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Am I the only one to feel like this on days out holidays etc.

(22 Posts)
lostitoday Fri 29-May-09 09:09:31

I have just the one child and have sort of grown to hate it.
I have this thought going around in my head that my ds is missing out on so much because of having no sibling to interact with and enjoy things with.
when we go out whether it be to a theme park or there if there happens to be soft play etc involved I am left thinking that poor ds has no one to go and run off with and play.
I know that to a certain extent us as parents can do some of these things with him but I am finding myself getting increasingly down about this side of things.
It seems that on days out everyone else has a car full of children and I am starting to feel envious, weird, and like we are odd with ds on his own.
We have done the take a friend along on some occasions and I do think that ds enjoys things just as much with just us as when he has a mate but it does make me feel better when he has a friend with him.
However I don,t have a strong network of friends with children of ds's age and it takes alot of effort on my part to arrange these mates for ds.
we also don,t have any cousins of ds's age in the family.
We have not tried the taking a friend on holiday yet don,t know whether we will.
Just wondering if any of you are in the same situation.
I would love to be able to pick up the phone to someone whether it be my sister or a friend and have something fun arranged with our children but my siuation is not like that.
I have found myself starting to avoid days out and holiday parks that make me feel worse about this and have started gearing more towards days out that the three of us seem to fit into more.
Can anyone relate to me or do I sound like a loon.

nickschick Fri 29-May-09 09:19:31

You are putting your hang ups on your child I think.

Your Ds is much loved and cared for - even when they have sibs theres no guarantee of a playmate -some sibs just dont 'do' the same things.

Trust me and I have 3 dc on our way anywhere theres the argument of....

hes got more room than me

I wanted that drink/sweet/crisp/piece of air....

I want to sit near the window

I need a wee x3

Urggghhhhhh hes farted x3

are we there yet x3

when we get there we have ......

Can I have x3

oh my god we are missing xxxx-x3

a meal order sounds like your reading the cafe menu....

the bill costs as much as youve eaten the menu wink.

Not everyone arranges things with friends either in fact its rare my dc like their sibs friends and so I wouldnt go out with friends and their kids anywhere far.

You are missing a life that exists in parenting mags in real life its so much more 'hard work' I love all my 3 ds and would never be without them but its not all its cracked up to be.

When your ds gets interested in karate or football or joins a club then you will find some 'mum' friends.

Mulanmum1 Fri 29-May-09 14:22:10

Hello lostit

We have one gorgeous DD aged 4.5. A couple of weeks ago we were at an outdoor adventure playground. A few minutes after we arrived we watched DD run up to another group of kids and, in her usual gregarious manner, join in with them. I commented to DH how it always seems to be DD joining in with groups of friends rather than having a group of her own. However, it doesn't seem to bother her. We don't have friends with similar aged kids but we have started to make more of an effort to arrange "playdates" at weekends with chums from nursery. I've had to force myself to do this but have found parents with more than one child are more than happy to have their DD taken off their hands for a few hours smile and I'm equally happy to loan them my DD sometimes too!

We are supposed to be in for a glorious summer so get out there with your boy and enjoy it and try not to hanker after the life which, as nickschick points out, only exists in parenting mags.

As long as your DS has his mum and/or dad he'll be fine and if you can invite a friend over or along on the trip then someone else's mum will be very grateful smile

UniS Fri 29-May-09 21:48:55

Today boy and I went to a play day in teh park. just us, friend we were going to meet had poorly younger DD so she and her ds didn't come, boy i considered taking along with us, spent all morning argueing and fighting with my Ds at Mums and tots, so we went alone. And it was fine.
Just having 1 boy meant I could be led by his interests, no negoication needed between boys, no done your thing now do X's thing. We bumped into a few friends to say hello, my son is quite a self contained child and doesn't yet seek out groups of children, although he likes watching older boys on the skate park.
I don't think it matters, if you have a self contained child he will be fine doing his own thing, if he likes playing with others he will go and play with them regardless of weather you now the parents, or he has ever met them before .

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sat 30-May-09 13:06:11

I can't add much to what's already been said.

I certainly don't think you sound like a loon but I think you may be making more of this problem than it deserves. I am sorry if you are feeling glum about having only one child but one does need to be wary (in my view) about romanticising how life might be with two or more children. There is absolutely no guarantee that, even if you had several children, the relationship between them all would be idyllic. Nickschick's description of car journeys with more than one child rings a lot of bells with me!

My daughter copes very well at parks and soft plays. She zooms in on other children who look about her age and within minutes is part of a gang. You don't mention how old your son is. Is he at school? Does he have any after school activities like karate or Beavers? If he does, he's probably getting as much time with other children as he needs. Has he said that he doesn't like going to theme parks without a friend in tow? Do you encourage him to pile in and play with other children?

SOLOisMeredithGrey Sat 30-May-09 13:14:59

For over 8 years I only had Ds and he was always adept at joining in with other unknown children in the park or wherever, but he did always tell me he was lonely .

I now have Dd who is 2.5 and Ds has not told me he is lonely since I had her and as he is 10.10 I found that surprising.

Let's just say that I'm glad I have two Dc's now and hope they'll always be as close as they are now.

Overmydeadbody Sat 30-May-09 13:15:28

Ok, you don't sound like a loon, but you do sound like you are overthinking everythin and over worrying, it's a bit like the grass is greener type mentality.

Your DS is not at a disadvantage to children with siblings, he just has different experiences, just like children with siblings have different experiences to onlies.

You need to stop worrying and thinking negatively about it.

I love the fact that I only have one child, makes for so much more of an easy life, especially on days out. I only have one DS to entertain, keep happy, feed, take to the loo, encourage to keep walking on long walks, get dressed, get undressed, ferry aorund, make sure he doesn't get lost etc etc etc

Seriously, think how much harder it must be to take three or four childrne to a theme park or play area or something?

Children make friends easily too, altohugh DS is an only he always just makes friends with other kids in parks, soft play, camp sites, or if he'd rather play alone, that's what he does,.

Overmydeadbody Sat 30-May-09 13:17:23

I love going on holiday with DS and no other kids being there. I often go away with family and child-free friends, and DS is the only child, and it's great, loads of different adults ot interact with and play with but no othe children to compete for this attention or fight over and stuff.

SOLOisMeredithGrey Sat 30-May-09 13:17:28

I should also add that for me in the main, it was just Ds and me out together(single mum), so I felt it was even more a 'thing' for me.

Overmydeadbody Sat 30-May-09 13:28:23

I'm a single mum too, so it's always just DS and I, yeah I could get down about it, but instead I focus on all the positives, the fact that we can do what we want, need to compromise less to fit everyone in, have moe time to do things, don't have to shae everything, and have more money (fo things like fairgrounds, if I had two childen they'd go on half the rides DS gets to go on on our budget)

It's easier having just one, both for us and for the children, and that, to me, is a good thing.

amberlight Sat 30-May-09 14:27:11

DS has always had friends he can go to things with, and we've holidayed with friends. It's worked very well indeed.

Whenever I've been with friends with 2,3 or 4 children, the children spend 50% of their time screaming at each other, sulking, fighting or mocking each other, I notice, with the parents desperately trying to sort it out. Looks totally exhausting. Certainly felt like that when I was a teenager with my own dsis too. I suspect the idyll of "let's have another child - it'll be lovely" isn't always so.

bellabelly Sat 30-May-09 14:43:53

I'm an only child myself so it was interesting reading your post - for what it's worth, I NEVER seriously wished I had a sibling. Holidays and days out were fun because they were different and exciting (compared to normal life, I mean - looking back, we didn't really do much that was exciting by todays standards grin) and later on, when i was a teenager, we used to sometimes take my best friend on holiday with us which was lovely - because she was my mate and we got on really well, not because I'd have been bored or miserable without her company.

Probably helped that I was a bookworm and quite happy to sit reading on long car journeys but I also think being an only child forced me to be more sociable - there's more of an incentive to make friends and not be shy. As your ds gets older, it will all get easier I think because he will make his friends at school and you won't feel this pressure to be forever arranging playdates etc.

ilovetochat Sat 30-May-09 14:52:40

as an only myself i loved being taken to softplay/parks/swimming cos it gave me the chance to make friends for the day.
i didnt mind going on holiday with just my parents but i wanted to go somewhere with lots of other kids.
i would have loved to take someone on holiday with us!

Lazycow Sat 30-May-09 21:14:44

I feel pretty much the same as the op but I think many of the posts have been very sensible - I nonetheless find myself avoiding days out etc mainly because of this. I generally though not always ) enjoy them much more if we go with another family. Then again I find ds very difficult to manage (am about to post on that) so it may all be related for me anyway.

Portofino Sat 30-May-09 21:23:44

I kmow exactly where you are coming from OP! We moved abroad when dd was 2. She goes to school and has lots of friends but playdates take LOADS of effort on my part. I have even advertised to other expats to get stuff going,

I have met some lovely people but you make efforts and rely on them to reciprocate. It's not easy. I hate to look pushy. I don't even have a solution I'm afraid. You just have to keep at it I guess. It is very boring to spend loads of time at Kids activities on your own....

feedthegoat Sat 30-May-09 21:29:14

I have an only child but I feel the guilt and difficulty of it more at home. On days out my ds will make a bee line for the nearest child and make friends (he is only 3.7 so I don't know if this confidence will last). I feel for him more at home when he's trailing round after me doing the ' mummy, mummy, play with me' thing.

Deep down I know he is fine and my feelings have probably got more to do with the fact that I would like another child where as my dh doesn't.

Takver Sat 30-May-09 21:40:38

I'm with bellabelly - I'm an only and always loved holidays, going to the park etc, don't remember being bored at all.

How old is your child, Lostit - if he's below school age I also suspect you will find that things change once he has been in school for a while and you will find that there are more playmates around.

My dd is 7 now and we often go out and about and have a nice time either as a family, or just me & her if DH is busy.

GwenTen Sun 31-May-09 21:57:26

Hello, I am new on here. Lostitoday, your post could have been written by me. I have a ds aged six and we have just come back from going away in our caravan for a couple of nights. It broke my heart to see him trying to join in with all the other children and when he did make a friend he kept running into their caravan. Luckily he is a very sociable child but it seems like he is always trying to make an effort to get to know people.
Like you we have no cousins nearby and my brother has no children and is not likely too. He has friends at school who come over ocassionaly but we have no-one who we go out with on a regular basis.

I find myself constantly looking at families with more than two kids and feeling so jealous. I would like another child but as I am almost 44 and my partner does not want anymore, its not to be.

Its nice to know that I am not the only one who feels this. I certainly know how you feel.

slotnicki Mon 01-Jun-09 12:45:59

I too could have written your post, as your thoughts echo mine exactly. I have a dd aged 8. She is an only child, certainly not by choice. She has a real yen for the company of other children and I don't think that our environment/circumstances can meet this really strong need. Consequently we have lots of tantrums during the holidays and I can't wait for tomorrow (when she goes back to school) to come (and neither can she).

I am an only child and her cousins are teenagers, so not really potential playmates. We live in a street that is not exactly the most sociable. My dd goes to a small school where for a mixture of cultural reasons, there isn't really a habit of playdates - probably only about 4 children in her class have birthday parties each year. Added to this, my dd is quite selective in her choice of friends. She really only likes to play with children who like role play or performing.

As I said, I am an only child and as some others have said, i don't remember feeling lonely. However I think that I had a completely different personality and there were more children of my age living nearby (her were also onlies).

I am really glad that this thread was started, if only to share these feelings.

cat64 Mon 01-Jun-09 13:02:32

Message withdrawn

navelgazer Mon 01-Jun-09 16:33:15

OP I think I have seen some of your posts before about your son and tbh I've probably noticed them because I sometimes feel exactly like you. Having said that on a good day I can talk myself out of it.

If you look at you post it is all about the way you feel, not about how your son feels (Not trying to make you feel guilty btw just an observation)

I find it helps me to take a good objective look at my DD. Go and look at your son now and keep looking at him over the next few days. Is he smiling or laughing, if not does he just look content? Ask your DP/DH/a friend/family if they think your son looks happy. If he doesn't look happy then take it from there. But if he does look happy maybe you should believe the way he looks rather than the way you think he should feel as an only child. Are you happy? If not what could you do to make yourself happier, after all you owe it to your son to be a happy role model.

daisy99divine Mon 01-Jun-09 23:44:37

My DS is still too young to move beyond the stage of wanting Mummy all the time, but I wanted to say Lostit that I think the advice on this post is wise. We often raise concerns for our DCs that are not their concerns.

Clearly you would have loved more children, but that may not be your DCs experience? If you think he does want more company, can you find other ways to give it to him?

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