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To feel sad that I'm an only child?

(109 Posts)
perceptionInaPearTree Sun 30-Dec-12 23:38:46

At Christmas, particularly all my friends have their siblings to visit etc. I feel like I've missed out - I would have loved a brother or sister to have a close relationship with and talk to on the phone.

I'm very glad my children won't ever feel the way I do (lonely) as I have three.

Anyone else feel like this?

Iggly Thu 03-Jan-13 11:15:20

But Hula your DH works in an area where of course he'll see lots of breakdown.

I think on the whole, a sibling is likely to be a good thing. Yes you will get bad relationships but on average I reckon more are good than bad.

HappyNewBleurgh Thu 03-Jan-13 12:19:58

I think on the whole a sibling is a good thing too. I don't suppose for one minute that all sibling relationships are happy ones. But it's more than just about having a ready made playmate about the place.

A sibling will have a shared understanding of what it means to be part of that family. What having those people as parents was/is like and a shared memory of the family in a way that friends or cousins will not.

Also being an only child does mean you bear the weight of parental scrutiny alone. Even if kindly meant the noticing what you do, the expectation, the joy or sadness at your actions is not set against the counterweight of anyone else. It has no other context and that can be a strain.

That is one of the reasons as an OC that I hoped for a larger family myself. I think being part of something bigger gives more balance in what you expect from others and yourself.

mistlethrush Thu 03-Jan-13 12:30:29

I'm an only and didn't feel as though I missed out at Christmas - indeed it would have only complicated the visiting scenario what with in-laws to visit too...

My mother has 2 brothers. It was a great shock that one of them rang up to speak to her at New Year - I cannot remember it ever happening before. He didn't bother to come over when his mother was dying (we had her in our home for months before she went into a hospice) and just complained about the division of the estate without lifting a finger to help.

DH spoke to his brother at Christmas, but that was it.

My son is an only, not through our choice, but its just one of those things. He's had a whale of a time over Christmas being the only grandchild in the country on one-side and the only grand-child on the other. We've met up with other children over the period, and he has friends at my parents' as well as lots at home (200 miles away) so he's not short of company of children.

Some siblings may be great, others may be less so. Some onlies might get lonely, but others (like me) don't miss not having siblings.

fluffiphlox Thu 03-Jan-13 12:43:42

I was/ am an only child. I don't have children. My parents are dead. It's quite freeing actually. I have a husband, friends, my in-laws, some of whom are OK. I think that whatever your original family circumstances, you make your own 'family' as you mature. Who's to say if you or I had had siblings we'd have got on with them? What's the point of regretting a decision made by your parents?

EllenParsons Thu 03-Jan-13 12:51:38

I am the youngest of 4 siblings and I'm really glad to have quite a big family. I get on really well with all of them and see them quite often. I wouldn't want to have only one child just because of how I feel about my own siblings. I know plenty of people who are happy as only children though so I don't think it's cruel to only have one or anything.

boomting Thu 03-Jan-13 12:57:10

YANBU. I'm an only child, and there are no other people of my generation in the region - the closest I have are some cousins who live on the other side of the country. I know that when my grandmother and parents have died, I won't really have anyone like that sad

Dotty342kids Thu 03-Jan-13 13:02:58

I'm an only, with parents who were also only children! So, growing up I was the sole focus of their love, scrutiny and criticism - swings and roundabouts. But as an adult it's much harder. When I've fallen out with them there's no-one else in the family (grandparents all died long ago so it really was only the three of us) to talk to or discuss it with or who can mediate. When my dad died last year I was the only person around who could help mum through it and now I am the sole focus of her attention.
I've gone from seeing her for a weekend a couple of times a year, and speaking to her once a week on the phone, to seeing her every 6-8 weeks and speaking every sodding day! Of course I love her and I wouldn't want her to be lonely or sad but you realise how much of a burden it is when you're the only child.
I'm dreading it when she gets older and more frail and it really will all come down to me.
Needless to say, I always said I'd have more than one child if I could (I have two) and yes, they do bicker and argue and I can't guarantee they will be best friends as adults but at least there will be two of them around to share decision making and hopefully support one another in times of crisis.

idococktailshedoesbeer Thu 03-Jan-13 13:26:42

I have two sisters and I treasure the relationship I have with them, it's different to the one I have with close friends. I also have a brother and we get on though aren't as close. My parents are pretty old now and the thought I will have three people to share whatever happens with is a comforting one. I definitely want a few children if possible, it's the ideal for me.

But of course I know people who have been left devastated over toxic relationships with their siblings. And I have friends who are only children and blissfully happy with their lot.

wispawoman Thu 03-Jan-13 18:26:49

I am an OC. I didn't mind it when I was little (I didn't know any different) but hated it from teenage years onwards. I think it was made worse by my mother telling me she only wanted one child! It is a huge responsibility when parents are old and there is only you to visit/call and you feel guilty about going on holiday or away for Christmas. I envy my DH who has several siblings all of whom, surprisingly, still get on very well and try and see each other regularly. Luckily they include me and I am close to my SILs. I am very glad my own children are not onlies. They are not in each others pockets, but I know they are there for each other.

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