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Only one child, not a proper family

(55 Posts)
Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 21:40:55

We have ds (5) who we had no problems conceiving.
However for whatever reason we have been unable to have any more children and even several rounds of fertility treatment have failed.

I'm so sad about it, I had Pnd after ds so wasted the very early days and ds was a high needs demanding toddler. Now he's 5 and I feel like he doesn't need me much anymore. I was a sahm but after the fertility treatment failed went back to work which felt again like closing the book on another baby.

I need to let it go but don't know how. I don't feel like a real family, I see FB pictures of people with several children and people comment 'lovely family' but I never put any of my 'family' up because it feels like we're importers, not a real family, inferior.
I tend to be quite negative about ds and I know I need to stop. I just feel like everyone must look at my 'family' and think 'who are they kidding?' I frequently feel like we are three strangers who happen to share a house.

I'm just waiting all the time for things to get better but they don't.

RabbitSaysWoof Sun 07-Dec-14 21:47:38

It doesn't even matter what it looks like fro the outside. Do you have fun together? fb is what people want you to see, crap set up for onlookers half the time.
Do your family laugh together?

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 21:49:57

Not really, everything feels forced all the time.
I'm dreading christmas. Pretending to be happy for any period of time is exhausting. I'm only bothering for ds's sake although I don't know why as he's become really rude and cheeky at the moment.

Suzymoo09 Sun 07-Dec-14 21:51:12

It sounds like counselling would be a good idea for you so that your negative feelings will have a safe place to be explored rather than impacting on your ds. I have one child and feel complete with that. Perhaps there are other issues which need dealing with. I hope you feel happier soon. I never thought I would have any children so when I became pregnant at 38 it was the most wonderful life change for me. I am sad you cannot feel gladder to have at least one child.

Takver Sun 07-Dec-14 21:53:06

I guess it's a 'glass half empty' vs 'glass half full' sort of thing. My parents wanted a big family, maybe 4 children. It took them 12 years of marriage, my mum nearly dying from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, thinking they'd never have children before I came along - I think they were pretty pleased with the family they got at that point . . .

Having grown up as an only child, it seems pretty 'normal' to me, as it happens due to health reasons we've also only got the one, she's fabulous and I'd rather have her than any other family, who knows what could-have-been, I'm just happy with what I have and enjoy my time with her smile

Not sure if that makes sense, I think I'm just trying to say that it's best to enjoy what you have, rather than mourning what won't ever be?

(I should also point out that dd is now 12 and I feel very needed, even if in a different way to when she was younger.)

Takver Sun 07-Dec-14 21:53:47

I'd agree it sounds like counselling might be useful to explore how you're feeling?

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 21:55:15

I'm an only child too - ironically - but I think having an only girl is different to having an only boy. Boys aren't as close to their family as girls. I'm very close to my parents but I doubt ds will remain as close to us. I think that's why I haven't bonded very well really, I don't want to because I know one day soon he will leave us and that will be it.

threepiecesuite Sun 07-Dec-14 21:55:49

I have one DD who is 4.5 and have been ttc#2 for 3 years with no success. I often feel like you op. It does feel incomplete.
But it's strange. When I think of other families I know with one child, I don't find it sad or lacking.

I try to do fun things with dd and plan nice times for the 3 of us. Holidays that maybe we couldn't go on with a baby or other child.
We are thinking about getting dd a small pet for company/responsibility.
I try to stay away from Facebook, esp this time of year.

wheretoyougonow Sun 07-Dec-14 21:57:06

There seems to be 2 issues here. You need to understand that you didn't 'waste' the early days. You had PND but your ds won't remember what it was like so you need to enjoy now and not look back.
I am an only child. I have never once not felt like a 'real family' with my parents.
It's hard when you want a baby and it doesn't happen. Be kind to yourself and realise that you have a family regardless of the size thanks

Arven Sun 07-Dec-14 22:00:18

Ive two kids and no husband and i can relate. I dont thinl we are viewedas a family either. Facebook doesnt help. I hate when people post pictures of themselves in their wedding dresses with "ten happy years" or similar typed beside it.

sooperdooper Sun 07-Dec-14 22:01:14

Of course you're a real family, have you considered that your ds may well be picking up on you not feeling he's enough and that could be why he's misbehaving?

He does need you, he's only a little boy

EmbarrassedPossessed Sun 07-Dec-14 22:05:06

I also think you need counselling of some kind to work through your negative feelings.

I think that you have some unusual beliefs about gender making a difference to how close a relationship you have with your parents. It's not my experience that boys don't have a close relationship with their parents. I know plenty of men who have close loving relationships with their families/mums. I also know plenty of women who aren't close to their parents. One thing is for sure though, if you continue to emotionally close off from your DS whilst he is a child and with you, then you are heading a long way towards pushing him away and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is that what you want?

Arven Sun 07-Dec-14 22:06:42

Ps yes my kids 12&9 and i certainly feel needed.
Im looking forward to xmas though. You need help to get to glass half full mindset. Anti- Ds or counselling or... whitewater rafting or a new job

Goingintohibernation Sun 07-Dec-14 22:07:14

I am in a similar situation, one DS, 7, and there won't be any more for various reasons. What has worked for me is making a conscious effort to focus on the positives. I feel really lucky I have my one child, and DH, there are so many people who don't have that. I still have the odd pang, thinking about how things could have been, but I have what I have, and actually it is pretty damned good.

I know it is tough, and I hope you can find a way to make your peace with it, so you aren't looking back when your DS is older again, thinking you didn't appreciate what you had while he was small.

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 22:08:11

A lot of the time I feel like ds is nothing to do with me.
I don't know why I feel having a second one would help but I certainly feel worse since all the fertility treatment failed.

alicemalice Sun 07-Dec-14 22:08:18

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but I think the thought processes here are going to impact negatively on your little boy.

Of course you are a real family! Families come in all shapes and sizes. I also don't understand the sexist ideas about boys. His relationship to you isn't predetermined at birth by gender.

I have an only. And now I'm a lone parent… so we are far from the ideal family you see in magazines. We're no less of a family.

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 22:10:01

All of my friends have easily had 2, 3 or 4 children. I don't personally know anyone who has had any problems at all.
I feel very on my own even though I know it happens to lots of people.

I listened to my friend with 3 boys going on about the fact she was unlucky because she hadn't had a daughter and I thought 'you've no idea'

MaudantWit Sun 07-Dec-14 22:12:10

My DD is the same age as Takver's and I feel very much needed now she is going into the teenage years.

Takver is right that it helps if you can adopt a "glass half full" attitude. Your early days with your son weren't wasted and he does still need you. I agree that counselling might help you gain some perspective on that.

MaudantWit Sun 07-Dec-14 22:13:45

There are lots of people on MN and who post in the one child topic who have one child through circumstances rather than through active choice. You might find it helpful to read some of the older threads that have discussed this.

RandomMess Sun 07-Dec-14 22:14:26

Gosh this is so sad, I have a >2 children but I would still view as a family!! I think you need some therapy to learn how to connect with your ds in a different way to how you do now.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Sun 07-Dec-14 22:23:13

I listened to my friend with 3 boys going on about the fact she was unlucky because she hadn't had a daughter and I thought 'you've no idea'

But can you see that women who have been unable to have any children, or single mums with no supportive partner, could be saying this to you?
Happiness is not determined by the number of children you have.
You need to work on your relationship with ds, and possibly seek counselling.

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 22:24:03

I can but I wouldn't say it to people with no children.
She knows I've had failed ivf and still said it. It grated somewhat.

Suzymoo09 Sun 07-Dec-14 22:53:49

I again urge you to seek some counselling or therapy, I know it is a big step and takes lots of courage and may be a world you haven't been involved with before but it sounds like the issues you are flagging up can be helped before they get more serious. You say "Boys aren't as close to their family as girls. " but it is often the other way around.
Also you said"I doubt ds will remain as close to us. I think that's why I haven't bonded very well really, I don't want to because I know one day soon he will leave us and that will be it." Which suggests you have attachment issues which therapy should help with - this is the way it should be: we love them enough for them to grow up and survive without us. Go see your doctor and ask for a referral, you may not have to pay. This is serious for you and your little one. Mine is 12 now and still needs his mum.

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sun 07-Dec-14 22:58:47

I've seen the gp who offered anti depressants but nothing else. I don't want to take anti depressants as I don't feel I'm depressed in terms of a chemical imbalance - it's the situation and anti depressants won't change that sadly.

Arven Sun 07-Dec-14 23:03:17

Op, you should re-brand yourselves! put a picture up on fb "the family, 2014".

I'm so much closer to my son! my dd is just so mean and narky to me all the time.

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