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to be bitter about only having one child?

(68 Posts)
mumbubble Fri 21-Sep-12 11:23:02

I have one DD. I desperately want another child but my husband point blank refuses, he just will not entertain the idea of another child. She is almost 7 now and I've spent the last 6 years being increasingly bitter about all those around me who are fortunate enough to have more than one. It's got to the point now where I avoid pregnant friends and acqaintances and those with newborns. I know it's selfish, but I just can't bear it. I'm now past 45 so it's not even as if it's really feasible to have more anyway, but it doesn't take away the bitterness. I'd leave my husband in a heartbeat if I didn't think it would be disastrous for my DD.

delightfullyfragrant Fri 21-Sep-12 11:25:14

did you ever talk about this before you had your DD. I mean did your DH make clear his feelings on this early on in your relationship? If he did then YABU. If not then YANBU.

RaisinDEtre Fri 21-Sep-12 11:25:46


no advice

Trills Fri 21-Sep-12 11:26:09

YANBU to feel sad.

YAB a bit U to avoid everyone with babies, losing these friends is unlikely to make you happier in the long run.

mumbubble Fri 21-Sep-12 11:28:13

delightfullyfragrant - no, he never specified that one would be enough. He loves our DD, it's just that he'd rather pursue his hobbies and interests and not have to sacrifice any of 'his' time to look after another child.

lljkk Fri 21-Sep-12 11:28:25

Sounds like just one of many resentments you feel towards your husband.

Here's a good one: my mother's best friend married a man who was adamant he never wanted children. Difficult sacrifice, but she was a very accommodating person who thought he was worth it & accepted his wishes. The husband was a Uni lecturer. They were together about 17 years. Then he left her because.... he got one of his students pregnant. And they had at least one more child together after that.

Some people are serious Turds.

thebeesnees79 Fri 21-Sep-12 11:29:04

what were his reasons for not wanting more?
I had severe pnd after my first and refused to have anymore (till I went on Prozac and thought everything was wonderful)
Is it something you had talked about before having kids?
I always wanted four but the reality of how hard bringing them up was has stopped that! My husband was happy to go with the flow and see how we felt at the time. Has he always said "just one"?
I can understand why you would want a sibling for your dd totally.

thebeesnees79 Fri 21-Sep-12 11:30:19

sorry x posted.
Men can be selfish with regards to giving up stuff!

mumbubble Fri 21-Sep-12 11:32:39

I know I'm being unreasonable avoiding other mums etc, just feels really hard sometimes. I literally do not personally know one other person in my situation.

I only have one DS...I badly wanted more but DH didnt. I was bitter but now DS is 10 and I am over it. I sometimes look back and think it would have been nice but life is good now, I have a good job, nice friends, good social life and I dont resent DH at all...he had his view, I had mine and on an issue like this no compromise can be made.

I'd leave my husband in a heartbeat if I didn't think it would be disastrous for my DD. - to me this suggests there must be other issues. It would be more disastrous for your DD to grow up in a non loving environment.

Dont focus on what you dont have and focus on what you do have. Like you say, if you are over 45 you cant have another baby anyway so you need to deal with your resentment and move on...bitterness is so bad for the soul, it will et away at you so you need to try and get over it.

Hugs though, I know how shit it is...I was so desperate to give DS a sibling but life never quite goes to plan.

delightfullyfragrant Fri 21-Sep-12 11:35:29

you don't know anyone with one child OP or you don't know anyone whose DH doesn't want more than one.

I know lots of people with one, some out of choice some because one partner doesn't want more and some because they couldn't get pregnant again. Oh! and others because they financially can't afford any more.

Jenny70 Fri 21-Sep-12 11:36:43

There is a certain grief associated with not having the family size/dynamic that you want.

Anger is certainly a stage of grief, but one you should be able to get past. If you can't move on in this issue, you may need help - counselling or the like.

Regardless of how your DH refused etc, chances are the opportunity to have another child has passed, and you need to accept it.

Whether you should leave your DH over this, it seems to me a big call if other aspects of your life are good - but letting this one issue consume you won't be good for you, your relationship or your DD.

Staying together for her isn't really the best thing, she should be in a loving family, consider what you want for her in her own married life/family - my ex SIL was told at 18 that her parents stayed together just for the kids, and she felt horribly betrayed and hurt, her whole childhood was a lie - her memories tainted. It's not always in the child's best interest for you to stay with someone you don't love.

thebeesnees79 Fri 21-Sep-12 11:36:49

I have a few relatives who only had one child. different reasons as to why but it should be a joint decision rather than one person being adamant and not listening.
I feel for you op but you need friends pregnant or not, don't be bitter towards others x

twentyseconds Fri 21-Sep-12 11:38:47

I can understand your DH's pov to be honest, it is one of the reasons I also stopped at one dc, because I have a lot of interests that I'd have to give up if I had more dc. It's not being selfish, just choosing how you want to arrange your priorities in life. I've never wanted my life to revolve around children.

In fact, I wouldn't even have had my dc now if I hadn't managed to get DH to agree that my hobbies/sports wouldn't be compromised too much. He was keen for a dc so agreed that he'd be able to cover childcare for evening activities, pay for additional home help etc. So I think when you are the person in a relationship is keener for dc, it's worth agreeing to take on the bulk of the responsibility, as that might convince your DH. Although I guess even if you manage to persuade him now, you might not manage to convince Mother Nature...

mumbubble Fri 21-Sep-12 11:39:47

oh I know a few with only children, for various reasons, but no, I don't know anyone else whose husband refused to have more. I do live in a very child rich area. there are only 3 other only children in my dd's class.

Fakebook Fri 21-Sep-12 11:40:09

sad Yanbu to feel bitter. I know a close relation who only had one child and spent the rest of her life being bitter and jealous of pregnant women and friends with more than one child. She even point blank refused to acknowledge her dil's pregnancies.

I know it must be hard to see pregnant friends, but I think you need to try and at least open your heart a bit and be happy for other people, or else it will eat you up. I'm sure there are loads of brilliant things in your life that you can be happy and proud of. Focus on them.

BonnieBumble Fri 21-Sep-12 11:43:49

I'm sorry you feel this way.

If there is no way of changing the situation and it doesn't sound as if there is, then you just have to make the most of what you have. Feeling bitter and resentful is not healthy for you or your daughter. Enjoy the daughter you have, you don't want her to look back on her childhood and think that she wasn't enough. Life is too short for regrets.

WhyTheBigGoldPaws Fri 21-Sep-12 11:44:46

I can feel for you OP because my DH is the same, he just won't discuss it. I know he's right in some ways - we couldn't afford another child, we'd have to move, I can't afford to give up work (am freelance) etc etc but I still wish we could have another one deep down. Yes we are happy as we are but I don't feel complete and it saddens me that I don't seem to have any option. No advice really but I do sympathise.

mumbubble Fri 21-Sep-12 11:52:09

Thank you for your lovely responses - I am trying not to be bitter towards other mums, I think today was just a real low and I needed to vent a bit. I suspect counselling is something I need to consider.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 21-Sep-12 11:57:00

Good luck with the counsellor, I think it's something you need to explore. You've spent 6 years unable to process this fact and it's eating you up - you're very resentful of your husband and staying with him because? he puts money on the table? you're scared to go it alone? I don't know. But if you're not happy with him then maybe it's time to start thinking about what will bring you happiness as you shouldn't let one "bad thing" dominate your life.

Good luck. smile

FatherReboolaConundrum Fri 21-Sep-12 11:57:56

Slight tangent here, but try to make sure your daughter isn't aware of this. I was an only child (not by my parent's choice), and while my dad was -as far as I know - happy with this, my mum wasn't and used to express her feelings at length on the subject. When I was a child it was distressing - both because my mum was so obviously upset and because I suppose it made me feel inadequate; by the time I got into my 30s it was just really bloody irritating and tiresome - a favourite time to rehearse the "I'm so unhappy I only had one child and that we failed you as parents by not providing you with silings" was when we were celebrating my or my dad's birthday hmm.

mumbubble Fri 21-Sep-12 12:09:18

I have enough 'bagage' from my own childhood that I am very careful not to let my daughter be affected.

Spero Fri 21-Sep-12 16:13:19

I have only got one. Can't afford another, even if I was 10 years younger and had a lovely partner to father him/her.

Do I sometimes get sad? Yes. Do I allow myself to get bitter? I try very hard not to. Because what would I gain? What is the point of being so clouded by bitterness that I can't enjoy the lovely child I do have?

I think it is unreasonable to be bitter for six years, to the extent that you avoid certain people and wish to leave your husband. Of course your daughter is going to notice this. How can she not? For her sake and yours I think you do need to try and break this cycle. Such a shame to waste the life that you have in bitterness.

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Fri 21-Sep-12 16:20:26

It must be very hard for you.
As its v.unlikely you will have another child I suppose the only way forward is to find a way of dealing with your feelings.

I do hope you can. I recognise those feelings of longing. My oh refused o ave anymore after our first two. It broke me up and I used to wander around mothercare!

Things took a very unexpected direction for us but I do rember those years of yearning and frustration.

oscarwilde Fri 21-Sep-12 16:23:01

7 is a lovely age - I would make the most of it and move on for all your sakes. If you feel like you have more time and love to give another child then there are lots of options open to you that might alleviate your feelings of loss.

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