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Questioning why

(26 Posts)
mummy1mummy Fri 25-Oct-19 12:18:10

Hi,

I had DD in my late 30's (it took several years of trying).
We spoke about maybe another when DD started nursery and childcare costs would be cheaper but when she went off to nursery I talked myself out of it due to wanting at that time to go back to work full time and pick my career up, DD still not sleeping through and my mum being elderly and although she helped out a lot with DD knew she would struggle to help out with another child.
Instead OH built up his business (which sadly he got bumped last year and so his building it up again) and I went back full time.
When DD was almost 5 I got pregnant but sadly it wasn't meant to be and so we got on with life happy with our family of 3.
Every so often I would think I'd like another but aware of the age gap realised they wouldn't be "best of friends " growing up and so focused on giving DD the opportunities we didn't have ie plenty of activities, trips with friends, holidays etc and believed I was happy with this choice until last week.
Last week DD had a friend come for tea and sleep over from one of her activities and listening to them playing upstairs and giggling half the night and seeing how happy DD was with her friend I'm now feeling awful and wishing I'd said as soon as DD was born lets try for another.
Had we had another DD wouldn't be able to do half the things she does and wouldn't have all the friends outside of school friends and when I was made redundant I would have had to look for full time work rather than now being part time and taking and picking DD up from school every day but I just can't stop thinking about how cruel a mum I am for not giving DD a sibling.
For a while now I've had niggly thoughts that we should have had another but don't know if this is because DD is becoming more and more independent (9 now) because I'm going through perimenopause and so my hormones are all over the place, my mums also recently been diagnosed with a long term illness or because I really do regret only having one and see DD happy when she is with other children.

Snog Fri 25-Oct-19 12:21:54

It's not cruel to your child not to provide siblings and that's a pretty awful way to describe other parents of only children.

mummy1mummy Fri 25-Oct-19 12:27:10

Snog, I'm not describing other parents of only that way.
It's what going through my head about me.
I was hoping people might tell me I'm not being cruel not tell me off.
Sorry for the way I'm feeling, I'll log off now and just continue to cry!

rottiemum88 Fri 25-Oct-19 12:32:24

I have to say I'm a bit offended by your post, both as an only child myself and also having an only and knowing I'm personally done.

It isn't selfish or cruel or any of those go-to things people say about having one child. You made your choice not to have another for good reasons. You need to remind yourself of those reasons and re-accept the decision you made. Your daughter isn't missing out on having relationships with other children because she doesn't have siblings. My mum always said to me growing up that friends were the siblings you choose for yourself and, at least for me, that rang true. Two of my closest friends are people I grew up with, went to school with etc.

Only children don't have to be lonely.

mummy1mummy Fri 25-Oct-19 12:40:20

Apologies again,
I clearly can't do anything right at the moment.
If I could delete my post I would but don't know how to.
I was hoping for reassurance that I've not done wrong but all i'm doing is offending people.
Anyone else who reads this I'll apologise now in advance. I truly didn't mean to offend anyone and was trying to explain how I'm currently feeling and hope people would say it's a blip or you will get back to realising it's the right choice etc.
I was about to try and write more to explain but it's pointless now.
Sorry.

AzraiL Fri 25-Oct-19 12:40:23

Don't feel that way. There are many reasons why parents choose to or can only have one child. And there is absolutely no guarantee, no matter the age difference, that siblings will get along. There are so many threads on MN alone showing how difficult sibling relationships can be.

If you're being the best parent to your child that you can be, then you're doing well.

mummy1mummy Fri 25-Oct-19 12:47:13

Rottiemum sorry I forgot to thank you for sharing your mums words that is a lovely way to view it and I'm going to try and think that way.
Re your comment that people saying things about only having one because I've been thinking alot recently past comments to myself have been being recalled. Two family members when DD were only 2 or 3 asked when I was having another and when I said we wasn't sure at a family boxing day dinner told me I was cruel if I don't give DD a sibling and have done several times since. Hopefully this helps you to understand why I'm having these horrible thoughts at the moment.

WatchingTheMoon Fri 25-Oct-19 12:49:54

I don't know why you're getting such a bashing for explaining your own feelings. People are taking stuff personally.

If it's difficult to accept, can you try therapy? Even a few sessions can clear your mind a bit.

Anotheronetwo Fri 25-Oct-19 12:51:54

I think it's important to remember that you can't really know what having another child would have been like. Maybe they wouldn't have been good friends. Maybe another child would have complex additional needs and required much more of your time and energy. Your daughter having great time with her friend is a brilliant thing in itself. Not a reason to worry that you didn't give her something completely different.

chied3 Fri 25-Oct-19 12:52:11

Is it too late to try now? How old are you?

MissSueFlay Fri 25-Oct-19 12:53:23

Your DD was happy and giggling with a friend her own age who she's chosen to spend time with. That's completely different from a sibling relationship where there's an age difference and they are living together - it's not even a comparison.

It's the hormones talking and emotional stress. You made the right decisions for the family at the time, and it sounds like your DD is getting a lot of opportunities to do stuff and meet people that she might otherwise not have had.

PurpleDaisies Fri 25-Oct-19 12:56:54

* Your DD was happy and giggling with a friend her own age who she's chosen to spend time with. That's completely different from a sibling relationship where there's an age difference and they are living together - it's not even a comparison.*

Agreed. I really didn’t get on with one of my sisters until we were both late twenties.

It’s not cruel to only have one.

Enb76 Fri 25-Oct-19 12:59:05

My 11 year old is an only - she's very pleased she has no siblings as all my money gets spent on her and we do marvelous things together. She has better outside friendships than I ever had as the youngest of 4. She's sociable, chatty, funny etc... She has cousins so not totally without family.

Not having a sibling has only been beneficial for her. Onlys are not lonely.

mistermagpie Fri 25-Oct-19 13:41:49

It's not cruel at all, and my friends who only have one child seem the happiest and most relaxed parents I know. I have a brother and I can't stand him, we haven't spoken in years - having a sibling is really not the be all and end all.

mummy1mummy Fri 25-Oct-19 14:15:12

Thank you to all who have replied.
Thank you watching for the suggestion of therapy. I'm not 100% sure where the feelings have come from because we had accepted DD was an only but maybe it's down to that I am now too old (46) and so now I know it's not an option it's just kind of hit me.
Thank you to those highlighting that siblings don't always get on. I haven't always got on with mine.
Enb76, hopefully in couple of years DD will view things like your DD. At the moment she seems to be very aware that lots of people at school have a sibling or two and the same at other activities and a few times as pointed out that in her class there is only her without a sibling and wanted to know why.
Thanks again and apologies for upsetting those I have.

Snog Fri 25-Oct-19 15:54:38

Your family members were both ignorant and rude to brand you as cruel for not having a second child. Who behaves like this?

Perimenopause and menopause can be a very tough time for many of us. It's not kind to look backwards and beat yourself up for the choices you have made about your family size.

Better by far to try to enjoy the life and family that you have right now. Sibling relationships are not always great and there are both advantages and disadvantages to any family size.

I also think counselling might be supportive for you at the moment.

mummy1mummy Fri 25-Oct-19 22:10:49

Snog, it's when they have had a few drinks. They both have three children and started families young. One was 17 and the other 20 when their first were born.
Sorry again for annoying you earlier and I'm going to try and focus on all the positives.
I was happy once with our family size so just need to step back and assess why I'm now wishing I'd had another.

Snog Sat 26-Oct-19 13:41:39

I did find your opening post insensitive but which of us hasn't been at some point and it's clear you didn't mean it to be.

Maybe your relatives feel insecure in their own choice of family size and this is why they are hitting out at you.

MumOfAnOnly12345 Sat 26-Oct-19 21:59:47

I felt the need to reach out when I read your post. You aren't being insensitive, you are being honest. Don't feel bad about that, you have outlined how you feel including all the thoughts you have about feeling like you are cruel. Why people are taking this as an attack, I don't know. You are just being honest!

Anyway, I feel the same as you. I have a 6 year old son. He has 2 cousins nearby and gets upset that they have each other and he is alone. We moved and part of the reason was to be closer to his cousins. We got a puppy to add a bit more chaos to the house as well. A much wanted addition I may add!

We tried for a year to have another child from when our son was between 1 and 2 years old. It never happened. We decided that we can go get tests done or we can be grateful for our one child. We decided on the latter, and for a while it was fine. Now I feel it was a mistake to stop trying. Like I'm a failure and selfish. These are MY feelings, not how I view other one child families.

I'm guessing you suffer from low self esteem and need opinions from other people (usually your husband?) that you've made correct decisions. I know I do. I don't trust my own mind. Are you idealistic? Do you have trouble accepting your life as it is, rather than the perfect picture you invisioned? That's me, but you may or may not be the same.

As parents, we want the best for our kids, to feel we have provided everything they need. I think that is natural. With not providing a sibling, we feel we have robbed them of a life experience. The guilt seeps in. And it can't go away because the age gap is too big now to provide the 'best friend' experience. So we torture ourselves and worry our kids will hold it against us in the future, that we didn't provide for them.

It's ok, I HEAR YOU. Maybe my account of this isn't quite the same but I just want you to know I understand and I'm here, listening.

Our kids will still have a great childhood. The same as so many only children. She has a best friend and that is wonderful that you are fostering a great friendship between them. Keep doing this.

MumOfAnOnly12345 Sat 26-Oct-19 22:00:40

There are quite a few only child groups on Facebook, they are good x

shiningstar2 Sat 26-Oct-19 22:33:09

I had my first and only child at the age of 23. There where a whole host of reasons why I stopped at one but that didn't stop me agonising over my decision right up until I ceased to be fertile even still considering another when my dd was 16. On the whole I'm happy with my decision but there is always the 'what ifs' and there was always plenty of people to make intrusive remarks and hints ...especially my mil grin

I think all you can do is own your own decision. There are always advantages and disadvantages to any decision you make and there are plenty of people on these boards who don't like or are even nc with their adult siblings so it doesn't always follow that bigger families provide life long sibling support. My dh and I are from big families ourselves so don't have rose coloured specs about alternative choices we could have made. We are both lucky with our own siblings but we have seen plenty of sibling rivalry and issues regarding parents favouring one child more than another amongst our friends and wider family. What I'm trying to say is that whatever we choose there are no guarantees. When I think of what might have been I always imagine a kind of Waltons scenario with all siblings massively supportive in an amazingly happy big family but it could equally have been a disaster. grin

Mummyshark2018 Sun 17-Nov-19 22:24:13

Op I know this is a bit late to the party but I think that you shouldn't get hung up on the type of relationship you think your child would've had with a sibling. I am one of 5 and don't ever remember playing dolls or any other games with my sisters- I was the oldest and had brothers in between!

I do remember having friends over to play and sleepovers and finding this the funniest thing in the world! Siblings do not equal playing partners and most time it ends in tears ime! Whereas with friends there's more respect.

I only have one and make sure she has lots of friends over to play with. She also has similar aged cousins. It's lovely not having to deal with sibling rivalry play times- I know that's only one tiny adjective but I try and think of the positives of an only 😊

BooseysMom Tue 19-Nov-19 06:55:06

@mummy1mummy.. this is weird! You sound exactly like me! I had DS at 41 and for financial reasons we couldn't have another. We were renting a damp unsuitable house and it was only when we got our own place were we able to think of another. But then DH lost his job when he got ill and as you say, if we'd had another i would have had to work full-time and wouldn't have been able to be there for DS's
school things. We have no family help either as DM passed away 3 years ago and DF too old. My in-laws don't do anything so a second was impossible.
Is your DD mostly happy when not with friends? I'm lucky that DS is happy and never expresses interest in a sibling. He's 6 now.
So I do try to count our blessings and i know that we'll never have another now i'm 47. I'm also going thru peri-menopause and my hormones are all over the place.
Sorry to hear about your mc and your mum being ill. It's so hard. You're not alone OP feeling like this. It's harder the older you get. All i try to do is be thankful for DS as it was so hard just having him. Good luck x

FriedasCarLoad Tue 19-Nov-19 07:07:48

We’re struggling to conceive a second child. I’m struggling with the same feelings and thoughts you describe.

Although I did have a sibling, and he made my childhood quite unhappy! Doesn’t stop the guilt of feeling like I’ve deprived my child.

AnneTwackie Sat 23-Nov-19 13:09:08

I’ve decided I don’t want another child, my partner is very upset about this for all the reasons you are. I’m worried I’ll regret the decision but I do believe it’s the best choice for me and that it has benefits to my son- more money, more attention, happier mum.

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