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...to ask if those of you without siblings would have preferred growing up with a brother or sister?

(151 Posts)
MissMississippi Thu 01-Sep-11 14:59:43

...and now as an adult, what are your views on 'an only child'?

DH and I have one DC. He was very much wanted. We always said we would have two kids. But I love him so much I don't know if I want to (a) change his life too much by giving him a sibling or (b) that I have enough love fir another child (maybe I am being silly!).

But on the other hand maybe he would love having a sibling to play with now, and as an adult someone else important in his life other than me and DH (as we have a small family).

So those MNers who didn't have siblings as a child - how did you feel?

StrandedBear Thu 01-Sep-11 15:01:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fuzzled Thu 01-Sep-11 15:03:02

Mixed feelings grin

I loved being on my own in terms of the one to one time I received from my parents, but...

I think I missed out in terms of someone to play with and "knock the edges off" me.

Looking back, onlys at school were treated as a bit snobby and stuck up, probably because we didn't know how to play with others all the time. I could share, but long term sharing wound me up. blush

PreviouslyonLost Thu 01-Sep-11 15:03:42

I'm with StrandedBear only child too and LOVED it smile

crazyspaniel Thu 01-Sep-11 15:04:21

I hated being an only child and was desperately lonely, and hated all my parents' focus being entirely on me. But my parents were extremely strict and pushy and went out of their way to ensure that I had no distractions (ie. socialising, learning music, etc.) from academic study.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 01-Sep-11 15:04:29

I have a sibling. We are two because my mother hated being an only child so much. She was moved around a lot as a child so bear in mind continuity of friends and schools is as important as loads of family.

I have a singleton currently so I will watch this with interest.

MissMississippi Thu 01-Sep-11 15:04:32

Haha! Yes, I am a bit worried about that StrandedBear. He gets our full attention now, and he is a Mummy's boy, and of course that will all change particularly in the first year or so, if we have a new baby....

Oh what to do....

crazyspaniel Thu 01-Sep-11 15:05:38

BTW - is is much more common now to be an only child? I know many couples now with just one child, but when I was at school there was just myself and one other girl in a class of 32 that were only children.

AgathaCrusty Thu 01-Sep-11 15:07:05

I didn't like it at the time really, always envied other kids with brothers and sisters. Now, I really wish I had a sibling. I know that lots of siblings don't get on, but lots do and really value their relationships. I think that as an only child, you feel the weight of responsibility as your parents become older, whether or not you have a close relationship to them.

Incidentally, I think all parents worry before they have a second child that they couldn't love them as much as the first. They do though.

I only have the one DS!!

I have 1 bro and 1 sis but they live in seperate countries so I may as well be an only child. It's not a given that siblings will get on anyway.

However, that said I do feel sad that DS is on his own but another one just never came along........he is 9 now though and so if I ever did have another one surely it would be another "only child" as the gap would be so big.

MissMississippi Thu 01-Sep-11 15:08:58

Hmmm. Well, I see what you mean CrazyBear. My immediate reaction was "no way would we do that", as we would want him to have loads of friends, but maybe as a one and only, perhaps we would unwittingly push him too hard.....

Thanks for your views! Keep them coming.

WineAndPizza Thu 01-Sep-11 15:09:01

Mississippi - firstly love is not a finite thing and I'm sure that if you had another child you would find you would fall completely in love again and it wouldn't take away in any way from what you feel for your DS.

I've got loads of siblings because my dad was an only child and absolutely hated it. I love all of mine and have always really enjoyed being part of a big family.

bananamam Thu 01-Sep-11 15:10:09

I have one brother and one sister. Was great growing up! We had our moments of insanity though and sibling rivalry but there was always someone to chat with!

DS was an only child for a while. I swore I wasn't having more and I had the same worries as you. Then when he was 18 months I decided I wanted another and had DD. Very different children. Very much loved.

When I see them play together, and DD run to meet DS from school and they hug and kiss I know we made the right choice to have another. They too have their moments of sibling fights but it's all normal.

TheArmadillo Thu 01-Sep-11 15:12:49

I do not get on with my (close in age) sibling at all and haven't since she stopped being a baby. We are not in contact now. I struggle to see siblings as a positive thing. As a result I was very reluctant to have more than one child.

Our dc2 (dd) is now 1yo, dc1 (ds) is nearly 7yo - it took me that long to be convinced a sibling wouldn't ruin his life. Ds is now asking me to have another and they both adore each other.

She has been a very positive addition (though it took me 9 months or so to bond with her due to the mental health problems I have had).

However there is no guarantee they will continue to get on in the future and also I don't think ds did or would suffer through not having a sibling as there are pros and cons to both.

HeadfirstForHalos Thu 01-Sep-11 15:14:30

I'm an only child, I hated it growing up. I have 4 dc now grin

It's swings and roundabouts though, they may only have one (if any) dc as they never get any peace and quiet...

Kayano Thu 01-Sep-11 15:14:55

I loved being an only child
But... My folks sent me to school all the way across the city, 2 bus rides away so I didn't have many friends near me. Would have liked to be
An only child who went to the local school

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Thu 01-Sep-11 15:16:14

I was an only child, loved it, to a point. Not sharing mum etc was excellent (also had no cousins) completely the only child in whole family, however growing up I felt lonely and hated holidays. Felt very jealous of friends with close siblings, and even now at 23 I feel very envious of my friends with there sisters and there children being close. I do have siblings now, my sister is 6 and my brother 3 and tbh that sucks too, I adore them but now mum has a new life and doesn't have time for me and the children at all.

I have two dcs 4 and 2, 16mnths apart and I'm very happy. They're very close and they have exactly what I longed for!

KingHellfire Thu 01-Sep-11 15:16:53

Loads and loads of people feel like you before no2. It's called second child guilt! But as others have said, love just grows and grows!

Dh was an only and I am from a huge family. He says he didn't feel like he missed out as a child as he knew nothing else. But as he gets older and it's only him looking after his elderly parents (of course I help out but no other sibs to assist), he says he does wish he had someone to share the burden with.

He is loving being uncle to my masses of nephews and nieces too!

AgentZigzag Thu 01-Sep-11 15:17:51

'(b) that I have enough love fir another child (maybe I am being silly!).'

There are 9 years between my two DDs, and I thought exactly this when I found out I was pregnant.

But I honestly felt the same closeness and love for DD2 that I have for DD1, and DD2 didn't take anything away from DD1, she just added to what we already had.

Thankfully she was never jealous of DD2 (probably because she's older), but a lot of times the thought of having a sibling if you're an only, is pretty rose tinted. I have a brother and have always wish to fuck I hadn't, he's always been a twat, so the grass isn't always greener.

MissMississippi Thu 01-Sep-11 15:18:57

Agatha- I actually don't get on with my brother now. We are just too, too different. Having said that, I do remember family holidays and growing up with him which was fun. Thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy or the only one worrying about not loving the second child. I also worry that my close relationship with DS will diminish because of a new baby....

I am also wondering about the weight of responsibility for him when we are both old.

I think Betty, we might just leave it to fate. TTC and if another one comes, it comes, and if not, the DS was meant to be an only child.

harrietthespook Thu 01-Sep-11 15:19:15

I wish I weren't an only child. It might not be ideal with siblings - I know of course people don't always get on. But it's very hard at the other end of things when I'm solely responsible for looking after my parents if they're sick. (which I am finding.)

TadlowDogIncident Thu 01-Sep-11 15:19:51

To give you another perspective, I have siblings and as a child always wished I was an only - I was furious when my brother was born. As adults my sister and I get on well, my brother and I not so much. It's true that the burden of ageing parents is felt more if you're the only one, but you might be facing that with a sibling who doesn't think it's their problem, which I think would be worse (our parents are getting on and my brother will be no earthly use when they need a bit more help).

DS will be an only: we can't afford another.

MugglesandLuna Thu 01-Sep-11 15:21:00

I have three younger siblings, but they are my Mums children. My Dad never had any more. It meant that I was an OC half the week and an older sibling the other half.

I got to spend more time with my Dad, and we did alot of things that my Mum couldnt afford to do/wasnt practical/ther wasnt enough time.

However I loved having other children around, especially my sister (who is 2 years younger). When I went on holiday with my Dad I always felt a bit lonely and on my own.

festivalwidow Thu 01-Sep-11 15:21:36

My parents were both from big families, so I think if anything I probably had more pressure to share/demur to others than I would have done with siblings.
The major upside was the ability to have my own space, which I guess you can't do if there are four of you sharing a room (as I did with my cousins in the summer).
The major downsides - the fact you can't fight with anyone so it took me ages to stand up for myself. If your sibling argues with you, you can argue back, but I had to defer to my parents because - they were my parents.
Biggest annoyance though is the assumption from everyone at primary school that I must be spoilt. They hadn't met my family then...

Insomnia11 Thu 01-Sep-11 15:21:40

As an only child as was worried about how I could possibly love another child as much as DD1. But I do love DD2 just as much of course. Your attention/brain gets divided and shared but not love, it doesn't work like that.

If anything growing up I would have liked to have a older sibling, especially a brother, when I was secondary school age. I think in some ways it's easier for the younger one when you have someone leading the way for you. Though conversely they could be someone you feel you can never measure up to.

There were plenty of other times though when I was glad to have no siblings.

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