Is anyone else on MN an only child? Does it bother you much if you are one?

(111 Posts)
MotherHen680 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:07:22

I'm an only. I've always been a bit wistful about not having siblings, and I think it bothers me more than it should. Apart from the practical advantages that come with having siblings, including having another family member to lean on when you're in a crisis, looking out for each other, and being able to share the burden when a parent dies, I don't really understand the logic in choosing to only have one child. I don't actually know anyone in real life who's an only, apart from me.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:10:23

Yup, hate it, and I think it made my mother 10x more neurotic only having one child to focus all her anger / frustration / worries on. To my surprise she recently told me that she would have had more than one, had circumstances been right. Not sure if that's true or not.

lilydaisyrose Sun 10-Jan-16 22:11:26

I'm not an only but I have no sisters, step sisters and blood related Aunties - which makes me sad.

<misses point of thread entirely>

abzlar1986 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:17:24

I'm an only. I always wanted a baby bro or sis when I was a kid, but now I'm so glad I'm an only. Looking back on my childhood my parents & I did so much fun family stuff, if there was/ were sibling(s) Mum & Dad wouldn't necessary been able to afford for us to do so much together.

mareseatoatsanddoeseatoats Sun 10-Jan-16 22:19:00

yes i am - hate it. Wasn't so bothered as a child, but dislike it more as an adult as I see the fun my two have together. As they get older they fight and bicker etc like i'm sure all children do, but i love how they always love to have each other to share excitement with - xmas, birthdays, holidays etc. I remember going on holiday with my parents and always looking to make friends with other children, my two don't need that they have each other. Everything is always better when you have someone to share it with (not the same with adults)

I see how close some of my friends are with their siblings and children, and wish i had that. I hope that my two will stay close. I don't understand why anyone would ever have one child through choice.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sun 10-Jan-16 22:20:34

Dh is an only child and has never yearned for a sibling.

It took a lot of convincing to have our 2nd child.

Livingondaisland24 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:21:24

Im an only and im not sad. No guarantee siblings will get on, iv seen alot of siblings fight as children and then they dont see each other as adults. Obviously when its a good relationship then thats nice but absolutely no guarantees. Lots of people have no choice in 'picking' how many children they want, fate is cruel so dont lay blame on parents who struggle to conceive more kids. And others choose to focus their love and money on one child as having lots of children is exhausting and expensive and maybe they think they'd be a better parent to 1 child than a stressed out parent to 3.

remembermewhen Sun 10-Jan-16 22:21:39

The only time it's ever bothered me was a few years back my Mum suffered some really serious health problems which are being managed now.
I really wished I had someone else to lean on, take over, help with big decisions !
Apart from that it's never phased me!

My daughter is an only child & it's highly unlikely that will ever change

ComposHatComesBack Sun 10-Jan-16 22:25:45

Apart from the practical advantages that come with having siblings, including having another family member to lean on when you're in a crisis, looking out for each other, and being able to share the burden when a parent dies

I think only children can have a tendency to over idealise sibling relationships and massively over estimate how close sibblings are. We fought like cat and dog up to the age of 14 after which point we just co-existed in the same house. No great falling out or animosity, we just pretty much lived separate lives. We were very different people with different interests, different friendship groups and temperaments.

We now live at opposite ends of the country and see each other at our parents' house around Christmas and will phone each other a couple of times a year and exchange birthday cards but not much more. I doubt either of us would be the other's first port of call for emotional support.

I don't think that is untypical for sibling relationships. I know siblings who are very close but know just as many if not more who have a similar relationship with their brother or sister.

Lolimax Sun 10-Jan-16 22:27:08

Only child of 2 only children, so no siblings and no cousins, uncles or aunties either. Both parents now dead, so the only blood relatives I have are my 2 DC's. I've recently remarried and my DH comes from a huge family- he has cousins he doesn't know. It's made me sad in the past, especially when my parents were dying and I felt vulnerable but it's all I've ever known.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:27:22

I don't think that is untypical for sibling relationships.

It's not necessarily typical either. MY DH and his sister live miles apart, see each other every few months, but get on well and ask each other for help and advice.

tinkywinkyshandbag Sun 10-Jan-16 22:28:14

I'm an only child of an only child, sadly my Dad is no longer with us and for one reason or another I have lost touch with his remaining family so basically my only family is my Mum. Luckily DH has a bigger family so Christmasses etc are quite sociable. I never minded one bit growing up, saw cousins etc lots (on my Dad's side) and had a close relationship with my parents. As an adult though I do miss it, when my Dad died I was especially conscious of it, it got very intense with my Mum and I am very aware that when she gets old/ill there will literally only be me. I have two DD's and they are very close, I hope they are friends when they grow up, I think there is a comfort in having a sibling but I also know siblings don't necessarily get on.

Gruntfuttock Sun 10-Jan-16 22:31:06

I'm an only child, the daughter of an only child, the wife of an only child and the mother of an only child. There's no way to know if any of us would have been happier had we had siblings.

Osolea Sun 10-Jan-16 22:31:36

I'm an only, and don't feel capable of missing something I never had. I sometimes see FB posts from people saying lovely things about their brothers and sisters and think 'that would be nice to have', but otherwise it never really bothers me.

QueenofLouisiana Sun 10-Jan-16 22:33:21

I'm an only, it's never bothered me. However, my parents are about to turn 70 and have the little health niggles that start to happen. The idea of supporting them on my own is daunting.

DS is also an only. Unless there is a huge accident it's unlikely to change. He has 5 cousins so he isn't lacking a family network.

hollieberrie Sun 10-Jan-16 22:39:40

I'm an only. I'm in my 30s, and both my parents have died.

My childhood years were happy but now I feel desperately alone and have had to sort all their funerals, financial affairs, house, everything by myself. It's been very hard. I'm sure they never thought this would happen and nor did I.. sad We were very much a happy unit of 3 & now I'm the only one left. It's heartbreaking really.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:39:58

It's not having anyone who has that shared history with you from childhood. My parents were each the youngest of their respective siblings, so I was very much the youngest cousin, as well as being an only.

Now that both parents are no longer with us, there's no one I can ask about childhood etc and I would have liked to have someone who had the same experiences as me.

Mouseinahole Sun 10-Jan-16 22:44:14

I'm an only and I always longed for siblings (invented a sister when I was about 10/11).
As an adult I missed having someone to share memories and now my parents are gone there is no one who really shared my childhood although I am close to a couple of cousins I am the eldest by quite a bit.

BestZebbie Sun 10-Jan-16 22:44:27

I'm an only, and have never wanted a sibling - I remember pitying my school-friends who fought with their siblings and had to share bedrooms and parental attention all through my school life, and when younger going through a stage of being quite worried that my parents might spring a much-resented sibling on me when some friends acquired their younger sibs.
I now have an only myself and if I consider the practicalities of having a second it becomes obvious to me that we would be disadvantaging our existing child hugely as well as not being able to give a second the quality of attention from birth that the first has already had up until now.

The one thing that did bother me a little about being an only when growing up was how sad my parents would be if I died, as they wouldn't have any other children left - but I would think that they'd be sad in that situation anyway!

PizzaConnoisseur Sun 10-Jan-16 22:47:54

Yep, another only child, no cousins on my mum's side until I was an adult. I have half siblings and lots of family on my dad's side, but due to his shenanigans I was hidden from most of them, until I was more or less grown up. I was always lonely, and always wished to have siblings. Especially now I'm older, because friends can be fickle...

I vowed not to have only one child, as although my children bicker it is clear to see they love each other very much.

DamsonInDistress Sun 10-Jan-16 22:49:07

I'm an only and frankly had a great childhood. I never really wanted for much within the confines of the family budget, got to form great relationships with adults at a very early age, had time, attention and resources devoted to me and a pretty privileged upbringing in what was a deprived working class north midlands town.

But ultimately I'm alone in the world and in my own head. There is no one out there with my dna. My parents died when I was in my late teens and there is a little part of me locked away. It is what it is. I knew I never wanted an only child, I wanted to give them someone they could turn to. Oh they may hate each other eventually and we'll deal with that if it happens, but being alone can be a terrible thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm an introvert and love my own company for vast periods of time, but the feeling of unconnectedness to the world is a different thing.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sun 10-Jan-16 22:50:57

I've had the best of both worlds. I'm an only for my mum, who brought me up, but have four wonderful half siblings from my Dad's second marriage. It was ideal as we didn't grow up together so never fell out!

madein1995 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:57:09

I'm an only, and don't mind it. I was lucky enough in that we spent a lot of time doing things as a family so I don't remember feeling lonely. I do remember fantisising about having a younger sibling, but only because I liked babies and dressing them up and generally treating them like my toy(I had cousins and loved helping with the babies). I went off the idea when I saw that my friends had to share rooms, didn't get so much attention, fought with siblings etc. I had a good childhood, and had plenty of friends so wasn't lonely.

I see it as one of those things, where for me personally, it's all I've known so I don't mind it. It's like grandparents, I never got to meet mine but for me personally, I don't feel upset etc by it because it's all I've ever known. I'm still in my 20s, so as my parents get older I might wish I had siblings, but for now I'm happy.

Blankiefan Sun 10-Jan-16 23:01:00

I'm not an only. My brother's an asshole who went NC from the family for no good reason 10 years ago. I don't miss him in my life. My parents have been horribly hurt by the whole thing, including not seeing their first grandchild growing up.

Having more than 1 doesn't insure against the concerns OP has.

Whatthefucknameisntalreadytake Sun 10-Jan-16 23:01:51

I have siblings and still have to deal with everything as if I were an only. It's very frustrating, I would rather have been an only child than have siblings who are selfish, disinterested and unwilling to be involved in family life at all.

For what it's worth when we were little we played nicely together and it probably looked quite idyllic.

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