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ensuring only child not lonely

(15 Posts)
Fortunatepiggy Tue 07-Jun-16 17:06:18


So I have been grappling with the decision to try for another or stick with one child for a few months and due to my age nearly 40 I need to decide now.

I am an only child and don't recall feeling lonely growing up but I know my parents probably had to put a lot of effort into ensuring that I didn't. So can I ask parents with one do you have to entertain your child a lot or do you just have lots of their friends over? I'm not keen on the effort of having to have playmates over all the time to be honest but recognise that might be the only option if we are not going to give ds a sibling. Even if I got pregnant tomorrow there would be a 4 year gap so no guarantees that he and a potential Sibling would play together anyway I suppose


SomeDayMyPrinceMightCome Tue 07-Jun-16 20:18:51

Hi fortunate

I'm in exactly the same position as you.

I seem very gregarious but I'm in fact an introvert - forced socialising stresses me out and before DD, we SO rarely entertained, as DH is the same - and I do worry that I'm going to have to get over this in a major way to facilitate DD's social life if she stays an only (as I think she will)

Playdates are super-stressful for me right now and I find it particularly hard having people over to us (I'm much better when we meet people at theirs) so though I love the notion of DD always having the house 'filled with friends' the way so many people seem to be able to, and the way that seems ideal for an only, I don't know if we'll ever be in a position to do this for DD!

Maybe as they get older and make their own friends this gets easier as it's less about socialising with the parents too, I don't know.

DD is a very sociable little thing at the moment (though she does enjoy her own space too) and makes friends everywhere we go, so I think this is something I'm going to have to find a way to facilitate for her. After all, I'm the one making the decision not to have another child, so I don't think she should suffer because I'm happy staying on my own without people around all the time!!

That said, you're right, I don't think siblings always get along by any means. I can think of several of DD's little friends who have an older sibling (usually a brother, in this case) with whom they just have absolutely nothing in common and don't play together at all. Let's face it, the average, say, 6 year old boy is just not interested in the same things as your average 3 year old girl. So I think you'd still be forced to arrange social things for them even if they did have a sibling.

We entertain DD a LOT, but that's just us - it works for us as it suits our personalities. Happy to muck around and be silly, but that's not for everyone and nor should it be!

But yes, I do suspect that having an only means you do need to facilitate socialising for them IF that's what they want. I do need to get better at this but it fills me with dread tbh.

teacher54321 Tue 07-Jun-16 20:36:58

Lots of my friends have children of similar age and we try to meet up most holidays so he has playmates and I get to catch up with proper friends for a coffee at the same time wink Dh and I are both sociable introverts and Ds seems to be the same. He also has lovely cousins and goes to full time nursery/preschool and has a lovely time with all his friends there and at weekends is just knackered.

Muskateersmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 21:11:11


Dd is now 4 and will happily play by herself a lot. We do a mixture of days out just the 3 of us, days out with other families/mummies and children and play dates at home.

She socialises lots at preschool and goes to other clubs like gymnastics and moving forward I'll encourage things like guides etc so she has more opportunities for making friends.

We also have a dog, and the two of them are the best of pals, so they entertain each other which helps !

Fortunatepiggy Wed 08-Jun-16 08:05:53

Ooh would love a dog! If we don't have another child I will definitely get a dog to keep ds company!

He seems very happy in his own company but I do feel guilty watching him play on his own sometimes when I've seen my friends with two kids 2 years apart are now starting to play together but I've missed that boat anyway with age gap confused

hilbil21 Wed 08-Jun-16 08:09:12

I'm an only child - in childhood it didn't bother me one bit. I'm now 35 and both my parents have passed away at 65 and 75. I know it's not what you asked, but it's for this reason that I am going to try and make sure my DS has a sibling in next couple of years as I could really have done with a brother or sister when I lost my parents

hilbil21 Wed 08-Jun-16 08:09:53

It's now I find being an only child lonely is basically what I mean smile

Fortunatepiggy Wed 08-Jun-16 17:11:29

Sorry to hear about your parents hilbil21 that must be hard. I am dreading that happening as mine are in their 70s and it will then just be me. I also worry if they become ill that i will
have the sole responsibility of caring for them
I can understand why you would want your ds to have a sibling

hilbil21 Wed 08-Jun-16 18:46:37

Before they passed away I always just thought of loneliness in only children as being in childhood didn't even occur to me how I would feel in adulthood lol x

teacher54321 Wed 08-Jun-16 18:47:04

Ds is very good at entertaining himself and is very happy in his own company which is brilliant. He will play for hours with his cars or pottering in the garden so he is very self sufficient. I still haven't 100% decided no more but it's pretty much a done deal...

Mner Sun 12-Jun-16 22:35:41

But having siblings doesn't guarantee that you won't be lonely. The death of my parents tore our family apart so that one sibling does not speak to another now.

I'm not particularly close to either of them now. I might as well be an only child!

We have an only and I do worry but he is very sociable. We have just got a dog though as well, which I think will give him a companion. A lot of his friends (with siblings) are jealous of the dog!

RiverTam Sun 12-Jun-16 22:43:49

DD is 6 and is a happy little soul, loves being in the garden telling and acting out stories to herself. She went to nursery 2 then 3 days a week from aged 2 to starting school. We have play dates and she sees one of her cousin's (also an only) quite often.

I'm not the most outgoing bod in the world, nor is DH, but we've managed somehow! My big worry, as others have suggested, is when we are old folk and she has to deal with that on her own, but hopefully she'll have someone to share that kind of burden with.

gooddays Sun 12-Jun-16 23:26:06

Same as you op nearly 40 with one child, but my DP is older so I have to take his feeling in to account when thinking about anymore

Big gap between me & my older siblings where I don't really rm them living at home so essentially grow up on my own which made me very happy with my own company & quite independent which I think has helped me as an adult. I have friends that hate being on their own as adults due to the fact they were alway used to having siblings around

retainertrainer Mon 04-Jul-16 09:28:13

Move to a cul de sac close to school. Might seem drastic but you'll never ever have to worry about arranging play dates-children will be knocking on your door to play after school or during the holidays and all you have to do is turf your child out and keep a watchful eye at a distance. Best move we ever made for my DS,it was intentional to move to a cul de sac (a quiet road would work just as well) it never even crossed my mind but we've struck gold!

retainertrainer Mon 04-Jul-16 09:28:55

*it wasn't intentional

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