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to think reading threads re "only children" generally make you feel worse

(58 Posts)
GwenTen Sat 15-Mar-14 23:28:42

I have one ds (11 years old). I would have liked more but DP didn't want any more. Being 49 now - it aint happening anyway

I have all the usual worries and feelings of guilt regarding him being an only but find when I read threads (in particular the ones on the "One Child family" discussion), instead of feeling reassured I end up feeling worse as a lot of people leave very negative opinions (which of course they are entitled to).

I find that the fact that it is the topic of so many discussions makes you feel that is something taboo and not normal.

Does anyone else tend to be scared of reading these types of threads or is it just me. (the people that agree probably won't read this anyway) smile

Bluestocking Sat 15-Mar-14 23:43:32

It's weird, isn't it? I just have one DS and am very happy with our family. We parents of singletons never go on the "Large Families" threads to say rude things about their excessively large broods, but we seem to be fair game for the people who want to tell us we are producing selfish sociopaths by not popping out numbers two, three and four. It pisses me right off.

Pipbin Sat 15-Mar-14 23:44:32

I think that in previous generations it was unusual, I was the only only in my year at primary school. However these days access to contraception is greater and people are more likely to plan families to restrict numbers due to finance, work etc.
I believe that in the past only children were looked at like some kind of oddity, that they must be missing out on something and it wasn't normal, like they were blind or missing a limb. It's a different world now, there are many more only children now, I have 5 in the class I teach.

I think the best thing you can do is make sure that they have plenty of near by friends or cousins.

Pipbin Sat 15-Mar-14 23:46:09

Blue, I get so fed up when other teachers make comments like 'typical only child behaviour'. They wouldn't say that about a race or social group.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 15-Mar-14 23:46:34

I only have one, he's 18 now. It wasn't until I came on MN that I even realised it was a thing.
I'd just avoid the threads if it bothers you, don't worry about it.

GwenTen Sat 15-Mar-14 23:50:54

Yes we it seem fair game. The thing is all the people that I know that were without siblings have grown into normal well adjusted adults. Surely they are no different from people with siblings.

GwenTen Sat 15-Mar-14 23:55:49

Thanks Ladybeagles. I think I will. To be honest I didn't realise it was such a big issue until I came on MN. I know loads of people with onlies so surely in years to come it will be the norm and people with big families will be ostracised wink

hoppinghare Sat 15-Mar-14 23:58:37

I think people with large families take a lot of heat on mn as well, using up the world's resources, NHS and education etc etc. I think no matter what you do you'll get a hard time from someone on here, bf or ff, sahp or working, small family or big family and so on. None of these things have anything to do with anyone else.

WooWooOwl Sun 16-Mar-14 00:01:12

I haven't clicked on any of those threads because they have tended to have a negative aspect in the past, and as an only, I can't be arsed reading them.

But then I saw your thread title and changed my mind! smile

Ignore the negative stuff, I'm more than happy being an only, so is my DH. Neither of us know any different, so it's a non issue.

Soupqueen Sun 16-Mar-14 00:04:21

I have a 5 month old daughter and, while I would happily get pregnant again tomorrow, DH feels too old (41) and too poor to have another so I'm reluctantly coming round to her being an only child.

I haven't read those threads, and probably shouldn't for the sake of my blood pressure, but get all of that shite from my FIL. Even an innocent email about the weather turns into a rant about why we should be planning child number two - and if we don't, we're basically condemning our wonderful daughter to a life of being selfish, unable to play with others, totally antisocial etc.

One day I'll crack and shatter his illusion that it's not my "insane career hungriness" preventing a second child.

Apologies for that (cathartic) rant!

GwenTen Sun 16-Mar-14 00:05:54

True Hoppinghare everyone has an opinion on something and if they haven't then they will invent one. Thanks for all the positive replies from everyone. Feeling better already.

sleepdodger Sun 16-Mar-14 00:10:25

I have an only
Age means it doesn't 'have' to stay like that but I just feel really stressed about it all
If we wait and see if it ever feels right to try again dh will be old and I will be okish
Age gap will be 5+ years
At this point we won't be paying nursery
House extension will be finished- space ok
No family near by/support
We work ft and I worry ds doesn't gave enough from me never mind that split with more
Comfortable life now - the baby years were hard for us
We're just not broody

But

DC is such a sociable child his friends have siblings and he's started asking questions
I feel really sad that he might not but can't see that we will
I don't believe in having a sibling for a child iykwim
I sort of don't feel done
If money was no object I would. Probably. As would dh. But this isn't about money.

Will this ever change one way or another, I find myself thinking about it all the time confusedhmm

Jinsei Sun 16-Mar-14 00:29:26

We have an only child, an 8yo dd. We wanted her to have a sibling, but I guess it wasn't meant to be - I miscarried her siblings. It saddens me sometimes, but dd is very happy and has really excellent social skills. The stereotypes are just that, they're not necessarily borne out in reality.

I do feel like I often have to justify or explain why we only have one, and that probably makes me fret about it more than I would otherwise. However, when I look at dd, I realise that there are advantages to only having one, too. I don't think I'd have such a close relationship with her if there was another child in the picture, she wouldn't get the time and attention that she gets now, and there would be the inevitable tendency to compare.

There is no such thing as "the perfect family". Don't get sucked in to what other people think it should look like.

VonHerrBurton Sun 16-Mar-14 00:30:05

Well, I have come to the conclusion that some of my friends are jealous.

Constant squabbling, fighting siblings, he said she said tittle- tattling, not enough time/money to really do what they want, one has a sleepover - all bloody 4 want one, same with friends coming over...

My very much by choice 'only' has dh and I all to himself, for as much or as little time he wants. Sleepovers for 4 friends? No problem. No clashing of pick ups or activities.

He is kind, polite and has never had a problem with sharing - another stereotype.

Plenty of friends, countless cousins - who, ironically, are the ones who seem bratty by fighting for attention from any adult that's around.

Oh, and I just love it when people tut and say 'well it ok for you, you've only got one to sort out'. Yes, I have, and im thrilled with that, thank you! smile

Rant over.

TheArticFunky Sun 16-Mar-14 00:33:41

It's becoming more common to have an only. When I was at school I knew 1 or 2 but now I would say about 1/5 of ds1's friends are only children.

I have two children however I have a largish gap so I received some of the negative comments before we had our second child. I was also told that we shouldn't have bothered having a second child because ds1 was already at school when ds2 came along.

All families come in different shapes and sizes. It's nobody else's business and there is no ideal number.

MidniteScribbler Sun 16-Mar-14 00:41:14

I grew up as an only, and I have an only. It's no one else's business and I refuse to get in to a debate with anyone about it. My usual response to 'when are you having another?' is 'god no, the next one might be a real turd' with or without a pointed look depending on the behaviour of their children.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:54:40

I have an only. He was born when I was 31. I had no difficulty in conceiving, was in a stable relationship (the one I'm still in 23 years later) and money wasn't an issue.

I just thought been there , done that, he's perfect, I don't want another one.

Rabbitcar Sun 16-Mar-14 06:02:57

There are some only children in my DDs' classes who are super confident, find it very easy to make friends, and have excellent social skills, all of which I would love for my own girls. And they seem very happy. I certainly can't think of any reason to feel sorry for them! So please don't worry about this at all OP.

Potol Sun 16-Mar-14 06:37:16

I am an only. I know others as well. I am perfectly normal and well adjusted. As are my friends. Never missed having a sibling or felt I was missing out. I have a DS and he might be an only. I totally don't get the angst directed at only children.

Eatriskier Sun 16-Mar-14 06:53:24

I try not to read them - my family experience is that no matter what size brood you have you can always breed an entitled knob.

My DF is an only child with only child cousins - lots of entitled knobs in that family
My DM and PGM were both 1 of 9 - loads of entitled knobs there too
I'm one of 2 - my Sis is an entitled knob.

I really don't think family size had anything to do with any of that, more dodgy genetics!

lunar1 Sun 16-Mar-14 07:04:23

It could be that you see there being so many threads because it is your situation so you notice every one. It's probable more balanced than it seems to you.

What on earth is wrong with having one child? The cost if living is huge these days. I tend to spot all the gender disappointment threads, I have 2 boys which according to lots on mn means I should have immediately tried for no. 3 as they will go off get married and I'll never see them again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 16-Mar-14 07:11:04

I'd suggest, if you are not able to cope with negative opinions, you don't read the threads. I'm the full-time working, lone parent to one DS and if I got upset about negative opinions on only children, lone parenting, working mothers or similar prejudicial rubbish I'd never get out of bed in the morning. smile

Mosschopz Sun 16-Mar-14 07:13:27

I agree. I was a bit shocked at how that last 'only child' thread went, I expected to read a lot of comments that only children didn't know any better so didn't feel they'd missed out etc etc.

What people don't realise is it's often through no choice of your own that you stick at one. I found it hard when friends started announcing second pregnancies and there's always a twinge when you see siblings together but my DS is 3.5, I'm 42 this year and we've been trying for 2.5 years with one miscarriage behind us so I doubt it'll happen for us now and I've convinced myself I'm ok with that.

Best ignoring these threads. It only makes you feel worse.

FadBook Sun 16-Mar-14 07:30:41

Constant squabbling, fighting siblings, he said she said tittle- tattling, not enough time/money to really do what they want, one has a sleepover - all bloody 4 want one, same with friends coming over...

^ This

My very much by choice 'only' has dh and I all to himself, for as much or as little time he wants. Sleepovers for 4 friends? No problem. No clashing of pick ups or activities.

^ and this

I also feel when I'm around parents with more than one that they're stressed, tired, pissed off with the demands of children, annoyed at partners for not doing enough, miserable at work because time is split, jealous if we talk about a holiday we can afford, complaining of no free time etc etc. I'm not talking one or two parents I know, it's at least a dozen or more. More than one child has changed them - they say they're happy but their behaviour and actions don't match it.

And normally this is all because they wanted "two close together so they could play"...

DP and I saw this and decided it wasn't choice. We have one dd (had ivf to have her and could do it again) but DP and I are really happy it just being us 3.

DStepSis, DS, Cousin, SIL, BF1 and BF2 I'm looking at you all

wordfactory Sun 16-Mar-14 07:33:46

I think if you can't have more children, then it's seriously not worth worrying about.

Life is too short and all that.

But as an only myself it really pisses me off when parents of only children dismiss all the negatives because it suits them!!!

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