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I only want one...everyone else has a different idea.

(40 Posts)
brightonbythesea Fri 26-Jul-13 13:44:59

I have a little girl who is 8.5 months. She was a big surprise for my DP and I and we were very nervous about her, but as predicted, we both adore her to pieces, and even when it's been tough we've really enjoyed parenting her.

I feel very lucky that I have a healthy, happy little girl. We are both middle earners (teacher, engineer) and can just about afford to get her all she needs, pay a mortgage and afford childcare for the days I work. I found pregnancy and the early days very very hard, and although I didn't have PND I was very bluesy at times, and needed a lot of support for the first few months.

I am very happy with one, and I don't plan on having another child. If I did we would be financially very tight, even more tired (!) and frankly, we just feel lucky and happy and I don't want to upset that family dynamic. My DP currently feels the same. Unfortunately, many people in our lives (largely his mother) insist that 'one is cruel, she'll never learn to share, she'll be bored, what will she do on holidays' etc. ad infinitum. This has been repeated to me by colleagues, my own sister, and some friends. Currently I just smile and nod and then tell them we'll do what's best for us, but I am getting a little tired of it. I'm pretty good at holding my own usually, but I'm starting to think I'm in a serious minority and I'm getting something wrong.

Am I missing something here? Is it really so cruel to have one child? My DD doesn't have cousins in the UK, as my siblings live abroad and DPs are childless, but she does go to a childminder 3 days per week where she plays with other children, and I have made a number of friends at baby groups who we see regularly when I am not working. Is the first one being lonely really a reason to have another child, even if you don't want one for any other reason? I'd be really interested to hear what others think here, as perhaps I am being selfish on my DD as she gets older.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sun 13-Oct-13 06:16:02

Op it wouldnt matter how you respond to their questions Tgey will still make you question yourself if you let them.

I wasn't really bothered about having a second, we'd just reached tge nice (and cheaper) 3 year mark with Dd and I was feeling really happy about our little family.

I got pregnant by accident and had a terrible pregnancy due to basically not wanting tge baby. I did of course come round in tge end and of course I love him.

The fact is he isn't an easy baby. He has just started sleeping at 2 years and it costs a lot of money, we would be £500 a month better off (which would make a real difference to our lives). All that said I do love him, he is part of our family.

Whatever your choice remember its yours to make

Lavenderhoney Sun 13-Oct-13 06:20:21

Pearly, I don't think people should have children to care for them when they are elderly! I don't expect my dc to live their lives and make decisions based on having to look after me when I am in my dotage.

Your mil shouldn't interfere really. Carry on as you are, or ask her to stop as if she starts to spout this type of stuff round your dd, you might find your dd wants a sibling based purely on granny's fantasy which will drive you mad.

You sound very happy with your family decision. I think I would ask her to stop as its not going to change. Children make friends and learn social skills wherever they go, and if they have full lives and plenty of opportunity for friends then its fine.

BoundandRebound Sun 13-Oct-13 06:28:49

I don't get the discussion tbh it's clearly your decision, and yours alone. Tell them you cant have a other and you need them to stop discussing it.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 13-Oct-13 06:46:18

Another one who thinks Pearly's argument is ridiculous. E.g. I have one sister who lives abroad so if it comes to it I will be the only to look after my aged parents.

Seriously, if you are happy with one, stick with one. Much better for the environment. I have one and we all couldn't be happier. Most people I know with more profess envy, although they might be being polite...

It's such a weird topic to have an opinion on - how many children other people should have.

LtEveDallas Sun 13-Oct-13 06:59:49

Take heart OP, eventually they stop asking. It took until DD was about 5 or 6, but they do stop (probably because the same people with 'lonely only' prejudice also believe that a 6 year gap is too much smile)

You could always whisper to MIL "You don't understand how upset you are making DP you know....we can't have any more" and leave it like that. Let her imagination run riot.

Or, just tell the truth. "We don't want any more. Our family is perfect for us and is complete. Please stop commenting or you will damage our relationship"

I love having an only. I can give her my full attention whenever she needs it, I have more money, I have more space, holidays are cheaper, childcare is cheaper, clubs are cheaper ad infinitum. I wouldn't have another now if you paid me.

Fifibluebell Sun 13-Oct-13 07:03:49

I was sad when I was young and jealous of friends with siblings even if they would fight all the time as an adult I still feel a little sad that I don't have that but will I live? Of course! I worry about if anything happens to my mum that I won't have any family other than my DS as we are so close but anyone can be close to a parent with or without sibling! It's your choice no one else's business and you should tell them that! smile

IsItMeOr Sun 13-Oct-13 09:57:05

We have one DS 4.7yo. I'm one of 4 and DS has a DSis.

I find it bewildering when some people talk about the desire for another sibling or child that somehow the fantasy person is always perfect. Not a bit flaky and lives half way around the world. Not disabled and physically incapable of providing any care to an elderly parent.

As the youngest of 4, my eldest siblings were sometimes more significant in my upbringing than my parents. Great if you want your child to be formed by a 11yo's view of the world (still remember being told I was a horrible person because I didn't understand what it meant when my grandad died when I was 5). Or if you don't mind that they'll only tell their eldest siblings about important things going on in their lives (e.g. being bullied at school).

So my view is have the kids that you want and can cope with. I agree that two sounds like a lovely idea, but in practice, not for us.

Fifibluebell Sun 13-Oct-13 10:53:13

Likewise isitmeor I find it bewildering when people with siblings tell me I'm lucky and they would like to be an only child grass is always greener

Scunnilingus Thu 17-Oct-13 14:25:04

My DH is an only child, he's by far the most giving and least selfish person I know! He's far less selfish and more patient than I am and I was one of three! There are no rules saying you have to have more than one child. Don't be pressured into anything. Having two is REALLY hard work ;) but it was what we wanted. If you guys are happy as you are then there is no problem. Your DD will be fine. She will not have anyone to compete with, she won't be lonely because she'll have all the love and attention she needs from you. Complete nonsense that she'll never learn to share! That's what she's learning and nursery and what she'll continue to learn at school. For what it's worth, my DS2 is obviously not an only child yet he HATES having to share! Don't feel you're being cruel by doing what you know is best for your family.

Scunnilingus Thu 17-Oct-13 14:25:56

...oh and when I was younger I used to DREAM about being an only child! wink

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 17-Oct-13 14:29:23

What you will learn as a parent is that you are always wrong.

One is not enough.

Two - well, if they are both the same sex ok (but don't you want one of the other). If they are opposite sex, well that's the perfect family (but they'll never be as close).

Three- poor middle child

Four or more - are you mad, they will be neglected.

See, no right answer. Except for you. Just ignore everyone else.

Lurkymclurker Thu 17-Oct-13 14:31:58

I was an only child and vowed to have more than one - now we have dd a perfect little 2 year old and we don't want more!

Much for the same reasons as you finances etc, no family children and she is likely to be the only one in her generation from 3 sides.

But she shares, her speech and physical skills are slightly above average (according to hv and compared to her peers) and we can devote all our time to her which is what we find we want.

We can support her in every way while still maintaining a nice standard of living and That should continue for the future.

There is a part of me that wants another baby but my desire for a kitten is stronger (if that doesn't sound flippant)

IMO there will be people asking you about the second from now until forever and you have to have some retorts and responses under your belt or it does grid you down, but normally a swift "one is plenty" or "you pay for it I'll have it" stops the questions and you hope people just get bored of asking smile

AdoraBell Thu 17-Oct-13 14:39:43

I have a step son who was an only child úntil my DDs came along when he was 16. He is a Well rounded adult who did Well in school and Uní and is now doing Well in work, he shares, has a sense of fairness, isn't selfish, makes friends etc just as people expect from someone who grew up with siblings.

I otoh, come from a large family and struggled through Life úntil a few years ago. That was because of my parents and their relationship moré than lack of money, but my point is having siblings does not gaurantee a better childhood and up bringing than being an only child.

It should be you and DP who make decisiones about the size of your family. I can see why his DM might feel a need to poke her nose in express an opinión, but not colleagues and siblings, they can just feck off.wink

Mellowandfruitful Thu 17-Oct-13 14:44:34

I am another only who had a great childhood. You need to cut off these comments straight away next time they start, with something like 'You've said all this before and I don't agree, and what's more I find it offensive that you carry on like this. Please stop'. And end the conversation if they don't get it even then.

Amrapaali Thu 17-Oct-13 14:57:47

I really dont understand the "learning to share" business. With a sibling, you do the OPPOSITE of sharing. You grab, pull, covet...

I remember reading an article about one child families long ago, where the author basically said, "there's too much emphasis on making children share, when actually as adults, none of us have any reason to share our things. We really dont do it that often, do we?"

Made sense at the time. I have an only, as you may have guessed. Not by choice, but as time goes by, I am very, very happy with our family dynamic.

And many horror stories around me dissuaded me from trying for another child- finances, permanent disability after the second birth, children not getting on at all.... All true. Anecdotes only, I realise, but too many for me to be just random happenings.

Enjoy spending your time, love and money on your child. smile

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