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what's wrong with "only having 1" ?

(122 Posts)
pixiewitch Tue 28-Feb-12 13:52:00

does/has anyone else have these kind of responses when you tell people you are sticking with having 1 child?

" oh don't worry , you'll change your mind " (with a half smile on thier face)
" not to worry, it'll happen ",
" uh "
" what for / why would you do that to dc ?"
a totally blank face

I'm confused as I'm not worried at all. My partner & I have very clear reasons for this which we are very happy about.

I just don't quite understand why people think they have to take it upon themselves to try and change our minds about it & that somehow were doing something wrong by just having 1 ?

Any thoughts / support from anyone else who is happy with their decission to only have 1 & has suffered this?


Dinosaurhunter Tue 28-Feb-12 14:41:35

I agree pixiewitch , if people have one others feel the right to comment yet I would not dream of going up to anyone and saying " wow why have you got 5 kids why " ......

Frontpaw Tue 28-Feb-12 14:44:53

Lonely only, my big fat backside.

I do ask people about that theory (DS is one of one) when they say they are only children, and no, they don't feel lonely or hard done by. How can you miss what you haven't had?

I am one of many and can count the number of times I speak to the rest of the members of the brood each year on one hand. Only one remembered my birthday this year. I was very lonely as a child, despite all the siblings.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 28-Feb-12 14:51:10

>If you have very ggod reasons, ie you really can't afford it, health, infertility etc then fine.

>Otherwise, it is unfair on the lonley only, sorry

Patronising bollocks. My DD is an only and she's not lonely. About half her primary school classmates were onlies. Nice bunch of kids (so were the ones with sibs, to be fair)

Having more kids than you want because you've been pressured into it by interfering idiots, that would be unfair all round.

IRL I've never had any of this judgey crap come my way.

4madboys Tue 28-Feb-12 14:55:21

wow why have you got five kids why? actually i have 5 and people do say that! or oh you must be mad, or poor you or dont you have a tv, ha ha ha.

i have 5 because we wanted a large family, equally i have friends with less, mainly 2, some only have one and i assume that is what they wanted, unless it comes up in conversation ie THEY bring it up, i dont ask, i am happy with my lot, they are happy with theirs smile and the only children i know dont seem lonely, ds3 is good friends with a little girl who is an only, she is a lovely little girl and her parents and her seem very happy.

whatever you do as a parent, someone, somewhere will judge you, its partly human nature, partly bloody rudeness. i just get on with my life and ignore or make a witty/sarcastic remark to those that say things to me, depending on my mood.

ShirleyO Tue 28-Feb-12 15:00:34

Dancing - I'm an only child. A perfectly happy and normal human being thanks a lot.

I wasn't crippled with loneliness, spoiled rotten or indulged. I had a normal upbringing by two loving parents and I turned out pretty well I think.

Dinosaurhunter Tue 28-Feb-12 15:02:22

4madboys - I'm one of five , and someon once said to my mother " are they all from the same dad "? I won't say what my mum said !

notyummy Tue 28-Feb-12 15:02:39

Thanks for your scientific survey dancing - your DH wanted to siblings therefore all onlies are lonely hmm. I was an only - I wasn't lonely. My DH has a number of siblings and HATED being in a big family, which is why he wants one child. That is equally ill-researched. Try looking at the actually evidence out there. Unahappy/lonely children exist in all sorts of families and occur because all of all sorts of reasons. The number/existence of siblings isnt the key factor.

pixiewitch Tue 28-Feb-12 15:08:11

I'm glad to see I'm not alone - just a shame to see that people (who don't have 1) feel the need to say something about it.

I was truely astounded by the (negative) response of the RL I know (& the ones I didn't) about our decision !

Dinosaurhunter : yes that is so true - I'd never say to anyone anything about the fact they had more than 1, 2, 3 or what ever...

actually, on a slightly diverting note: i saw the programme on recently about larger families. I noticed that I did have some pre-conceived ideas about certain aspects of huge families, but after/during watching the programme, I had to seriously totally change my mind. it was a great & positive revelation to me.

I still don't get why people think it's ok to try to change my mind about having 1?

maybe I'll never understand !

to bad !


spartafc Tue 28-Feb-12 15:10:39

you know, just because your husband says something - it doesn't mean it's actually true for everyone. It might that your husband just wasn't very sociable?
I have DSis and I wished almost every night that I didn't, between the ages of about 3 and 17.
It is also a ridiculous statement to make that it's 'fine' if they're an only due to infertility, or whatever it was on your approved list, but not fine for any other reason. Why would the reason make a difference?

4madboys Tue 28-Feb-12 15:11:25

dinosaur someone once said to me, that it was obvious all my boys have the same father! and how nice it was to see a young mum who obviously hasnt slept around and had lots of kids with different men shock i 'think' it was meant to be a compliment! it is true my boys all look VERY similar, same blue eyes and blonde hair, my 14mth old dd also looks very similar to the boys. but seriously, what i should have said was 'no i only sleep with aryan men'....

the other assumption i get is that we 'kept going' to get a girl....... no we wanted 4, adn then got to four and half thought about having one more, assumign we would have another boy! dd is our 'bonus' baby. i am very happy with my family, my sister has recently had a baby and only wants one, that is her choice and it wouldnt occur to me to question/criticise it! she is happy and that is fine by me, equally she is happy that i am happy with my 5. we all have different lives, with different circumstances and make choices that we are happy with. if we were all the same it would be a very dull world!

i dont understand why other people care how many children other people have, it isnt my life or my choice and doesnt impact me in anyway, why would i be bothered? confused

MrsHoarder Tue 28-Feb-12 15:13:40

Dancing: I'm one of three and its one of the reasons we are seriously considering only having one. There is nothing half as lonely as never speaking to siblings who cut you out of everything.

There are also practical considerations to do with having had a difficult (not high risk, but very limiting) pregnancy, career issues and not currently feeling I want more than one child in the way we did the first.

Takver Tue 28-Feb-12 15:16:34

PMSL at dancingontheice

I am an only; I am sooo sad, sooo lonely, sooo maladjusted.

Hmmm, don't think so. I do notice that I am overjoyed that my parents want to move to be nearer me, whereas my DH won't answer the phone in the evening in case it is his mother (who did the 'right' thing and had 3 children of mixed sex and devoted her life to them absolutely and completely).

That doesn't mean, however, that I think all of those people fortunate enough to have three children will necessarily feel the need to treat them as 6 year olds for the rest of their lives - it is just one person!

Takver Tue 28-Feb-12 15:18:27

I should say to be fair that DH has two lovely siblings and I would also be overjoyed if either of them were to come and move near to us!

As someone sensibly said above, onlys are much like eldest children or those with only 1 sibling - those with more siblings or lower down the birth order would appear from studies to have a different (not worse or better, only different) family experience on the average.

jifnotcif Tue 28-Feb-12 15:18:33

I shouldn't worry about the psychology of being an only child, but you should think about the long term - what if something goes wrong? (It really can). Or if it is a girl and she chooses not to have children how will you feel? Or if it is a boy he chooses to move to the other side of the planet and you only get to skype him once a month?

You home will become emptier that much more quickly - although to some that may be an advantage. I regret not having a third as something did go wrong.

flywiththecrows Tue 28-Feb-12 15:19:44

<ridiculous comment alert>

In fact, I know my reason.

I am only having one child because my next door neighbour has 6 children so it is likely that my 2nd child (if I had one) wouldn't get onto the school bus because neighbours children had taken all the seats...... hmm

Blu Tue 28-Feb-12 15:21:38

Some only chidren will doubtless be wishing they had siblings, some children in bigger families will doubtelss be wishing they had no siblings, or fewer siblings, some onlyies will be as happy as larry...and so on and so on.

It really is thinking to come to any conclusion based on one case. In any context.

And rude, opinionated and insensitive to come out with those conclusions in a patronising in 'sorry' and 'shame' etc. Actually you don't know better than anyone else just because you know one only child.

4madboys Tue 28-Feb-12 15:26:29

j"ust a shame to see that people (who don't have 1) feel the need to say something about it."

well i have 5 and i said something about it! is there something wrong in that? i said that i get comments for having 5 and i also said that i dont care how many children people have, if they are happy its their choice, equally i am happy with my choice and it wouldnt occur to me to question or judge someone for how many children they do or do not have.

Blu Tue 28-Feb-12 15:26:57

pixiewitch - the moral of the story is that people will spout crap on each and every area of parenting. Size of family, sex of children, eating chocolate or not eating chocolate, age of parent, cause of disability, 'spoiling' babies, and so it goes on and on and on.

notyummy Tue 28-Feb-12 15:27:32

I know what you are saying jifnotcif....but my MIL and FIL have 4 children, and rarely speak to any of them, let alone see them. Now that is because of what went on in the home in childhood, but it goes to illustrate the point that having more than one isn't insurance against heartache/loneliness/estrangement.

Frontpaw Tue 28-Feb-12 15:30:15

My aunt has three children, all of whom live on the other side of the world.'

argghh Tue 28-Feb-12 15:35:54

Its your choise how many children you have and just tell other people to keep their beaks out.

But on the discussion on lonely only ....

Im one of four and love my sisters.
DP has a brother and they havent spoken in years.

I have 2 boys who are ten years apart in age and I really cant see then staying close when they get older.

Frontpaw Tue 28-Feb-12 15:37:30

When I see a huge family I snort 'that's greedy!' but in reality, much as I would have loved a big family, its just not a possibility!

sis Tue 28-Feb-12 15:41:49

I think it is a shame that the only poster who made comments similar to the one that the OP mentioned did not answer the OP by telling us why she felt the need to give her opinion to us parents of only children.

mathanxiety Tue 28-Feb-12 15:43:30

'I only posted as it was never an issue for my dp & I until we started telling people or they asked & I got some very odd responses & I thought I might get some understanding/support from mumset posters about their experiences'

To go back to this comment -- why are you going around telling people? It's none of their business how many children you want to have and you shouldn't assume people are the least bit interested. Since you seem to want your announcement to be greeted claps on the back and approving smiles and are not prepared to countenance the sort of responses you have received, then don't tell them. You want to do a certain thing a certain way, you want to announce it to all and sundry and you want universal approval too? There is absolutely no decision related to children that you could possibly announce to anyone that would result in cries of 'You go girl!' from everyone.

The minute you start telling people your private business they think you're holding a referendum, no matter what the business is.

pixiewitch Tue 28-Feb-12 16:09:38

I told people because they asked. Simple as that ! I do not go around spouting my ideas at people expecting them to slap me on the back or congratulate me! I answered a question. Which I though to tell people 'its none of yr business' would have been rude actually...

I do not go around not did I even say thst I go around to all and sundry announcing things or trying to get approval.

Did you even read my post properly?

honestly A very unfair attack.

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