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Why do people feel guilty for not giving their child a sibling?

(49 Posts)
poshsinglemum Sat 08-Jan-11 08:46:05

I think dd might be the only one but afetr having a relationship with my sis I just don't get it when people sya they feel guilty for not giving their child a sibling.

Or am I trying to make myself feel better? I would love lots of babies but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

mozette Sat 08-Jan-11 09:00:18

I don't understand it either! I have a perfectly fab relationship with my siblings but I don't feel guilty about DD being an only.

Tee2072 Sat 08-Jan-11 09:01:03

Am I suppose to feel guilty? Gosh another thing about motherhood I'm getting wrong. grin

didldidi Sat 08-Jan-11 09:06:32

I am an only child and didn't really want a second child myself (for purely selfish reasons!) however my mum who is also an only child lost both her parents in her fifties and now has no-one - as will I when they die. That's no-one else to remember our childhood or to support me with decisions/care when they get old. I had a second child because although they might not get on - they will always have each other.

KTDace Sat 08-Jan-11 09:14:21

Because I am so close to my brother and I really want my DD to experience the same, I realise that if I did have another child DD and they might not get on, but I would hope that they would(most of the time).

Tee2072 Sat 08-Jan-11 09:14:28

I have a sister I never see nor do I want to see her. How is that having each other?

poshsinglemum Sat 08-Jan-11 09:37:49

My sister and I never sit down and reminice about our childhood but I feel very sad about that.

didldidi Sat 08-Jan-11 10:06:31

Tee2072 - but that is a choice which I don't have and I didn't want that for my ds.

NorfolkNChance Sat 08-Jan-11 10:56:06

I got told by a "friend" with 5 DC tgat I was being abusive to DD by stopping with her.

Yeah ok then hmm

Tee2072 Sat 08-Jan-11 12:29:09

That's your prerogative Didldidi. But you shouldn't assume sibs = one big happy family.

Better to teach your children that family doesn't have to be related by blood.

Abusive? LOLOLOLOLOL.

thumbwitch Sat 08-Jan-11 12:37:10

I think that you do what's right for your family and sod what anyone else thinks.

And then there are people who would love to have more but can't - they should ALSO sod what anyone else thinks because NO ONE has any right to judge on how many children you have. (Unless it's more than 20 wink)

I would like to have another but am not desperate over it; DH and I both have shite brothers who we could happily live without (although he had a good time as a child with his, it's only now he's turned into a major PITA). DH would like us to have 2, I don't think DS is bothered either way at the mo (he's 3).

COCKadoodledooo Sat 08-Jan-11 12:48:42

I dunno. We didn't have ds2 because we felt guilty about ds1 being an only, we had him because we wanted another child!

We have a big age gap (almost 6 years), and other people were never sparing with their opinions when ds1 was an only (he'll be spoilt/selfish/lonely/insert-chosen-negative-aspec t-here), and then went completely the other way when I was pregnant (hw could you possibly do that to him, it'll destroy him having to share you and other such bollocks). They absolutely adore each other and it's a delight to behold. No way do I feel guilty for not doing it sooner, and I wouldn't if w'd nt decided to have another child either.

Ds1 did beg on and off for a sibling btw. If I was that way inclined, that may have led me to feel guilty, but it didn't. The best guilt trip he tried to lay was when he was about 3.5. I went to pick him up from preschool and one of the staff (also a friend) asked if I had something to tell her. Apparently ds had said that he was soon going to have a baby brother called George..

I tell you what though, I think if I was in the situation where I knew I couldn't have any more children, then yep, I'd feel guilty then. There wouldn't be any reason too, I just know I would.

Cicatrice Sat 08-Jan-11 12:52:36

I'm an only. DS is an only (and will remain so) DH has a brother who we never see. DH and BIL fought like cat and dog all through their childhoods.

Just having a sibling doesn't mean that they will have a good relationship.

NoWayNoHow Sat 08-Jan-11 16:22:31

You shouldn't feel guilty at all... What is worse? Having an only child, or having a second child literally as a glorified play thing for the first? If you as parents don't want to have another, then you shouldn't.

My DS is an only, and will remain so. I have ZERO inclination for another - the birth is still fresh in my mind over 3 years later - and I also think that for all the people who shout "selfish" and "cruel", there are some really positive aspects to being an only child. You develop a sense of your personality a lot earlier without comparing it to that of a sibling's, you are socially adept far sooner due to keeping the company of adults - there are many bonuses.

BTW, I'm speaking from the perspective of having one sister to whom I'm incredibly close (although we fought for 7 years non-stop when we were children). The fact that I love her to pieces has no impact on my decision, as I know that my DH and I really don't want more kids, and if we did have, we would always know it was because we were pressured by society.

MrsNorthman Sat 08-Jan-11 16:42:07

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. People have differing numbers of children for lots of reasons. People choose to have lots of children and some people choose not too. Some people don't have any by choice too. Others can't have more than one child due to a fertility issue. Some people split up after years of 'trying' with one partner, meet someone else and get pregnant straight away with the new partner. Thats how random it all is.

I would like a brother or sister for my DS, although that looks unlikely. I would like him to have a sibling - just because. They may not get on, they may get on like a house on fire. I never got on with my brother until we were adults and now we are extremely close. Unfortunately my brother will never have any children because he is gay so our family line with be no more. Not that that matters tremendously, but they are all contributing factors as to why I would like more children. I suppose if its something you want to give you child and you can't - you feel guilty about it. But its not the same as not wanting any more children - because you'd have no reason to feel guilty because you wouldn't be in that frame of mind in the first place.

Sorry i'm waffling blush

didldidi Sat 08-Jan-11 16:42:50

My point is you have the choice, and I wanted my children to have the choice too.

asmallbunchofflowers Sat 08-Jan-11 20:53:05

I don't read self-help books but the gist of a lot of them, I gather, is that guilt is a waste of emotion.

Generalising a bit. People with one child seem pretty much to fall into two categories - those who made a deliberate choice and those whose choice was made for them by fertility issues, divorce, or other circumstances. In either case, I see no reason for guilt. If it's a situation one's chosen, then one is (presumably) happy with it. If it's a situation one hasn't chosen, then there's no logic in assuming responsibility (or guilt) for something you haven't created or can't change.

I am always perplexed by this notion that children without siblings will be alone in the world once their parents die. I very much hope that by the time DH and I pop our clogs, DD will have close friends and/or a partner and/or children who will support her. Very few people I know turn first to their siblings when in need or distress and - looking at friends and family - I've never seen siblings metaphorically huddling together for comfort after a bereavement or at any other time.

brokeoven Sat 08-Jan-11 20:57:51

Its not guilt that i feel, its utter utter sadness that my son will go though life alone.
He wont of course as he has cousins that i ensure he is close to.

It wrenches my guts that i have been unable to have another child, its the unfairness of it and it makes me feel desperately sad.

asmallbunchofflowers Sat 08-Jan-11 21:03:12

I can understand your sadness, brokeoven (is that what your nickname's about, by the way?). I think sadness is a very different thing from guilt. I hope you find peace with your situation.

brokeoven Sat 08-Jan-11 21:15:23

it is!!! yes, you are the fist person to get that! smile
my oven is broken...at the moment, but i am in the process of getting it fixed at Liverpool womens hospital gringrin

asmallbunchofflowers Sat 08-Jan-11 21:25:25

::preens::

Well, I hope the LWH fixes you and your oven. grin

GenevieveHawkings Sat 08-Jan-11 23:57:51

I believe that how many children a person decides to have is their own personal choice.

It was my choice to have just one child, as it was my DH's too (lucky I met someone who wanted the same thing in life as me!). If when it's his turn our DS decides that he really didn;t like teh experience of being an only child then it will be his personal choice to make sure that he doesn't have an only child himself.

You shouldn't feel any guilt about the choices you make in your own life.

When your child is old enough to live his/her life he/she will be able to make their own choices too.

That's the way it goes.

SummerRain Sun 09-Jan-11 00:11:44

I was an only and hated it... my parents moved country a lot and my mother is toxic as hell so i felt very alone for most of my childhood... i would have given anything for a sibling.

for those reasons i would have felt incredibly guilty if i'd only had dd, so she has 2 brothers

stropicana2011 Sun 09-Jan-11 00:14:13

DH is an only, always wanted a sibling.

I am 1 of 3, don't speak to them.

But, I have three because I wanted 3, bonus is they have each other and hope the always will.smile

mamalovesmojitos Sun 09-Jan-11 00:32:08

I feel guilty for many of the reasons outlined in this thread. Don't feel any less guilty for reading it smile. I'm still in my twenties though, so you never know what'll happen. I hope my dd is happy enough as she is. I love her desperately, I'd hate her to be lonely.

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