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My daughter is an only child -and I'm not sure I'm coping

(24 Posts)
Mollymoo75 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:21:24

Hi I'm new to this, but seeking advice. Is there somewhere I can go for advice/support of bringing up an only child? We are unable to have more children and struggled for 5 years of IVF to have this little one. Are there any other parents there who can give us help? We try to spend so much time with her, taking her to places, arranging play dates, but am constantly worrying and feeling guilty that she is lonely. If I'm posting in the wrong place, please let me know. Thanks :-(

JuliaScurr Thu 20-Mar-14 12:25:28

my dd is an only child; so was I. I never wanted siblings as a child, dd doesn't like her friends' siblings :D
she'll be fine because you are making sure she socialises

LunchLadyWannabe Thu 20-Mar-14 12:29:31


I only have one child. Shes 17 months. Its very likely she will always be an only child due to an horrendous pregnancy and labour with dd.

Dd doesnt go to nursery or toddler groups, and i dont know anyone with a child of a smiliar age.

It doesnt cross my mind that dd will be lonely.

I grew up with an older sibling who made my childhood a misery and i now have alot of issues with that.

Im sure dd will have friends at school etc.

Many children are an only and dont feel they missed out.

Many children who have siblings wish that they were an only.

I would just enjoy the child you have, theres no point in obsessing over something that you cannot have.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Thu 20-Mar-14 12:43:09

I'm a mum of a very happy only who doesn't want any siblings thank you very much.

There are always pros and cons to any situation but you just have to wholeheartedly embrace what you have. Count your blessings. smile

Neither Dh or I particularly get on well with our siblings. We are caring for elderly parents and receive no help from the siblings. I love my brother but we are totally different people.

Wellthatsit Thu 20-Mar-14 12:53:23

i have an only child. My DH and I both have a parent who was an only child too, neither of whom wished they had siblings growing up or were upset about being onlys. My DS went through a phase when he was younger when he used to wish he had a brother, which probably meant a playmate in his mind, but he grew out of that.

People are quick to emphasise the benefits of siblings, but there are many advantages to being an only, too. There are good things and bad things about both situations, but your family is the way it is, and you want to be proud of that.

My DS is never lonely (he has us, he has his cousins, he has his friends). He is rarely bored (he has lots of interests and hobbies, and is out of the house nearly every afternoon or evening doing something).

He is also very good in his own company, just chilling out and doing his own thing, which i think is healthy. There is no squabbling in the house (except between me and DH grin) and he never has to fight for our attention or feel pushed out.

I never planned to only have one child, and did spend some time feeling sad and regretful, especially when i felt very broody for another baby, but in the end, I couldn't change the situation so decided to focus on the plus sides. At the end of the day, I felt blessed to have my DS, knowing that some people can't have much-wanted children.

Don't put yourself through unnecessary heartache. Your DD can grow up to be a happy, balanced person, siblings or no siblings, and having a happy mum is an important part of that.

Also, grow a thick skin regarding any comments other people make. Lots of people assume only children are spoilt brats who want everything their own way. It is such a rubbish cliche. I know lots of lovely only children, some of whom are the most generous and caring people I know. And often striving less to be top dog, which can happen in families with lots of kids.

Yes, it's difficult to avoid being very focused on your one child's every thought and feeling, and i think the only child can sometimes feel the heat of their parents' expectations, but is that any worse than feeling you are spreading yourself too thin or not being fair, or favouring one child over another, all of which happen in larger families.

Sorry, this has turned into a bit of an epic post, but hopefully this has helped a little.

Mollymoo75 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:59:30

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sometimes through all the worry it's hard to see the wood from the trees.
And I totally agree with LadyLunchWannabee and LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob, I have siblings and never really got on well with them as children either. I know my dh never got on with his brother either.
I should have tried to stop worrying for Lent! Instead I gave up crisps.

Mollymoo75 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:03:39

Thanks JuliaScurr and Wellthatsit (it was an epic post) but very helpful.
Will try to stop worrying and take up meditation or yoga.

girliefriend Thu 20-Mar-14 13:05:39

My dd is an only (8yo) and occasionally I feel guilty that i haven't given her a sibling, I have two brothers and although I was never that bothered about them as a child as adults we are quite close.

However dd has lots of friends, we do lots of things with her and she gets tons of one to one attention which I craved as a child so as pp there are pros and cons to every situation.

Dd has never said she wanted a sibling and although there are lots of things I do feel guilty about about - actually that not so much!!

naty1 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:07:22

I currently have an only (failed second uvf last week we are hopefully going to try again but with only ever 2 embies each time doesnt look hopeful)
So i will have to get used to this and enjoy the 1 i was lucky enough to have.
I do feel sad for her but its true siblings dont get on (my oh sister for example they are chalk and cheese she is irresponsible never grown up ..)
Also ive observed at groups especially twins can not like sharing because they are always doing it.
Also theres no doubt only having 1 is going to be easier smile
It does feel strange though as i only know 2 only children. But im sure this generation there will be more - nursery costs, housing and leaving it later there will be more secondary infertility.
They dont need to play with others till 3 (free nursery hours) and then theyre in school.
Its more .... Feels like all my eggs in 1 basket.

TheGonnagle Thu 20-Mar-14 13:09:13

My dd is 4 and an only. She will be staying that way due to health issues (me) and the need for ICSI (dh).
She is a happy little bean, lots of friends at school but also very good in adult company. She understands that because mummy is poorly she can't have a sibling and she is fine with it. Don't worry about what you can't change just make the best of what life gives you.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 20-Mar-14 13:13:18


Don't know if you will find this helpful, but if you had another child, the "worry" that all parents feel would simply be expressed via a different outlet i.e. worry that you can no longer spend so much time with your eldest, that your little one never has that @one to one love in" with you as an infant that you eldest had, etc etc.

Worry is part and parcel of parenthood - yours comes out in worrying about your daughter being an only, mine comes out in worrying that I don't have enough quality time with my eldest or that my youngest has got used to being ignored sometimes as there is so much going on.

They will all turn out alright, I'm sure!

Enjoy your DD. There are LOTS of advantages to being an only!

dyslexicdespot Thu 20-Mar-14 13:15:22

Siblings are overrated. Just read the relationship boards on mumsnet!

kerala Thu 20-Mar-14 13:19:07

You sound like a lovely mum. As a teenager I was envious of a friend who was an only child. She had a great relationship with her parents like they were a team who had fun and did lots of things together. I had 2 younger sisters and her life seemed much more glamorous I used to feel embarrassed about our large family trekking around in a big family car - they had an open top nippy thing.

Aboyandabunny Thu 20-Mar-14 13:40:05

My DS is an only too for a variety of reasons. I would have liked another but it is not to be.
DS is 10 and is a friendly, popular boy. We ensure he does plenty of activities and that friends are invited over regularly.
Two of my best friends are onlies and have happy family lives, one with an only child herself.
I have a DB I see about twice a year. No anymosity just busy lives.
Enjoy your daughter, all will be well for her.

OhSoVintage Thu 20-Mar-14 13:43:16

I remember feeling like that when dd1 was about the same age, so we had dd2. There are 7 years difference, they don't get on argue most of the time and sometimes I remember how nice it was when it was just the one little girl that craved my attention yet it was so peaceful in the house grin

There are advantages and disadvantages of course but I remember having visions of dd1 having a little sibling to look after and no longer being lonely. The reality is quite different!
I wouldn't worry as someone said siblings are over rated, I still don't get on with mine in my 30's!

Mollymoo75 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:41:32

Thank you OhSoVintage, Aboyandabunny, Kerala, dislexicdespot, TheGonnagle, Bumpsadaisie, girliefriend and naty1. Apologies if I've left someone out. You're all so kind and helpful. Lots of advice to take on board, and I'll hang about and read the message boards with all the complaints and moanings about 2/3/4 children families! Have a good day x

hels71 Thu 20-Mar-14 18:20:43

I only have one DD and I worry too. We can't have any more either.

RalphRecklessCardew Thu 20-Mar-14 21:25:24

I'm an only. It was fine. It is fine. Please don't worry. Look, if being an only were so bad, it'd show up in the stats. More onlies would be getting divorced, or getting depression, or going to prison, or whatever. Instead all you can see is that onlies do marginally better at school/work.

Please don't worry

NinjaLeprechaun Fri 21-Mar-14 11:31:01

My 'only' just turned 18, and she's a perfectly nice, relatively normal, human person.
And it turns out that when I didn't provide her with a sibling she went out and found one of her own. Unofficially known as my 'other daughter'. Considering the difficult relationship I have with my actual sister, that might be the best way to do it.

ChoudeBruxelles Fri 21-Mar-14 11:35:49

I'm an only child, so is Ds.

I'm not lonely - I have some wonderful friends and a great DH. Ds has some lovely friends too - I guess sometimes I do invite friends to play a bit more than some people who have more than one, but that's often more because it means I get some peace while DS plays with his friends rather than wanting me to do something with him.

I've got friends who really don't like their siblings - having brothers and sisters doesn't mean that you will be friends with them when you grow up.

heartichoke Fri 21-Mar-14 11:39:35

DS is 13 now - and he loves squandering all the resources himself! He has heaps of friends - does many activities and he is perfectly happy. When friends come to our house with their siblings, he's always grateful after they've gone that he doesn't have anyone around that constantly irritates and argues with him!

I grew up with a sister and we never 'got on'. As adults we have chosen not to have anything more to do with each other (after several years of disastrous attempts to behave like human beings in a 'normal' sibling relationship). I think we're both relieved by each other's absence from our lives and we'd have both been a lot happier growing up on our own!

WhisperingPea Fri 21-Mar-14 12:38:14

Me too - my dd is an only child; so was I. DD is now 16 and a wonderful, sociable, well rounded kid with lots of good friends. She always says she is glad she doesn't have siblings and I certainly never wanted any.

When she was small we socialised with lots of people (both adult and children) and spent the money (saved on a sibling) travelling and letting her try out lots of activities (one of which sparked a career interest which she is now embarking on). Her friends have always been welcomed and encouraged to treat our house as a home from home.

We worried about her at times but have no regrets at all about a lack of siblings! One of the few negatives is that dd and I both enjoy our own company and need time on our own, away from other people, on a regular basis :-)

bluebeanie Sat 22-Mar-14 20:55:35

OP there's a one child family section in the 'Being a Parent' section. There's a great thread on the pros of an only. It really boosts your spirits.grin

Floraclare Sun 23-Mar-14 10:22:46

People claim so much nonsense about only children, but most of the evidence suggests that they usually do incredibly well in life and are happy, confident and well adjusted - and instead of being lonely, are good at making friends.

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