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To wonder if only having enough time left for one child means that we shouldn't have any?

(215 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Sat 26-Jul-14 20:09:17

Something I'm wrestling with at the moment. I am already 40, very newly married and DH and I haven't really made up our minds yet about children. Last time we discussed it he casually threw in "of course, we'll only ever be able to have one". Even though in my head I only feel about 30, he's probably right. It got us thinking- he has 2 siblings, I have a brother and we both have very close bonds with them. For me in particular my brother has been a huge support during some awful times including the death of both our parents- he walked me down the aisle last month. It's phenomenally important to me that another person felt the same loss and shares the same memories.

But maybe that's just a bonus, and I'd have managed OK if I had never known any different.

Given that DH and I are a bit on the fence about DC full stop, is there any force in the argument that it's maybe not a good thing to deliberately have an only child?

Iggly Sat 26-Jul-14 20:10:48

If you want children have them. I'd say one is better than none if you want children.

Paloma12 Sat 26-Jul-14 20:11:42

This is going to be massively controversial, but as an only child myself, I wouldn't deliberately do it.

fanjobiscuits Sat 26-Jul-14 20:12:20

I have a sibling and would happily have an only child.

JessieMcJessie Sat 26-Jul-14 20:12:20

Funny how the default phrase is to want "children" isn't it?

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 26-Jul-14 20:12:23

Nothing wrong with having or being an only child. Choosing not to have any rather than an only is crazy logic.

Lottiedoubtie Sat 26-Jul-14 20:13:02

I don't think there are many only children alive who feel their life hasn't been worth living because they haven't got a sibling?

fanjobiscuits Sat 26-Jul-14 20:13:12

Also I bet there's plenty on mumsnet who had more than one and started at 40.

ColdCottage Sat 26-Jul-14 20:13:39

My mum had me at 39 and DSIS at 42. My friend had DS at 40 and DD at 42. You have lots of time. You could even go for 3 if you wanted. smile

Good luck.

JessieMcJessie Sat 26-Jul-14 20:15:52

Lottiedoubtie I like how you put that, thanks!

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 26-Jul-14 20:16:56

Really Paloma? If it was one or none you would choose none?

JimmyCorkhill Sat 26-Jul-14 20:17:23

I have a brother and a sister. We don't have anything to do with each other. Siblings don't always get on.

Thumbwitch Sat 26-Jul-14 20:18:07

You have a little more time than you think, maybe. I had Ds1 at 40 and DS2 at 45 (with 3 MCs in between). But you don't have much time to sit and wonder about whether or not to bother - if you want a child/children then get going now!

TalcumPowder Sat 26-Jul-14 20:18:08

No, that 'argument' is just about you sitting on the fence about having children and trying to find a reason to jump one way or the other. You're both coming at this from the nice position of being very close to your siblings, which is not everyone's experience, to put it mildly. (I have three siblings I quite like but never see or talk to, and my husband has four, with one of whom he has a warm relationship. We live in different countries to all of both our siblings.) We have one child (born when I was about to turn 40, conceived first month of trying) and don't plan to have another.

Decide whether or not you do want a child - the 'two or nothing' argument only seems to have occurred to your husband, and doesn't make a lot of sense, unless you fully credit those 'lonely only' stereotypes. You might be able to have another, too, if you are really set on it.

foreverforaging Sat 26-Jul-14 20:20:00

You'd better hurry up or you won't be having any at this rate.

I started trying when I was 38 and, at 43, have given up on having any. Just because you want them doesn't mean you get them.

JessieMcJessie Sat 26-Jul-14 20:21:01

To be fair to DH, he didn't say "two or none", he just mentioned it as a factor when we were trying to picture the future I think. It's me who is tying myself up in knots about whether it makes the whole idea of being parents less attractive.

TheBloodManCometh Sat 26-Jul-14 20:21:05

I was an only child up to the age of 12 and feel no worse off for it.
My OH is an only child full stop and he only wants to have one.
Having children is both incredibly selfish and selfless and is a deeply personal decision that should not, IMHO, be based on whether or not they can have siblings.
If you can support them emotionally and financially then thats the best start.

But just to get psychoanalytical on you, it does sound a little like you are looking for an excuse not to have one. Just a little bit, I may be reading it wrong!

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Sat 26-Jul-14 20:21:24

I don't understand your thinking OP. You and your DH either want DC or you don't, which is it?

toomuchtooold Sat 26-Jul-14 20:21:34

Nah I think it's fine. I'm an only and I'd have liked a brother or sister but, you know, I'd have liked a pony as well.

And you never know, you might get pregnant really easily and manage two. And you might have twins! It happens... specially as you get older. (I hope you don't have twins. I have twins. All I am, ever, is knackered).

mamalovesmojitos Sat 26-Jul-14 20:23:01

Yes, I think the issue is any kids at all V none. Of course you can have just one! I do. It's great.

JessieMcJessie Sat 26-Jul-14 20:23:07

"Forever* I am sorry about your difficulties conceiving. In no way am I under the illusion that having any child at all is a foregone conclusion.

TheBloodManCometh Sat 26-Jul-14 20:23:18

I should add that although I love my brother and sister - I have little to do with them. Having siblings didn't change my life in the long term, though it did cause massive emotional trauma for many years

TheBloodManCometh Sat 26-Jul-14 20:23:18

I should add that although I love my brother and sister - I have little to do with them. Having siblings didn't change my life in the long term, though it did cause massive emotional trauma for many years

Oneforthemummy Sat 26-Jul-14 20:23:49

I've heard many reasons given for not wanting to have children (or a child...) before, but never because they would be an only. Incredibly blinkered and insulting to only children and their parents. It is this sort of thinking that encourages the stereotyping of only children which, in my experience, causes more problems than any you might encounter by actually being an only child (with everyone assuming that they know your exact personality as soon as they find out you are an only child). Just because you enjoyed a good relationship with your sibling(s) does not guarantee the same for your child.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 26-Jul-14 20:24:23

I don't think you should have a child or children if you're on the fence about it. Sorry if that sounds harsh. I'm on the fence about having red or white wine tonight. I'm on the fence about whether we need to change the car this year or wait till next. It sounds to me like you're looking for an excuse to stay on the fence.

It is absolutely, 100% fine to not want a child or children. You don't have to. But if you do decide to ttc, I think it's only right that you very much want to bring another life into the world. Being on the fence doesn't cut it.

Again, I don't mean to be harsh, I'm trying to address the real issue which is whether or not you have children at all, not how many you have.

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