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How do you cope when your only child gets upset that they don't have a sibling and everyone else does?

(29 Posts)
CountessDracula Fri 30-Jan-09 19:08:14

I have one dd aged 6. We have tried for more but nothing doing (took 3 years to conceive her too)

Today we were walking to school with one of her friends and friend's mother said she was going to the hospital. Friend piped up "Mummy#s having another baby, I'm going to have a baby sister"

DD became very quiet and withdrawn and pulled me aside and whispered "It's not fair, she already has a little sister"

I talked to her about it then and tonight. She said she would like a little sister and that she is sad she can't have one. I have told her that not everyone can have children and some people can only have one and that we are trying to have another but that it was unlikely now. She seems fine but it breaks my heart to think of her being unhappy about it

iMum Fri 30-Jan-09 19:10:11

My ds felt like this-used to cry about going home because he was the only kid there and was desperate for a sibling.
Things were tricky for us as I was having repeated miscarriages-but in the end when ds1 was 5 we had ds2 and now that ds1 is 7 we have ds3. A very happy and noisy family!

CountessDracula Fri 30-Jan-09 19:11:34

Well sadly I don't think that will happen given I am 42 and have dubious fertility anyway

iMum Fri 30-Jan-09 19:11:59

Please dont think my post is insensitive! I know the agony of wanting more and not being able to have them, and it does really break your heart to see your kids upset but you yet have another child and if not then your dd will be fine, this is just a tricky time for you all to get through.

CountessDracula Fri 30-Jan-09 19:13:24

Oh no I didn't don't worry smile

She is a very happy little soul most of the time, has lots of friends and we have playdates galore. I don't think she is lonely most of the time, just when she is reminded of it like today
I cried walking back from school

iMum Fri 30-Jan-09 19:14:10

Oh hun, me and my size 9s.
How does she take the news that you may well not have any more? I know my ds1 is desperate for a sister as his big sister died as a baby, this is a constant sadness for him and the fact that I cannot promise him a sister is a constant disappointment for him. Would you consider adoption?

CountessDracula Fri 30-Jan-09 19:14:59

No adoption is not on the cards I'm afraid

iMum Fri 30-Jan-09 19:20:21

Hmmm, its very tricky. "the perfect" family, you know 1 girl 1 boy (or whatever set up) isnt easy or indeed possible for many. I have such a yearning for a daughter, to go shopping with for my dh to walk down the aisle but I am blessed with my boys and so whilst that sadness never goes it just isnt as strong as the happiness I feel for having the family ive got.

I hope that sounds ok, I really mean no offense or to be patronizing-just that I understand a bit of what you are feeling and wish I could help.

pooka Fri 30-Jan-09 19:22:11

I remember crying and crying when my mother said I wouldn't have a younger brother or sister. The point of this is that I have 2 older brothers, and that I came to relish being the youngest (and with brothers 6 plus years older than me, having the focus of my mother on me). Incidentally, my dd has a few times expressed her sadness at not having a baby sister (she has a younger brother - completely different kettle of fish in her opinion) but again, understands that you get what you're given - boy/girl/one/more than one.

I suppose what I'm saying is that this is not of your doing. It is out of your control. And that must be very sad. But when your dd is older (and most of the time when she is not being reminded by events like her friend having a sibling) she will understand, accept and even embrace the positives of her situation.

iMum Fri 30-Jan-09 19:23:22

Yes, what pooka said

(thankyou, i can stop digging now)

Gunnerbean Fri 30-Jan-09 20:50:17

I hope this won't sound insensitive either but perhaps you are transferring a lot of your negative feelings about not being able to have another child, and to provide your DD with a sibling, on to your DD?

I say this because I work with a lady who is in exactly the same position as you. She hates that she can't have more children and feels terribly guilty that she can't give her DS any siblings. She says her DS often cries about it and tells me that he has even said to her before now "you don't like babies" which really cut her to the quick. However, I'm convinced that his negative feelings about being an only child and his lack of siblings are in large part due to him picking up on his mother's own feelings.

I have an intended only child and have never felt an urge to have any more. My DS is very positive about his expereincve of being an only child and he has never even so much as mentioned that he would like a sibling - it's just as if it has never ever even occured to him.

To me the different experiences and attitudes of my colleague's DS and my own DS are very revealing. I feel they reflect the stark contrast between her attitude to having an only child and my own.

If the above has happened to yor DD then maybe it is too late to do much about it - the die has been cast so to speak. I would say that all you can do is to doall you can to present being an only child to your DD i a positive light. This will hopefully help her not to focus on the negatives of it all the time.

In the meantime, if you conceive, you do and then everyone will be happy but in the meantime you all have to do all you can to look at life in a glass half full kind of way, rather than a glass half empty way.

chocolatemummy Fri 30-Jan-09 20:55:02

my dd is 5 and is deseperate for a sibling, she gets really fed up at home on her own and always wants friends over to play. I would like another one but we cant afford it and I am student nurse so cant do anything til I have finished my traning, then I want to get a job asap as we will have been totally skint. I will also be 36-37? I would love to have a little baby and I know she would burst with excitement if I was pregnant but sometimes life gets in the way doesnt it

Gunnerbean Fri 30-Jan-09 20:55:30

Oh and Countessdracula I just wanted to tell you too that my colleague conceived via ICSI and her husband had to have a tissue biopsy just to harvest even one sperm. However, she did miraculously conceive naturally once again after having her DS but unfortunately miscarried which makes her situation even harder to bear (she was around your age too although now older).

I am telling you this so that you don't give up hope of conceiving again naturally - she is proof that miracles can happen.

Gunnerbean Fri 30-Jan-09 21:01:24

I'm not being funny chocolatemummy but how long would it be before a baby would make a decent playmate for your DD? Do you think that she wouldn't want her friends over anymore?

Actually, I don't think that it should be underestimated just how much a new baby can put an older child's nose out of joint and unsettle them too.

My sister is 4 and a half years older than me and my mother tells me that my sister's world fell crashing around her ears when I came along! I was a novelty for about a week and then she wanted to send me back where I came from so that she could get on with her life!

Ona serious note, she became unsettled at school and also developed urinary problems which she needed medical treatment for. Apparently it took her quite a while to come to terms with having me around properly.

cmotdibbler Fri 30-Jan-09 21:05:23

DS told me the other day he had a brother and sister. Which was strangely, the day that one of my babies would have had it's birthday. However it turns out he was talking about a brother and sister in his nursery class.

He says he'd like a sibling, but then he'd also like a horse and a llama smile. He's not getting any of these of course - and I suppose this is my point. Your DD wants a sibling, really because other people have them - not because she is unhappy being an only, because thats all she knows, but just because it's something that she sees elsewhere.

chocolatemummy Fri 30-Jan-09 21:07:48

I dont want another child just for my dd to hve a playmate? Sorry if ti came across like that. She has a step sibling but we hardly ever see him and she still adores hims and talk about him all the time, I dont wnat her to grow up and be on her won because I love having my sisters, I also just want another child! but as I said, life gets in the way and money and health and other commitmets make it hard for some people.
I am sorry about your experiences but my older sister is five years older than me and we used to argue alot and fight as we grew older but I wouldnt be without her for the world my younger sister is 14 years younger tha me and I love her she is my baby sis and she loves having two older sisters too

Drusilla Fri 30-Jan-09 21:14:37

That's a good post cmotdibbbler. I have an intended only and he sometimes says he wants a baby, but I've never looked it at it in the same way as him wanting two new puppys and some chickens!

chocolatemummy Fri 30-Jan-09 21:16:16

sorry about all the typo's

cmotdibbler-Your are very right about the I want a sibling/dog/horse thing! lol

Guitargirl Fri 30-Jan-09 21:17:43

I am an only child and I remember asking my parents when I was little why I couldn't have a sister or brother - usually during the school holidays when I was bored. It was a different situation as my parents chose to have only one but whenever I asked they would always emphasise the good points about not having siblings. As they were both one of three they did speak from experience. FWIW, when I was eight and thought briefly (and wrongly it turns out) that my Mum was pregnant I was actually horrified - despite asking for years for a sibling blush.

chocolatemummy Fri 30-Jan-09 21:21:47

lol @ guitargirl

I guess were all diffeent, my MIL is an only child and is totaly obsessed with us all because we are the only family, she has no siblings or neices or nephews etc just her two sons and us wives and kids!
I love seeing my neices and nephews and chatting to my sisters.i cant imagine it just being me?

brimfull Fri 30-Jan-09 21:21:52

CD- I know how you feel.

DD was an onlie for nearly 11 yrs.When she was young like your dd she used to hanker after what everyone else had,ie siblings coming out all over the damn place.
I cried buckets over it.
But eventually she and we accepted our family of three and she grew to relish in being an only child.Like you, we had friends round al the time to compensate .She was a very happy only child.

We did eventually have another child when she was 11,no fertitlity treatment,a complete fluke.It shocked the hell out of her and took her ages to accept,but 6 yrs on it's fine.

My point is that your dd may feel the longing now ,at her young age, but i am sure she will get over it and relish her lovely life as a much longed for child.

Sorry you're feeling shite about it today.

muggglewump Fri 30-Jan-09 21:22:07

Do you think it's because she knows you would like another?
I bet that is picked up by her.
I'm not critisicing (sp?) at all, just pointing out that she is reacting to you.

My only has always been a happy only. She once asked for a sibling when she was 4 and I said no and that was that!
She knows I can't have anymore (I've been sterilised) and still, she is fine.

brimfull Fri 30-Jan-09 21:25:27

My ds asks for a younger sibling.the fact that loads of his peers are getting new babies is the only reason..doesn't make me feel any better.
He will be brought up as an onlie for most of his childhood as dd will probably leave home in a yr or so.

Gunnerbean Fri 30-Jan-09 21:31:16

Sorry chocoloatemummy, you obviously took offence to my comments but I was just responding to the part of your first post where you said:

"my dd is 5 and is deseperate for a sibling, she gets really fed up at home on her own and always wants friends over to play."

I just thought that a baby wouldn't make much of a playmate for her, that's all.

brimfull Fri 30-Jan-09 21:36:30

We ended up getting a puppy when dd was 5ish,am sure she was a child substitute for me thoughsmile

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