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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?


pixiewitch Tue 28-Feb-12 16:11:31

Telling people I was pregnant, not our 'private' business

Takver Tue 28-Feb-12 16:53:51

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

just to say, don't be too pessimistic. My mother and her sister were many years apart in age, and really didn't get on in childhood, but became very close as they got older (though very sadly my aunt died in her early 60s sad )

Takver Tue 28-Feb-12 16:57:57

mathanxiety - it must be said that people will take any opportunity in my experience to encourage you to have more children (admiring their newborn is a particular example).

Daft really as you would think people would realise that a lot of people with onlies have medical/fertility issues which they might not want to share with all and sundry.

But as many have pointed out above, people with lots of children also get sarky comments, as do those with only one sex, etc etc.

bebemoojem Tue 28-Feb-12 17:04:06

You know what's strange is I get all the same arguments when I say we're sticking with the 2 we have. People are nuts; they (almost) all think they know better than you (and know you better than you). Don't let them get you down. 1 or 10 do what's right for you and your family. x

dancingonthinice Tue 28-Feb-12 17:04:32

You asked what is wrong with only having 1.hmm Ok won't answer the question again. shock

nancerama Tue 28-Feb-12 17:13:19

I loved being an only child. What I hated was the look of pity I got from others growing up. Sad eyes, shake of the head "oh, you're an ONLY child". I didn't understood what they meant and I thought there was something wrong with me. People really should mind their own business sometimes.

I loved that I could socialise on my own terms and enjoy my own space when I wanted to. I was lucky that I had lots of friends and family close by. I always felt happy and loved.

DH on the other hand hated sharing his parents with his sister, and has resented her for much of his adult life.

How rude that people should make you feel guilty for making the right choice for you and your child.

WitchOfEndor Tue 28-Feb-12 18:56:18

Pixie - best not to say anything, I have tried to mention it before and mum was oblivious to what went on because my brother didn't do it right in front of her. Funnily enough though, my brother does get a bit twitchy whenever I mention remembering things from when I was little, so maybe his conscience bothers him! You can't choose your family!

bebanjo Wed 29-Feb-12 17:45:23

I have 2 brothers and i had a very lonely child hood.
i have one child and she gets lodes of our time and we all do fun things as a family.
some people are just so arrogant to think they know how a family will function just on the bases of how many children there are.

mathanxiety Wed 29-Feb-12 17:50:02

Takver, that is quite true. With one or two DCs you get asked when you'll be having the next one. At three you get, 'You've got your hands full there, dear <fond smile>' and at four and over you get wags with comments like, 'You know what causes that don't you?' along with the odd lecture about overpopulation.

Pixie, next time anyone asks, ask them nicely, 'Why do you want to know?'. There are more ways of killing this particular cat than the full frontal, 'It's none of your business,' even though it really is none of their business. Don't get sucker punched. You don't have to give nosey people an answer. And your pregnancy is in fact your private business just as your sore back or your bunions are.

''I only posted as it was never an issue for my dp & I until we started telling people or they asked' -- this contradicts 'I told people because they asked. Simple as that!' I did read your post properly.

You don't owe anyone either information or explanations when it comes to your own private life and business. Don't give rude people the chance to get under your skin.

FullBeam Wed 29-Feb-12 18:10:30


I find your insensitivity quite breathtaking.

EnsignRo Wed 29-Feb-12 18:21:16

One thing I have learned about being a parent is that someone will think they have the right to comment on and criticise your choices. We chose to have one child. It's that simple, and I am getting quite good at ignoring other people's opinions of that choice. DD is loved, well cared for and happy, so they (and I'm looking at you dancing) can stick it!

Becaroooo Wed 29-Feb-12 18:29:00

op If they say any of that they are obviously twats, so ignore them.

I have 2 dc but ds1 was "an only" for over 5 years and I got a lot of this.

Now I have 2 dc I get the "when are you having another one then?"


The idea that if you have siblings its all rosy is so ridiculous. I have 2. We are not close and never will be. No guarantees.

libelulle Wed 29-Feb-12 18:40:27

A dissenting voice. I think people ask because having more than one child is a) the norm and b) (and relatedly) does have definite advantages from most people's perspective. Sure, it's none of their business, but that is why people ask.

I say this as an only child. I am not maladjusted, selfish or many of the other stereotypes attributed to only children. I have loving parents who would do anything for me. I had a happy childhood on the whole.

BUT yes I was often lonely as a child. I longed for siblings and spent as much time as possible with my best friend who was part of a noisy, busy family of 4 kids. When it comes down to it, however many friends and cousins you have, you don't have another child living with you. There are things that you miss out on as a result. As an adult, I also feel my lack of siblings. My mother has a life-threatening illness right now and I feel terribly alone with it. Sure, some people can't stand any of their siblings, but that is not the norm.

So yes, I do judge those who choose to have an only, sorry - but otoh I would never dream of saying this to someone's face!

Becaroooo Wed 29-Feb-12 18:43:12

But its not always a choice lib

Some people will say it is (like a friend of mine) because they dont want people to know about their long traumatic struggle to have a family. They - rightly - dont think it anyone elses business.

Dont assume.

I am sorry you were loney as a child. I would have welcomed loneliness at times sad

libelulle Wed 29-Feb-12 18:53:45

No of course it isn't always a choice - it wasn't for my parents - which is why I said I judge people who choose. And of course that is also why I would never dream of making a comment to someone's face - I know all too well the traumas of infertility, and that many many people have difficult family situations that dictate having an only (divorce, finances etc).

But some people do choose and based on my own experience, I think that there are dangers to onlydom that those who grew up with siblings perhaps don't appreciate. But then I also see that I perhaps don't appreciate the difficulties of having a sibling! I just see the closeness that some of my friends have with their siblings (and indeed my own mother, who is estranged from one sib but super-close to another), and feel sad that I never even had a chance at that.

Becaroooo Wed 29-Feb-12 19:09:10

Ita aint all a bed of roses, thats all I am saying!!! smile

(much as I love my siblings, if we werent related we would NOT be friends sad)

Henser4389 Fri 02-Mar-12 10:47:47

Hi Pixiewitch

Indeed - your opinion is the right opinion. It is your life and your familly afterall.

Here is my take on this conversation: I am an only one, my husband is an only one. We have an only son.

Firstly, dh and I are completely different in personsality, so how people can ascertain that all onlys are "all this" or "all that". What a load of nonsense!

Our ds is 9 months, very sociable and loves spending time playing with his toys. He could just as well have been completely different, but that would not be anything to do with his "only" status - it is personality.

I think "dancingonthinice" should take a look in the mirror for personality problems and stop pointing the finger at only children. Perhaps when she has 4 she will have less time to go round being unhelpful!

It took us 11 years to have our ds so we wont be having any more.
Enjoy your only one. xx

OrkaLiely Fri 02-Mar-12 18:44:33

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

saintlyjimjams Fri 02-Mar-12 18:49:51

I liked being an only.

I have 3 kids, they fight a lot as well as play. There are some advantages to having a sibling but there are a lot of advantages to being an only as well (comparing my chikdhood with my kids).

Can't say I ever felt lonely as an only. :shrugs:

libelulle Fri 02-Mar-12 23:17:34

charming, orka - are you always so pleasant? You know nothing about my personality.

But I do know one thing. If someone had just said to me that they felt pretty low about not having siblings, amongst other things because they were trying to support their mother through 6 months of gruelling chemo and that that was pretty hard and lonely without the support of siblings, then I wouldn't be so bloody heartless as to tell them 'oh do stop whingeing'.

OrkaLiely Fri 02-Mar-12 23:23:26

Come on here and say "I do judge those who choose to have an only" and I will judge you right back.

Sorry to hear about your mother, I lost mine to cancer when I was very young and can honestly say that my siblings and I were no comfort to each other.

libelulle Fri 02-Mar-12 23:57:04

So you never think to yourself that people have made the wrong decision about something? I don't believe you.

I have already said that I would never say anything like the things the OP has heard to someone's face, and that there are all sorts of perfectly understandable reasons to only have one child. For instance, my own DS was born very very early. If he'd been my first, I would in all likelihood not have had another child.

But in my own mind, based on my own childhood experience, other things being equal I see choosing to have only one child as a negative thing. This is a discussion board, and I was discussing.

I'm sorry that you lost your mother very young and that your siblings weren't a comfort to you. I'm not naive, I know there is a range of possible sibling relationships - I see it in my parents' numerous siblings. But most people I know are by and large pretty happy they have siblings - including my mother, who had a brother who made darth vadar look kind and considerate. I draw my own conclusions from that.

OrkaLiely Sat 03-Mar-12 00:09:49

Wishing you and your mother strength during her treatment and hope she makes a full recovery.

DaPrincessBride Sat 03-Mar-12 00:22:12

'You'll change your mind' with a knowing smile, winds me up SO much.

I've also had 'that's actually disgusting, I can't believe you would do that' (from someone with no children) hmm

and from my mother 'you do realise that DD will be under a huge amount of pressure to look after you alone when you're old, don't you'

libelulle Sat 03-Mar-12 09:27:12

Thanks orkasmile

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