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How has having an only worked out for you?

(23 Posts)
hgts Sun 13-Oct-19 13:01:31

Are you happy?
Are they happy?
Do you have any regrets?

What's been the hardest bit and the best bit?

Looking to hear from mums of older children especially

I'm pretty sure we will stop at one..

BooseysMom Mon 28-Oct-19 20:49:15

@Hgts.. i can't believe no one has replied to this! I have one DS and have finally realised that things are just great with one! All the beating myself up i did..we tried for another but it wasn't meant to be and now I'm 47 and in even worse position to have another.
Our DS is 6 and that in itself puts me off another as i'm just constantly tired.
The highs are just having one means you can really focus on one and you have more money and freedom
The lows are it's down to you to be mum and also no.1 playmate as there's no sibling to play with. That's the hardest part.
I really regretted not having another but now am feeling better about it
Good luck x

MaudAndOtherPoems Sun 03-Nov-19 00:27:13

I don’t often look at this board so have only just seen this.

DC is an only by force of circumstance rather than choice but it’s worked out just fine. At about the age of 3, when DC’s friends were acquiring little siblings, DC asked for one too but accepted it wasn’t going to happen. DC is now a well-adjusted and sociable teenager and has said, unprompted, that they are very happy as an only and in no way miss having a sibling. Our family works well as a unit of three.

Ietthemeatcake Sun 03-Nov-19 00:37:57

We have a DD aged 16, initially thought we'd have another them decided we worked well as a happy unit of 3.

Best, she has had some great experiences wouldn't have been able to do with another,.great holidays, able to pay for her to do hobbies etc.

She was in hospital for a couple of months a few years ago, if we'd had another child there is no way we'd have been able to have one of us stay with her in the hospital all the time, which she needed us to do.

I can't picture us with other children, we're right as we are.

Brenna24 Sun 03-Nov-19 00:38:06

My only is not quite 2 yet so a bit young to say much so far. I would have loved to have more than one but I seriously doubt that that is possible after everything that we went through to get her. I was really worried that she would be socially awkward and struggle but I have taken her out to lots of baby groups and she is totally wonderful with other children - shares toys and food, reads body language well and communicates beautifully with other children. So it looks like those fears are unfounded. I did also worry that she won't have the same level of support network as an adult as I do (I am one of 5 and we are very close and any one of us having a crisis is immediately surrounded by all the others). She has lots of cousins though and she will hopefully have a partner and close friends who will be equally close to her.

AlexaShutUp Sun 03-Nov-19 00:52:53

In answer to your questions, yes, yes and no!

It wasn't a choice for us to have an only, but rather the way things worked out. Now I wouldn't have it any other way.

Hardest bit has been dealing with other people's judgments and assumptions, and the constant questions when dd was younger about when we were going to have another. (They usually shut up when I explained that I had miscarried dd's sibling.)

Best bit has been the closeness of our relationship with dd and the amazing opportunities that we have been able to give her.

She has never wanted a sibling, and isn't lonely. She has tons of friends and amazing social skills. She is very happy with our family set up.

I am obviously sad about the baby that didn't make it, but immensely grateful for what we have.

AlexaShutUp Sun 03-Nov-19 00:53:26

Just to add, dd is 14.

DancingDella Sun 03-Nov-19 00:56:03

Another point of view?
I am an only, and have always wanted to have siblings. As a child I asked for them, as an adult I missed them. I am wistfully envious of adult siblings I know with a close bond. And I know it is not always like that- that siblings can fight - I have 3 DC and know all about the fighting and arguingsmile. But beneath that there is a bond. One that I will never have. As an only I always knew that I would never choose to have an only child of my own.

hgts Mon 04-Nov-19 12:30:52

Thanks for all the replies

I hope that I will have no regrets too

Reader1984 Wed 06-Nov-19 19:44:37

An interesting thread thank you for posting. Quite simply I cannot imagine loving someone else as much as I do my dd. She is everything I could ever have wanted so don't see any point in having another.

ageingdisgracefully Thu 07-Nov-19 07:27:42

I was late to the party, having DD at age 42.

I was financially stable by then, and gave up work.

I felt sorry for her not having a wider family and not being part of a warm community as I had been (I'm also an only) so felt a bit pressured into trying to make everything perfect for her.

She's never wanted a sibling and I kind of made it my life's work to ensure that she always had friends to play with (she's very sociable). I must admit I found it something of a strain.

hgts Thu 07-Nov-19 20:56:21

Thanks for the comments

@ageingdisgracefully care to share any tips on how you made sure she was well socialised

I feel like I have to constantly arrange play dates!

The main reason I would want another is to do it all again! I couldn't have done it any sooner dc is 7 and only now could I do it again but now I'm too old I think

I just want to press pause! And make sure he is happy

ageingdisgracefully Fri 08-Nov-19 15:52:29

@hgts I was always doing something or another.

At age 2 she went to a local nursery for an hour or so a day. She started to make little friends at around 4 so would head off to the little park adjoining the nursery with her friends.

Some of the other no-working parents would entertain DD and I would entertain the little friends in turn. Being in a city, most friends were local. We always walked everywhere.

On starting school at 4.5, DD retained most of the same little friends. There was another park by the school and most of the kids would head over there for a play after school. Job done.

Holidays were more difficult. As i wasn't working during the week, I would make myself available to childmind any random child so that DD could have company. I even had a spreadsheet of other children's availability over the holidays and relentlessly offer to childmind. I'd take them on trips to the beach and park, and sometimes further afield. It was a full-time job in itself!

Now she's at Secondary it's much, much easier. Almost all of the friendship group have moved up together and they're all still friends, which I think is nice.

hgts Sun 10-Nov-19 11:47:27

Thanks for sharing @ageingdisgracefully

I am just feeling guilty for dc and sad for me

I'm an only so know he will be fine but I just wanted another child for me and I think he would have been a great big brother

I'm trying hard to make sure he is happy but whenever we come from friends houses who have multiple children he seems sad and says I wish I had a brother/ sister to play with

Pinksmyfavoritecolour Mon 11-Nov-19 20:54:53

I am an only, i was determined to have several but my body had other ideas, miscarriages before and after my son, so we have one son who’s now in his 20’s, I made sure he had a busy full childhood, toddler group, nursery and we had neighbours with kids/grandkids same age so they played together lots, at school he made lots of friends who came to tea regularly as well, he did Cubs, rugby, cadets, he also had to come to work with me from day dot as own business so was used to my colleagues and customers chatting to him, so from an early age he would chat to anyone, and that’s done him the world of good in the working world, he’s not just our son, he’s turned out to be a good mate too.

wishing4sun Mon 11-Nov-19 21:13:02

Ds 18 only child and I was a single parent. He has had an awesome childhood with many many experiences he couldn't of had with more than one child. My house was always full of kids when he was growing up and is actually now full of full grown (kids) he has never asked for a sibling and we have always spoke about it. We have a great relationship I can't think of a single negative.
I knew from practically the moment I had him I wouldn't have any more and now at not quite 40 I have no regrets at all.

nicslackey Mon 11-Nov-19 21:20:43

My only is 25. I pictured myself with a large family but it was not to be. He is sociable, confident and has many dear friends and wider family. I am single and I think it made him mature and we are so close. I could never have given him the time and attention as well as school trips etc if he had siblings. He loved going to busy houses to visit but was always glad to return to the calm of our home. I think it has made him self reliant and don't regret him being
an only child.

Mummyshark2018 Wed 13-Nov-19 15:14:23

I always wanted more than 1 and if you'd asked me 10 years ago I probably would've said 3 or 4. I was very lucky to have my dc, now 7 through ivf. We did try to give her a sibling (not used contraception for 10 years) but nothings happened. Considered ivf again but when checked I had low AMH levels.

Now that I have (mostly) overcome the sadness I honestly can't believe that more people don't stop at one! My dc is the most wonderful, loving, funny, sensitive, caring and sociable child I know. I grew up in a big family and never had the type of relationship with my parents that my dc and I have. Having one means that we get to enjoy life and not be caught up in the daily grind/ parenting rat race. I have not had to make many sacrifices which is unusual. Both mine and dh careers have flourished. I did a phd when she was in nursery which I would not have done with more than one. I now earn very well and work flexibly. Can pick up dc from school and don't work school holidays. We can afford things like a lovely house, several holidays a year, nice meals, extra curricular activities, trips to the theatre etc. We have a constant stream of play dates at our home because all her friends love coming to our house as (in their words) 'we can play and nobody annoys us' (younger siblings). She stopped asking for a sibling recently and has actually said that she likes being an only.
It takes effort and thought I think to make sure they're not only. We rarely holiday alone, always with family who have kids or friends.

I am so grateful to have my dc!

thatguiltyfeeling Wed 13-Nov-19 16:11:19

Thank you for this thread! I'm thinking of trying for another next year, but I've got so many mixed feelings about it it's nice to read about mums who only had one and their children were happy with the choice. That's been one of the issues I've been thinking about, would my child be happy not having someone in the exact same position to share life with.
I'm so sorry to everyone who wanted more but it wasn't meant to be thanks

soberfabulous Wed 13-Nov-19 17:16:54

I'm a very happy only child and chose to have an only.

She is a happy, sociable, gorgeous 6 year old. She has plenty of friends so can mix when she wants to, hit openly says she loves coming home to our "peaceful house."

We are delighted with our choice: we have a lovely life. Our neighbours have 3 kids and their lives are chaos and the mum openly admits she can't give the children the one on one time she feels they need.

My husband has a sibling who he loathes and hasn't spoken to for 20 years.

Siblings are no guarantee. I'd rather be a happy only child than my husband.

thumbelina03 Sun 17-Nov-19 07:16:15

Are you happy? Yes! I only ever wanted one child.
Are they happy? Yes. She goes to nursery 3 days a week so has lots of interaction with other children. She also has a cousin who is 5 months younger so they meet up lots for play dates etc.
Do you have any regrets? None whatsoever!

What's been the hardest bit and the best bit?
Hardest bit was addressing the elephant in the room with DH who would have liked another.
Best bit is being able to give her access to opportunities we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

recycledbottle Fri 29-Nov-19 14:42:26

Our son is 9 so younger than you wanted to hear from but he is a lovely, settled, sociable boy. I did want another but after a painful miscarriage and due to my age (41) I have resigned myself to the fact he will be an only. I come from a large family and feel very guilty about the fact he is an only. especially because I am close to my sisters and feel he will be missing out on that. I feel like I am always arranging playdates, getting friends to come on days out with us, holidaying with friends with kids etc. He is also in Clubs and Afterschool Club. He has never said he is lonely and has never asked for a sibling. His cousins live close by and we moved to a housing estate so that he would have friends he can call over to and he does. I don't know how it will all go because he is only 9 but seems very happy.

madcatladyforever Fri 29-Nov-19 14:46:28

My DS is 36 and has never expressed a wish for siblings. I'm happy with it. He's happy with it. We're very close. It also means I can help him buy his own home and help him in other practical ways. Neither of us wanted anything more and I have a lovely DIL who is like a daughter to me.

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