's face!
But its not always a choice lib
Some people will say it is (like a friend of mine) because they dont want people to know about their long traumatic struggle to have a family. They - rightly - dont think it anyone elses business.
I am sorry you were loney as a child. I would have welcomed loneliness at times
No of course it isn't always a choice - it wasn't for my parents - which is why I said I judge people who choose. And of course that is also why I would never dream of making a comment to someone's face - I know all too well the traumas of infertility, and that many many people have difficult family situations that dictate having an only (divorce, finances etc).
But some people do choose and based on my own experience, I think that there are dangers to onlydom that those who grew up with siblings perhaps don't appreciate. But then I also see that I perhaps don't appreciate the difficulties of having a sibling! I just see the closeness that some of my friends have with their siblings (and indeed my own mother, who is estranged from one sib but super-close to another), and feel sad that I never even had a chance at that.
Ita aint all a bed of roses, thats all I am saying!!!
(much as I love my siblings, if we werent related we would NOT be friends )
Indeed - your opinion is the right opinion. It is your life and your familly afterall.
Here is my take on this conversation: I am an only one, my husband is an only one. We have an only son.
Firstly, dh and I are completely different in personsality, so how people can ascertain that all onlys are "all this" or "all that". What a load of nonsense!
Our ds is 9 months, very sociable and loves spending time playing with his toys. He could just as well have been completely different, but that would not be anything to do with his "only" status - it is personality.
I think "dancingonthinice" should take a look in the mirror for personality problems and stop pointing the finger at only children. Perhaps when she has 4 she will have less time to go round being unhelpful!
It took us 11 years to have our ds so we wont be having any more.
Enjoy your only one. xx
I liked being an only.
I have 3 kids, they fight a lot as well as play. There are some advantages to having a sibling but there are a lot of advantages to being an only as well (comparing my chikdhood with my kids).
Can't say I ever felt lonely as an only. :shrugs:
charming, orka - are you always so pleasant? You know nothing about my personality.
But I do know one thing. If someone had just said to me that they felt pretty low about not having siblings, amongst other things because they were trying to support their mother through 6 months of gruelling chemo and that that was pretty hard and lonely without the support of siblings, then I wouldn't be so bloody heartless as to tell them 'oh do stop whingeing'.
Come on here and say "I do judge those who choose to have an only" and I will judge you right back.
Sorry to hear about your mother, I lost mine to cancer when I was very young and can honestly say that my siblings and I were no comfort to each other.
So you never think to yourself that people have made the wrong decision about something? I don't believe you.
I have already said that I would never say anything like the things the OP has heard to someone's face, and that there are all sorts of perfectly understandable reasons to only have one child. For instance, my own DS was born very very early. If he'd been my first, I would in all likelihood not have had another child.
But in my own mind, based on my own childhood experience, other things being equal I see choosing to have only one child as a negative thing. This is a discussion board, and I was discussing.
I'm sorry that you lost your mother very young and that your siblings weren't a comfort to you. I'm not naive, I know there is a range of possible sibling relationships - I see it in my parents' numerous siblings. But most people I know are by and large pretty happy they have siblings - including my mother, who had a brother who made darth vadar look kind and considerate. I draw my own conclusions from that.
Wishing you and your mother strength during her treatment and hope she makes a full recovery.
'You'll change your mind' with a knowing smile, winds me up SO much.
I've also had 'that's actually disgusting, I can't believe you would do that' (from someone with no children)
and from my mother 'you do realise that DD will be under a huge amount of pressure to look after you alone when you're old, don't you'
We have an only. She is a very happy only. My sister has eight. They are very happy being a big family.
Horses for courses.
Blimey there are some people behaving hideously on this thread.
I came from a large family where my needs were not met as my parents were too busy being dysfunctional and putting themselves first. I did enough looking after of babies when I was a kid myself. It's not led to good relationships in the long run.
Having "just" one is highly fab. DC gets proper attention, we all get to be people in our own right.
No doubt there are larger families that work well, though with the population of the world as it is I would find it hard to justify.
This thread has given me a lot of food for thought, having another child is something that is weighing on my mind just now. My DD is still only a toddler but we want to move house soon to a nicer area and could afford a better house if we went for 2 bedrooms instead of 3 and long term we would be much better off financially with an only. I grew up with a sibling who I didn't get on with and often wished I had been an only child, but I was at a friend's house recently and it was lovely seeing her DD who is a bit older and my DD play together, I could picture DD at that age with a baby sibling, but I don't want that to be the only reason to have another. I'm not sure if I want another for myself or not as I feel that DD is enough for me and another would be a bonus but not a need, and to be honest the thought of having to go through pregnancy again and then the exhaustion of the newborn days fills me with dread.
I hope you weren't including me in that herbie. I don't want to be offensive to anyone; I was giving a perspective from an only child who didn't want to be one, and how that makes me feel about the idea of people choosing to have only one child. I can well imagine that there are people with siblings who would have preferred not to have them - and that clearly some families are just too large for the attention-giving abilities of a given set of parents.
My issue in the end is that the best and closest of the sibling relationships I see around me are a support like nothing else, even though I can see perfectly well that many/most people are not that close to their siblings. That's what I hope my kids get a shot at (not that it's going too well so far, mind!).
In any case, when it comes down to it, we all try in adulthood not to replicate what we see as the negative aspects of our own childhood, whatever those might be. Those don't apply to others, but it's mighty hard to keep that perspective sometimes. That applies both to those who've chosen to have only one child (and at heart believe that having more is a negative in terms of attention and resources), and those who've chosen to have several (and at heart believe that having one is a negative in terms of company and potential sibling closeness). Horses for courses, as rip says.
Hey Pixiewitch -- I've arrived late to this thread and have posted a couple myself to do with this topic. I think women's fertility and the whole subject of motherhood seems to be a free-for-all when it comes to inconsiderate and thoughtless comments!
I think making a decision that feels right for you and your family is all that matters. I have a DD who is almost 5. She will be my only one for a whole host of reasons. She is very much in a minority at her school as it seems to be full of big and ever-growing families. No one questions them about their choice to breed more consumers, to have to buy bigger cars and so on... It is really very odd that us one-child families so seem to have to be on the defensive.
I have 7 siblings. I love them but I have chosen to live thousands of miles away from them and barely see them. I often felt lonely even with a house full of people when I was growing up. To be honest I think my daughter feels less lonely than I did because she has lots of friends and a mother who isn't run ragged.
Anyway, like you I get all sorts of comments (dancingonthinice is a perfect example) and simply try and let them go. My dh, dd and myself are a very happy little unit. My DD even said the other day how much she liked being like the 3 little bears.
Hope this helps. Be strong and try and do what you know is right for you, not for people who feel they are put on this earth to reproduce. Isn't the whole point of feminism to allow us women to make decisions that are the best for us and those around us and not do what society and out of date theories tell us to do?
Go have a glass of wine and enjoy the quiet calm of 'only' having one child! haha.
I'm not going to comment any more on this thread. But would like to [thanx] ottawagirl & all the other neural & positive commenters x x thank you
I have two girls and so glad we had one more when i see them in the garden for example sitting next to each other chatting and giggling. In the mornings playing with their toys. I am truly lucky to have two girls but we are not having any more as i don't feel I could give them the time, love and education each child NEEDS
People would assume a "lonely" child would be lonely than 2+ families because we always hear "I was an only child and hated it" how often do you hear "i was an only child and I loved it because..."
I would never say anything bad for only having one child sometimes it would be great but some times not so good just like if you had 2, 3 or 4+
I would rather have a loving, educated and happy child than 8 children feeling they never felt loved because their parents didn't have the time for them. But saying that they are large families out there that do have time
some how for each child.
I have an only child an he is most definatly NOT alonely child. We go on play dates and have our family around us. If you want one child have one child if you want more thats ok too!
I feel the same sometimes.
I have a 3.5 yr old and am often asked when the next one is coming along. My answer is never. I would have had another child if it had happened quickly, but it didn't and I really don't want sleepless nights and nappies all over again!
My DH underwent an emergency double heart bypass when DD was 18 months old. Sometimes we have to be happy with what we have and I have my family.
Often feel a little sad at her lack of interaction with other children (not many little ones around here), but we have some really cool adventures just the three of us that couldn't happen with more (in my opinion).
Be happy with what and who you have
Im happy with 1 & dd is happy with it just being me & her. I dont understand why people cant just let you be happy with your choice. Id rather not have anymore because seizures are triggered by the high hormones i had when pregnant with DD & after giving birth to her. Im on the depo jab now because its far too risky for me. Im happy having just DD. I can watch her grow up i can do lots of things with her in lots of time & not worry about anyone else. Shes one very confident very sociable little girl. Her teachers told me that. Wheres the evidence that only children get lonely? Are they not able to socialize without having a sibling? I thought thats what toddler groups etc were for? Letting your kids play & socialize at the same time. I must be wrong.
I'm just about to have my first and one of the things I've learnt is that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, WHATEVER you do. Everything from your ideas about birth, to what products you choose for the kid/s, to how many you will or won't have is always wrong. And people think nothing of turning on a sixpence on the matter if you change your mind aswell.
I jokingly tell my MIL and GMIL I want 6, they immediately start the knowing 'oh you'll change your mind' (even though GMIL had 5!?). But I can GARANTEE the second I say I might be considering sticking at one, they would start clucking about only children...rollseyes
I havent made up my mind on numbers yet. One appeals to me, I have two sisters and actively hated them in childhood and now have nothing to do with them, I feel like an only child thesedays and actually feel happy and settled. But, I do accept there's big advantages to more than one aswell....but they aren't garanteed...
some real insenisitivity here. Thisnickname you say that no-one ever says how happy they were they were an only child? And yet a friend of mine said that to me just yesterday (and is the reason why she only had one child herself). My DH has two cousin, both onlies, and both have said that exact thing.
The worst one I've had was the woman in the playground, who I've seen but had never, ever, talked to, leaned over to my son and said 'tell your mum that you want a brother or sister'. Excuse me?! I am still fuming at this. He was 5 at the time. What I do in these situations is overshare, going into detail about my infertility problems. I want these people to think twice before they go around saying these things to people they barely/don't know.
The fertility problems are true, but not the actual reason I have just one child. Financial considerations, my age, my medical condition (inflammatory arthritis brought on by pregnancy) and my two step children are all also factors.
thank you for everyone who posted on this thread with positive comments about being an only child. i have a sister and we have a fabulous close relationship, but i dont think i want anymore children. my DD is only 13 weeks old, so i know i may change my mind but at the moment i am dead set against it. all my friends say i will change my mind. my husband has 3 siblings and they never got much, if everyone couldnt get it then no one could, and e wants t be able to give our daughter every opportunity available to her, something he didnt get. i have wondered if she will be lonely growing up but after reading ur comments i kno that it isnt a certainty. i havent heard much positive stories about being an only child before, but i have now,
I can't believe how judge-y people are - how ridiculous! I for one am excited about a future of seeing our LO grow up & I think he'll have a lovely life as an only. I love the idea of having so much time & attention just for him, taking him on different exciting holidays every year to different countries as he gets a bit older, having the money to send him to a good school (as we have less financial pressure than if we had 2 or more), just spending more time with him, really. He's already a sociable little boy & very happy (still just a baby but his personality comes through well!) so i don't think he will have any issues making friends.
Thank you so much for whoever it was that shared the time magazine article . Sorry I forget who it was! My dd will prpb be an only and this article has totally transformed my opinion about it. I used to feel guilty and worried about my dd now I know that i am doing best for her. Btw I have a wonderful friend who is an only - she is sociable and outgoing and treats her friends like sisters ! When I first met her I knew instantly she was one of those people who is a really great friend , the kind that treats friends like family if you know what I mean, rather than the more distanced relationship.
Anyway as for dancingonthinices comments I don't need a degree is psychology to see that you must be feeling guilty about something and are therefore trying to guilt trip us one child parents. Plus you must be very ignorant that you only have time to read a mums net post and not a magazine article. To summarize to an even shorter length for your benefit - the lonely only is a cultural myth - created by a psychologist in the seventies.
I have an only dd who is 10. She is very happy being an only and was absolutely horrified when her dad suggested to her that we might have another (he was kidding)
She is not lonely, she is a sociable child but she does appreciate her own space.
She has also told me that she plans to have an only too, so that she can "give it all the time and love that you and daddy give me"
Granted she's only 10 but it still made my bottom lip wobble when she said it.
You are deluded dancing - that is only your husbands experience
My cousin was a happy only - I have a brother and hated him and still do
Why does it have to be the same rules for everyone - everyone is different?
Don't shove your views down others throats
I am happy for anyone who had big famlies
But there is over population you know?
And you should only have children you can afford
Except much as my DSIS and I thought as kids there times when a sibling is worth their weight in gold.
Stuck at boring toyless relatives, on holiday, to hug when grandma died. To share memories of good and bad times with that no one else will ever understand -DH and his DSIS when their parents died.
I'm lucky, although very different, my two do play together and keep each other company.
They looked out for each other in the garden when small and they lookout for each other out cycling now they are older.
Much of the time DCs just need other small people about.
Most of the time I'd have been happy being an only child, but my BF lived next door. Out here only DCs would be very lonely.
I have an only and its fine. Over thinking a gogo here!
Perhaps Dancingonice should spend less time having babies and learn to spell. It's lonely!!! And anyway only lonely theory is rubbish!
Family size is affected by so many different factors, not just personal choice - infertility, illness, finances, work etc.
I have met fantastic only children and fantastic children from large families - personality and parenting have a much larger impact than number of sibs.
Personally I have always felt a bit guilty about having four, ( world population and resources etc) and consequently always feel grateful when other people choose to stop at one and I almost want to shake the hands of those who thoughtfully choose to have none at all.
Like a previous poster said you can be lonely in a large family, and there are no guarantees sibs will stay in touch.
I suppose the only downside to a single child could be in later years when elderly parents need care and sibs can shoulder the practical and emotional burden together, ( this has happened to me and my sibs) but it wouldn't be a good enough reason to bring another person into the world if you didn't particularly want another child anyway.
I have an only but have a DB myself. DB & I live opposite ends of the country, no longer talk & drive our parents insane with our refusal to see each other (what's the point if we're only going to argue?). DH & his sis are on talking terms but see each other on average once per year & live totally seperate lives.
My worst memories of childhood? DB telling me I was sick not to have cried publically at our uncles funeral & DB & cousin bullying & kicking me at my nan's funeral! Now why would I want to risk that happening to DD(age 10)? I truly believe that you choose your family, & DD has wonderful neighbours who treat her like a grandchild, very good school friends & is happy and confident to go on a summer course where she knows nobody because she really wants to do the course. The last PGL her yeargroup went on at school, her friend (one of 4) came home in tears and appeared to have very little confidence because she didin't have her siblings with her.
These are just a couple of observations/experiences & yes I do see some siblings playing happily together, but the risks of siblings not being a support are far more important to me than the possible benefit of having a younger brother or sister for her to drag around & babysit all the time.
I do worry that she won't have any real experience with babies & younger children so she may find being a mother difficult, but hopefully we will be around to help if she wants it when the time comes. I hope we are able to help her grow into a well rounded & sensible adult.
Of all the things mentioned, I certainly wouldn't worry about an only child not having experience with babies and younger children thus finding it hard to be a parent! It's no different from any younger child in a two-child household (nor the older child if the age gap is small). I have an older DB and never held a baby until I had my own, and coped just fine!
Yup, in that respect it is, they do expect that one on one time with you and I feel it just goes with the territory of having one. There is the flip side of not having to sort out spats with sibs.
Why oh why are people so nasty?
One woman at school gate sort of batted me away with an arm and said "You don't have a family " when they were talking about some kids' issue.
When the school photographer came and everyone was lining up in family groups he said to ds "What? No brothers or sisters? You'll have to borrow some!" I suppose he thought he was joking but I was devastated.
I think having too many dcs is the bigger "crime". My parents were one of nine and six and they both said that it wasn't a positive experience. My cousin, who is one of seven, said that she and her siblings have all vowed to have small families. So there, serial breeders!!
Gramercy - That is horrible, just disgusting.
We have a dd. We were planning on having more children, but some rather grim fertility issues hoved into view and it looks like that won't happen without fertility treatment.
Dd is lovely and in many ways I'd be delighted just to have her. What pisses me off is the disdain and pity you get for only having one child. It is purely cultural. If having one child was the norm, no one would care.
Gramercy - what a cow that school gate mum is. She's a complete loser. I think with people like here you have to bring the comment completely out in the open which will embarrass her:
'you don't have a family'
'what exactly do you mean by that?'-and push until she explains herself
Then ask can't she see that her comment is offensive, to tell a mother that she doesn't have a family?
It works with my students anyway i.e. if you don't let a 'clever' little comment pass and ask exactly what it means, the 'clever'ness of it tends to disappear pretty quickly
henrysmama - I wish I had the courage to do that - on any subject! The number of times in my life that I've been on the receiving end of some insulting comment and I've just shrunken back and then dwelt on it (for far too long!). Much better to be up-front and let someone know they've been hurtful or rude. Although then one lays oneself open to the "Oooh, you're so sensitive" comeback. [Toddles off to ponder on why people are rude...]
I know this is an old thread but it caught my eye. As a mother of four boys I am continually getting comments which, when you dig down are basically 'how dare you flaunt your fecundity - you haven't a hope in hell of raising these kids right'..
This of course hits right at my sore spot as whilst we are a happy brood a part of me can't but wonder if the kids are missing out in some way by being one of many. The reality is that they seem a happy, well behaved bunch and I am proud to be their mum.
It seems to me that if you come from the other end of the spectrum and are parent of one similar worries abound but are generally subsumed by the reality that you have a happy family unit.
It is completely wrong of people to comment and judge but they do so the best thing is just to ignore it and accept that happy families come in all shapes and sizes.
My one DS was a happy accident, I didn't think i'd be able to have children. I wouldn't change a thing, if i had my life to do over again i'd still have him x x
Dancing on thin ice, unless you are an only child I can't imagine how typu can think you have such a clear idea of what it is like.
I'm an only child and we're only planning on having one. Husband is one of three and he thinks it is the best thing for us. Well be able to offer our little one so much more in terms of opportunity and experiences than if we had two.
Our little one won't be lonely. And neither was I. Infact I see it as having best of both worlds. Had lots of cousins I saw all the time, and lots of friends. My two best girl friends are also both only children and we've been best pals since first day of primary school. I was also the centre of my parents universe. I never felt like I was vying for attention with anyone and was much more secure than some of my friends as a result.
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People think I'm odd because I only want one child, they are consistently telling me that I will change my mind. Some people just don't understand because the people that tell me have more then one child and felt like they had something missing. But my life is complete just with my little boy.
I have one daughter and I am constantly asked (and judged) about not having another child. I live in India, where it is common for many generations of family to live under one roof, and where most people want desperately to have a son, so the pressure is three times as bad- I am always being told that is very cruel for me to not have another child, and it must be so lonely for her especially because we don't have either set of grandparents living with us, and I am constantly being asked whether I am truly happy not having had a son.
The funny thing is that my daughter loves being the only child and having both parents lives revolve around her. She is not lonely at all, on the contrary she is a VERY social girl. She is always organising some kind of a party/ sleepover/ movie marathon, and our house is usually filled with her classmates.
And I think that being an only child means that she does not taking sibling companionship for granted and is an extra-caring for the people in her life: her 2 little neices and one nephew absolutely adore her, and she takes amazing care of them- for example, last year she made each of them a comic book for their birthday, about a super-hero version of themselves. This year she spent one weekend taking free 'technology classes' for the elderly people in our neighbourhood, teaching them to use email and skype. I think that being an only child is a large part of why she is so empathatic and caring towards the elderly and the very young.
Yes, she is perhaphs a little more used to getting her own way than she would have been if she had a sibling, but she is by no means rude, spoilt or inconsiderate. And it's not like having more than one child doesn't have a downside either- my husband, for instance, felt quite insecure as a child because he was completely overshadowed by his charismatic and brilliant older brother. No major life decision is going to be 'perfect', and it's silly to make it look like having 2-3 children is ideal and having only one is a catastrophe.
My husband andI couldn't be happier- but it was not our choice to have just one child, it was a medical necessity, so this just makes all the judgemental comments even more annoying. I truly wish that people would let go of their idiotic stereotypes surrounding only children.
Me and my fiancé have decided we are happy with our daughter and don't want anymore children. Our reasons for having only one:
- I had a very bad pregnancy.
- I want to build up a career.
- Had PND.
- Money & Space = Tight.
- Happy being just us three.
- We want to give our only every opportunity we can. We wouldn't be able to with more than one.
My MIL finds this hard to grasp. IMO I would be a bad mother if I was to have another child just because other people think its fairer to my daughter. Also if I got PND again I'd be no use to anyone.
So I think there is nothing wrong with having just the one. My family is complete.
I only wanted one child, my husband was happy with that decision too, my daughter has never wished for siblings. I asked her if she ever felt/feels lonely and she said no, i have friends.
My mil did say when she heard we weren't having any more children, having one isn't a family. This from the woman that had 5, and was on medication as she couldn't cope and never saw her husband as he had to work all hours to support them...
I am an only (well I have a half sib but we never lived together and don't really speak). I was sometimes lonely as a child, but to be honest it gets worse as you get older. All the burden of caring for my parents will fall on me, and I won't have anyone to share my memories of them, and my childhood with.
My mother has a very close relationship with her brothers, and now their parents have died they are all rallying around each other. I am just really sad that they didn't give me the chance to have that kind of relationship. I definitely won't be having an only!
It's no-ones business but yours and your partner's! Don't feel the need to justify it to anyone.
Problem is by these people. For some reason they think it's better to take more kids or they are just trying to make a conversation on a totally rubbish way.
I think any parent needs a thick skin to handle all the comments that we get.
From stupid eyes in the shop when your child has got a tantrum there. Like it's your fault that happens. Any kid has got them from time to time. But try to explain that to the idiots around you who never had kids and think they know it all!
To all these silly and sometimes even downright hurtful comments that we are getting. Sometimes from people that we know and sometimes from total strangers who seems to have nothing better to do then just being a pain in the you know what where for everyone else.
We now actually have 2 but after DD1 we were content and my answer to these dumb questions was "We got it right first time, DD is just too perfect, why would we want another?". It always stopped any further comments.
to be honest, I had no idea that so many people had an issue with one child families until I saw this section on here. I really can't see what the big deal is? I question the motives of any onlooker (whether they be family members or not) who wants to voice an unwanted opinion on this matter.
I'm one of four (not counting one stillborn angel and a half brother I met twice)
I wish more than anything I had been an only child, my older brother abused me for years I never really got on with my older sister and by the time I was five and my little brother came along my mum had gotten fed up with the idea of having kids and it pretty much fell on me and my sister to raise him, then when my sister got bored it was all me, from about 12 I was running the house cooking all the meals and taking care of my brother while dealing with my own problems. Had I been an only child I wouldn't have had any of that to deal with.
When people ask me when ds will get a sibling I just tell them the dr says I can't have anymore, its a lie we told gmil as she just couldn't understand why you wouldn't want more than one and its just been easier to use that as an excuse, it shuts them up quite well and is believe able as near the end of my pg I was wheelchair bound and had a bad labour and nearly lost ds.
Forgot to add I have little to no contac with my siblings now and hadn't seen my mother in years, she died two weeks ago and no one told me for two days. I'm not going I my mothers funeral because my brother will be there.
My ds won't ever have to go through that. Ever.
I have my six month old DD! Im sticking with one! I respect people who have three four kids! I just couldnt do it! I enjoy my 'me time' too much when DD is down at 7:00 at night!
We only had one child due to infertility plus I'm an older mum. A few people have posted that they wanted more than one so they'd be support for each other as the parents got older or ill. Well, I have sisters and my mum is ill. One lives abroad and the other has left the lot to me. I had the burden of all the hospital visits, I arranged all the help at home and now do all the medications, call outs etc. Other sister doesn't want to know. Too busy at work, or with her family. So, having two siblings didn't give me support and, to be honest, it's harder to bear than it would have been if I were an only. I'd at least have known what was coming. My sisters and I have always got on BTW and both of them call mum each day, what they won't or can't do is spare the time to run around. I've told DS that, when he gets older, he should go abroad if he wants to and let social services deal with me and DH - it's what we've paid for.
Sometimes wish I had stuck at one Of course I love my children and I always will but seeing my sister's lifestyle with just one I get sooo
-NO CHILDREN FIGHTING
My little niece is Definitely not lonely she loves her one and one time with her mummy and daddy she has lots of friends at school and also we have many many young children in the family now and we always get together at least twice a week even if it is just an hour at the park.
I love my children deeply but I do feel bad sometimes that they cannot get the full attention they deserve.
I have read the whole thread with interest. I am preg with no1. I have been in hospital twice with HG related dehydration. I keep getting " it will be different with the next one"
Yurm no!!!! I'm not doing this again! Firstly I am an only child, and I wasn't lonely. Secondly my dh was the eldest of 2 boys he only wants one child.
On my reply to "next time" I always get, "you'll change your mind"
I am not complaining - just commenting that I get similar comments about having / wanting only one.
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