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"An only child's a lonely child" fed up to the back teeth of this!!

(22 Posts)
MoveYourArmsLikeHenry Fri 29-Nov-13 21:50:27

Hi everyone this is my first time posting in this section. My DH and I have one child, a ds aged 5 months. Between the two of us we have her hereditary conditions; DH has a congenital heart disease and I have autism.

Our little boy was born with no problems (obviously too young to know if he will have autism, but DHs heart condition was thankfully not passed on)As much as we love him he is a handful. DH is limited in what he can do physically (will be more of a problem when he's a toddler) and my autism naturally creates social limitations for me.

We are loving being parents but we both decided that we definitely want can cope with just one child. In fact, giving our circumstances, we are both overjoyed to have our lovely healthy son, and this is more than what we could ever want.

But friends and family keep butting in with inane comments such as "when are you having another? You can't leave ds on his own he needs someone to play with when he's older."

"An only child's a lonely child"

"It's cruel to just have one child"

As far as I'm aware:
1, it's nobody else's business how many children me and DH decide to conceive, or rather not to conceive.

2, you don't have to have siblings to have company- that's what friends and other family members are for.

3, last time I checked it wasn't against the law or classed as child abuse to have just one child.

And lastly 4, these people are not in our situation, they do no have a disability/autism, and therefor don't know how difficult it is for us and should therefor keep their mouths closed smile

I am just getting so sick of hearing this over and over. How does it affect anybody else in any way? It doesn't! DH and I are incredibly thankful and happy to have our lovely boy and that's all we need. Does anybody else have dealings with people like this? How do you cope?

Ferguson Fri 29-Nov-13 22:28:30

Don't have any problems like that, but we did only have one DS, and that was thirty years ago!

With one child, and two parents there much of the time, I think we were able to give him plenty of attention, play, and learning opportunities, so he did well at school, got a good degree at university, and now at age of thirty has gone to another university to study for a Master's degree for a year.

When DS was little I kept a 'diary' on his behalf, so now we can talk about the things he did as a toddler, at school, on holidays etc.

So, just enjoy him, watch him grow and mature, share all the exciting and enjoyable experiences you can with him (doesn't have to be expensive, a walk in the park or the woods is exciting for a baby/toddler).

Good luck to the three of you!

Bunbaker Fri 29-Nov-13 22:32:03

I think all your points are very sensible and valid. We only have DD, but that is due to infertility issues. Having said that I wasn't bothered about having any more children any way.

Next time someone makes an insensitive comment just tell them it is none of their business.

Mandy21 Fri 29-Nov-13 22:39:45

OP do you and you husband have siblings?

MoveYourArmsLikeHenry Fri 29-Nov-13 23:33:17

Thanks everyone for the replies.

mandy yes I am from a family of 6 and DH has a sister

Mandy21 Sat 30-Nov-13 00:05:54

Well tell them your DS has plenty of cousins!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 30-Nov-13 00:18:42

I've an only child (who doesn't have many cousins and they're all significantly older) and no-one has ever tried any of those crap lines on me. If anyone had dared, I'd have told them not to be so daft.

My DD is 14, she's got lots of friends, lots of her friends are onlies (its really very common nowadays), and we've spent a lot of time with her. She's had a very happy childhood and is growing into a rather lovely well-adjusted young woman. It simply isn't an issue.

ExitPursOodByWho Sat 30-Nov-13 00:23:03

Tell everyone to do one. We have an only just because. We are what we are and will be what we will be. <growl>

wigornian Sun 15-Dec-13 00:37:17

^^ This! We have just one, can;t have another - he will be fine. I was an Only one, I was. Pah to them!

beabea81 Wed 08-Jan-14 16:46:36

I'm getting the same comments all the time too, my dd is 3 in a couple of months and all the friends I made through pregnancy and then baby groups by now either have a second baby or are pregnant again, or are currently trying for a second. I have health issues and also permanent damage to my pelvis from severe spd in pregnancy, if I got pregnant again I would further damage my pelvis, needing pelvic fusion surgery which is a huge major operation and takes a year to get back on your feet again. How would I cope with a new baby as well as my dd?! But even though my friends know all this, I am constantly asked if I will try for a second child! Even family members say it, even my own mother! People just don't seem to get it and it's like they don't want to! I'm at a complete loss what to say to people anymore : (

BigBird69 Wed 29-Jan-14 11:46:49

I am an only child, my husband is an only child, we have an only child (now 8). We are a close family. Ok a small family but we have a great network of friends. IMO what is selfish is having more kids than you can afford and having more kids than you can give your time to. We've had all the comments but take no notice. You can still grow up a balanced and happy individual! Other people need to mind their own business!!

Snog Fri 14-Feb-14 18:22:34

I have an only dd who is 14 now. She has never wanted a sibling and isn't a lonely child!
Luckily for me nobody ever said horrid negative stuff about my family size. These people are very ignorant and rude so you should disregard their comments and enjoy the wonderful and complete family that you have. Having one child from my experience is nothing short of fabulous!

Snog Fri 14-Feb-14 18:25:12

My fave response if anyone should question my family size is a cheeky "we got it right first time"!

ScandinavianPrincess Fri 14-Feb-14 18:35:15

I get comments sometimes and I am often shocked at the rudeness and interfering. I try to just ignore it now as I think people who try to tell you what to do have something missing in their own lives. It is awful that people act like we're doing something wrong when we have made a sensible choice.
I felt quite certain I only wanted one. I have anxiety a lot and find it drains me. I feel I couldn't cope with another and am a bit scared of the whole pregnancy and childbirth malarkey again.
I met a lovely woman when I'd just had mine when I was in a cafe. We get chatting and she said she had just one and he had lots of friends, was really happy etc.
Hope you're ok. Try not to let it get to you.

ContinentalKat Fri 14-Feb-14 18:51:18

Oh dear. You are free to make your own choice, OP, and all your reasons are perfectly valid.
I think it is nobody's business how many children you choose to have! Either apply the old "smile and nod" and let it wash over you or think of a suitable reply that will shut people up. I personally like "we got it right first time" grin, but the lots of cousins answer is equally good. Just don't discuss it! Totally rude to even comment.

You can have sex more than once?!? seems an appropriate response to me, too

agnesgrey Sun 29-Jun-14 20:04:20

Ignore it

I have 1 DS and your points 1 - 3 are spot on (I can't comment on 4 but it sounds well reasoned and valid to me )
BTW not all siblings get on famously . I didn't particularly with mine and am not as close to them as I am to certain friends . It varies. What to me what important was encouraging DS to make friends and giving him the opportunity to do so. So eg he went to a nursery when I worked , not a Nanny. We were open for sleepovers when he wanted them. We sometimes tried to go on holiday same place as one of his friends whose parents we are friends with so he had someone to play with . And if we went on holiday alone he was always encouraged eg by the pool - if someone wants to see your water gun or whatever , show it to him and ask him if he wants to play - or go up to him and ask.

I think it's a mindset.

My line - similar to PPs was 'DS is so fantastic we daren't risk having another and lowering the average wink

RiverTam Sun 29-Jun-14 20:08:33

goodness, these people sound very rude. We just have DD, not out of choice (many MCs) but there it is. No-one has ever said anything like this (she's 4 now), certainly family and close friends are aware of why we just have DD and would never be so crass as to say anything like this. DH is one of 4 and his mum dotes on the GC but even she wouldn't say this, knowing our history (I wouldn't put it past her if she didn't, but she wouldn't harp on about it or say it insensitively).

No idea what you should say, other than 'fuck off and stop being such a dick' which might not be the most diplomatic way to go grin.

Jenbob80 Sun 29-Jun-14 20:09:25

I would ignore unhelpful, hurtful comments. Lots of people only have one child for a whole host of reasons! It's nobody else's business!

Sarahg1 Wed 17-Dec-14 17:12:50

I am 30 and always loved being an only child. I get quality one on one time with my parents, am lucky enough that my dad could help with the deposit on a 3 bed house which never would have happened if I had siblings, I find occasions like Xmas stressful enough trying to please the parents and in laws never mind a whole bunch if siblings/siblings in law. I also detest my sister in law and she's said some awful things about me. I see friends who have great siblings but mostly additional people to keep happy. I think being an only child is amazing so no matter how it comes around don't ever think it's a negative!

squizita Sun 21-Dec-14 16:47:57

The most sickening comment I saw (on MN a year or so ago) was "don't have one ... what if s/he died, you'd be broken hearted.
This was to women who were ttc with miscarriage or infertility issues who might only be able to have one. The poster was deadly serious and really couldn't see how it was offensive to either the "spare" sibling or to the parent. fangry

My father has told me that I should either have more (I have aps so might not be able to) OR get loads of promotions at work as soon as she's at school. Like one child males me lazy and it's "easy" ... yeah all those miscarriages and postnatal anxiety. .. easy.

Millionprammiles Sun 21-Dec-14 17:39:37

Ignore them. Dd is an only by choice (ok maybe if I'd been a few years younger when I had her I might have had another but to be honest I wasn't desperate).

There are many ways to love, nurture and fuck up a child. Having siblings doesn't guarantee any level of happiness or security. Having the time to talk to, listen to, spend quality time with your child is more important.

And whilst its unfashionable to say money matters the reality is, it DOES matter. Ask any 25 yr old on a zero hours contract with 50k of student debt if he wouldn't have preferred more family money.

Having said all that we take it upon ourselves to go out of our way to make sure dd has company, encourage friendships, invite friends over, etc. We're happy to always host and when dd is older we'll be happy to take other kids out with us for the day or holidays. When I've offered that to other parents of multiple kids they've bitten my hand off, they don't seem desperate for their siblings to spend quality time together, they seem desperate for a break.

sewingmummy Mon 12-Jan-15 21:02:26

This really gets my goat...we've also been called 'cruel' for having one child.

I've said in other threads that our DD is happy, well adjusted & very much loved by us.

I've seen many friends go on to have 2, 3 or 4 children & watched them struggle & watched their children's behaviour deteriorate as soon as a sibling came on the scene. I have one friend who is at her wits end because her eldest child is horrible to his baby sister, I've seen him hurt her by grabbing her throat on many's not all happy families when you have multiples.

There's no real right or wrong size for a just have to love your child & enjoy your time with them smile

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