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I love having one! It isn't easier than 2 or more- just different.. Why do people make judgements?

(23 Posts)
joric Tue 07-Jun-11 23:02:53

DD is 8 and great fun... It took 4 years for us to have her. She has asked for a little brother but we said that it won't happen and she just said ok.

Yes there are downsides.. No other children in the house first thing in the morning and last thing at night but she's with them all day at school and 3 times a week after school at clubs.. A few come over now and then and we just try and mix it up- time with us on our own- parks, theatre, cinema.... time with family, time with friends- school, swimming, brownies, dancing-

It's full on and we do a lot..both me and DP work full time are not particularly well off and have no relatives near but we try to get a balance.

So why do friends with more than one say.. 'oh you've no idea...We couldn't do such and such with two... You're so lucky to be able to....'
Why am I lucky compared to them?

Please enlighten me!

Just10moreMinutes Wed 08-Jun-11 12:07:32

I magine they think you are lucky because you aren't in a position where you have to juggle your time, energy and money between more than one child (possibly with conflicting needs and/or wants)

I think you are lucky to have friends that focus on the benefits of having an only. Unfortunately, I (and my DD) tend to get pity rather than envy from my lot.

ChaosTrulyReigns Wed 08-Jun-11 12:17:31

Do they mean logistically easier?

Never having to be in 3 places at exactly the same time?

Never having to negotiate who's having the Hello Kitty plate?

Never having to console over comparisons?

Never having to listen to squabbling?

Never really having quality one to one time interrupted?

Never facing the dilemma of whose needs to put first in conflicts of time/money/efforts/desires?

and so on?

I agree with you regarding the impossibility of comparing harder/easier life, but surely you can empathise with why parents with more children may perceive that their life is more challenging?

Dinosaurhunter Wed 08-Jun-11 12:17:59

I have 1 ds age 4 and at this stage i think it is so easy compared to friends who mostly have 2 now , I'm quite lucky as one of my best friends also has a only the same age so we go on holiday together etc ..
The other day a large group of us went to the park with all the children and I was just able to sit and sunbathe while ds played , while my friends kept commenting on how stressed they were having to run around the park after their little ones .

Dinosaurhunter Wed 08-Jun-11 12:19:48

Forgot to add , so yes i can understand why others think it's easier having 1

pinkbraces Wed 08-Jun-11 12:22:01

I have one, I only ever wanted one, she is now almost 17 and is the most wonderful, well adjusted and happy person.

she doesnt feel that she has missed out by not having siblings, we have the most amazing relationship. Im so pleased with the decision I made smile

Lulabellarama Wed 08-Jun-11 12:23:13

Well, it IS easier having 1.
Those of us with more than 1 have experienced both and are in a position to make that judgement. Not saying it is better one way or the other.

PacificDogwood Wed 08-Jun-11 12:23:41

What Chaos said.

With DS1 I used to hate having to do the grocery shop with him as I found it harder work (when he was little).
Now, if DH is at home at the weekend, it's "yeah, I only have to take 2 to the supermarket with me" - because he has the other 2 grin.

I don't think that having one or more children is any "better" than the other, but there are times where it is harder IMO.
You don't double the effort you put in with every child, that would be impossible, but there is added complications to the daily running of the household.

Having said that, nobody should compare you to their own circumstances. Some people may think "well, I have had one, so know what it is like" - and TBH there is some truth in that.

PacificDogwood Wed 08-Jun-11 12:24:42

Lula was much more succinct than I blush. Totally agree.

5GoMadOnAZ650 Wed 08-Jun-11 12:29:19

I agree it is easier with only one child, people will always comment on your family choices regardless of how many you have, we have 4 and people comment on us. However if the three of you are happy just enjoy your family and ignore what people say.

Species8472 Wed 08-Jun-11 14:40:44

It is easier having 1, that's why I don't intend to have another one! smile.

PalazzoPants Wed 08-Jun-11 14:44:13

What Chaos and Lula said

joric Wed 08-Jun-11 16:27:41

I really understand that logistically, financially etc. It is EASIER to have one... That wasn't my point ! Why am I LUCKY to have one is what I asked!

Why do people compare and envy other people's situations? Our lives are a mixture of choice and chance... I hate the 'Oh YOU'RE so lucky!' what?! to be only be able to have one? To work in a mad job? To live far from relatives... That's just the way it is - So why waste energy moaning? So I suppose the 'Look at poor me... My life is so much busier/ harder/chaotic than yours' lot annoy me a bit. It's the judgements people make that p**s me off.

I like what you said 5gomad.....pinkbraces... Just10moreminutes

Lulabellarama Wed 08-Jun-11 16:31:30

You've lost me a bit.
The title of your thread is about it not being easier. I haven't encountered the behaviour mentioned in your last post.

joric Wed 08-Jun-11 16:42:09

What I am trying to say is that yes, although it's easier to have one lOgistically and financially, I don't agree that it is in other ways- emotionally for example... Therefore I should not be envied and I am not luckier than them! I should have named this thread ' stop comparing yourself to other people and stop moaning' !

joric Wed 08-Jun-11 19:05:42

It all depends on how much support you have, whether you are a SP, whether you work, whether your child /children/ partner have disabilities, whether there are money worries, family problems etc etc...to say absolutely that parents with 1 are better off, have it easier, are luckier is just wrong!

PacificDogwood Wed 08-Jun-11 21:17:37

People will always comment on whatever 'choices' others make.
It took us 5 years to 'make' DS1, I was 37, and feel entirely blessed for having ended up with the size of family I was hoping for in my wildest dreams. This does NOT mean that I don't moan about them at times...

I have to say, that the remark 'you are so lucky to have an only child' though is really, truly insensitive, poorly thought through and stupid rude shock.

Cannot say I have come across that either - although sometimes people suffer from foot-in-mouth disease when they don't know what to say and are trying to say something they think you might want to hear.

Maybe you could reply "Well, we wanted more, but couldn't" - that will shut them up wink!!

joric Wed 08-Jun-11 22:22:19

Like and agree with your posts pacific smile

DontCallMeBaby Fri 10-Jun-11 18:29:38

'Lucky' is a weird way to put it -people have one child have one child either because they intentionally stopped having children, or because they couldn't have a second. Neither situation is lucky - the former is judgement and the latter BAD luck. But maybe it's just a bad choice of word - I would have no argument with someone saying "it's nice that you can make the most of having just the one child by doing (whatever) with her". I was thinking pretty much how nice having only one can be yesterday, when having tea out with DD before going to a science festival event.

I have to disagree that parents of two or more can judge whether one is easier than two (ALL the time, as that seems to be the implication) because they've experienced both. An only child temporarily is a bit different to an only child permanently - not many parents of two or more have experienced having an only seven-year-old, as I have now, and as my daughter gets older that will become more and more true.

That said, if I didn't really believe one was easier than two, I might have at least attempted to have two. ;)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 11-Jun-11 20:37:58

I very much agree with DCMB's point that having an 'only' child for a couple for years until the next one comes along isn't quite the same thing as having an only child forever (especially if one has known from the time the first and only child was born that there will be no next one). That really is why I think the bidding war over who has it easier is pointless - for anything, good or bad, the other person may be experiencing the equal and opposite thing.

Jojay Sat 11-Jun-11 20:45:22

I agree, it's the 'lucky' word that grates - did they have no choice in their decisions to have a larger family.

I have a friends who has told me on several occasions how 'lucky' we are to have a smallish mortgage and no personal debt. Her DH earns consideralby more than DH and I combined. They chose to buy a huge old house that needed lots of work, plus have cars on finance, expensive hobbies etc.

We live in a modest ex council house and live within our means. That is not down to 'luck'!!

missorinoco Sat 11-Jun-11 20:51:13

Lucky is an interesting word. Maybe they mean lucky that you saw the sense to stop at one? I am trying to guess at what they mean rather than posting my opinion, before I get flamed.

Agree with how DontCallMeBaby put it.

joric Tue 14-Jun-11 21:53:43

Don't call me baby- ' I have to disagree that parents of two or more can judge whether one is easier than two (ALL the time, as that seems to be the implication) because they've experienced both. An only child temporarily is a bit different to an only child permanently - not many parents of two or more have experienced having an only seven-year-old..'
Come to the garden Maud - 'That really is why I think the bidding war over who has it easier is pointless'
Jojay -' it's the 'lucky' word that grates'
YES to all of these!!! smile
I have a friends who has told me on several occasions how 'lucky' we are to have a smallish mortgage and no personal debt.'
Don't get me started!!!! I am also very 'lucky' in this way apparently!! I have been labelled this by another friend - mother of 3, all at school, doesn't work, lives in massive house, huge mortgage, 2 holidays a year... New car, No money left............I hear all of the time how lucky I am - not only to have only one child but to also have more money apparently !! what I want to say ( but don't ) is...we have money to go to the theatre, day trips etc because...we live in a modest house, don't go on holidays abroad, don't have a new car and we both work FT!!!!
I'll stop now!!!.. smile

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